Trish Quane, 52, teacher, cyclist, woman of action
"She was a person of few words but a lot of action," said Alegra Quane. "Kind of funny since she was a speech therapist."
Alegra described her mother, Trish Quane, as "a really hard worker. She always had something to do. That was the way she lived, being productive. Her work was really important to her."
As a teacher, Alegra recalled, who worked in speech pathology with special needs students at Holmes School, her mom built long-term relationships. "Watching them grow and helping them grow she found very fulfilling," Alegra said. "She never tired of that. It permeated her being."
She took the same approach to parenting her three daughters, said Alegra, 24, who is a substitute teacher at Oak Park and River Forest High School and working toward a master's in art education. As Alegra got older, she worked with some of the same kids her mother taught, babysitting and doing respite care. Alegra got to know her mom in a professional capacity. It represented "a new stage in our relationship."
From her she learned "to be curious and be invested in the world around me. That was the way she carried herself. I learned to take an active interest in everyday things and in what you want to do with your life," Alegra said. "She didn't communicate that through words but through her actions."
Exercise was another important part of her life. Trish Quane, 52, was an avid cyclist, and, in fact, was out on an early morning bike ride Aug. 23 when she was killed by a train at a railroad crossing in Riverside.
Two days earlier, she had participated in the first Wright Ride, co-sponsored by the Oak Park Cycle Club and the Oak Park Convention and Visitors Bureau. Trish had helped resurrect the Cycle Club back in 1992, along with Gail Moran, and was about to begin her term as club president.
"Trish was a model safe cyclist," said fellow cyclist Brian Crawford. As chair of the Ride Committee, he said, Trish would take reluctant riders out and teach them how to ride safely in urban settings. She was a role model for Crawford who joined the club last year.
"She inspired me at 47 to get back on a bike. We rode a lot of miles together."
Trish worked tirelessly on the Wright Ride, Crawford said, marking much of the route herself?#34;the same route she was riding two days later when she was killed.
"This is a stunning loss of a really dear friend," Crawford said. "We're experiencing disbelief on many levels. She was a teacher to the end. We're learning lessons from all of this."
Trish's sister Irene said the family is overwhelmed and deeply grateful for the outpouring of support they have experienced from the community.
"We're hearing from people who didn't even know her," said Irene. The family didn't find out about Trish's death until mid-afternoon when her body was finally identified, and almost immediately neighbors and fellow teachers from Holmes descended on them, helping them make funeral arrangements, cooking meals, offering support.
"People are still leaving small gifts on the steps," said Alegra. "This is such a beautiful community. It's an amazing thing to witness." Her sister said she learned that, in terrible times, "Never stay away. People need each other."
Patricia Guajardo Quane is survived by her daughters, Abigail, Amelia, and Alegra; her former husband, John; her mother, Rita Guajardo; her brothers, Raphael, Cruz, John, and Michael; and her sisters, Toni Campbell, Irene Guajardo Gawne, and Lisa Douglas.
Visitation was held Aug. 26 at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home. Funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 27 at Ascension Church, followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.
Memorials to Thumbuddy Special, P.O. Box 145, Downers Grove 60515 would be appreciated.