Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.
   
     
     
     



Burying Cook County's unclaimed dead

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
WBEZ91.5
by Shannon Heffernan

In a corner of Mount Olive Cemetery in Chicago’s far north side, wooden sawhorses and orange plastic cones sat as if part of a construction zone. But then, several hearses drove-up and 23 adult coffins were placed on the sawhorses.

Cook County usually buries unclaimed bodies in the warm months, when the ground is soft and burials are easier. The burials include many people whose families cannot afford funerals.

Jesse Aguirre clutched a handful of flowers. He walked up to a man with a clipboard and asked which car was carrying his father, also named Jesse Aguirre. The man pointed. The Aguirre family watched as a plain wooden box was pulled out of the hearse.

“He passed four days before Christmas, so December 21st,” says Jesse of his dead father.

The family has been waiting four months to bury Jesse Aguirre. They say they did not claim the body because they couldn’t afford a funeral.

Jessica Aguirre is wearing a t-shirt with her grandfather’s birth and death date on it and a picture of him, beaming. “He was a great guy. Always smiling,” she said.

Jessica said she was heartbroken when her family could not bury her grandfather. “I was waiting and waiting and waiting. (I was) actually trying to work as much as I could so I wouldn’t accept that he was gone,” she said.

Jessica said it was not until she saw her grandfather put in the ground, that she finally accepted his death. “He’s going to be here, so I can always come and visit him,” she said.

The Aguirre family hugged county staff and thanked them. The burial was the result of a collaboration that started in a dark time for the Cook County Medical Examiners Office. About two years ago, media reported that the morgue was overcrowded. Bodies were stacked on top of one another and the remains of stillborn babies were tossed into boxes.

Marty Flagg, Vice-President of the Cook County Funeral Directors Association, saw pictures on the news. “The first thing that ran through my mind was ‘some action needs to be taken for these people to get them buried.’ And immediately I picked up the phone and called a couple of other members of Cook County Funeral Association and said ‘I got an idea’”.

Flagg proposed that funeral directors volunteer their services. At the same time, the Archdiocese of Chicago decided to donate funeral plots. Roman Szabelski is with Catholic Cemeteries. “There is an old quote, I wish I memorized more of it, it said, ‘See how a community treats their dead and you will learn a lot about that country,” said Szabelski.

The Funeral Directors Association and Catholic Cemeteries have buried about 200 people over the last two years. But this is the last burial with the donated plots. Burials will continue at Homewood Memorial Gardens Cemetery where the county has a contract.



Recent Headlines

Cook County Land Bank Authority Announces Opening of Registration to Give Away a Free Home
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
The Chicago Crusader

NEW ILLINOIS LAW ENDS $120 FEE TO CLEAR FALSE CRIMINAL RECORDS IN COOK COUNTY
Friday, August 09, 2019
Illinois Policy

Top Cook County Jail chess players take on the world
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Public defender takes shots at Chicago Police gun offender webpage
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Commentary: Data alone won’t stop Chicago gun violence; Cook County needs a public ‘Violence Reduction Dashboard’
Wednesday, August 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Jail detainees take on inmates around the world in online chess tournament
Tuesday, August 06, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Here’s What You Need To Know About The Ongoing Bail Debate In Chicago
Monday, August 05, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County Jail hosts international chess tournament
Monday, August 05, 2019
WGN Chicago

Cook County property taxes are due today, Aug. 1.
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Forest Preserves of Cook County Celebrate Dan Ryan Woods Investments
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Defender

Cook County TIFs generate $1.2 billion
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Changes coming to Cook County assessor’s office
Thursday, August 01, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

In Chicago, TIF Revenues Soaring
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
WTTW News

A controversial tax subsidy program will generate a record $1.2 billion in revenue. Here’s what the number means for Chicago.
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Group to rally in support of Kim Foxx as challengers emerge
Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Report: Incarceration Rates Drop Nearly 20% Under Kim Foxx
Monday, July 29, 2019
WTTW Chicago

Lightfoot blames bond court reform for gun violence
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Chicago Reporter

Cook County Health Hires Audit Firm To Review Scathing Inspector General Report
Thursday, July 25, 2019
WBEZ News

Former County Commissioner Shocked Animal Abuser Registry He Worked To Create Was Never Used
Thursday, July 25, 2019
CBS Chicago

No one on County Board sharing Arroyo’s view of inspector general
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP