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Sneed: Justice Mary Ann McMorrow was an amazing woman

WEST HOLLYWOOD CA - FEBRUARY 24:  Actress Julie Bowen arrives 2013 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by GraydCarter Sunset

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Actress Julie Bowen arrives at the 2013 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Sunset Tower on February 24, 2013 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 161758042

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Updated: April 11, 2013 7:01AM

Mary Ann’s memory...

I didn’t know Justice Mary Ann McMorrow loved chocolate; especially Boston cream pie.

I didn’t even know her maiden name.

She may have been the first and only woman to become chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, but, after all, she was my dear friend and there were so many things I didn’t know about her when I attended her funeral recently at St. Mary of the Woods Catholic Church.

There was a coffin draped in her black robe; a funeral mass strung into a necklace of songs sung in Latin; and elegies by her favorite priests. They extolled a private life of joy with her beloved daughter, Mary Ann and sister, Fran — as well as the public life of a trailblazing jurist who never feared to question, challenge and often dissent.

And then there was this message to us on her funeral card:

“Every wonderful delightful thrilling experience and emotion that life has to offer has been mine.

“Recall me as the mother, the sister, the friend who shared your laughter, tears and dreams. Save your sadness and sorrow for those who leave before they taste all the fine chocolate desserts of the world. I’ve lived a goodly span of years. I’ve loved a man. I’ve cradled a daughter in my arms and walked with her hand in my own. I will live in you.”

What a lovely message. What an amazing woman.

The Papal Yanks...

Yanks in the Ranks:...Although it is highly improbable, Sneed hears there is a line of support for two American Cardinals as papal contenders: Boston’s Sean Patrick O’Malley and New York’s Timothy Dolan.

The Eraser Set...

The state of Illinois seems to be in a state of university adversity. To wit:

◆ Top Tip I: A federal probe is being conducted at Northern Illinois University involving campus police and the alleged misuse of their criminal database system. (Sneed scoop/March 7)

◆ Top Tip 2: A war is being waged by board members of Chicago State University to get rid of CSU President Wayne Watson. (Sneed scoop/Feb. 20)

◆ New Tip: Sneed hears rumbles Gov. Pat Quinn just lost out on a bid to place three new appointees on the Southern Illinois University Board, where former politico Glenn Poshard, who once ran for governor, mans the helm.

◆ Word is Poshard, who is accustomed to controlling his board, and some downstate legislators ­— were “not happy with Quinn’s lack of consultation on the SIU board appointments, which were declared DOA (dead on arrival) when they hit the Illinois senate, said a top Sneed source.

◆ Of course, it doesn’t hurt matters when a former chief-of-staff for Poshard, a former veteran congressman, also works for Senate President John Cullerton.

Bieber blab...

What up with pop singer Justin Bieber?

◆ Stat chat: The Bieber got trashed for showing up two hours late for his London show; he’s been spotted twice wearing a gas mask while shopping; he reportedly deleted a recent twitter claiming his 19th birthday was the “worst birthday ever,” and lunged at a paparazzi with his pint sized pectorals. Wowser.

Heel squeal...

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker, whose character in “Sex and the City” towered atop Manolo Blahnik high heels, tells the fashion press her passion for high heels caused permanent damage to her feet. She’s gone cold turkey.

Award ‘em...

◆ Auction maven Leslie Hindman, who runs the largest auction house in the Midwest, was just designated a landmark: She was named a 2013 Legendary Landmark by Landmarks Illinois. The irony: She’s the youngest to ever receive the award.

◆ Collector/investment guru Richard Driehaus and art historian Rolf Achilles, curator of the Smith Museum of Stained Glass just received the ancient “Freedom of the City Of London” award — the city’s highest guild honor. “We now have the right to drive sheep across London’s Tower Bridge — but I don’t think we will be doing that,” chuckled Achilles.


Stork talk: Justice Anne Burke and husband, Ald. Ed Burke, celebrated a double header last week: In addition to welcoming grandson Samuel Burke Murphy, their daughter Sarah Crampton gave birth to Abigail Anne Crampton.

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