- [S142] Newspaper Article, Liberty Surban Chicago Newspaper, 26 Apr 2006.
Sharmaine Muzik (Kalagian) obituary
- [S142] Newspaper Article, Chicago Tribune, 7 Nov 2000.
lived by the Bible
Susan V. Kalagian lost her mother as a youngster, but learned from her an enduring spirit of generosity.
Even during the depths of the Great Depression, Mrs. Kalagian's mother always made sandwiches for hungry drifters. They marked the fence of her home to indicate that a kindly woman lived within.
Mrs. Kalagian, 68, who died Friday of uterine cancer at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, was the same way.
"She was a really kind woman," said her husband of 44 years, Michael M. Kalagian Sr. "She was always out helping everybody, helping all the neighbors. She was the head of the Altar and Rosary Society, and she used to collect clothes for the poor."
"She reminded me of Mother Theresa," said her daughter Maureen Kalagian. "She really lived by the Bible: God first, others second and yourself last. She treated people the right way."
Mrs. Kalagian appreciated the little things in life and always looked for the positive, her daughter said. Even when she knew death was coming, she called it "my celebration."
"She would say, 'Oh, my God, look at that beautiful sky,' or 'look at that beautiful button on that woman's dress,' " her daughter said. "She was so alive, and there wasn't a phony hair on her head."
Mrs. Kalagian, a longtime Berwyn resident, grew up at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines after her mother died.
A graduate of Western Illinois University, she became a teacher and substituted in schools throughout the Chicago Public School system for decades. She was a counselor for the mentally retarded and also worked as a Special Olympics coach.
Mrs. Kalagian was a political activist with former state Treasurer Patrick Quinn and worked for anti-abortion causes.
In addition to her husband and daughter Maureen, Mrs. Kalagian is survived by another daughter, Dr. Kathleen Minaghan; a son, Michael; two grandsons, and a sister, Theresa Gillespie.
Visitation is today from 5 to 9 p.m. at Ahern Funeral Home, 6621 W. North Ave., Oak Park. A prayer service will be held at the funeral home Wednesday at 8:45 a.m., with a 9:30 a.m. mass to follow at St. Leonard Church, Berwyn. Burial is at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside.
- [S1] U. S. Social Security Death Index, 329-28-6248.
Issued in Illinois, last residing in Stickney, Cook County, Illinois