Bierig, Jeffrey David 57, died on the evening of June 23 with his family by his side after a valiant struggle against acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Jeff was a 22-year cancer survivor of a previous battle with lymphoma, and braved his many medical challenges with a relentlessly optimistic viewpoint. He was profoundly loved by Linda (nee Avramovic) his wife of 31 years, and his children Aleksandr and Anika, all of whom survive him. The son of the late Arnold and Esther Bierig, Jeff is survived by his brother Steven and sister-in-law Tamara Sharton, and nephews Elon and Eytan. He is also survived by his mother-in-law Lotte Avramovic (nee Schwichtenberg), wife of the late Proka, his sister-in-law Vicki (nee Avramovic) Oldani and husband Michael, and nieces Rebekah, Kristina, and Victoria. He also had several cousins and was the nephew to many aunts and uncles including Steffi and Helga Bierig. Jeff's kindness, thoughtful nature, and great sense of humor were qualities well known to his friends and family. Jeff was a lifelong Chicagoan who loved the city, its media, and its great cultural institutions. His career concluded at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where as Associate Vice President / Director of Communications he thoroughly enjoyed leading and mentoring a team of valued employees. Jeff previously worked nearly 20 years with the Chicago Tribune as Media Relations Manager and took great pride in the newspaper and its role in the life of the city, promoting such projects as the Tribune 150th Anniversary celebration. He was active in the public relations community, serving as multi-term president of the Publicity Club of Chicago and volunteering at a number of other local communications organizations. Linda's position at TWA in the 1970s allowed the couple to frequently travel to London, where they discovered a lifelong love of theater. He continued this passion in Chicago's vibrant theater community, participating as a subscriber to several of the city's companies and serving on the board of the Raven and Next Theaters. He also traveled numerous times with his family to the Shaw and Stratford Theater Festivals in Canada. Jeff was a fanatical golfer and ardent music lover, attending concerts long after he was the oldest person in the audience. A memorial service will be held on Monday, June 28, 2010, at 11:00 a.m. in the chapel of Piser Funeral Home, at 9200 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, IL, 60077. For details, please call 847-679-4740. Those wishing to honor Jeff can make a donation to the Coleman Foundation Bone Marrow Transplant Center at Loyola University Health System, 2160 S. First Ave. Maywood, IL 60153. This fund is working to renovate the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit to make the facility more comfortable for both patients and their loved ones facing the many challenges of extended treatment.
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Published in Chicago Sun-Times from June 26 to June 27, 2010