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Toni Dewey

Dewey, Toni 86, of Evanston IL, died July 16, 2014 at Three Crowns Park Hospice in Evanston. Born February 18, 1928, in Chicago IL. She attended St. Gregory Elementary School and High School in the Edgewater neighborhood. She was Junior Girls Champion in tennis of the Chicago Park District and editor of her high school newspaper. She attended Northern Illinois University and the University of Colorado in Boulder. She is survived by her husband, Victor J. Danilov; a son from a previous marriage, Thomas (Kathy) Dewey; a stepdaughter, Denise; and stepson, Duane; a sister, Connie (George) Hays; nephews, George (Amy), Stephen (Dapne), John, Paul (Jessica); grandnieces, Katy and Julia; grandnephews from Ireland, Kyla, Odin, Dorian, Ava, Darragh and Caodhan. Preceded in death by niece, Megan; and grandnephew, Tony. Private burial at Calvary Cemetery, Evanston, with Fr. John Cusick, OSP of Chicago presiding. Donations to NorthShore University Hospice, 2650 Ridge Ave., Evanston, IL 60201 appreciated. Toni Dewey was a champion crusader for women in the workplace in her volunteer activities as well as in her professional life. In 1975, she became the first female corporate Vice President of Motorola, the multinational telecommunications giant that, until its dissolution in 2011, was based in Schaumburg. For 12 years, she directed its worldwide public relations and advertising strategies, traveling extensively in Asia and in Europe. Ms. Dewey was one of a small group of female executives who 35 years ago founded the Chicago Network, a pioneering organization dedicated to empowering other women. Their goal was to rival the traditional "ole boys" networks of men helping each other climb the corporate ladders. Today, the Chicago Network has more than 400 members, leaders in Chicago's business, professional, cultural and educational communities. After her retirement from Motorola in 1987, Ms. Dewey and her husband, Victor J. Danilov, former president and director of Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry, moved to Boulder, Colorado. There they worked together for nine years developing the Women of the West Museum. The first museum in the nation dedicated to the history of women of all cultures in the American West, In 2002 the museum merged with the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. Ms. Dewey and her husband returned to the Chicago Area in 2006, settling in Evanston. She loved being back in Chicago and always made time for her favorite leisure-time activities. She had a wonderfully eclectic list of them, according to Lois Wille, who met Toni Dewey when Wille was beginning her newspaper career at the Chicago Daily News and Ms. Dewey was working at the Des Plaines Journal. Her friend of 55 years was a voracious reader of biographies, histories, fine novels and poetry, Wille said. She loved the White Sox, Bulls and Blackhawks, progressive politics, Chicago's lakefront museums, especially the Art Institute and the Chicago Botanic Garden. Toni was smart and funny and an inveterate optimist. She and her sister, Connie, loved to explore the city together. They took classes at Northwestern, movies at Block Gallery, concerts at the Cultural Center and the wildlife wherever they were. One of the last great vacations together was a trip to Berlin. Connie and Toni shared an interest in stories of their clan and others. "She is my spiritual and emotional doppelganger and she will be with me always," said her sister, Connie.
Published in Chicago Sun-Times on July 20, 2014
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