Dolores Register

Ellariz Dolores (nee Current) Register, 88, of Oak Park, died on Dec. 9, 2021, at Seasons Hospice Palliative Care in Berwyn.

Affectionately known as Dee Dee to her siblings and Dee to her husband, Dolores was the sixth child born to John Thomas and Earsy (Bryant) Current in Detroit, Michigan, Oct. 23, 1933.

She attended public schools in Detroit Michigan, graduating from Northwestern High School and then attended college at Wayne State University, earning both her Bachelor of Arts degree and her master’s in Education.

At Wayne State University in 1952, she became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

An avid dancer who studied with Alvin Aily and Martha Graham, and at the Sorbonne in France, she also studied piano and was an accomplished vocalist.

On Aug. 31, 1963, she married Rev. Donald B. Register and moved from Detroit to St. Louis where she was hired by the St. Louis Board of Education, the first black teacher to integrate that system.

While living in St. Louis, she gave birth to her first child, John, and her second child, Christopher.

The couple moved from St. Louis to their new home in in Oak Park in 1971 and though they received a “welcome brick” through the front window, her trailblazing spirit was not deterred.

In 1972, she gave birth to her third son, Mark.

Dolores continued as an educator and was the founding director of the Multicultural Education Center, a critical component in Oak Park’s equity and inclusion initiatives. The center’s curriculum focused on creating greater awareness and appreciation for different cultures through food, the arts, and community. She was instrumental in bringing about Oak Park’s iconic EthnicFest celebration, more than 40 years ago.

When her husband became pastor of Sixth Grace Presbyterian Church in Chicago, she became the First Lady and implemented several programs advancing the church’s mission.

A student of the world, she loved traveling, visiting Spain, Germany, France, Canada, Central America, Australia and Nairobi, Kenya.

One of her favorite sayings was, “You are such a trooper.”

It was her faith that kept her going. She gave her life to Jesus at a young age and was baptized.

Dolores was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers, Gloster, Lester, and John and her sisters, Isabelle and Gloria.

Dolores is survived by Rev. Donald B. Register, her husband of 58 years; her sons, John (Alice) Register, Christopher (Samoria) Register, and Mark (Kenyatta) Register; her grandchildren, Ronald, John Jr., Ashley, Aimee, Danielle, Emmanuel, Rhea, and Christopher, Reese, Tatum, and Tillman; and a host of great-grandchildren.

Services will be at The Nineteenth Century Club, 178 Forest Avenue in Oak Park, on Jan. 8, visitation from 10 till time of service at noon. Parking will be at the public garage at Lake and Forest.

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