Daley, Maggie

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Maggie Daley Soundex Code D400

Maggie Daley, nee: "Maggie" Corbett was the wife of former Mayor of Chicago, Richard M. Daley.

Maggie died on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2011.

Chicago Tribune Saturday, November 26 2011, 1.1.

City flags were lowered to half- staff and memorial bunting placed over the entrance to Chicago City Hall on Friday, November 25, 2011, in silent tribute to Maggie Daley as the family of Chicago's late former first lady scheduled a public wake and funeral to honor her life.

Mrs. Daley, 68, whose life was praised from the White House to the schoolhouse for her charitable and cultural contributions to the city, died Thursday, November 24, 2011]] evening with former Mayor Richard J. Daley and family at her side. She had been treated for Metastatic breast cancer since 2002.

The Daley family announced a public wake would be held from noon until 10 p.m. on Sunday in the Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street. A public funeral Mass was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Monday, November 27, 2011, at Old St. Patrick's Church, 700 W. Adams Street.

The Reverend Jack Wall, pastor emeritus at Old St. Patrick's Church and a longtime Daley family friend, said it was appropriate that Mrs. Daley died on the evening of Thanksgiving Day because it was such an important holiday for her family and families across Chicago.

"One of the things I think all of us as Chicagoans appreciated about Maggie is her deep sense of family. She was very conscious of all of our families," said Wall, noting that it was Mrs. Daley who made her husband promise to reserve Sundays for private family activities while serving as mayor.

"As the sun set, the day ended and people were finishing their meals, she breathed her last. And I have a very special feeling that she was saying 'You don't have to call anybody up, because you're all with your family on this day and we're all together as a city, surrounded by the people we love the most, and sharing this time together,' " Father Wall said.

The Daley family will attend the wake at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Tributes from the city's political community cited her efforts involving the arts, education and women's health care.

"The (former) mayor was a bricks and mortar kind of guy, and she definitely helped him see the importance of the cultural end of things in shaping the city's image, its look and reputation," said Alderman Walter Burnett, 27th Ward, who chairs the City Council Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation.

"And she saw the importance of cultural institutions in improving the lives of Chicagoans, especially teenagers," Alderman Burnett said.

"Maggie was an extraordinary woman who dedicated her life to public service. While she will be sorely missed, her initiatives on behalf of Chicago's youth live on as national models for how to create environments for children to learn and grow outside the classroom," President Barack Obama said in a statement.

Noting her efforts to keep the family's private life out of the public eye, Obama said, "Maggie's commitment to the children and people of Chicago was surpassed only by her devotion to her family."

Chicago Public Schools executives added in a statement that her "dedication to enriching the lives of children across Chicago has been unmatched by any one individual during our lifetime."

Senator Dick Durbin, the state's senior senator and No. 2 ranking Democrat in the chamber, recalled visiting Old St. Patrick's Church last St. Patrick's Day.

Senator Durbin said it was apparent that "Maggie's struggles were quickly forgotten as her grandkids, dressed in their finest green, scrambled in the church pew to see the Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band piping up the center aisle. She and Rich were beaming with the joy that loving parents and grandparents live for."

14th Ward Alderman Edward M. Burke, the dean of the Chicago City Council, said Mrs. Daley's "legacy to the city and to her family is one of courage," while City Clerk of Chicago Susana Mendoza credited Mrs. Daley with inspiring the city "to dream bigger and do better."

David Axelrod, the former mayor's longtime political media adviser and a senior campaign strategist for Obama, said Mrs. Daley "was a person of extraordinary grace and strength."

"She set such a wonderful example both in how she lived, and how she faced the end of life," Axelrod said. "Right until the very end, she had a light about her that warmed everyone around her."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced memorial bunting was being placed over the LaSalle Street entrance to Chicago City Hall and a floral display would be placed in the grand central lobby along with a memorial book for the public to sign. The City Hall lobby will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during weekdays for the next week.

The Chicago Cultural Center also will display memorial bunting over its entrance on Washington Street and its lobby also will have a floral display and memorial book available in its Randolph Street lobby. The lobby will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday.

Emanuel's office said he will declare an official day of mourning and a moment of silence to honor Mrs. Daley, and the Chicago City Council will enact a resolution in tribute to her at its Wednesday, December 14, 2011 meeting.