Laura Mather, 38

Singer, actor and photographer

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Laura Mather, 38, formerly of Oak Park, died on May 13, 2019. Born on Oct. 9, 1980, to Nancy Recchia and the late Richard Mather in Chicago, she attended Alcuin Montessori Elementary School in River Forest and graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School in 1998. She had a multitude of artistic talents and very broad cultural interests, including photography, which she studied at Columbia College Chicago; sound and recording production, which she studied at San Diego City College in San Diego, California; and American Sign Language, which she studied at Moraine Valley Community College in Illinois.

She also had a gift for acting and music. In addition to assuming the lead role in a number of high school plays, she was a soloist with the Oak Park-River Forest Children's Choir, and traveled with the choir to England to perform. She studied Italian, living for a time with a family in Italy, as well as the biology of bats, which she researched during a trip to Costa Rica.

An adult convert to Catholicism, she received the sacraments of baptism and confirmation in 2015 at St. Patrick Church in Lemont, Illinois.

Laura is survived by her mother Nancy Recchia and her stepfather James Barham, of Pella, Iowa; her sister, Emily Moretz (Andy); her step-brother, Oliver Barham (Johanna Fabian-Marks); her paternal grandmother, Carol Mather (age 92), and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her father, Richard Mather; her aunt, JoAnn Recchia-Horst; and her other grandparents.

A prayer and vigil service will be held on Wednesday, May 22 (visitation at 5:30 p.m., service at 6:30 p.m., at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Pella, Iowa). Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 25 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 200 E. Illinois St. in Lemont, followed by burial at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 1400 S. Wolf Road in Hillside. Additional information is available at

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