Gloria Garofalo, 76

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Print

Gloria Jean Garofalo (nee Prochazka), 76, of Oak Park died on July 11, 2020. Born on Oct. 30, 1943, Gloria grew up in Westlake, Ohio before spending two years at Miami University and later becoming a stewardess in the 1960s for United Airlines in Chicago. There she met John, her husband of 54 years, and raised their family in John's hometown of Oak Park. She was an assistant teacher at Emerson (now Gwendolyn Brooks) Junior High School in Oak Park and assistant director of individual giving at Brookfield Zoo. With the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, she started as a volunteer but later acted as the tour center director, director of public programs, and eventually director of development before her retirement.

"I think she was probably one of the biggest cheerleaders Oak Park and the organization ever had," said Joan Mercuri, former Wright Trust CEO and board member.

"She was always, always looking out for the volunteers and trying to make sure they had a good time," said Jack Lesniak, architect and FLW founding board member.  "She meant a lot to the volunteers."

Gloria was an active member of the community, volunteering with the Whittier School PTO, Campfire Girls of Oak Park, president and secretary of the Oak Park Day Nursery Board, volunteer at the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, and board member of the Ernest Hemingway Foundation. She was a longtime member of the women's philanthropic group PEO.

"She was a force to be reckoned with," said J.T. Garofalo. "She was full of energy, very vivacious. Her life impacted a lot of people."

Gloria Garofalo was the wife of John R. Garofalo; the mother of Christine (Eric) Lussow and J.T. (Arthur Thompson) Garofalo; grandma of Tyler and Cade Lussow; sister of Gus (Joanne) Prochazka; sister-in-law Ronald (Gerry), James (Sandi) and the late Mauro (Carol) Garofalo; and the aunt and great-aunt of many. She will be greatly missed.

Services are private. A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made online or by mail to the PEO Foundation (a program for continuing education) in memory of Gloria and her local Chapter BI/IL by visiting the PEO International website at: https://donations.peointernational.org/peo-donation-pce.

Arrangements were handled by Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home.

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and RiverForest.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.


            
SubscribeClassified
MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad