(CBS) — It has been two months since a 70-year-old woman died of colon cancer in a Chicago nursing home, and her remains are still unclaimed.
Now, a former work associate is leading an effort to give her a proper burial.READ MORE: Archdiocese Of Chicago Relaxes COVID-19 Protocols, Lifts Capacity Limits
WBBM Newradio’s Steve Miller reports.
Eleonora Roach worked for years as a clerk at the Toledo Hotel on Ashland near 63rd. Her co-workers called her Helen.
“You very seldom would see Helen without her hair being done, her nails being done. She had that class about herself, even working in a transient hotel,” says Grady Davis.
He says he always thought she was from Haiti because of an accent. Then Helen set him straight.READ MORE: Man Shot While Standing Outside In Old Norwood Park
“I’m not from Haiti, I’m from Panama,” she told him.
“I said, ‘Oh, OK, all right. Well, you don’t mind if we make that mistake?’” Davis recalls. “She said, ‘No, I’m used to it now.’”
Her body has been unclaimed for two months, and now Davis and a co-worker at the Toledo Hotel are trying to get permission from the county to bury her.
“It tugs at my heart to know this would be the final result. If there was any message I could give to some other people … I would say be prepared for something like this so it does not have to happen to you,” he says.MORE NEWS: Miss And Mrs. America Nation Pageant Highlights Diverse Cultures; CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot Honored As Multicultural Woman of the Year
For information about fundraising efforts, check out this GoFundMe page.