Topinka memorial service, condolence book, scholarship fund planned

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By Bob Uphues


UPDATED: Thursday, Dec. 11 at 5 p.m.

Although Judy Baar Topinka, who died Wednesday at the age of 70, wanted no visitation or funeral service, her family is providing a way for people to extend their sympathies and express their good wishes.

A memorial service open to the public will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 9:30 a.m. at the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 hall, 6200 Joliet Road in Countryside.

The family will be establishing a scholarship fund in Topinka's name at Triton College and memorial donations to that fund are appreciated. Details on how to make donations to the fund will be finalized in the near future.

In addition, there will be a public guestbook for those wishing to express condolences displayed at Westchester-Conboy Funeral Home, 10501 W. Cermak Road in Westchester, through the end of the year during regular business hours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

More details will be announced as they become available.

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Reader Comments

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Lawrence Godson from Westchester, Illinois  

Posted: December 17th, 2014 7:59 AM

Judy was a great friend to Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve and the Franzosenbusch Prairie House. She helped the acquisition of the preserve along with significant appropriations during her time in the Illinois House and Senate and I know that she was working on making sure that the last pieces of it were put into place. It will be added to her long legacy list. Thanks Judy. PS - Judy was also one of the few Republicans I ever voted for.

Felix Greco from Bolingbrook, Illinois  

Posted: December 15th, 2014 11:37 AM

There is a quote I like to send out to my friends and family when somebody passes away and I feel it is most appropriate for Judy. "I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love." I will miss you Judy and know that "your" firefighters miss you very much.

Felix Greco from Bolingbrook, Illinois  

Posted: December 15th, 2014 11:37 AM

Judy Baar Topinka was a once in a lifetime friend. I can't even bring myself to say politician because she was so much more. A politician will tell you what you want to hear, but Judy told you the truth, even if you didn't want to hear it and in such a way as to not offend you. She made you understand how or why she took a position on an issue. Having grown up in Berwyn, everybody knew Judy or Auntie Judy as she was affectionately known. I first met Judy when I was a young boy and found her to be fascinating, what with her red hair, infectious laugh and a smile that would make you feel as if you were the most important person in the whole world. And the accordion, how can one forget the accordion? To a young boy of 8 or 9, she was the aunt every family member wished they could have. So when I awoke to the news of her passing, sadness filled my heart and tears filled my eyes, for not only did I lose a political mentor, I lost a family member. Judy got me involved in politics, as a young boy, teaching me the one rule I live by today, "it doesn't matter if they are Republicans or Democrats, give them service, smile and listen to their problems, they are important to them and for that reason, you make them feel special." And I have never forgotten that rule. I remember getting random notes or cards from her, whenever she saw my name or picture in the newspaper and I will never forget how that made me feel. Judy was usually the one and only Republican I voted for because she was one of us. She understood the problems of everyday, hard working men and women, not only in the Berwyn area, but around the State of Illinois. Illinois is going to be a much emptier place without Judy here to bring calm and reason into the political arena. Illinois is going to be a much less fun place without Judy to liven up a meeting or party. Illinois is going to miss Judy. There is a quote I like to send out to my friends and family when somebod

Jeff Volmut from Riverside, Illinois  

Posted: December 13th, 2014 1:04 AM

Judy was a neighbor years ago in Riverside. She was a favorite in politics to myself and my late father. We will miss her zest for life. Thank you Judy Barr Topinka! !

Lainey Leonard from St. Louis  

Posted: December 11th, 2014 7:36 PM

Judy was a lovely person, genuine and full of life!! She was my neighbor for 12 years, and was always generous and gracious. She had a big heart and a big personality! God bless her!

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