Dec 8, 2018

Karen Schildhouse Rest in Peace

Nov 9

My wife Karen of 40 years died last night during a routine heart procedure. I am still dealing with it.

Tom Schildhouse

MPHS Jan 66

Tom, my deepest sympathy to you.

Tom Breen

Oh dear! I'm SO SORRY to hear this, Tom. I can only imagine how devastated you must be. My heart goes out to you, my friend, and I am sending you big hugs and prayers. Deepest sympathies.

Joan Pettavino

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your wife. I hope you have a support group of family and friends that will be there to comfort you. I will be praying for you, Tom, in the weeks ahead.


Oh Tom, I'm so sorry. God be with you and your family . Charlie

Charlie van Lierre


I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Karen. I don’t have words to lessen the sadness but know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Ray Justinic


So sorry to hear it. My prayers are with you. Your love was fun just to be around,

Tom Thomas

Tom, very sorry to hear it. You and your family are in
our prayers.

Craig Hullinger

Please accept our deepest sympathies for your loss

Ron McComb


My condolences. It's fortunate that you and Karen were able to do so much together.

Bill Kamenjarin

Tom, the time we've spent with you and Karen remain indelibly imprinted on our hearts. We share your sadness. Stay strong, Cowboy!

Marie Stazzone

Dear Tom,

I am so very sorry. This is the worst shock imaginable. My prayers are with you during this devastating time.

Robin Einbund

Tom, I'm so sorry to hear the sad news about Karen. She was a lovely woman. I hope the many adventures and wonderful memories you shared with her will give you comfort. Keeping you in my prayers.

Marlene Walko

Heartfelt sympathies my friend.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.


Al Schaefer

It always amazes me how Chicagoans are defined by the negatives. But it is not so. No one writes about the 4 guys who held the purse snatcher for police, the 5 guys who applied a tourniquet to the victim of a high rise window blowout, the 2 guys who delivered a baby on Boul Mich. Acts of kindness and compassion define us far more than acts if violence and destruction.

Tonight, we were to go to Mr. Benny's in Mokena but burst pipes forced our friends to rain check. Went to Bistro in Flossmoor alone. Met a friend of Craig's, Frank So and his wife, who will face book me and he wants to keep in touch. Got to talking about Mont St. Michelle with another couple on my left, they just got back. We enjoyed a long dinner conversation. When I got ready for the check, we had talked about why I was dining alone, Karen's passing and how strange it was. They Facebooked me and offered to be my companions anytime I needed it. Total strangers but now friends forever. When I left, they had covered my bill, including drinks and an aperitif. Total strangers but new internet friends. No where but in Chi town. Talk about shootings, Van Dyke, etc. the real Chicago spirit lies in its incredible and boundless compassion. We are a caring and compassionate lot. God, I love this town and its incredible people.

Judy has been an invaluable source of support, as has Ron and others too numerous to mention. You are not just names on an email, I just am too overwhelmed by your incredible support to enumerate you all. Capt. Al, whose poem reminded me of a poem I had long forgotten, it will be in her memorial. I cannot tell you how much your camaraderie and messages have meant. I am still reeling from the unexpected deprivation of my love and my lover.

But I am truly humbled by the collective support of each and every one of you.

I may not remember to hit reply as often as I should, but each and every one of you have become my new world. And I treasure you all.

As I conclude this maudlin and shameless display of affection, not my forte, BTW, I just want you to know I am eternally in your debt. I love each and every one of you like family.

And if anyone who knows my Scottish and English reticence for PDAs saw this, they would think I've been hacked.

Tom Schildhouse
Nov 16

Karen's obit is in today's Trib or at

Just thought I would let you know.

Tom Schildhouse

Karen Joyce Schildhouse (Nee Urbanski) age 68 of Crete, Illinois passed away on November 8, 2018. Beloved wife of 40 years to Thomas Loving sister of Kimberly (Robert) McKinley. Dear aunt to Stephanie (Dan) McGuire. Special cousin to Debbie, John Wellman and many other cousins. She worked at KPMG Accounting Firm in Chicago, Illinois for over 30 years and she loved to travel the world with her husband and especially to Scotland. Arrangements entrusted to Crete Funeral Home, 1182 Main Street, Crete, Illinois.

Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Nov. 18, 2018

I am so sorry for your loss. I read Karen’s obituary in the Tribune and noticed she was my exact age. I hope you will find comfort in your many good memories of times spent together.


Wishing all of you a happy Thanksgiving. I am going to Karen's cousin's. It will be different but they are good people with whom I share a lot.

May all your turkey, stuffing, yam dreams come to fruition.

Tom Schildhouse


I will be making a trip to Chicago for my sisters funeral. She passed a way last night. This readjustment to the next couple of weeks changes my world and a fun trip to Chicago that would have overlapped your get together. So not this time. 

As you know loss of a loved at this time of year seems worse. I am now the last man standing of my immediate family growing up. The circle of life sucks.!

Ray Justinic (66)

Tom, it's good you have people who are close. Wishing you peace.

Sharon Avny

Then, off to dominos. I "invented" a station for Mexican Train that can accommodate 12 players using a Solo plate, foam core board and an internet template for a twelve part circle template from the internet. It has become legend in Crete. I go places and people say "oh, your the guy who made the dominos thing". I also colored and numbered it, so it is easy to remember who you are and has a rim to park your trains.

Tonight we play pinochle. Karen was becoming a master. Kicked my ass every time we played. I won a pair of sun glasses and a tee shirt for low score. She kicked ass. Tonight is the Christmas. 

Holidays will be tough this year. I will do Christmas eve with her cousins. Always a joy, but Christmas will probably be dinner at Francesca alone. And I always loved New Year's eve. It was a long night but always celebrated until the wee hours.

I know some must be tired of my reminiscing by now. To those I apologize. I am not the first to suffer lose, but I think of you all as my family and I value your indulgence.

Tom Schildhouse

Tom’s post about facing the holidays without Karen resonated with me, as I’m sure it did with most of you. Losing a loved one so close to the holidays is particularly wrenching. My mother died suddenly two weeks before Christmas when I had just turned 23. My brother, now also gone, was only 14. We muddled through somehow.

Grief is a process rather than an event, and while it changes over time, it never ends. By now most of us have lost parents, and perhaps also siblings, spouses, beloved friends, or — worst of all — children. May the memories of happy times with those who are gone sustain everyone through the tough times and transitions.

And may everyone have at least isolated moments that are merry and bright!

Taffy Cannon, June 1966
Carlsbad, California



Your words felt like they were directed to me personally. From Thanksgiving to New Years provided some of the founders memories for me of my family growing up. Yesterday I delivered the eulogy at my sisters funeral. So some of my fondest memories now bring on heavy sadness. I look forward to the grief process you wrote turning it back to smiles vs tears. 


RayJ (66)

I am so sorry I missed commenting to Ray, Marie, Robin, Taffy, Ron, Marlene and several others. Just cleaned out my spam folder. Even my own address was going to spam. 
I am so very grateful for all of the emails and I wish to add my condolences to Ray and others. And yes, Marlene , after holidays we can certainly try another get together. 

I am not quite finished the backlog of unintentionally spammed missives, but I am going to read every one of them. Some go back to early November. I missed commiserating with many and apologize for this. For the tragedies I missed, the support I am always grateful for and your many overwhelmingly kind support, I appreciate it. Sorry so much ended up in spam.

Again, I will read each and every one, including the many Facebook responses that ended up there.

Tom Schildhouse

Tom, I have always found your stories and adventures interesting and a unique style of life. No need to feel badly about posting here.

Ron Veenstra


Dec 9, 2018

I just got back from a beautiful candle lighting ceremony. Our park district honors recently passed residents at Christmas. Karen was one of the hundred who were so honored with a light on the village tree. It was totally unexpected, but we have participated in a fitness group, play dominoes, attend chili cookoffs, etc. and they were devastated by Karen's unexpected passing. We kind of know everyone and they know us So she was selected as one of the memorial light honorees. I feel both honored and humbled by the outpouring of support I continue to receive from all sides.

Tom Schildhouse

Karen and Tom on the left

Karen Schildhouse and Sandy Schuessler Wright MPHS Jan 66 Leading the Exercises at Millenium Park

Comments excerpted from our Yahoo Group page. You can join us if you wish.

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