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Catherine M Reilly

July 5, 1920 ~ January 27, 2019 (age 98)

Born July 5, 1920 in Ellendale, ND.

Family sold the farm and moved to north side of Chicago during the 20’s. Lost everything when their bank closed in the “Crash of ’29.”

However, thankfully, Mom’s dad, John Curran worked all through the Great Depression…worked for the Illinois Gas and Coke Company as a field technician. Retired from the gas company in 1965.

Mom had 6 siblings…3 older, 3 younger (4 boys, 2 girls). The youngest sibling, Robert Curran, is the last one living…84 years old…living in Pittsburg, KS.

As the children grew up, they all moved to different parts of the country…Norfolk, VA, Pasadena, CA, Silver Spring, MD, Miami, FL, Chula Vista, CA, Pittsburg, KS. Mom stayed in Chicago, and married my dad, Joseph M. Reilly, Sr. on St. Patrick’s Day…March 17, 1942. Dad was a machinist working in the coffee roasting plant for “The Great A&P Tea Company” for about 35 years. (He spent 3 years in the Air Force during WWII as a Master Sergeant Crew Chief stationed in England.)  Dad’s family pretty much stayed on the south side of Chicago where he was born.

Mom had 3 other children besides myself…one was a miscarriage, one was still-born, and one died several days after birth. During my formative years, my parents had a total of 22 foster children…provided them love and a safe home.  Through the years, they came and went.

For about 25 years, Mom was an Office Manager for a polishing and plating company on the south side of Chicago.

She finally learned how to drive at the age of 55 years old!!! (During the process of learning, she scared the hell out of a number of driving instructors!!)

Mom and Dad moved to Sun City West in 1990 from the south side of Chicago. Dad passed away in 2000…also died in his sleep.

Mom was a talented artist (she studied for several years at the Art Institute of Chicago.) For many years she taught “fired arts” and painting at the Recreation Centers of Sun City West. Frankly, she was one of the most popular teachers there because she spent many hours preparing for her classes.

“Bragging alert!!” Mom and Dad were the favorite aunt and uncle of our entire south side Chicago cousins, and many of our “remote” cousins as well.

All in all, Mom had a great life!!! She was loved and appreciated by all who knew her.

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