31 December 1910 – 4 June 1926
Lucille was the middle daughter of three sisters (as well as having one living older brother and another older sibling who had died in infancy), and her headstone marks her as a deeply loved child whose family took special pains to commemorate.
The Katz family plot is pretty big and another is adjacent which I believe belongs to Lucille’s siblings (it was pretty cold, and I didn’t take many support photos on this visit). The lot containing Lucille and her parents’ final resting places also includes a treestump-style bench that I imagine her parents and siblings must have used while visiting her.
Her father Henry died just over a year after his daughter, a few months shy of his 60th birthday. He owned a leather goods factory, which must’ve been a good business to be in at the time with Chicago’s role as the center of the meatpacking industry.
Though Lucille’s mother Mary lived until 1939, she also died at 59, just two weeks before her 60th birthday.
Papa and Mama’s headstone is topped by a beautiful bas relief carving of the Kohanim hands, a symbol of priestly blessing (and also the inspiration for Leonard Nimoy’s creation of the Vulcan salute for Star Trek).
Lucille’s is decorated with a stunning wreath of lillies framing a photo of her all dressed up as the most perfect young 1920s teen. Bat mitvahs had only just become a thing in 1922, so there’s no way to know if her parents took up the new custom for her, or if she was photographed for some other special family event or before a party, but it is a beautiful, charming photo.
Today is Lucille’s 111th birthday, so let us celebrate that as well as the New Year by putting on our best dropped-waist dresses, super-wide headbands, and dancing slippers and enjoying some cake along with our champagne in her honor.
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