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1931 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences
DeKALB - Helen A. (Suknaich) Alexander (Baba to most) was born April 1, 1931 in DeKalb, Ill., to Peter and Anna Suknaich.

After a valiant three year battle with pancreatic cancer, she passed peacefully in her home surrounded by family and went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013, in DeKalb.

Helen retired from Northern Illinois University after 25 years of service. After retiring, she enjoyed movies, plays, reading books, and took special pride in her flower garden. She also enjoyed volunteering at Country Store and DeKalb Women's Center. She will be remembered for her generous heart, making it her personal mission to help others, no matter the need.

Survivors include daughters, Shirlee (Ed) Davis of Aurora, Colo., Marsha Royalty of DeKalb, Lorlie (Jerry) Schwartz of Niagara, Wis., and Melissa (Randy) Coppert, though not by blood, like a daughter nonetheless; grandchildren, Shay (Scott) Maunu, Clint Kramer, Shaun (Jo) Kramer, Chelsea Royalty, Brent and Kaylee Davis, John Vera and Damien Cuevas; brother, Marcus Suknaich; sisters, Mary Vukovich and Kathryn Anderson; several great grandchildren, nieces and nephews and long time family friend, Ron Johnson.

She will be greatly missed by Howard Riddle, her loving and longtime companion. After several decades, thousands of miles of traveling and too many memories to count, their journey has come to an end.

She was preceded in death by her parents, daughter Kimberly (Alexander) Vera; three sisters, Sofija Suknaich, Matilda Wise, and Martha Fulton; two brothers, Peter and Joe.

In her past couple of months, she was blessed to have comforting and loving live-in caregiver, granddaughter-in-law, Putsadee Boonpreda (Maam).

The family wishes to extend a special thanks to everyone who provided exceptional care. First and foremost, Dr. Dhaval Thakkar. It was because of his diligence and persistence that an early diagnosis was made and our family and friends were blessed with three additional years. Exceptional care was provided by Dr. Siddiqui and staff at Kishwaukee Cancer Center. Heartland Hospice became part of the family over the past few months with Helen looking forward to their visits. Amy, RN provided compassionate care while Becca, CNA, did the same along with bringing laughter and someone for Helen to confide in. Maureen, chaplain, could lift Helen's spirits even in her hardest, toughest days with her angelic voice and unique sense of humor.

Arrangements were made by Ronan-Moore-Finch Funeral Home 310 Oak St. DeKalb. Call 815-758-3841 for more information. Everyone is welcome to join us at the graveside service at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 5. A luncheon will follow at Four Seasons Sports to share memories and fellowship.

The family is requesting in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Kishwaukee Cancer Center or for pancreatic cancer research in Helen's memory at To send an online condolence visit:

To sign the online guest book, visit
Published in Daily Chronicle on Sept. 3, 2013
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