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Eric Tschetter

1970 - 2015
Eric Tschetter Obituary
Eric Lee Tschetter, 45, died in Chicago on Dec. 13 after a nearly two-year-long battle with meningeal hemangiopericytoma, a brain cancer. He was the husband of Donald Anthony (Tony) Breed. They informally used the surname Tschetter-Breed. Until his illness, he was the executive director of Lillstreet Art Center, 4401 N Ravenswood St. in Chicago. He had started there as a student in 2003-2004, then became a monitor, then a pottery instructor, accumulating more responsibilities until becoming executive director in August, 2009. "Lillstreet grew tremendously under his leadership," said Bruce Robbins, Lillstreet's owner. New departments and new spaces opened, he said, and the student population expanded to over 10,000 students a year. "Eric helped and coached many of the staff, students and artists to grow their skills and their careers. He was loved and respected by the Lillstreet community and he will be missed." He was born May 7, 1970 in Des Moines, Iowa, and grew up in Oskaloosa, Iowa after a few years in Des Moines and Didsbury, Alberta. He graduated from Oskaloosa Senior High in 1988, the class valedictorian. In 1988, his senior year, he was a page in the Iowa Senate - the first from Oskaloosa. He enrolled in the University of Chicago in 1988. He took some time off and returned to the university, while working full-time, to finish his degree in English in 1997. Eric and Tony met as students at U. Chicago in 1991. "We began dating in October and quickly began having every meal together," Tony said. "Love of good food was a thing we shared from the beginning." They were married in a ceremony at Second Unitarian Church of Chicago on October 18, 1997, before same-sex marriages were legal in the United States. They were legally married in San Francisco on September 23, 2008. "Eric loved to cook," Tony said. "He made fantastic elaborate meals. Most years we hosted a large Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends, and Eric did 90 per cent of the cooking. We loved to cook together; I was usually sous-chef. Eric also loved to travel, making frequent trips to Paris, London, San Francisco and Minneapolis. And he was always reading; he loved Trollope and Dickens, but also mysteries, sci-fi, and fantasy, and he had a huge collection of cookbooks he liked to read-though he never followed recipes." He used to bicycle to work from their house on Leland Avenue. Besides his husband, he is survived by his mother, Linda Lee (Myers) Greene of Washington, Iowa, and her husband James Greene; his father, Quinton C. Tschetter of Oskaloosa, and his wife Carolyn Tschetter; a sister, Susie M. Zassavitski of Minneapolis; a brother, Jeffrey C. Tschetter of Plymouth, MI, and his wife Rachel Tschetter; and nieces and nephews: Seth Tschetter (and wife Katie Tschetter), Hannah Tschetter, Abigail Tschetter, Anya Zassavitski and Alex Anthony Breed. A memorial service is planned at Lillstreet Art Center on Jan.2.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on Dec. 20, 2015
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