A LIFETIME resident of the Little Village community, Mary Louise was the first woman veteran member of the American GI Forum of Illinois; served as Chapter Chair of the Chicago Midwest GI Forum Chapter; elected in1984 as the Sergeant of Arms of the American GI Forum's National Conference. She was the only woman to serve in a national capacity since the organization was founded in 1948. Mary was also a Board Member of the Veteran's Outreach Program of Illinois and co-founder and Board member of SER.
MARY LOUISE served on the Veteran's Advisory Council of the City of Chicago and was a personal friend of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley. She was also a charter member and field representative for the Women's Veteran Memorial Wall Foundation. She served as a foster mother for DCFS, a community sports reporter, past member of LULAC and an organizer of a women's bowling league. Mary Louise received numerous merit and appreciation honors including the National Association of Illinois Women's Veterans, the Golden Eagle from Dr. Garcia, founder of the American GI Forum and a member of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia AMVETS Post 326 in Little Village. AMVETS members posted colors at the wake.
SHE WAS honored in the book and the HBO special entitled “Americanos” Latino Life in the United States prefaced and signed by Edward James Olmos. Mary Louise was fondly nicknamed: “Mary Louigee”. She was the mother of three children: Gloria Nabors, Linda Molina and Leo Castro. Mary Louise' husband was the late Rosalio Castro.
MARY LOUISE was laid to rest at the Abraham Lincoln [VA] National Cemetery in Elwood, IL. She was given full military honors at the grave site in a program, “Honoring Those Who Served” on behalf of veteran's family. Taps were heard echoing in the serene cemetery grounds.
ON A PERSONAL note I knew Mary Louise when she served on the Little Village SER Board of Directors many years ago. Mary was very supportive of my position as the Chairman of the SER Board. She always expressed her concern for the youth of our Little Village community. Her friendship will be missed.
|A family applying for U.S. Passports|
UPDATE: There were 32 adults and 19 children who applied for U.S. Passports on“Passport Day” sponsored by the Little Village Community Council and hosted by staff from the Chicago Main Post Office. Passport Day was held last Saturday, March 29, 2014. Processing of the applications for a U.S. Passport went smoothly. The non-English speaking applicants were given assistants by a bi-lingual post office clerk. There were no glitches.
THE POST Office staff worked from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and they were courteous and friendly to everyone. This was the second time the Post Office people came to Little Village to serve our community. Today, everyone needs a passport to travel outside of the U.S., especially children. To go to Mexico, every member of the family needs a passport.
A SLUGGER: Adela Spezzia, a junior at Cristo Rey Jusuit High School in Pilsen plays shortstop in the school's “Cristeros” girl's softball team. On Saturday, March 29th, Adela hit a home run, a double and two singles winning against the “Perspectives” team ending with a score of 22 to 3.
THE GAME was played at Harrison Park in the Pilsen neighborhood. The weather was a cold 34 degrees. “Ive' been playing softball [fast pitch] since I was in eighth grade, said Adela, I love playing softball.”
ADELA is a volunteer doing her service community hours in Little Village. “I live in Little Village and I would like it to be a safe and clean neighborhood,” said Adela.
|Two students hair stylists giving haircuts.|