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Theresa Lynn Wilkie


1949 - 2019
Theresa Lynn Wilkie Obituary
Theresa Lynn Wilkie

Born: Aug. 12, 1949

Died: August 19, 2019

Theresa Lynn Wilkie, age 70, of Western Springs, Illinois, went to be with our Lord and Savior on August 19 following a wonderful birthday week and family visit in Dallas, Texas. She passed away from natural causes stemming from heart disease complications.

A long-time resident of the Chicago area, Theresa was born Aug. 12, 1949 in Chicago and lived in Flossmoor and Western Springs, IL. She earned both her bachelors and master's degree from Northern Illinois University and studied at Harvard and Oxford Universities.

Theresa is survived by her brother Jack and sister-in-law Margo Wilkie, her sister Rosemary and brother-in-law David Bennett, and godchildren Meredith Clay and Jaclynn Wilkie. She is preceded in death by her parents Robert Joseph Wilkie and Mary Lynn Bates Wilkie.

"Miss Wilkie", as she was known, was an innovative, award-winning teacher who taught in Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181 from August 1988 to June 2014. She was passionate about the literary arts and importance of citizenship. She encouraged students to research and write essays for the Daughters of the American Revolution annual essay contest for 16 years. She required students to interview Korean and Vietnam era veterans as an integrated language arts and social studies project. Wilkie created and executed community service projects to support Vietnam Veterans and the Paralyzed Veterans groups. She also launched "Operation Love Storm" - a project to send Valentines to children at the Camp Allen Elementary School at the Norfolk Naval Base. The program received national attention including a segment on ABC television Good Morning America. This type of innovative instruction led to her being awarded Teacher of the Year by both Walmart and Disney.

Miss Wilkie did more than provide classroom instruction. She organized school-wide patriotic events, chaired the VFW annual poppy day sale, and helped school custodians learn English and prepare them for the U.S. citizenship test. Custodians benefiting from her volunteer tutoring included individuals from Viet Nam, Laos, Lithuania and Mexico. When inducted as U.S. citizens she presented them with an American Flag that flew over Independence Hall to commemorate their achievement.

In order to perpetuate Miss Wilkie's belief in active citizenship, excellence in literary arts, and patriotism, the "Theresa Wilkie Inspired Instructor Grant" has been established through a joint effort of her family and the District 181 Foundation. The grant will recognize innovation in instilling those important values with awards for outstanding teachers and deserving students.

Donations to the grant can be made online at www.d181foundation.org, or by mail, D181 Foundation, P.O. Box 715, Hinsdale IL 60521; Attention Theresa Wilkie Grant.

A memorial service for Miss Wilkie will be held Thursday, September 5 at All Saints Episcopal Church, 4370 Woodland Ave., Western Springs at 5:00 pm. The service will be preceded by a reception hosted by the Wilkie family from 3:00 - 5:00 pm at the church.
Published in Suburban Life Publications from Sept. 4 to Sept. 12, 2019
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