Laura Roman, 54

School psychologist, life celebrant

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Laura Christine (Peterson) Roman of Oak Park died on Aug. 12, 2018 at the age of 54. Born on Nov. 22, 1963, her arrival brought joy on a day of national sorrow. She would continue to fill the world with laughter and had a smile that could light up every room she entered. Her favorite family memories included trips to Florida and epic power shopping trips, which typically ended in a lively camp song sing-a-long on the drive home.

She earned her B.S. in Psychology from Illinois Wesleyan and her M.S. in School Psychology from Illinois State University. Lifelong friendships formed during her college years included her best friend who would later become her husband.

Her devotion to children ultimately led to a career as a school psychologist in the Wheaton school district, and she received glowing reviews from colleagues, administrators and parents. When she left the district, her friends created WWLD (What Would Laura Do?) bracelets, as a reminder of her ability to find solutions to almost any problem.

In 2000, Laura married Brian, and they began their life together, creating a home in Chicago and then Oak Park and expanding their large circle of friends. Their family became complete in 2006 when they traveled to Kazakhstan and adopted the love of their lives: Joseph. She liked to say that, while Joseph was not born in her belly, he was born in her heart.

In 2010, she was diagnosed with brain and spinal cord cancer. During her long battle, she was an inspiration to all who knew her. You may have seen her in her wheelchair around Oak Park, since Brian made sure she participated fully in family events, from Joseph's ball games to charity races. She also had a wickedly acerbic sense of humor, a joyful laugh, and attended to detail. A lover of patty melts, angel food cake, the Beatles and Eric Clapton, she adored her menagerie of dogs and cats, who kept watch over her.

With Joseph and Brian, they were a true team, Team Roman, who reminded all of us that, in spite of hardships, "Life is good."

Laura was the wife of Brian Roman, the mother of Joseph Roman, the daughter of Margaret Peterson and the late Marvin Peterson, the sister of Karen (Christopher) Thielman and Amy Peterson, and friend and family member to countless others.

In lieu of flowers (honestly), donations may be sent to National Brain Tumor Society, J127 Ranch (Kazakhstan), or Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Visitation will be held on Friday, Aug. 24 from 3 to 8 p.m., at the Original Rago Brothers Funeral Home (Irving Park Road). A funeral service will take place at Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 9:30 a.m. Family and friends should meet at the church.

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