Alan Amato, 68, of Berwyn, formerly of Oak Park, died on April 8, 2020 from heart failure. Born on Feb. 7, 1952 he grew up in Chicago’s Little Italy at Taylor and Halsted streets.
Passionate about social justice and activism, he was active in the Oak Park Lesbian and Gay Association (now OPALGA+). As chair of the group’s public policy committee, he was instrumental in passage of Oak Park’s landmark Domestic Partnership Registry, the first of its kind in Illinois and one of the few in the nation. He loved to travel and enjoyed good food, wine and playing cards.
He attended the University of Illinois Chicago. In his early professional career, he worked as a community organizer with Catholic Charities. He sold cemetery plots for St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery in Niles for a few years. From 1994 to ’98, he was a partner and manager of the Pride Agenda bookstore in Oak Park and later was employed for many years at Tan Travel in Oak Park. Before retiring, he worked at the Art Institute of Chicago in the bookstore and the gift shop. As part of his involvement in local politics, he co-chaired the 2007 campaign to elect Oak Park village trustee candidates selected by the Village Manager Association. He collaborated with LGB residents in Berwyn to form BUNGALO (Berwyn United Gay and Lesbian Organization) and also volunteered with the Illinois Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which shared office space with OPALGA.
Alan was preceded in death by his parents, Alphonse and Marie “Emily” (Pezzuto) Amato, and his twin brothers Charles and Felix. He was also preceded by his beloved dog Alice B. Toklas and his adoring cats Alfie and Pierre. He is survived by his cousins Denise Polerecky, Mary McEnerney, Mary Pezzuto, Judy Jones, Mary Marino and Phil Amato.
A private graveside service will be held at Queen of Heaven Cemetery. A celebration of his life will be held as soon as people can safely congregate once again.
Alan had no immediate family. Relatives are making the arrangements for cremation and burial. A group of his long-term friends invite you to help offset the associated costs, including a memorial celebration to be held at a later date: https://www.gofundme.com/f/Alan-Amato-Burial-and-Memorial-Fund.