Beta Balgemann, 94, Longtime OPRF substitute teacher, community volunteer

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Edna M. (Beta) Balgemann, 94, died quietly on July 25, 2012. She graduated from Rosary College (now Dominican University) and did some graduate work at Northwestern University.

A substitute teacher at Oak Park and River Forest High School for 23 years, she taught Spanish, Honors English, Honors Biology and Sociology. Her community involvement consisted of membership in the Historical Society of Oak Park-River Forest, the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, the Pleasant Home Foundation, the Infant Welfare Society of OP-RF, the River Forest Tennis Club and the River Forest Country Club. She served on the boards of the OP-RF Community Foundation, the Auxiliary Board of West Suburban Hospital Medical Center and the OP-RF Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Her interests included cooking, baking and gardening. She also loved to recycle and repurpose objects. Pillows for Hospice and flowers delivered to friends were favorite activities, all of which she conducted in an elegant and fashionable way.

Beta Balgemann is survived by her children, Lee Balgemann and Jan (Bob) Kerr; her daughter-in-law, Linda Bredehorn Balgemann; her grandchildren, Bryan Balgemann, Brad (Tina) Balgemann, Wesley Kerr, and Whitney Kerr; and her great-grandchildren, Sascha Prottung and Braden Balgemann. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph Balgemann, who also died this year. They lived in their Oak Park home for their entire married life.

Services will take place on Friday, Aug. 3, which would have been the couple's 72nd wedding anniversary, at First United Church, 848 Lake St. in Oak Park.

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