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Alice Pirie Wirtz

1931 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Alice Pirie Wirtz Obituary
Alice Pirie Wirtz, 87, known to her close friends as "Ittie",died peacefully at her home in Winnetka on December 8, 2018 following a courageous battle with lung cancer. She was surrounded by her children, and with her dear dog Molly by her side. Born on March 24, 1931, to Alice Quarles Pirie and John Thomas Pirie II of Winnetka, Mrs. Wirtz graduated from the North Shore Country Day School in 1949 and Finch College in 1953. She was the widow of the late William W. Wirtz, former President of the Chicago Blackhawks and Wirtz Corporation. Her first husband was the late Homer Hargrave, Jr. Mrs. Wirtz is survived by her three children, Charles Pirie Hargrave (Kathy Laughlin) of Wilmette, William Arthur Hargrave (Christina Louise Cox) of Chicago and Alice Quarles Hargrave of Chicago, widow of Jean-Brice Wallon; her eight grandchildren, Sara, Charles, Katie, Jennifer, Ezra, Gabriel, Joseph and Deshler; her great-grandchild Malcolm; and her brother William Quarles Pirie of Minocqua, Wisconsin. Alice will be remembered most of all for her two passions ... her artistic creations and her sense of civic responsibility. In 1972, she became conservator of The Thorne Rooms at The Art Institute of Chicago, a position she held for 14 years. Her lifelong love of miniatures was certainly enriched by her mother-in-law, silent film actress Colleen Moore Hargrave (dear friend of Narcissa Thorne) who created The Colleen Moore Fairy Castle. Alice created exquisite shell-enrobed mirrors, each unique and reminiscent of 18th and 19th century decorative arts which she also collected along with English antiques. Many of these exotic shells were collected by Alice from remote islands in the Bahamas while on trips with her husband, Bill, aboard the Blackhawk. Alice's involvement in the community was manifested in her civic work. She served as President of The Junior League of Chicago, President of the Women's Board of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital (formerly Children's Memorial Hospital), and volunteer for The Crusade of Mercy. Always a proud alumna of North Shore Country Day School in Winnetka, she volunteered as Archivist of the school's history, which included reconnecting alumni from across the country. Most recently, Alice dedicated herself to the John T. Pirie School in Chicago, a well-respected school within The Chicago Public School System, named for her great grandfather, John T. Pirie, founder of Carson Pirie Scott & Company. The department store (founded in 1854) survived the Chicago Fire and resided for over a century in its landmark store designed by Louis Sullivan. Most important to Alice's many friends, family and the neighbors who love her was her extreme kindness and thoughtfulness. She shared her award-winning roses with anyone in need of a special pick-me-up and gifted countless homegrown raspberries and jam. Her hand-written notes of thanks, sympathy or congratulations were all infused with love. Visitation, Thursday, December 20, 2018 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Donnellan Family Funeral Home, 10045 Skokie Boulevard at Old Orchard Road Skokie, Illinois 60077. A Celebration of her Life will be held on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at Christ Church 784 Sheridan Road, Winnetka, IL 60093.In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Rush University Medical Center's Lung Cancer Research Fund, c/o Kevin R. Gray, 1201 W. Harrison St., Suite 300 Chicago, IL 60607 or The John T. Pirie Fine Arts and Academic Center 650 East 85th Street, Chicago, IL 60619. Info www.donnellanfuneral.com or (847) 675-1990.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication from Dec. 13, 2018 to Jan. 13, 2019
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