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Public Memorials Set For Maggie Daley

Maggie's Loved Ones Honor Former First Lady: "Thank God For Maggie Daley"
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File Photo Of Maggie Daley (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

File Photo Of Maggie Daley (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A public wake will be held on Sunday for Chicago’s former first lady, Maggie Daley, who died Thursday after a nearly decade-long battle with cancer.

Mrs. Daley will be remembered during a ceremony at the Chicago Cultural Center from noon until 10 p.m. on Sunday in Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., according to Daley family spokeswoman Jacquelyn Heard.

A public funeral mass will be held on Monday at 10:30 a.m. at Old St. Patrick’s Church at 700 W. Adams St., Heard added. CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports that some kind of White House presence is expected.

In addition to the wake on Sunday and funeral on Monday, Chicago residents will be able to pay their respects to Mrs. Daley by signing memorial books that will be placed at City Hall and the Cultural Center. A memorial book for children from After School Matters will also be displayed at Gallery 37 at 66 E. Randolph St.

Heard, who was Mayor Richard M. Daley’s press secretary for 15 years and considered one of his top aides by the end of his tenure, said, “I just thank God for Maggie Daley. For all that you saw of her publicly, she was all that and more privately.”

In lieu of flowers, the Daley family has asked that donations be made in Maggie’s name to either After School Matters, through their website, or to the Maggie Daley Cancer Center at Northwestern’s Prentice Women’s Hospital, through their website.

At City Hall, memorial bunting has been placed over the LaSalle Street entrance and a floral display has been placed in the main lobby with the memorial book. The lobby will be open Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and during the week from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

At the Chicago Cultural Center, the Randolph Street entrance columns will be wrapped and memorial bunting is being placed over the entrance on Washington Street entrance. The Randolph Street lobby will have a floral display along with the memorial book. The Chicago Cultural Center Randolph Street lobby will be open on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

At Gallery 37, there will also be a floral display and a memorial book for children touched by Maggie Daley’s work with Gallery 37 and After School Matters. Gallery 37 will be open on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and during the week from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The city flag also will be lowered to half-staff in Maggie’s honor and Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to declare an official day of mourning and moment of silence to honor the former first lady. The City Council will enact a resolution in her honor next month.

Mrs. Daley died shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday with her family at her side, Heard said. Mrs. Daley had been battling breast cancer for more than 9 years. In recent years, the had also spread to her bones and forced her to have a metal rod inserted in her leg.

“While this is an obviously unavoidably sad time for those of us who knew her well – and all of Chicago really – Maggie would want us to remember that this terrible disease touches families all over the world; people of every age, race and socioeconomic background,” Heard said. “I’m sure I speak for all of Chicago in saying that this city has lost a true friend.”

Father Jack Wall, the Daley family’s pastor, said he spent a lot of time with the Daley’s during the past week, celebrating their daughter Lally’s birthday and wedding and again on Thanksgiving. He said he thought it was fitting that she died on Thanksgiving, surrounded by her loved ones on a day for celebrating as a family.

“I thought it was just absolutely fitting that the last prayers that we said as we gathered around her with her family was ‘Thank God for Maggie Daley,'” Wall said.

“To know Maggie Daley was to be invited into her life and to experience that, no matter who we were, she wanted us to feel part of her family,” he added. “But more than that, I think she really was a person that wanted to say to the city of Chicago: We are at our best when we understand and strengthen each other’s family’s lives and when we see the city of Chicago itself as family. That was her dream, that was her vision, that’s what she did so much with every living breath of her life.”

Raymond Orozco, a longtime aide to former Mayor Richard M. Daley and the current CEO of After School Matters, the program for Chicago teens that Maggie founded in 1991, said, “Mrs. Daley was truly a visionary who inspired this city, this nation and leaders from around the world with her passion for providing teenagers opportunities to find paths to a meaningful life.”

“All of us here at After School Matters will be forever grateful for the gift of working with Mrs. Daley. Her optimism, devotion and courageous spirit will live on through the accomplishments of the tens of thousands of teens whose futures are now brighter because of her boundless commitment to their lives and their future,” he added. “We will honor her legacy by continuing to dedicate ourselves to the work she loved so dearly.”

Heard said the Daleys were always there for her at important moments in her life, including when her aunt passed away and when her mother had surgery.

She also said that Maggie shared motherly advice with her.

“Maggie was generously sharing with me a lot of the wisdom that she imparted to her own children. She called it life lessons,” Heard said.

“She would say things like ‘Eat outside whenever you can, honey. Never miss a chance to enjoy a sunny day,’” Heard said. “She would say Jackie, you need a pajama day. That means where you don’t leave the house and you never take off those pajamas and you rest. And be sure and tell my boyfriend that I said that that’s what you need.’’

Angelina Amankwa, regional director for After School Matters’ downtown program, said it was an honor and privilege to work with the program Maggie founded in 1991.

“I feel that I am a product of this organization. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing her for close to 20 years,” she said. “She just really had such compassion and she listened to the teens and it extended outside of here. She would definitely follow up with them and was just concerned about their well-being.”

“I think that she used her station in life to really give teens a voice and to have them recognized and her passion and commitment to the work … to this vision and to have it grow,” Amankwa added. “I think that she was definitely the heart of After School Matters and Gallery 37 and it’s been my pleasure to be a part of this program to continue her legacy.”

Friday night at the legendary Schaller’s Pump in the ancestral home of the Daleys, the Bridgeport neighborhood, longtime residents remembered Maggie Daley.

“A brave woman, really an example, a great example,” Roger Schatz told CBS 2’s Mike Parker. “She stuck it out to the end.”

Bridgeporter Pat McCormick served with Mrs. Daley on the Nativity of Our Lord school when their daughters were growing up together.

“She was just a very nice, lovely warm person who even then, advocated on behalf of kids,” said McCormick. “It’s a great loss to the family. She was a lovely, lovely lady throughout the years.”

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