Theresa "Terry" Czernik

May 3, 2021


Terry Czernik, 74, passed away peacefully in Park Ridge on Monday, May 3, after a long courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Terry was born Theresa Mary LaGrange on December 29, 1946 in Davenport, IA, the first of seven children of Glen A. and Cornelia LaGrange. Shortly after her birth, the LaGrange family moved to Ohio, where Terry grew up in Cincinnati and Norwood, attending Sts. Peter and Paul elementary school and Regina High School. After graduating from the College of Mount St. Joseph in 1968, Terry moved to Chicago where she began her lifelong teaching career at Providence of God School in Pilsen. She later began working for the Chicago Public Schools as a “Cadre Substitute” teacher, a job that she held for many years and which took her all over the city of Chicago, teaching in the most underserved communities in the city.  It was in Chicago that Terry settled down with a Chicagoan she had met in Cincinnati, Lester Czernik, who she married and with whom she had a son, Glen. The Czernik family lived in Logan Square and Lester and Terry were married for 23 years until his death in 1996. Terry spent the remainder of her career as a 1st and 2nd grade teacher at Brentano School until her retirement in 2006. In addition to joyfully teaching thousands of children how to read, spell, add, subtract, tell time, and write with perfect penmanship, Terry relished being an active member of the Chicago Teachers Union, serving many years as a Union delegate, participating in caucuses, and also running for elected Union leadership positions. Terry also enjoyed assisting with the publication of Substance News, as one of its first editors and longtime contributor to the muckraking monthly newspaper examining issues important to teachers in the Chicago Public Schools. In her retirement, Terry enjoyed traveling, attending outdoor music concerts and festivals at Ravinia and Grant Park, serving as a volunteer usher for The Saints. Terry spent the last years of her life at Sunrise of Park Ridge, and special thanks are owed to the staff members there who worked with her and went above and beyond to provide her with a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Through everything she did and accomplished, Terry was foremost always a loving and supportive mom. Terry impacted countless lives in a positive way and will be missed by all who knew her.

Preceded in death by parents Glen and Cornelia LaGrange, brother Rob LaGrange, husband Lester Czernik. Survived by son Glen (Jackie) Czernik, sisters Patty (Tim) Burke, Bonnie (Tom) Wall, Mary (Pat) Behan, Lori (Mike) Smith, brother John (Helen) LaGrange, and many nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great-nieces.

Visitation will be held on Monday from 3:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. at Cooney Funeral Home, located at 625 Busse Hwy. in Park Ridge.

Due to COVID restrictions, anyone wishing to attend the mass must pre-register at the link below by Saturday May 8th:!/showSignUp/60b0d45afab2da2ff2-baptism
Information for attending and the livestream:
For those who registered and are attending, you need to enter on the side of the Church near the main parking lot. There will be a greeter there that will:

Ask how you are feeling. Screen temperature. Anyone whose temperature is 99.5 degrees or higher will not be allowed into the Church. People with symptoms and a temperature should stay home.
Offer hand sanitizer
Offer a mask, if you do not have one of their own. MASKS ARE TO BE WORN AT ALL TIMES, COVERING BOTH MOUTH AND NOSE.
Direct them to the designated pew. (Ask them to stay in that spot until they are ready to leave)
Finally, due to Coronavirus, bathrooms are not available.

The funeral service will be livestreamed off St. Paul of the Cross' website at: starting around 9:45 AM on Tuesday, May 11th.  The funeral will start at 10:00 AM.

Interment Maryhill Cemetery.

For information please call 847-685-1002 or visit 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Theresa "Terry" Czernik, please visit our floral store.


May 10, 2021

3:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Cooney Funeral Home
625 Busse Highway
Park Ridge, IL 60068

Funeral Mass
May 11, 2021

10:00 AM
St. Paul of the Cross Church
320 S. Washington
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068

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