In contrast to the excitement of the upcoming winter break, it’s a somber morning in Mrs. Georgelos’ room at Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School. Students are prepping to tie blue ribbons around the grounds to honor Conrad Gary, the police officer who passed away in a tragic accident earlier this week.
“He was just the sweetest kid, so hardworking and kind,” said Georgelos’ who was Gary’s teacher while he was a student at McGugan Middle School.
Conrad grew up in Oak Lawn, attended Sward and then graduated 8th grade from McGugan in 2001 before going to Oak Lawn Community High School.
Georgelos often instills the importance of honoring and remembering our nations first responders in her classes and felt moved to do something after hearing of the officer’s passing. Office Aide Karen O’ Dea purchased the ribbon and helped students tie them all around the grounds of OLHMS.
“It is always important to take the time to honor those that serve our nation and our community, they give their lives for us so it’s the least we can do,” she said. “This time is different, the Gary family is part of the District 123 family and when you’re family, it’s forever,” said Georgelos.
A student from the class wanted to honor Gary and spent the morning standing outside the church as the funeral procession passed before coming to school.
“My dad is an Oak Lawn Police officer and my mom is good friends with the family. Police officers sacrifice their lives for us every day so it was important for me to stand up to honor Officer Gary and thank him for his service,” said Ben as he tied a ribbon around a post.
Gary and his partner, Eduardo Marmolejo, were struck and killed by a commuter train while pursuing a suspect Monday evening on the city’s South Side. A fundraiser has been set up in honor of Conrad Gary to donate click here.