Strang Funeral Home of Antioch - Antioch
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Antioch, IL 60002
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Dolores Abderholden

1926 - 2019
Dolores Abderholden Obituary
Abderholden, Dolores Raila 92, of Antioch, IL, died January 30, 2019, at home in her sleep after a full life of stepping up to challenges, whether changing her ambitions to become a registered nurse during World War II, to raising six children with her husband Dr. Edward R. Abderholden, to actively supporting women's rights. She was born at home Nov. 21, 1926, and grew up in Marquette Park on Chicago's south side, daughter of Frank and Janet (Kuizinas) Raila, with her brother Dr. Frank Raila and sister, Florence (Lessner) Raila, both of whom preceded her in death. She attended Marquette Elementary School and Lindblom High School followed by a year at Wilson Junior College where she was studying aeronautical engineering. Going to school during the day, she worked nights at the Foote Brothers Gear and Machine Corporation's defense plant and would join the Civil Air Patrol. When her brother Frank was listed as missing in action during the Battle of the Bulge she gave up her interest in flying to join the Army Nurse Corps in 1944, studying and living at St. Bernard Hospital, whose dean was the head of the nursing program at Loyola University. Because of her year of community college, the dean enrolled her in the nursing program at Loyola University, paid for with the stipend from the Army Nurse Corps. She completed her nursing degree in 1948, earned certificates for contagious disease and neuropsychiatric nursing, completed a six month course in obstetrics from the University of Chicago, and was graduated with a Bachelor's Degree of Nursing Education from Loyola University in 1950. She studied at Loyola's Lakefront campus on the north side, but also at Loyola's Lewis Towers campus near downtown, where she met another student named Ed during night classes. He asked if he could borrow her book "The Basic Works of Aristotle" for their Metaphysics class. They were married at Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Chicago, on Jan. 29, 1950. She taught post-partum care at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston until the birth of her first child. She then worked part-time at night and on weekends at St. Bernard, Henrotin, Northwestern Memorial and St. Elizabeth Hospitals while her husband went to medical school fulltime at her urging. She also worked as a private home nurse but quit when it took time away from her studies in surgery. They moved to the Frances Cabrini Homes, public housing that was available to veterans like her husband, along with other medical student families. They later moved to St. Sylvester Roman Catholic Church parish in Chicago. In 1958 they moved to Antioch with three children and immediately became involved in St. Peter Catholic Church, where she joined the women's club and became a Cub Scout den mother. She would finally learn to drive after moving to Antioch, where her husband was starting his own practice. In her later years she would laugh about how she suggested to her husband when they lived in Chicago that she get her driver's license, but he argued she didn't need it, while driving her to take classes for flying lessons at O'Hare International Airport. She also joined the Wilmot Mountain Ski Patrol in Wilmot, Wis., and her family became involved in the local PM&L Theater, where she was a board member at one point, and helped with making costumes for the various productions. In Oliver Twist, all six children took the stage. She supported PM&L throughout her life. She became involved in social causes, supporting the social, economic and reproductive rights of women. She marched for the Equal Rights Amendment in Springfield and Washington D.C., where she planned to meet her daughter coming separately from St. Paul, Minn. That could have been a challenge in a large crowd, but to their delight there were no problems. She also joined the Chicago chapter of the National Organization for Women. Later she marched against then Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev when he visited Minneapolis, Minn., in 1990, joining others in protest against communism and to support the Baltic States, including Lithuania, which was her mother and father's homeland. She was deeply passionate of her ethnic heritage and passed it on as the family genealogist for both the Raila and Abderholden families and she also led a trip to Lithuania for a dozen of her children and grandchildren to visit relatives. She was a member of the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, Chicago, and used the genealogy department at the Lithuanian World Center, Lemont, and was a member of the Waukegan/Lake County Chapter of the Lithuanian-American Community Inc., known for Lithuanian Independence Day events in Libertyville she liked to attend. Her varied interests led her to join the Antioch Woman's Club (50 years of service citation), the Antioch Mental Health Association as a member and later president, Antioch Garden Club, The Red Hat Society, the local bridge and library book clubs, a women's golf league, the opera buffs started with a small group of friends and she was a regular subscriber to Goodman Theater, Chicago, and the Marriott Theater, Lincolnshire. She was a life member of the Lakes Region Historical Society and curated the exhibit "Women & History" with the American Association of University Women, Chain of Lakes Chapter at the Lake County Forest Preserve District museum in 1983 that encouraged study of woman's history to show the diversity of women's achievements in society. Travelling was also a joy, either across the country (especially national parks) or overseas to most countries in Europe (including multiple trips to Lithuania), Africa (including Kenya and Egypt), China and the Bahamas. A trip to the island Bimini in the Bahamas with just her husband would make it into family lore because they went deep sea fishing and were told not to expect any blue marlin, no one had caught any for weeks. Yet on her turn a marlin hit and she refused to give up the rod and reel, landing an over 6-foot blue marlin after a long struggle, later displaying it prominently over the fireplace. She said she retired from fishing because she wasn't going to ever catch a bigger fish. She was also preceded in death by her husband Ed, grandson Christopher Abderholden and son Mark Abderholden. Survivors include her son Edward and his children Ned, Lauren and Brooke (Rich Zerillo), daughter Sue and Lee Keller and their children Ona and Eva; and sons Frank and Sue (Wolff) and their children Elizabeth and Katherine; Jim and Linda (Lambert) and their children Blaise (Kayla Mahler), Tyler (Jessie Baggett and their son Ellis); daughter-in-law Anne Marie (Brunner) and children Katharina, Alex, Joanna, and Isabelle; Dr. Guy and Juliann and their children, Max, Sam and Maggie; grandson Jeremy Lazar (his son Kade); and Lithuanian cousins Regina Kazakeviciene, Dranthony Raila, Mindaugas Raila, and Dr. Birute Raila. The family would also like to thank her caregivers for their work over the years, especially Char Cherry. Visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday, February 10, 2019, at theStrang Funeral Home of Antioch, 1055 Main St., Antioch. Funeral Services 9:00 a.m. Monday, February 11, 2019, from Strang Funeral Home to St. Peter Catholic Church, 557 Lake St. Antioch. Mass of Christian Burial 10:00 a.m. Interment will immediately follow in Hillside Cemetery, Antioch. In lieu of flowers, Dolores requested donations to the Antioch Public Library District, 757 Main St., Antioch, IL 60002, to support women's history and literature. Call 847-395-4000 for more information and sign the online guestbook atwww.strangfh.com.
Published in Chicago Sun-Times on Feb. 7, 2019
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