- The Washington Times - Monday, February 17, 2003

CHICAGO, Feb. 17 (UPI) — Eleanor "Sis" Daley, matriarch of the Daley political clan, mother of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, and wife of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley, has died of a stroke at age 95.

Mayoral Press Secretary Jackie Heard said Eleanor Daley suffered a stroke Sunday evening and died with her family at her bedside at her red brick bungalow in the historically Irish Bridgeport neighborhood.

She had suffered a previous mild stroke and irregular heartbeat and was hospitalized after a fall earlier this year. She would have celebrated her 96th birthday next month.

The diminutive "Sis" Daley was the widow of legendary Richard J. Daley, who served as mayor for 21 years from 1955 until his death from a heart attack in his doctor's office in 1976. She raised seven children, including current Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, former U.S. Commerce Secretary William Daley, John, a Cook County Board commissioner, and Michael, a lawyer, and three daughters, Patricia, Eleanor and Mary Carol.

Born Eleanor Guifoyle March 4, 1904, she was the seventh of 10 children of an insurance agent Patrick Guifoyle and his wife Nora, both Irish immigrants. She was introduced to Richard J. Daley at a Sunday Hamburg Athletic Club baseball game in 1926 and they married 10 years later.

She was a wife and homemaker and largely mainly remained out of the social limelight, but she did speak out on abortion, and in 1972, appealed for the city to save the 83-year-old main library building, now the city's cultural center.

"I'm sure there were a lot of things she was responsible for, truth be told," Alderman Edward Burke told the Chicago Tribune. "I have it on good authority that she was reluctant to make her opinion known to the mayor."

Funeral arrangements were announced as the 60-year-old mayor and his family grieved.

"When you have a mother who's up there in age, you're braced at all times for something like this," said Heard. "They thank all of Chicago on their behalf for being so kind to their mother for so many years."

"Sis" Daley remained active after her husband's death, attending social events and going to museums and enjoying her 20 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

Late Mayor Harold Washington called her "a wonderful person who is part of our history."

Visitation will be at nativity of Our Lord Church Wednesday followed by mass Thursday and private interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

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