Jessie Dwyer, 94, St. Bernardine parishioner
Jessie M. Dwyer, 94, longtime resident of Oak Park and member of St. Bernardine Parish, Forest Park, died on Oct. 20, 2007 after a valiant struggle with the disabling effects of strokes. She was born and raised in Bridgeport, where her father ran a meat market. After graduating from Visitation High School, she moved to Oak Park with her husband in 1941. She volunteered at St. Bernardine’s for many years and worked for Maple Furriers.

Her heart remained in Oak Park where she enjoyed family, friends, and church over the years. They will miss her quick wit and smile.

Jessie Dwyer was the wife of the late John J. Dwyer; the mother of Dennis [Carolyn] and Mary C. “Jill” [Paul]; the grandmother of David Dwyer and Julianne [Toby Lathrop] Dwyer; and many nieces and nephews. The oldest of four children, she was preceded in death by her brothers, the late Joseph Jr. “Bud” [the late Dorothy] Skala, and the late Robert [Norine] Skala and her sister, the late Helen [the late Don].

Visitation will be held on Friday, Nov. 2 at 9:30 a.m., St. Bernardine Church, 7246 Harrison St., Forest Park. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10 a.m., followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Hillside, in the Queen of Heaven Mausoleum, Saint Monica Corridor, beside her husband.

Future Masses, celebrated for the repose of her soul at St. Bernardine Church or donations to their school for the education of future generations, or flowers, which always brightened her spirits. Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.

Olive O’Connor, Teacher
Olive Ann O’Connor, formerly of Oak Park, died on Oct. 17, 2007 at St. Patrick’s Residence in Naperville. Born in Chicago, she attended Our Lady Help of Christians Grade School in Austin and Our Lady of Angels Academy in Clinton, Iowa. After attending Rosary College and Pestalozzi-Froebel Teachers College, she became the first lay teacher at Our Lady Help of Christians.

She married Jerry O’Connor in 1947, and they raised six children. Mrs. O’Connor worked as a substitute teacher. She never learned to drive a car and never flew on a plane. She was too busy being a devoted mother and her kids’ number one fan.

Olive O’Connor is survived by her daughters, Nancy Spartz, Carol Ford, Therese Janisch, and Jean Ziegler; her sons, Kevin and Thomas; and seven grandchildren.

Visitation and funeral Mass were held Oct. 24 at St. Patrick’s Residence in Naperville, followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery.

Barbara Ceithaml, 75, Performing arts school owner
Barbara Marie Ceithaml, 75, formerly of Forest Park, died on Oct. 17, 2007 at Rosewood Care Center in Elgin after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Born in Chicago, she grew up on the South Side, graduated from Lindblom High School and attended Northwestern University, where she was a member of the Phi Gamma Nu sorority. She worked as a runway model in Chicago and New York and later earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Roosevelt University.

In the early 1960s, she worked as an arts instructor for the Park District of Oak Park; then in 1963, she and a friend opened a children’s school for the performing arts on the second floor of the building on Oak Park Avenue where Wednesday Journal is now located. The St. James-Christie Academy of the Performing Arts produced dramas and musicals, at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg among other venues, and closed in 1987.

In recent years, she worked as an office manager for Lutheran Family Services.

Barbara Ceithaml is survived by her brother, Jim, and a nephew.

Services were held Oct. 25 at Adolf-Berwyn Funeral Home in Berwyn.

–Ken Trainor

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