Arrangements are scheduled for Friday and Saturday for Penicook, who died Wednesday after a long illness.
John Penicook, 55, of La Grange, died Wednesday afternoon with his family by his side after battling a brain tumor. Penicook lived in La Grange for 24 years and served the community as a little league coach and AYSO referee. He was also a basketball and football coach at St. Francis Xavier School. He is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen Penicook, president of the Park District of La Grange, and four children. Visitation will be held from 3-9 p.m. Friday at Hallowell & James Funeral Home, 1025 W. 55th St. in Countryside. A funeral is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Francis Xavier Church, 124 N. Spring Ave. in La Grange. To make a tribute donation or leave a message for the family, please visit Penicook’s Caring Bridge site.
The school's 600 students from kindergarten through eighth grade dispersed in the western suburbs on Friday for a complete day of holiday volunteerism.
When an entire school—16 buses with 600 students and 175 parent volunteers—takes a day out of the classroom to serve their surrounding community, the results can be impressive. “We have succeeded in setting our school community on fire with a love for service to God’s people and Creation,“ St. Francis Xavier president Deb Rodde told her students after the school’s third annual Service Day, which took place on Friday. “Service Day at Xavier is for me, and I hope for all of you too, the very best day of our school year, because it brings out the very best in all of us.” Here’s what it looks like: The program, established three years ago by school moms Katie Filbin, Elizabeth Fisher and Mary Freeman, is designed to teach students service …