John Walsh Jr., 83, led the family real estate firm
John Walsh Jr., 83, of River Forest, died at home June 21, 2005 after a two-year battle with cancer. He continued working right up till the end.
Mr. Walsh got started in the real estate business in 1944, a mere 61 years ago.
"I just kind of fell into it," said Walsh, who moved to River Forest in 1929. Walsh attended St. Giles School and Fenwick High School. He went to Loyola University, graduating in 1944. He was turned down for military service in World War II because of an injury suffered during an auto accident as a teen.
In March of 1944, Walsh had a side business preparing income tax returns, using office space at his father's real estate firm, P.M. Walsh Company, located at Madison Street and Laramie Avenue on the West Side of Chicago. Back then the deadline for filing income taxes was March 15. When tax season ended, Walsh's father suggested to his son that he might want to try to sell some real estate.
For $2, Walsh obtained a salesman's license and sold a three flat at 5069 W. Jackson Blvd. for $15,000. He was hooked.
In 1956, Walsh moved the business, which was established in 1890, to 7636 W. North Ave. where it remains today. It's still very much a family business: His wife, Loretta, and two daughters, Tagger O'Brien and Mary McHugh, work with him.
In 1966, Loretta sold a home at 906 Lathrop Ave. in River Forest for the then-astronomical price of $132,500. About five years ago, the house burned down and the lot alone sold for $800,000.
Walsh remembers a brief period of time in the late 1960s when it was hard to sell in Oak Park. "At one point houses in Elmwood Park were going for more than Oak Park," he said. But that didn't last very long.
"The schools were always an attraction," said Walsh about Oak Park and River Forest.
Even at 83, he had no plans to retire.
"This is a business you retire into," he said.
Known as "Coach" because of his involvement in youth sports, he attended the Republican National Convention four times as a delegate and served as an Elmwood Park trustee from 1950 to 1960.
John Walsh Jr. is survived by his wife, Loretta; his son, Kevin; his daughters, Mary McHugh and Loretta; his brother, Robert; and 13 grandchildren.
Visitation was held June 24 at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home in Oak Park. Funeral Mass was celebrated June 25 at St. Vincent Ferrar Catholic Church in River Forest.
Jerry Kennedy, 76, carpenter, former OP resident
Jerome D. "Jerry" Kennedy, 76, formerly of Oak Park, died June 19, 2005 at Lexington Health Care Center in LaGrange. Born Oct. 20, 1928, he was a carpenter by trade and a member of Lathers' Union Local 74, Berwyn L.O.O.M. Lodge 424, Stewart's Club and Romeo Club.
Jerry Kennedy was the husband of Barbara and the late Catherine; the father of James (Lynette), Daniel (Patricia), Barbara (Jeffery), Payne, Michael (Andrea), and Kathy Kras; the grandfather of 15 and the great-grandfather of 7.
Veronica Prichard, 92, lived on Scoville Ave. for 82 years
Veronica A. Prichard, 92, an Oak Park resident, died May 7, 2005 at The Pavillion Nursing Home in Forest Park after an 8-year struggle with Alzheimer's disease.
Mrs. Prichard lived in Oak Park her entire life and resided in her beloved Scoville Avenue home for 82 years. She and her late husband, Dick, purchased the house from her parents and lived there until she moved to Holley Court Terrace in 1998.
Mrs. Prichard attended Ascension Elementary School, St. Mary's High School and Mundelein College. She was an avid golfer and worked as a dental assistant prior to raising her children. She was also a longtime member of Ascension Parish.
Veronica Prichard was the mother of Mary Lou of Oak Park, Susanne (John) Sutton, and Maureen Greenbaum; the grandmother of Laura (Scott) O'Connell; John (Christine) and Matthew Pendergast, Michael, Jason, Kevin and Chuck (Lynn) Sutton, and Jennifer (Jeff) Granvold; and the great-grandmother of Sarah O'Connell and aunt and friend of many.
Mrs. Prichard was preceded in death by her husband, Richard W. (Dick); her daughter, Ann Margaret; her brothers, Thomas and Charles "Bud" Hughes; and her sister, Lucille Stanicek.
Visitation was held May 11 at Drechsler, Brown and Williams Funeral Home in Oak Park. A funeral Mass was celebrated May 12 in Ascension Church with longtime friends Rev. Bernard White and Rev. Robert Cross as celebrants, followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.
Memorial donations can be sent to the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Chicagoland, 4709 Golf Rd., Suite 1015, Skokie 60076.
?#34;Compiled by Ken Trainor