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The Homer Horizon 021617

12 | February 16, 2017 |

12 | February 16, 2017 | The Homer Horizon news Riviera Another Club Strength Training Equipment Yes Yes Cardio Equipment Yes Yes Indoor Track Yes Yes Indoor Pool Yes Yes Sauna Yes Yes Steam Room Yes Yes Whirlpool Yes Yes Personal Trainers Yes Yes Child Care Yes Yes Outdoor Pool Yes No Video Cycling Room Yes No Indoor Tennis Courts Yes No Outdoor Tennis Courts Yes No Racquetball Courts Yes No Boxing Room Yes No Wallyball Yes No Golf Cage Yes No All Classes Included in Fee Yes No Tennis Lessons Yes No Social Events Yes No Restaurant on Premises Yes No JOIN US AT THE RIV... WHERE YOU REALLY DO GET MORE FOR YOUR MONEY! Riviera Country Club and Sports Center 8801 Wesr 143rd Street Orland Park, IL 60462 708-349-1100 BEFORE Right On Your Computer AFTER Seeing is believing. If you’re considering transforming your kitchen or bathroom, start at In addition to seeing the latest and greatest in cabinets and countertops, you’ll also see dozens of before and after photos of our past projects that are sure to inspire. Go to or visit one of our showrooms today! 1918 Ferro Drive, New Lenox 815-723-7000 M-F 9am-5pm Sa 9am-3pm Homer Glen resident Eugenie Lenc (left) smiles after receiving a proclamation from Mayor George Yukich declaring her birthday Monday, Feb. 20 as Genie Lenc Day in the community in honor of her turning 100. Erin Redmond/22nd Century Media Homer Glen resident receives Village proclamation ahead of 100th birthday Mayor, Village Board honor soon-to-be centenarian Erin Redmond, Assistant Editor In 1917, the U.S. declared war on Germany in World War I, the Chicago White Sox won their second World Series championship and Eugenie Lenc was born. The third event on that list occurred on Feb. 20, 1917. Soon, the Homer Glen resident will celebrate her 100th birthday. Lenc’s milestone was recognized during the Feb. 8 Village Board meeting, where she was given a proclamation from Mayor George Yukich and the Board of Trustees designating her birthday as Genie Lenc Day in Homer Glen. “Feb. 20, 2017 is your “It was a special evening, and now I can talk about it to my friends and relatives.” Eugenie Lenc — Homer Glen resident, after being recognized at a Village Board meeting for her upcoming 100th birthday day,” Yukich said, wrapping one arm around Lenc. “Enjoy your special day.” Lenc uttered a simple “thank you” and received a thunderous round of applause upon receiving the proclamation. She posed for pictures with the mayor and welcomed celebratory hugs from her daughter, Mary Thompson; son-in-law, Mark; and caregiver, Theresa Przygoda. “It was a thrill; I was very excited,” Lenc said. “[My family] shares everything with me — the good and the bad.” The proclamation was organized by her longtime friend, Judy Friebel. She said she could not let Lenc’s birthday pass without her receiving proper recognition. “I knew she was turning 100,” she said. “So I wanted to do something special for her.” Please see lenc, 13 news the Homer Horizon | February 16, 2017 | 13 103-year-old resident remembered for helping shape community Involvement in area matters spanned more than 65 years Erin Redmond, Assistant Editor Marie Cook always wanted to know what would happen next. Staying curious, it seems, was her elixir for longevity. Cook Her curiosity led her down several different and diverse paths. Having spent 103 years on this earth, she had plenty of time to explore and leave her mark on each one. Her impact was so great, in fact, that it helped shape the fabric of both Lockport and Homer Glen. The Lockport legend died Jan. 22 at the Sunny Hill Nursing Home in Joliet. Leaving home Cook was born on Jan. 18, 1914 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. When she was just 16 years old, Cook — who was known as Marie Irwin then — left her family behind and headed west to attend College of St. Francis in Joliet, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Latin in 1935. It was during her time at the college that her ties to Lockport and Homer Glen began as she met her future husband, Farrell Cook, the stepson of the prominent Lockport businessman William P. Voltz. Marie and Farrell took over the family business, working hand-in-hand operating Voltz News Agency. This was the first of five different businesses Marie would own over a 65-year span. “Those were the days when people came to town ... everybody went to Voltz News Agency,” said Audrey Manley, one of Marie’s closest friends. “If you needed a card for anything, you went to Voltz News Agency. It was a beehive of activity. “Every kid in Lockport ... they all worked for Marie as one of her newsboys. Every man in Lockport in their 60s or 70s was a newsboy for Marie Cook.” Passion for fashion With Marie on board, it did not take long for her to influence the agency’s operations. The lifelong fashionista added jewelry and purses to the shop, a precursor to what her future would hold. The couple also helped run the Voltz Hotel at 10th and State Street as well as the Voltz Gift Shop before Marie began to move out of her in-laws’ shadow and embrace her entrepreneurial side. She pursued her passion for fashion and opened Cookie’s Clothing on State Street in the early 1960s. Years later, the couple relocated the boutique into Lockport’s historic district and renamed it Worldly Things. Farrell continued to run the news agency out of an office in the back, allowing them to work side-byside each day. She attended trade shows at the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago, of which she was a charter member, and around the country in Dallas and New York. She used her eye for fashion to bring unique styles to her boutique, which often turned heads. “A lot of times we’d go out, and I’d wear something I bought [at Worldly Things], and I can’t tell you how many times people would stop us and say, ‘Where do you ladies shop?’ And we’d say, ‘Worldly Things,’” Manley recalled fondly. Marie sold the boutique a few years after her husband’s death in 1985, which was around the same time she met Manley. The store changed hands four times and Marie worked for each of the new owners until she finally retired at age 91. Leaving her mark Marie’s curiosity and passion to help local business owners led her down a political path. She served on the Lockport Planning and Zoning Commission for 42 years, and it was here she cemented her legacy in the community. “She was a mentor,” said Jay Ozbolt, who served on the commission alongside Marie during the mid-to-late 1990s. “She guided us until we got a firm idea of what in the world was going on and what was expected of us. “She was very businessminded. She was the one who wanted to see downtown Lockport succeed with her efforts to help the businesspeople be successful. ... she was very knowledgeable at what she did.” Her impact expanded beyond the borders of Lockport, too. Marie was on the commission when the boundaries of Homer Glen were established. She helped decide what parts of Homer Township would remain in Lockport and what would become incorporated into the new Village. And before developers could set up shop in Lockport, they had to go through Marie first. “She was very good with quizzing the developers when they came in,” Ozbolt said. “She asked a lot of pertinent questions that were very well taken, and she was not afraid to put them on the spot and have them tell the planning commission exactly what they were doing and what they weren’t going to do.” Small, but mighty Manley described her late friend as a “very tiny lady,” who had an endless supply of energy. Even in her late 90s, Marie enjoyed shopping, getting her hair and nails done and dining with friends. Manley said her outings with Marie would often wear her out, despite being 25 years younger than her. Manley said she and Marie’s friendship began on a somber note, commiserating over the death of her father and Marie’s husband, who died around the same time. But their 30-plus years together were filled with more good times than bad, Manley said, and she will never forget her quick-witted friend or her Irish sense of humor. “She had a quip for everything,” Manley said. “When we would go out, I would laugh — it was always a good time. My daughters, who are now in their 30s and 40s, I would take them with us, and they loved going out with Marie.” Marie’s spirit of curiosity will live on through Manley. The 78-year-old woman said she was influenced by Marie to return to the classroom, where she spent her career. She is currently supervising six student teachers and is striving to stay on top of the ever-changing educational landscape. “I’m back because I love to learn; I can’t tell you how excited I was,” Manley said. “I learned so much already. There’s still things happening all the time, and that’s how [Marie] was. There was new things happening and going on all the time, especially in politics, and she said, ‘I just want to hang around and see what’s going to happen.’ She wanted always to keep up things and see how this was going to turn out.” Aunt Marie Marie never had any children, yet she was a motherfigure to many. During World War II, she helped raise her friends’ children while their husbands answered the call of war. Dorothy Farnsworth, Marion Dorr and Kathryn Meyers — her three closest friends — had 13 children between them, and Marie was instrumental in all of their upbringings. Though they had no blood connection, they affectionately referred to her as “Aunt Marie.” The children are all grown now with families of their own. They are scattered around the country, but several returned home to bid their final farewells to Marie during an intimate ceremony Feb. 10 at St. Dennis Church in Lockport. “I love Aunt Marie, as all of her 13 God Children [sic] would agree,” wrote Frankie Dorr on Marie’s obituary page. “One of the greatest ladies from the greatest generation ... She showed us all how to live ... Love,laugh [sic] and to be faithful to our hearts ... May she rest in peace!” lenc From Page 12 Lenc has lived in Homer for the past 17 years, but she was born in Chicago as the middle child in a family of three girls. She married her husband, Benedict, in 1950, and the two were married for 49 years. She worked as a secretary for the plant manager of General Mills for 10 years. Over the course of her lifetime, she developed a passion for reading and knitting, the latter of which “resulted in some lovely gifts for family and friends,” the proclamation stated. But Lenc’s greatest joy, she said, comes from spending time with her family. She is especially fond of her two grandchildren, despite the 75-year age difference that separates her and her granddaughter. Age gaps are nothing new to Lenc, whose younger sister is 13 years her junior. Her sister was on the top of the long list of those she planned to call to share the news of her proclamation with. “It was a special evening, and now I can talk about it to my friends and relatives,” Lenc said, beaming with pride. “She’s got bragging rights now,” Mark added. Paul & Associates Real Estate Serving Homeowners, Banks, Builders, Investors. 31 Years providing the Most Money, Quickest Sale, Fewest Problems with Reasonable Flat Rate Fees. 708.301.4140 • • E. Paul Hildebranski Owner, Managing Broker, CREA