Donald McGoorty, 87, WWII Purple Heart recipient, ComEd division manager

Donald R. McGoorty, 87, a lifetime Oak Park resident, died peacefully at home on May 21, 2010. Born on Nov. 8, 1922, he grew up in Oak Park, attending Whittier Elementary School and Oak Park and River Forest High School (class of ’41). Upon graduation, he began working for the Commonwealth Edison Co. in Chicago.

He served in the Army during WWII in the Timberwolves – the 414th Infantry Regiment, 104th Infantry Division. Fighting in Europe, he was injured by enemy shrapnel in Germany, receiving a Purple Heart along with other medals. He joined the American Legion, and was an active member of Post 118 for over 63 years.

Upon discharge from the army, he continued his job with Commonwealth Edison and in 1957 was selected to join the start-up Data Processing division. There he progressed quickly, moving up to division manager responsible for the billing systems. After a successful and enjoyable career there, he retired in 1985.

In the late 1940s, he met Emily Zarecki at ComEd, and they married in 1949. Their six children kept them busy with school, friends and activities. All of the children attended St. Edmund Grade School and OPRF H.S. Mr. McGoorty was active on the St. Edmund school board and the Boy Scouts during those years and was a constant fan and spectator at many sporting events.

Extended family gatherings and yearly vacations were also part of the annual family routine. As the children got older, Donald and Emily took many enjoyable trips. They were active members of the St. Edmund Bridge League, bowling leagues, and many other church and recreational activities in Oak Park. Playing in many bridge leagues and tournaments, he became a ranked bridge player in his later years. An enthusiastic computer hobbyist after he retired, he learned the operations of the personal computer and used it for all his daily activities, especially for managing his investments. He was the treasurer, as well as an active member, of both the OPRF class of ’41 and the Mills Investors for over 20 years.

His children and grandchildren brought much enjoyment to his life. He enjoyed swimming, playing games, card games, vacations and holiday gatherings with his children and grandchildren. He lovingly cared for Emily in their home for five years following her stroke, which eventually claimed her life. They had 49 loving, fruitful, and busy years together.

After that he met Donna Ambrose who became his loving companion. She brought much enjoyment to his life over the 12 years they were together, sharing vacations, enjoying bridge and investing clubs together, and becoming regular dining companions.

Don McGoorty is survived by his children and grandchildren, Donald R. Jr. (Susan Walter) and daughter Kelli; Karen (Robert) Rowland and son Daniel; Marilyn (Timothy) Sullivan and sons Joseph and Christopher; John (Deneen Zupo) and son Jack; Robert (Teresa Richard) and children Emily, Brian and Kevin; and Thomas (Beth Razook). He was preceded in death by his siblings, Madeline Lawton and twin sister Phyllis McGoorty and his brothers John Ward McGoorty and William Douglas McGoorty.

Visitation will be held Friday, May 28 from 3 to 8:30 p.m. at Drechsler, Brown and Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion Street, Oak Park. Prayers take place on Saturday, May 29, at 9:45 a.m. at the funeral home, followed by Mass at 10:30 a.m. at St. Edmund Church, 188 S. Oak Park Ave. Interment will take place at St. Joseph Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to St. Edmund Church are appreciated.

Katherine ‘Kate’ McMahon, 90, Former village trustee, St. Catherine-St. Lucy parishioner

Catherine E. “Kate” McMahon, 90, a longtime Oak Park resident, died on May 23, 2010 in Berwyn. Born on March 2, 1920 to Philip and Grace Cahill, she graduated from St. Basil Grade School and St. Thomas the Apostle High School and earned her degree at Chicago Teacher’s College.

She met the love of her life, Tom McMahon, when they were toddlers on the 5700 block of South Winchester in Chicago. They married on April 26, 1941 at St. Basil Church. In June 1953, as the family size increased, they moved to Oak Park, becoming very active in St. Catherine of Siena Parish, the Christian Family Movement, Crossroads and the Oak Park community. She served as an Oak Park village trustee while continuing her participation in the Oak Park Housing Center.

They moved to Westchester in April 1998. The McMahons cherished their time, friends, family, pets and involvement during the days they lived in Oak Park. She stayed active and enjoyed her hobbies, love of gardening, supporting the library and baking sweets.

Kate McMahon is survived by her children, Kathleen (the late Kenneth) O’Connor, James McMahon, Pat Raucci, Eileen (John) Runtz, Thomas (Cheryl) McMahon, Rosemary (Mark) Ruda, Margie (Terry) Bartz, Terry (Janet) McMahon, Timmy McMahon, and Marilynn (John) Kennedy. She was the grandmother of 26 and great-grandmother of 42 and was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Thomas P. McMahon; and her siblings.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, May 26 from 3 p.m. until time of Mass, 7 p.m., at St. Catherine of Siena-St. Lucy Church, 38 N. Austin Blvd., Oak Park. Private interment will take place at Queen of Heaven Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation are appreciated. Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.

Leah ‘Mimi’ Cooper, 72, Co-founder, Cooper Marketing Group

Leah “Mimi” Cooper (nee Saks), 72, formerly of Oak Park, died in Stonybrook, N.Y. on May 17, 2010. She lived in Oak Park from 1967 until 2008 and was active in the community. With her husband, she co-founded the Cooper Marketing Group. Friends and family say they will miss her wisdom, strength and humor.

Mimi Cooper is survived by her children, Nancy (James) Guerin, Pamela (Ginteras) Baukus, Daniel Goroff and Nancy Goroff (Glen Whitney); her grandchildren, Graham, Evan and Claire Guerin, Lauren Baukus, Joshua Goroff, and Anna and Grace Whitney. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Cooper; her brother, Alan (Esther) Saks; and her sister, Sylvia (Herbert) Beeders.

A memorial gathering is scheduled for Sunday, May 30, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Carleton of Oak Park, 1110 Pleasant St. Interment is private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Arrangements were handled by I.J. Morris of Dix Hills, N.Y. (631-499-6060).

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