Donald Rehkopf

A memorial service will be held Sunday, Aug. 11 for Donald Rehkopf, who taught English at Oak Park and River Forest High School for more than 30 years. Mr. Rehkopf died in February after suffering a broken hip last October.
According to an obituary which ran in the Journal at the time of his death, Mr. Rehkopf loved Wordsworth, Keats and Thomas Traherne, and called himself “an adherer to the high promise of Christian religious faith.”

He was born in Petoskey, Mich. and grew up in Berwyn. During World War II he served in the Army Amphibian Engineers in the South Pacific. Following the war he earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and went to work for the Cook County Highway Department. Then he took his life in a markedly different direction and studied for a master’s degree in English literature at the University of Chicago.

A commenter on wrote at the time of his death, “Don Rehkopf was my English teacher in 1963. I will never forget him. He affected my life in many positive ways. Beauty and simplicity guided him and made him special to everyone he touched.”

He met his wife, JoAnn, in the oboe section of the Oak Park Civic Symphony. They married in 1953 and lived in Elmwood Park where they raised their daughters Jill Christy and Carrie Beth.

The memorial service will held at Grace Episcopal Church, 924 Lake St. in Oak Park. The service will begin at 1:30 p.m.

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