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West Side Educator And Activist Lost To Pandemic Was The ‘Keeper Of Our Sacred Family Stories’

Rhoda Jean Hatch, 73, was the oldest of eight siblings and was first in her family to go to college. She became an educator and her family's historian, helping find an ancestor who fought in the Civil War.

Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

West Side Church Choir Won’t Be The Same After COVID Death Of Beloved Singer: ‘Everybody Should Have A Nikki’

Nikki Shepard, 44, fought to bring joy and light to her family every day, despite living with a chronic illness. “People didn't realize that when she went out on the dance floor for the kids, she could barely walk the next day."

Austin, Garfield Park, North Lawndale

Northwest Side Biker, Electrician And Vietnam Vet Dedicated His Life To Helping Others — Especially Veterans In Need

Bob Brieske, 70, cheated death a few times, making it through the Vietnam War, a bad motorcycle crash and a heart attack. But “the beast of COVID took him down," his wife said.

Edgebrook, Edison Park, Sauganash

Southwest Side Dad, Brother Feared Nothing And Used Humor To Encourage Family: ‘It’s A Huge Void That He Left’

Jose Cornejo, who died from COVID-19 at 71, was known for random, simple acts of kindness. He'd chase after a mailwoman so he could give her water on hot summer days — and was always there for his family. “His life mattered."

Midway, West Lawn

Belmont Cragin Dad Known For His Bright Smile And Love For All Things Spicy Dies From COVID-19: ‘He Cared About Everybody’

Rogelio Cuevas, 64, had a giving heart and adored his family. “I felt loved and spoiled … like an explosion of love that I would feel for him. If you needed something ... he will give it to you.”

Belmont Cragin, Hermosa

Late Little Village Mechanic Used The Stars To Guide Himself As A Boy In Mexico — And Passed That Lesson On To His Son

Maria Salazar loved Raymundo from the time she was 14. Now, their family is trying to navigate life without him after his death from COVID-19 at age 83.

Pilsen, Little Village, West Loop

Devoted Father Of 6 Worked Hard To Give His Family A Good Life, And Never Missed A Chance To Slow Dance With His Wife — Until The Pandemic Struck

Curtis Bamberg, 73, died of coronavirus. "He was a man that did not give up easy. He stayed on the path, and when he started anything — anything he set out to do, he accomplished it.”

Roseland, Pullman

Korean War Veteran Lost To COVID-19 Loved To Teach, Fly Model Airplanes

When Russell McManus wasn’t tinkering with car parts, he built radio-controlled model airplanes he would fly with his children. He died from COVID-19 in April.

North Park

Pilsen’s Juana Calderon, A Loving Mother, Would Play Music From Sunup To Sundown — Until The Virus Struck

Calderon, 57, raised three children, took care of her aging relatives and opened her door to neighbors and strangers in need, her family said. Her beloved husband, Vicente, died just weeks before she did.

Pilsen, Little Village, West Loop

Budlong Woods Mom Who Died From Coronavirus Loved Antiquing And Had A Sense Of Style

Rose Marie Perkins loved scouring garage and rummage sales and couldn't pass up a good deal. “She’d say, ‘It was only a quarter, so I had to bring it home.’”

Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Portage Park Engineer And Inventor Lost To Coronavirus Was Fascinated By Science And Space Discovery

Jim Wlodarczyk, 61, was in good spirits and caring for his sick family before he suddenly took a turn for the worse and died in the hospital May 31. He’s survived by his wife and daughters.

Jefferson Park, Portage Park
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