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Jefferson Park, Portage Park, Norwood Park

Estate Sale Mistake: Cherished 1959 Wedding Portraits Sold By Accident — And Bride Wants Them Back

Gerri Cangelosi and her late husband married in 1959. Her family organized an estate sale of her longtime Elmwood Park home as she downsizes, but portraits from her wedding day were mistakenly included.

Gerri and Sal Cangelosi were high school sweethearts who were married for more than 50 years.
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PORTAGE PARK — A 53-year-old wedding portrait of high school sweethearts was mistakenly sold during a recent estate sale, and the bride is asking for help to track it down.

Gerri Cangelosi met her future husband, Sal, during a dance at St. Patrick High School, 5900 W. Belmont Ave., more than 50 years ago, she said. He spent most of his childhood in Montclare and attended St. Pat’s, while she grew up in Austin and attended Notre Dame High School for Girls a few blocks away, Cangelosi said.

“He was 17 years old and went to an all-boys parochial high school. I was 15 and went to the sister school, which was all girls,” she said. “We were together ever since.”

The couple married in 1959, had kids and built a life together in suburban Elmwood Park.

“We lived in that house for almost 40 years,” Cangelosi said. 

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A photo of the wedding portrait of Gerri and Sal Cangelosi. The framed portraits were accidentally sold during an Elmwood Park estate sale the weekend of Sept. 17-18.

After Cangelosi’s husband died in 2018, she downsized and moved to Florida.

Earlier this month, Cangelosi asked her Chicago-area relatives to oversee an estate sale earlier at her Elmwood Park home, 1743 N. Thatcher Ave., to help get rid of the remaining items she and her husband had accumulated over nearly five decades. 

After the sale was over, the family realized the Cangelosi’s wedding portrait was accidentally sold. Cangelosi went to Next Door this week to ask for help tracking down the person who bought it in the hope they’d return the picture. Another neighbor saw Cangelosi’s post and shared it on Facebook to spread the word. 

“My son in Florida decided he wanted to put my wedding portrait in his house,” Cangelosi said. “The problem was that there was a couple of tables in front of that picture that was full of stuff. And in the turmoil of making the move, I just forgot to take it off the wall. And we forgot about it until later and didn’t tag it as ‘do not sell.’” 

The framed wedding portrait includes two black-and-white photos that have been colorized, the family said. The photo on the left of the frame is of Cangelosi holding a bouquet in her wedding dress. The photo on the right is of the couple on their wedding day. 

“It isn’t just the sentimental value but the historical value to my family. I want my great-grandchildren and their kids to someday have this picture of their great-great grandparents,” Cangelosi said. “It was from our wedding day, and I don’t even know what they paid for it, but I would buy it back.” 

Anyone with information about the portrait can email Cangelosi at gerricangelosi@hotmail.com

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