Eugene Wesolowski, 75, of Oak Park, died on Aug. 8, 2022 after a short illness. A deep thinker who loved to learn as much as he loved to teach, he had the heart of a caregiver and spent his life in service to others.
Born and raised in the Polish-American community of South Chicago, where he attended Quigley South Preparatory Seminary, he intended to join the priesthood but had a change of heart and transferred to Southern Illinois University, earning a Psychology degree in 1969. Feeling called to community service, he joined the Peace Corps and served in Western Samoa for two years and peppered his conversation with snippets of Samoan, Polish, and Latin phrases he learned in his early years.
Upon returning to the U.S., he began a rich and rewarding career as a social worker, obtaining his MSW from the University of Chicago and working in hospital and school settings, in addition to a private therapy practice. In 1996, he became the director of Oak Lawn Family Service, a role he cherished until his retirement in 2009. He especially loved supervision and training of new therapists.
He married his wife, Carol Huberty, a fellow social worker, in 1980 and they moved to Oak Park, where they lived for the rest of their lives. Their daughter, Emily, was born in 1983. He was an adventurous parent, up for roller coasters, scuba diving, camping, and parasailing. When Carol became sick, he cared for her until the end of her life in 2006.
In “retirement,” he continued to teach family therapy at Governor’s State University and Dominican University. He reconnected with his Catholic faith, earning a second master’s degree in Divinity from Catholic Theological Union in 2014, and became very active in his parish, Ascension Church. At Ascension he found a community of like-minded people and developed some of the best friendships of his life.
Gene was preceded in death by his wife, Carol, and his parents, Eugene and Genevieve Wesolowski. He is survived by his daughter, Emily Moyer (Kurtis); his grandchildren, Clara Jane (7) and Harrison Eugene (2); his brothers, Allen (Kathleen Nolan) and Bruce (Debra); and his nieces, Christina Gallagher (Brendan), and Jeanne Wesolowski.
A memorial Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, Aug. 13, at 11 a.m. at Ascension Church in Oak Park. If you would like to honor his legacy, please consider a donation to Pathlights (www.pathlights.org), where Gene served on the board of directors for many years.