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New inductees join Homewood Hall of Fame

Karen Schillings (right) stands nearby as her husbDenny (center) gets hug from Jody Scariano (far left) during receptifor 2012 Inauguratifor

Karen Schillings (right) stands nearby as her husband Denny (center) gets a hug from Jody Scariano (far left) during a reception for the 2012 Inauguration for the Homewood Hall of Fame at Ravisloe Country Club Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, at 18231 Park Ave. in Homewood. The Schillings were both being inducted into the Hall of Fame. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 16, 2012 6:03AM



The Homewood Hall of Fame, designed to honor those who have impacted the village over the years, recently inducted new members.

Those inducted last month were selected for their positive influence in the village throughout the years.

Here’s a closer look at those who were added to the hall, courtesy of Elaine Egdorf, chairman of the Homewood Heritage Committee:

Denny and Karen Schillings: Denny taught social studies at Homewood-Flossmoor High School for 31 years. He wrote and managed grants in excess of $10.5 million and was responsible for at least two Blue Ribbon School of Excellence awards. He served on the school board for Homewood Elementary District 153, and founded the Homewood Foundation for Educational Excellence.

Karen taught in primary grades in District 153. She wrote the Homewood History curriculum for second-graders, was a Girl Scout troop leader and was president of the South Cook County Girl Scouts. She is director at large for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana.

William and Eleanor Steiner: Both longtime residents of Homewood have been active with Homewood Scout troops, fire department, Izaak Walton Preserve, Homewood Historical Society and PADS. Bill is also a ham radio operator involved with emergency preparedness.

“They are very, very modest people. Bill was so excited when we called about being in the hall,” Egdorf said. Eleanor started a college referral system and career resource room in the Homewood-Flossmoor High School library for students.

The Kataras Family: The family’s restaurant, Tom’s Place, closed this year after serving meals for 65 years in Homewood. They also catered meals to area service groups at very reasonable rates, and supported numerous civic and community organizations and events.

“Their original restaurant was called The Sweet Shop, ran by the current Tom’s grandfather. They made their own candy. They later moved across the street to the current location,” Egdorf said.

The qualify food and “homey atmosphere” made the restaurant popular for decades, she said. The owners’ loyalty to Homewood was returned, as noted by Norma Lively, who worked there for 57 years, Egdorf said.

Mable Murphy: Under her leadership, the Homewood Public Library moved from its Illinois Central Train Station location to a building at 17900 Dixie Highway, kitty-corner to the current building. She started with the library in 1956 for the salary of $1 per hour. In 1958, she became the head librarian, a post she held until 1976.

The late Murphy once said she “always thought a library was a people place,” and said she never once dreaded having to go to work the next day, Egdorf said.

Egdorf was impressed by the turnout for the hall induction ceremony, noting that relatives of new inductees came from as far away as Seattle, Colorado and New York.

“They almost make it like a family reunion,” she said.



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