Louise Varnes, 84

Force behind the Housing Center

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Louise M. Varnes (nee Craine), 84, of Forest Park, formerly of Oak Park, passed away at home Sept. 8 surrounded by family. Born and raised in Edison Park, she enjoyed seeing movies at the Pickwick Theatre in Park Ridge, graduated from St. Scholastica High School in 1953, and worked for Illinois Bell Telephone. She married Robert Varnes in 1957, and they eventually moved to the famed 200 block of South Elmwood, Oak Park in 1968. Wanting to be more involved within the community, Louise started as a volunteer with the Oak Park Housing Center at its inception and was employed there for 45 years until her retirement in 2018.

In addition to spending time with family, she loved attending Shakespeare plays, watching movies, doing puzzles and especially spending time with her "Group of Crazies," as she and her friends were affectionately known.

Louise was the mother of Matt, Elaine, Dan (Christine), Rich, and Jeannette (Erik) Hess; the grandmother of Matthew, Brianna, Miriam, Steven, the late Melanie, Madeline, Emma, Andrew, and Eleanor; and the great-grandmother of Aiden, Bailey, and Victoria. She is survived by her brother Neil (Carol) Craine. She was predeceased by her parents, Cornelius and Marie; her sister, Margaret; and her brothers, Joe, George, and John Craine. She was the sister-in-law, aunt, friend, and co-worker to many. 

A celebration of her life and legacy will be held at a later date.

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