Sandra Price, 66, OPRF teacher, sci-fi club advisor

Sandra Price, 66, of LaGrange, died on July 17, 2009 at home after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. Born in suburban Philadelphia, she earned her B.A. in English literature from Pomona College in California and her master’s degree in education from Harvard University a year later.

After teaching at a high school in Massachusetts, she moved to New York, where she and her husband, Larry, had two sons. In 1978, they moved to Oak Park, where Ms. Price served as religious education director at Unity Temple. After a couple of years in Palo Alto, Calif., the family moved back to Oak Park. She joined the faculty at Oak Park and River Forest High School from 1984 to 2003, where she taught world history, psychology and Asian studies. She was also the faculty advisor of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Club.

What distinguished her from the average teacher, said former OPRF faculty member Tom Ferguson, “was the amount of time she gave to students. She came early, stayed late and never expected a dime of compensation. She had fun on the job, but was also a total academic.”

Ferguson, who taught at OPRF from 1967-94, described Price as “a tremendous communicator. She had a great tolerance of kids, and they would often stop by just to chat.”

As a teacher, he said, “she was versatile because she was so smart. And she would invite her students into the process. She wasn’t just there to deliver a body of knowledge. She would ask them, ‘How are we going to do this?’ She was a good example of knowing your audience, and kids responded. But she wasn’t interested in public recognition.”

Ferguson remembered getting a call one day from Price asking him if he knew someone who could help a neighbor sell off some books. Ferguson made a few calls and the neighbor ended up with a check for $1,200.

“She was a real resource,” he recalled, “a tremendous bridge between people.”

After she retired, she and her husband lived in France for three years. She returned after being diagnosed with cancer.

In addition to her husband, Sandra Price is survived by her sons, Matthew and Jeffrey; her sister, Judith Mullan; and one granddaughter.

A service will be held Aug. 8 at the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale, 17 W. Maple St. in Hinsdale.

Marlena McCarthy, 56, Flight attendant, quilt-maker

Marlena McCarthy, 56, a resident of North Riverside, formerly of Oak Park, died from an accident in her home on July 18, 2009. Born on Dec. 2, 1952, in Marion Ohio, she was a graduate of Vacaville High School in California.

A United Airlines flight attendant for almost 37 years, she is remembered by family and friends for her avid love of quilting and wreath-making. Her specialty was making double wedding ring quilts. She also volunteered for West Suburban Special Recreation Association (WSSRA) and the National Association For Down Syndrome (NADS).

Preceded in death by her father, Merlin Collingwood and her brothers, Charles and Terrance Collingwood, Marlena McCarthy is survived by her mother, Dolores; her son, Patrick; her sisters, Mary Tucker, Kris (David) Bottles, and Melissa Collingwood; and her nieces and nephew, Catherine Collingwood, Wendy (Keneth) Jackson, Radiah (Manuel) Flores, and Stephen Collingwood. A private memorial Mass was celebrated in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Memorial contributions to NADS, P.O. Box 206, Wilmette 60091 or WSSRA, 2915 Maple St., Franklin Park 60131, are appreciated.

Lorraine Bernahl, 83, Mills Tower resident

Lorraine Bernahl, 83, of Oak Park died on July 30, 2009 at home, surrounded by her family. Born on Oct. 27, 1925 in Chicago to the late Luigi and Matilda Cariato, she graduated from Lakeview High School.


She married August W. “Augie” Bernahl, a Chicago firefighter, on April 19, 1947 and they raised their four children in the city, where she worked as a political pollster. After her husband retired, they moved Maribel, Wis. and lived there for 20 years before moving to San Diego, Calif. After her husband’s death, Mrs. Bernahl moved to Oak Park’s Mills Tower where she lived for seven years until her death. Her varied interests included making puzzles, sewing and Bingo.

She is survived by her children, Linda (Frank) Porcelli, August III “Augie” (Angeline), Suzan Bernahl, and Debra (Joe) Michiels; her 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren; and her sisters, Rose (the late John) Merutka and Ethel (the late James) Uptain; and many nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by eight other siblings.

Visitation was held at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home in Oak Park on Aug. 1. Interment will take place at Dearborn Memorial Park Cemetery in Poway, Calif. on Aug. 7 at 10:30 a.m.

Memorials to Rainbow Hospice, 444 N. Northwest Highway, Suite 145, Park Ridge 60068 are requested by the family.

Jeannette Kramer, 87, Expert in geriatric care, author, family and couples therapist

Jeannette “Jan” Kramer, 87, formerly of Oak Park, died peacefully at Huron Woods home for the aged in Ypsilanti, Mich. on July 23, 2009. Born in Belle Center, Ohio on May 11, 1922, she grew up in Urbana and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in English from the University of Illinois. She met Chuck, her future husband of 56 years, in 1940 in a freshman rhetoric class. They married in 1945 and over the next 11 years, Jan gave birth to six children and devoted herself to the family.

In 1954, they settled at 417 N. Kenilworth in Oak Park where they lived for 40 years. In 1956, Jan and Chuck bought the Plum Grove Nursing Home in Palatine. She served as administrator for the next 20 years, while her husband served as medical director. They pioneered innovative practices in geriatric care, wrote numerous articles and an award-winning book on therapeutic communities for the elderly, and became nationally known experts in the field. Jan served as president of the Illinois Nursing Home Association.

She began a second career in the 1970s when she trained in the first class at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, founded by her psychiatrist husband, and began doing co-therapy with him and later on her own. Together they spent 20 years seeing couples and families, teaching courses, speaking at conferences and leading workshops around the country. They wrote many articles and books, in the process becoming recognized leaders in the emerging field of family therapy. Jan also wrote a book focusing on intergenerational family dynamics.

She loved to read and write and wrote poetry from the age of 4 into her 60s. In 1991, she retired and three years later they moved to Ann Arbor, Mich., and became involved with the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation, where she was active in various congregational groups.

During her later years, she lived with Alzheimer’s disease with the same grace and sweetness she showed all her long life.

Jan Kramer was preceded in death by her husband, Chuck, and her sister, Betsey Mills. She is survived by her brother, Bob (Ruth) Ross; her six children, Dan (Janice Kovar), Judy (Hosain) Mosavat, Doug (Jojie) Kramer, Greg (Cathy) Kramer, Chip (Sue) Stevens and David; her nine grandchildren, Christine (Jeff) Caris, Justin, Emily, Elizabeth, Matt, Courtlandt, Julia, Kellan and Jacquelyn; her four step-children, David Mosavat, Fuller (Shya Pa) Espiritu, Anne Espiritu and Brittany Tankhim; her sister-in-law, Gloria Baird; and numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

She is remembered as a loving wife and mother, dear grandmother, and an instant friend with charm and trusting kindness. She had the acceptance and the strength to follow her own path, pursuing many interests and putting herself totally into everything she did.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 4001 Ann Arbor-Saline Road, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48103, 734-665-6158. An additional memorial service in the Chicago area is being planned. Arrangements were handled by Muehlig Funeral Chapel, Inc. in Ann Arbor.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the congregation or to The Family Institute at Northwestern University, 618 Library Place, Evanston 60201, 847-733-4300.

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