Louise Cafasso

Educator, counselor, volunteer and patron of the arts

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Louise Cafasso, an Oak Park resident for over 70 years, died on Oct. 6, 2020. Born in Chicago, she earned her teaching degree from Chicago Teachers College and her master's degree in Administration and Guidance from DePaul University. She also completed post-graduate work in the field of Education at Northwestern and Northeastern universities. She was an assistant principal, counselor and teacher for the Chicago Public Schools for 33 years and was a national certified counselor. 

While teaching she was a member and board member of the Gregorians, an organization of Italian teachers and was elected into and held board positions in Delta Kappa Gamma. After retirement, she volunteered at St. Giles school as a reading tutor and CCD teacher as well as serving as lector at daily Mass for over 15 years. A member of the Retired Teachers Association and the Oak Park-River Forest Historical Society, she was a docent for the Hemingway Museum for five years and a member of the Nineteenth Century Club, where she served as vice president and program coordinator. 

For over 60 years, she had a great love of and was a patron of the Chicago arts, a constant supporter and attendee of the Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera, Symphony of Oak Park-River Forest, Goodman Theater and Chicago Sinfonietta. She was also a board member of the American Opera Society. 

Louise was the wife of Dr. Fred Cafasso for 49 years; the mother of Elene Cafasso and Lynda Cafasso; the mother-in-law of Keith Mahnken and Stephen Conroy; the grandmother of Maria Elena Mahnken and David Fred Conroy and the late Joshua Conroy; the sister of Gus (Jean) Cortiletti and the late Mona (Maurice) Powers and the late Charles Cortiletti.

A Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated at St. Giles Church on Oct. 12, followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Mausoleum.

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