George Perivolidis, 76, Railroad employee, debate lover
George Perivolidis, 76, of River Forest, formerly of Oak Park, died on July 13, 2007 following a long illness. Born at West Suburban Hospital on June 9, 1931, he attended Morton High School and Morton Jr. College and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and math in 1963 from DePaul University. In 1973, he received his master’s degree in political science, constitutional law and foreign relations from Northeastern Illinois University. He started law school in the 1950s, but was interrupted by military service and never went back.

He served with the U.S. Army’s 1st Cavalry Division in Korea. During his tour of duty, he was assigned to parachute out of an airplane on one occasion with no preparation–just jump and pull and hope for the best. Among his many jobs, he worked at a downtown fruit stand and as a soda “jerk” while going to school. He later worked for Home Juice, Crush International, R.L. Publishing Co., American Sugar Refining Co., and the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad where he was an assistant foreman, materials clerk and timekeeper. That’s also where he met his wife, Evelyn. When he proposed, he actually used the words, “Love is a many-splendored thing.” Because he grew up in the Greek Orthodox Church and she did not, they married twice–on Nov. 7 and 8, 1959 in separate churches. He was a member of the Loyal Order of Moose and as a kid, he once played mandolin at Orchestra Hall with a collection of young musicians.

As might be expected from his educational background, he loved to debate the issues of the day. He also loved studying the stock and bond markets. And he enjoyed eating, particularly brunch and dinner buffets, sometimes taking 2-3 hours to finish.

George Perivolidis was the husband of Evelyn (nee Cosgrove); the father of Anita (Matthew) Trainor; the grandfather of Bridget Eileen, Katherine Mary and Mary Therese Trainor; the brother of Stanley (Peggy) Perry and Judge Arthur (Phyllis) Perivolidis; the uncle of Annette nee Perry (William) Bear and Christopher (Patricia) Perry, Christopher Perivolidis and Marisa (nee Perivolidis) Lettow; and the son of the late Chris and Antoia (nee Koronis) Perivolidis.

Visitation will be held Sunday, July 22 from 3 to 9 p.m. at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion St., Oak Park. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m., July 23, at Ascension Church, 815 S. East Ave., Oak Park, followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, masses are appreciated.
–Ken Trainor

Helen Nicholson, 73, ‘Grandma Mugga’
Helen Joan Nicholson (nee Mulvey), 73, a lifelong Oak Park resident, died of cancer on June 25, 2007. Born June 29, 1933, she attended Ascension Catholic School and Oak Park and River Forest High School. She was a dean secretary for 16 years at OPRF.

Joanie, as most called her, met her husband, Donald R. Nicholson, at a bowling alley in 1952 and their mutual friends sat them together in a restaurant booth where they hit it off. He was home on a 14-day leave. “After I met her I spent 13 of those days with her,” Donald said.

After he returned from a year in the service, they got back together and were married in 1958 at Ascension. “Joanie” gave birth to Donald R. Jr. (Mary) in 1965, who is now a pilot for the National Guard and Julie Anne in 1966, an aspiring nurse.

She was the grandmother of Maria, Elena and Michael, taking every opportunity she could to care for them and play games. Before the grandchildren could speak, they called her “Mugga” and it stuck. “She still has it on her license plate,” Donald said.

Mrs. Nicholson attended St. Giles Catholic Church.

“She was a terribly good person,” Donald said.

An aunt and great aunt, she was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Helen C. Mulvey of Oak Park, and her brothers Joseph (late Patricia), Robert (Virginia), Billy, and Edward. She is survived by her brother Donald F. (Frances).

A memorial Mass will be celebrated July 21 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Giles Catholic Church in Oak Park. Interment took place at Queen of Heaven Cemetery. Donations can be made to the American Cancer Society.

Harry Olson, 79, WGN announcer
Harry Olson, 79, of Elmwood Park, formerly of Oak Park, died July 10, 2007. Born Jan. 15, 1928, he met his wife Grace when they were about 18 years old in a Pastime Players group, which put on plays.

For many years Olson was a radio and TV announcer at WIND, WLS, WMAQ and for 10 years at WGN.

“He was always interested in that,” Grace said. Olson attended Oak Park and River Forest High School and Northwestern University where he studied speech.

Olson broadcast a popular program for several years called “Just in Passing,” which included music and various readings.

After retiring from broadcasting, he worked for the Aspegren Insurance firm, making many good friends in that business and others from the Oak Park community and high school.

He is survived by his wife; his son, Jon (Melissa); and his granddaughter, Elizabeth.

Private family services will be held later this month. Memorials can be made to the Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest.

Harry Voigt, 78, Graphic designer, tennis player
Harry Voigt, 78, of Oak Park, died July 1, 2007 after a short illness. Born on Aug. 2, 1928 in Chicago, he attended Lane Tech High School, where he was a member of the swim team.

In 1946 he joined the U.S. Army and served in the post-World War II occupation of Japan. After his father’s death in 1947, Voigt was assigned to the Second Division Artillery at Fort Lewis, Wash., where he served as meteorologist and also played shortstop on the Army baseball team.

After his honorable discharge from the Army in 1948, Voigt enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He won the Art Department Award of Merit and graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Advertising Design. After graduating, Voigt worked in Urbana as a graphic designer on the University Educational Foundation’s “Our Wonderful World” encyclopedia.

In 1956, he was hired by Motorola as an art director and moved back to Chicago. Six years later, Motorola sent him to the International Design Conference in Aspen, Colo., where he met Hannah Wilkins, a musician, and married her the following year.

They lived in Chicago for the first years of their marriage where their daughter, Laura, was born in 1964. After the birth of their son Derek in 1966, the Voigts moved to Oak Park, where he took up gardening. He loved the outdoors, and planted 12 trees in his home garden on Elmwood Avenue.

In his mid-30s, Voigt became an avid tennis player and spent many hours teaching Hannah to play as well. In 1987, he won the Oak Park Tennis Club’s Singles “B” tournament at the age of 59, and he continued to play regularly and well until a few years before his death.

In 1965, Voigt formed his own graphic design firm. His many clients included Rand McNally, Scott Foresman, Wadsworth Publishing, Harris Bank, and the Northern Trust. In 1981, he won an international design award for his work on A Short Course in Calculus by Bodh R. Gulati. The book was exhibited in Leipzig, Germany and at the Oak Park Public Library.

Voigt became well known throughout the Chicago area as a leading graphic designer. He served as president of the Society of Typographic Arts, a professional association for Chicago designers.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years; his daughter and son; his daughter-in-law, Catherine; and four granddaughters who were the light of his life: Laura’s daughter Madeline, and Derek and Catherine’s daughters, Ashley, Marisa, and Celia.

An open house will be held from 12 to 3 p.m., July 29, at the Oak Park Tennis Center on the Forest Preserve property, north of Lake on Bonnie Brae in River Forest. There will be light refreshments and at 2 p.m. there will be a time for sharing remembrances.

Memorials can be made to the Oak Park Tennis Center, c/o Jay Strode, 417 Lathrop Ave., River Forest 60305. Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.

Nancy Elich, 57, Loved playing tennis and skiing
Nancy (nee McClevey) Elich, 57, a lifelong River Forest resident, died on July 7, 2007 after an 18-year battle with breast cancer. Born in Oak Park on Oct. 9, 1949, she attended Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Oak Park and River Forest High School, which her sons also attended.

Elich began a career in the early 1970s at Crate and Barrel that lasted more than 30 years. She was a member of the River Forest Tennis Club where she was an excellent player in the 1980s and 1990s. She was also a board member of Hephzibah Children’s Association in the late 1980s.

Snowmass, Colo. was a very special place for Elich. She and her family often spent time there at their condo during the summers, and she enjoyed skiing in the winter there.

Nancy Elich is survived by her sons, Tyler, 27, a lighting designer currently on tour with Bob Dylan, and Cory, 18, a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point. She is also survived by her mother, Lupie McClevey, and her sister, Penny McClevey Stone.

A private service will be followed by a celebration of Nancy’s life with friends and family from 4 to 8 p.m. on July 18, at the Oak Park Country Club. Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.

Memorials can be sent to The Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago, 157 W. Grand Ave., Chicago 60610.
–Compiled by Erica Magda

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