Mary Compton, former photographer and reporter for the Star, Southtown, has died


As a photojournalist and reporter, first at The Star newspapers and extra just lately on the Day by day Southtown, Mary Compton “beloved to provide a voice to individuals who did not have a voice, individuals who have been struggling,” her daughter Rebecca Crane mentioned Friday.

Crain mentioned Compton died of ovarian most cancers on Dec. 24 at her Nation Membership Hills dwelling, 4 days after her sixty fourth birthday.

Visitation will start at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Trinity Lutheran Church, 6850 W. 159th St., Tinley Park, adopted by a funeral service at midday.

Compton is survived by a daughter, Angelica; two sons, David and John; 5 grandchildren; and great-grandson.

Crane mentioned his mom spent greater than 30 years as a photographer and studied pictures at Prairie State Faculty in Chicago Heights. Compton grew up in Value and attended Richards Excessive College in Oak Garden.

“He all the time had a pure ardour for pictures,” mentioned Crane, who’s a sophomore in faculty learning psychology.

Crane mentioned that when she was youthful, she would accompany her mom on errands at church buildings and libraries.

“Folks have been simply drawn to him,” she mentioned.

He mentioned his mom was recognized in February 2020 and commenced receiving remedy a couple of weeks later. Crain mentioned Compton was out and in of the hospital, chemotherapy stopped a month in the past, when she entered hospice care the primary week of December.

He mentioned that he recurrently takes care of his mom together with his brother David.

Compton mixed his abilities as a photographer together with his abilities as an interviewer and author in lots of tales.

Compton interviewed a Markham girl, Lanetha Guiderwhose 4-month-old daughter was critically injured after the automobile Guider was driving was rear-ended whereas stopped in visitors on the Tri-State Tollway in the summertime of 2020.

Mary Compton interviewed and photographed Lanetha Guider, of Markham, in front of a backdrop made in memory of Guider's daughter, Ra Nyah Guider-Owens.

Her daughter was on life help and assessments confirmed no mind exercise, prompting Guider to take her off life help.

“A nurse requested me about organ donation. I did not know what to suppose,” Guider advised Compton in an April 2021 article. “After the reward of hope, somebody got here and talked to me, they defined how the method works.”

Inside two days, Reward of Hope had discovered recipients for Ra Nya’s coronary heart, kidneys and lungs, he mentioned.

Simply earlier than Christmas final yr, Compton wrote about it Verna FurbeckA Blue Islander who has volunteered as a Salvation Military bell ringer for half a century and this previous Could, Compton advised readers: Bremen Township Senior Cafewhich had just lately reopened after a two-year epidemic break.

Mary Compton photographed Verna Furbeck and Oliver Guzman, both of Blue Island, ringing their bells in Oak Forest.

Compton spoke with Pam White, whose husband was a driver for the town’s Senior Wheels program till his loss of life in 2021. White started volunteering on the Oak Forest Senior Cafe.

“My husband used to take seniors to eat right here,” White advised Compton. “He beloved his job a lot that he satisfied me to come back and assist.”

Paul Eisenberg, editor of the Day by day Southtown, mentioned he labored with Compton for greater than 20 years, first when he photographed tales he was assigned to write down for the Star and extra just lately as an editor.

“Mary was extremely proficient, however what she most famously delivered to her work was an empathetic eye that was mirrored in each her images and her writing,” Eisenberg mentioned. “He handled everybody with compassion, whether or not on digital camera or in interviews, fostering confidence that his subordinates knew he would by no means betray.”

“He was a south suburban treasure,” she mentioned.

Eisenberg mentioned her favourite of Compton’s most up-to-date tales concerned a gaggle of girls who name themselves Bunco Babes:who recurrently gathered to play cube.

This photo by Mary Compton shows Kathy Englert and Kay Grobarczyk, both of New Lenox, and Karen Yarbrough, of Frankfort, flipping through a scrapbook of 55 years of Bunco Babes game night and travel memories.

In 1967, the ladies started assembly at Rosemary Schroeder’s Mokena dwelling, and the custom has continued ever since, Compton wrote in September.

Group members advised Compton that the month-to-month gathering is about extra than simply having enjoyable and socializing.

“The primary Tuesday of the month is bunko, and the one purpose to skip bunko is when you’re in your deathbed or having an affair,” mentioned JoAnn Stellwagen of New Lenox. Bunco Babe good friend Carol Podkulski remembers ending the sport the evening earlier than going to the hospital to provide start to her daughter.

“We’re critical about bunko,” Podkulski advised Compton. “You do not miss it.”

“It made me wish to be part of, and I’ve by no means performed as a result of Mary painted such an amazing image of the affect of lengthy buddies,” Eisenberg recounts.

Crain mentioned he all the time obtained “probably the most superb, caring, unconditional love” from his mom.

She mentioned her mom taught her and her siblings to “give and have an enormous coronary heart.”

“He was actually a residing saint,” Crane mentioned.


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