Alexander Karanikas, 90, of Oak Park, died on Nov. 30, 2006 at home. Born to Greek immigrants, he grew up in Goffstown, N.H. He graduated from Harvard, and after serving in the Army during World War II, he ran for Congress as a Progressive Party candidate in 1948.
He met his wife, Helen Karagianes, wooed her with love letters, and married her in 1949. They settled in Chicago, and Mr. Karanikas earned his doctorate from Northwestern University, then began teaching at the University of Illinois-Chicago in 1954 when classes were held at the old Navy Pier. He retired in 1982 though he continued teaching in a non-salaried capacity.
According to the obituary in the Chicago Tribune, he got his first look at Chicago in 1933 when he won first place in an essay contest-“Why I want to go to the world’s fair.” He was hoping to win the second place prize of a typewriter in order to indulge his writing aspirations.
He wrote throughout his life and a few years ago won the Neptune Award for writers over 75 at the Moondance Film Festival for his screenplay for the film, Marika. He also produced volumes of poetry and books about his Greek heritage.
In later years, he also began acting in commercials.
In Oak Park he would meet with a group of friends at Erik’s Deli on a daily basis.
Mr. Karanikas is survived by his daughters, Marianthe, Helen, Diane Harvey and Cynthia; his two granddaughters; and his two brothers, John and Paul.
Sr. Shirley Reilly O.P., 86, Taught at St. Edmund, Bishop Quarter
Sister Shirley Reilly, formerly known as Sister Edward Francis Reilly, died at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Mich., at the age of 86, in her 66th year of religious life with the Adrian Dominican order. Born in Winnebago, Ill. to Charles and Pearl (Miller) Reilly, she graduated from Bishop Muldoon High School in Rockford and received a Bachelor of Philosophy degree in History from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.
She spent 51 years in education in Detroit and Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.; Wilmette, Oak Park and Chicago; and Miami Beach, Fla. She was principal for five years at Bishop Quarter Academy in Oak Park and taught for 21 years at St. Edmund School. Retiring in 1993, she lived in a private residence in Westchester until moving to Michigan. She will be remembered fondly by all those whose lives she touched.
Sister Reilly is survived by many nieces.
Visitation was held on Dec. 7 at the Dominican Life Center. The funeral liturgy was celebrated on Dec. 8, followed by interment in the congregation cemetery. Arrangements were handled by Anderson Funeral Home in Adrian, Mich.
Memorial gifts may be sent to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 E. Siena Heights Dr., Adrian, Mich. 49221.
Richard Andersen, Oak Parker for 48 years
Richard P. Andersen of Darien, formerly of Oak Park, died on Nov. 30, 2006. Richard and his wife, Rose Marie, lived on the same block in Oak Park, first in an apartment and then in separate homes for 48 years. He was a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and the Optimist Club.
Mr. Andersen was the husband of Rose Marie (nee Ouletta); the father of Rick (Cindy), Paul (Alicia), Philip, Mark (Rosa), Jim (Sharon), Mary Kay and Amy; and the grandfather of Brett, Mark, Alex, Maddy, Jackie, John, Eddie, and Scott.
Funeral services were held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, East and Randolph, in Oak Park.
Memorials may be sent to the Optimist Club of Oak Park, which meets twice a month at the 19th Century Club.
Frances Barrett, Cookie Lady
Frances Theresa Barrett, a longtime resident of River Forest and Oak Park, died on Dec. 2, 2006 in her River Forest home. She graduated from St. Catherine Elementary School in Oak Park and Trinity High School in River Forest, and also attended Dominican University (then Rosary College). She worked at Pure Oil in Chicago for many years and at Walker’s Department Store in Oak Park.
Since she never got her driver’s license, she walked all over the two villages, and was famed in her family for her cookie baking, earning the nickname “Cookie Lady” for her countless tins of chocolate chip cookies. She was a member of St. Luke Church in River Forest.
Frances Barrett is survived by her sisters, Jane Vavrock, Mary Edith Mulholland, and Nancy Collins; and by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters, Elizabeth McMahon, Josephine Cullen, and Virginia Hackett; and her brothers, William and Richard Arthur Barrett.
Visitation was held on Dec. 5 at the new Woodlawn Funeral Home in Forest Park. Funeral Mass was celebrated on Dec. 6 At St. Luke in River Forest, followed by interment at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside. Arrangments were handled by Peter Kennedy, funeral director.
-Compiled by Ken Trainor