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Genevieve Dooley

Posted on May 26, 2011

Genevieve Dooley, mother of third generation Rogers Park residents Dan Dooley and Steve Dooley died May 20, 2011 at Lakeshore Nursing Home at 7200 N. Sheridan Road of complications of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Genevieve was very active in community life in Rogers Park during the 1960’s.

Genevieve’s husband, Jack Dooley, was a second generation Rogers Park resident and was President of the Rogers Park Beach Parents Association and a member of the Rogers Park Community Council during the 1960’s. Rogers Park Beach at Touhy Avenue and Lake Michigan was the site of Sam Leone’s Junior Guard Program. The summer program provided a variety of activities designed to train boys to become familiar with water related sports and provided pre-training for future lifeguards. All four of the Dooley sons were junior guards and followed a family tradition begun by their father as summer lifeguards along the beaches of Rogers Park.

When Sam Leone died in 1965, Genevieve Dooley headed the move to re-name Touhy Beach for Sam Leone. She coordinated a publicity campaign that caught the interest of Mayor Richard J. Daley and resulted in having the beach and park re-named for Sam Leone. The beach was officially re-named for Sam Leone in October 1966, about a year after Sam’s death. At the time, it was one of the first re-namings of a Chicago Park for a recently deceased person.

Genevieve was also involved in the Chicago Community Beautiful Committee created by Mrs. Richard J. Daley and Lady Bird Johnson in the mid 1960’s. She advocated for planting flowers and trees along Sheridan Road and helped establish a garden at the intersection of Sheridan and Devon near Loyola University welcoming people to Rogers Park.

Genevieve was honored by the Rogers Park-West Ridge Community Council in 2007 for her community achievements. She spoke at a Forum sponsored by the Historical Society and attended the dedication of a plaque commemorating her achievements which was displayed at the Historical Society.

After moving to Rock Lake in Trevor, WI in 1969 Genevieve operated Rock Lake Resort and applied many of her community organizing skills to the operation of the resort. She was insistent that campers plant flowers around their trailers and maintained a garden-like atmosphere at the Resort.

In 2002, Genevieve retired and moved back to Rogers Park. She was a frequent attendee at community meetings during her return to Rogers Park and remained active until her death.

A Funeral Mass will be said on Saturday, May 28, at 10 am at Saint Jerome Church 1700 W. Lunt Avenue in Rogers Park. Burial will take place later this summer at Calvary Cemetery in Evanston, IL.

Contributions to Midwest Hospice, 9701 Knox, Skokie. 847/933-3888

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