State Representative Esther Golar passes away; championed housing, education

South Side lawmaker and champion for education and housing reform Esther Golar (D-6th District) passed away on September 21 in Chicago at age 71. Golar had been hospitalized earlier in the month and later was transitioned to hospice care.

Toni DiFiore passes away; new scholarship created in her name

Lifetime Taylor Street area resident Antoinette “Toni” DiFiore (nee Arpino) passed away on October 14. With her husband of 49 years, James “Jimmy” DiFiore, Mrs. DiFiore lived two blocks from where she was born, in the same building with cousin Barry Dalesandro, husband of the late Suzanne, and across the street from her sister-in-law Peachie Basile.

Near West Sider Anthony Perri passes away suddenly at 58

Anthony Perri, a longtime resident of the Near West Side, passed away suddenly in late March at age 58. He was a member of Local 134 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Joseph P. Sisco, longtime Near West Sider, passes at 57

By William S. Bike Joseph P. Sisco, a longtime resident of the Near West Side Taylor Street community, died suddenly on Feb. 9 at age 57. Mr. Sisco lived on south Miller Street all his life until moving to LaGrange, IL, 18 months ago. He worked for the City of Chicago Electrical Inspection Bureau for […]

Ralph D. Valentino passes away at 94; played a key role in Gazette expansion

Ralph D. Valentino, who created and maintained the Gazette’s circulation routes and drove a Gazette delivery van for decades, passed away on Aug. 31 at age 94.

Long-time teacher, volunteer Susan Schiavone passes away at 64

Susan Schiavone was barely taller than the children she taught, yet she had a huge heart and immense stature in the community where she lived from her birth to her death July 7 at age 64 after a brief illness.

Jean A. Bike passes away at 89; relative of three Gazette staff

Jean A. Bike, three of whose family members have worked for the Gazette, passed away on Easter Sunday, April 20, at age 89.

Community activist Deverra Beverly passes away at 79

Deverra Beverly, a lifelong resident of the Addams-Brooks-Loomis-Abbott (ABLA) Homes who championed the public housing community, died Nov. 9 at age 79 from cancer.

‘Coach Mike’ Iazzetto passes away at 58

Michael P. Iazzetto, better known as “Coach Mike” or “Mouse,” died suddenly on Dec. 8 at age 58. Mr. Iazzetto was a lifelong resident of the Near West Side, and in 2006 he and his family built a new house on Polk Street across the street from Sheridan Park, where he coached and watched his sons Michael, Joseph, and Sam play baseball. He served on the Sheridan Park Advisory Council for many years.

John Riccio passes away at age 71

John Anthony Riccio, a life-long resident of the Near West Side community, died on Nov. 21. He was 71 years old.

Carmen ‘Rails’ Balestri passes away at 92

Services for Carmen “Rails” Balestri were held Sept. 5 at St. Jerome Church following his passing Aug. 30 at the age of 92. “He was a Holsum Bread driver for 35 years,” his daughter, Rosemarie Liberti said, “and he had the route in the Bridgeport area so he did all the mom and pop stores and everyone knew him.”

John N. Delgado, longtime military employee and musician, passes away

John N. Delgado, a lifelong resident of the Near West Side, passed away Sept. 13 at age 94. Mr. Delgado was the son of the late Clara and Miguel Delgado, who immigrated to the United States from Zacatecas, Mexico, in the early 1900s. Mr. Delgado was born in El Paso, TX, and the family later lived in Kansas, where Mr. Delgado learned to hunt and became a crack shot.