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Pastor says Maggie Daley a life force; public memorial Sunday

Father Jack Wall talks about his memories Maggie Daley (pictured Dec. 21 2010) during press conference Gallery 37 66 E.

Father Jack Wall talks about his memories of Maggie Daley (pictured on Dec. 21, 2010) during a press conference at Gallery 37, 66 E. Randolph on Friday. | Rich Hein, John J. Kim~Sun-Times

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Updated: December 27, 2011 8:06AM

Maggie Daley’s long-time pastor, Father Jack Wall, of Old St. Patrick’s Church, said her funeral Monday will be as positive and upbeat as her life was.

“When it became an issue of whether she was going to see herself as a victim or she was going to see herself as a life force, she just said, ‘I am a life force. I am living today and I am not a victim, I am something more than a victim, I am giving my life away, nothing’s going to take life from me — I am going to give it away,” Wall said.

“She was not one about going back into places of adding to the sorrow, she just absolutely wants to celebrate her life, and that’s what we intend to do,” Wall said.

Mrs. Daley’s funeral mass will occur 10:30 a.m. Monday at Old St. Patrick’s Church, 700 W. Adams.

A public memorial will run from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday at Preston Bradley Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Attendees are encouraged to enter through the Washington Street entrance of the center.

Mrs. Daley died about 6 p.m. Thursday at home in her bed surrounded by her family after losing a nine-year battle with metastatic breast cancer.

“I think it was absolutely fitting that the day she ended up breathing her last was on Thanksgiving evening after families were gathering all throughout the city of Chicago celebrating that one beautiful thing about Thanksgiving ­— the opportunity for families to come together,” Wall said.

John Rogers Jr., CEO of Ariel Investments and a friend of 30 years, recalled Mrs. Daley always made sure everyone felt welcome at social gatherings.

“She was always the one laughing and leading the jokes and saying, ‘Come on, stay for one more, stay out, one more drink — let’s really kind of enjoy all this together.’ And she never took no for an answer.”

Another Daley family friend, Monsignor Ken Velo, recalled how Mrs. Daley was always concerned for all Chicagoans.

Velo remembered having lunch with Mrs. Daley after the mayor had a biking accident in Michigan in 1998.

“The waiter was talking about how he likes to bike ride,” Velo said. “She said, ‘Do you wear a helmet?’ He said, ‘Well, no.’ She gave him money and said, ‘I want you to wear a helmet.’”

The Daley family asked that in lieu of flowers, people contribute to either the charity Mrs. Daley co-founded, After School Matters, at, or to the Maggie Daley Center for Women’s Cancer Care at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, www.cancer.north

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