Cover photo for Charlene Cruz's Obituary
Charlene Cruz Profile Photo

Charlene Cruz


Sep 25, 2021


Charlene Cruz, age 67, passed away on January 4, 2021 due to complications from COVID. Charlene was born on February 19, 1953 in Illinois and grew up in St. Louis, MO, graduating from Bishop DuBourg High School. She obtained her Teaching and Special Education degree from Northeastern Illinois University and taught Special Ed at Palmer Elementary in Chicago, IL. In her years of teaching she made profound impacts in the lives of her students; often keeping in touch with them through adulthood, proudly seeing what her former students had become. She also found joy in teaching religious education for many years and dedicating her time at Holy Virgin Martyrs: St. Beatrice and St. Maria Goretti Church in Schiller Park, IL. Charlene was known by all as a selflessly generous person with everyone she knew. She spent her life donating to multiple charities and lived to give to others with her heart and time. She was a second Mom to so many and the joy and healing she brought to her friends and family will never be forgotten. We fondly reminisce her as someone who remembered all special occasions and loved to send cards to show she cared and to let you know you were in her thoughts. Charlene also had a big passion for ceramics and traveling, often visiting her hometown of St. Louis to spend time with dear family and friends. She checked off her goals of taking a special trip with her sisters to Hawaii and traveling to Alaska. She was a bit of an adventurer and was fearless when it came to skydiving out of an airplane. Charlene is preceded in death by her parents Leon & Leona Piechota (nee Bauza) and sisters Charlotte and Alvena. She is survived by her husband, Norberto Cruz; children, Phillip Davis, Cathy Cappitelli (nee Davis), and Phillip Cruz; grandchildren, Crystal, Daniel, Anthony, Dominic, Bella, and Jeffrey; sisters, Geraldine Marler & Kathleen Stout; many nieces and nephews and lifelong friends. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please give in other ways in Charlene’s name as that is how she lived her life, giving to others. Ways to give on behalf of Charlene would be to make a donation to your local church or to her church, Holy Virgin Martyrs; donate to a charity you are passionate about; donate to a friend or love one who is struggling due to COVID; or do something kind for the ICU staff at Gottlieb Memorial or your local hospital. Nurses, doctors, and other staff are working tirelessly right now and we could not have asked for better care and communication during Charlene’s COVID care. Giving flowers, meals, and any other donations to the hospitals will help to keep their spirits up and remind them all of how thankful we are for all they do. Family and friends will meet Saturday, September 25th, 11:00 am for a Memorial Mass at Saint Beatrice Church 4157 Atlantic Avenue, Schiller Park. Inurnment Queen of Heaven Cemetery. "Mourning the Loss of a Palmer Teacher: Mrs. Charlene Cruz"

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