Michael Thomas Lally died November 22, 2021, following a lengthy decline. Born in Chicago IL on January 11, 1932, to Thomas and Helen Lally (nee Doyle), Mike grew up near Welles Park and attended DePaul Academy. After graduation, Mike enlisted in the US Marine Corps. He married Marie Celine O'Donnell (1931-2021) while on leave in October of 1951. Following Mike's honorable service in the Korean War and 1954 discharge as Sergeant, the young couple returned to Chicago, raising eight children: Thomas (Meribeth), the late Dan (Sue), Mary Pat (Michael) Madden, Kathleen, Helen, Peggy (Brian) Garrity, Michael, and John (Mary Ellen).
Mike was Grandpa to twenty: Michael, Charles and Brendan Lally; Tim and Danny (Ellen Ross) Lally and Teresa (Ryan) Seymour; Christopher and Kate Madden; Marie (Jon) Murphy and Thomas (Maggie) Browne; Michael (Megan Lynch) Garrity, Erin (Pat) Walsh, Patsy (Mike) Holmes, Jack Garrity and Nora (Brian) LeVan; Frank (Meg Boyce) and Maura Lally; and to Rory, Maggie and Kevin Lally. He was the Great-Grandpa of eight: Celia, Maeve and Liam Walsh; Maura and Anna Holmes; Luke and Fiona Murphy; and of Vera LeVan.
Mike's dear wife of sixty-nine years preceded him in death, as did his parents and his parents-in-law, Daniel and Mary O'Donnell, his sister Kay (the late Clarence) Viverito, and his siblings-in-law: Anna May (the late James) Ahern, Daniel (Ann), Mickey (the late Mae), and Jimmy O'Donnell. Mike is survived by his sisters Marie Gaffney and Helen (the late Jim) Horn.
Mike entered the Chicago Fire Department in 1959, launching his career of thirty-six years. A proud and grateful member of Chicago Fire Fighters Union Local 2 IAFF, he responded alongside and directed many courageous comrades. A great provider (and multiple Catholic school tuition-payer!), Mike worked side jobs, most often driving delivery vans throughout Chicagoland. In 1995, he retired from the CFD as Captain of Hook & Ladder 58 in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood, allowing him to spend more time with his expanding family. Mike and Marie relocated for several years to Niles IL, ultimately returning to Chicago's Northwest Side and their Resurrection Retirement Community-where he received kindness and compassion in his final year from caregiver Marcin.
An avid reader and crossword puzzler, he ironically quoted novelist John Buchan: "It's a great life, if you don't weaken." Strong-willed, Mike quit cigarettes cold-turkey in his fifties, but he never could resist chocolate! He faithfully rooted for his White Sox and Notre Dame teams, never forgiving the Bears for crowding his NFL Cardinals out of town.
A buddy to many, he reveled in good times with good friends and family. Our brave and dutiful patriarch will be dearly missed.
Visitation will be held on Sunday from 3:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Cooney Funeral Home, located at 625 Busse Hwy, Park Ridge IL. Funeral will be Monday, 10:00 a.m. Mass at Our Lady of Victory Church, 5212 W Agatite Ave, Chicago IL.
In lieu of flowers, Mike would have appreciated donations to Semper Fi & America's Fund at http://semperfifund.org
or to Mercy Home for Boys and Girls
Published by Chicago Tribune on Nov. 28, 2021.