Audrey Beth Alvarado
March 29, 1957 - June 5, 2023
Date and Time
Wednesday, June 7, 2023 at 12 Noon
Chicago Jewish Funerals
8851 Skokie Boulevard
Skokie, Illinois 60077
Rabbi Jeffrey Weill
Ezra-Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregat
Cantor Daniel Gale
Shalom Memorial Park
1700 West Rand Road
Arlington Heights, Illinois 60004
4420 Wilmette Avenue
Rolling Meadows, Illinois 60008
Following the interment until 9PM
Chicago Jewish Funerals - Skokie Chapel
8851 Skokie Boulevard
Skokie, Illinois 60077
Thursday from 4PM to 9PM
Headstrong Voices for Healing
9444 Kostner Avenue
Skokie, Illinois 60076
Audrey Beth Alvarado nee Cohen, 1957-2023
Audrey Alvarado, whose kindness, warmth and sense of fun created strong bonds of love and laughter, knitting together her family and a large group of friends who ranged from kindergarten to college and beyond, passed away peacefully at home Monday, June 5 at 66.
"She was the love of my life," said Richard Alvarado, her husband of 28 years.
Their daughter Sally liked nothing better than being with Audrey. They never went a day without texting or calling, even when Sally lived in Wisconsin for 6 years, busy with college and teaching. "My mom will always be the first person I think of for guidance. I am so lucky to have been given the best mother in the world," she said. "Even though I am an 'only child,' I really shared my mom with all my friends. She was like a mom to everyone." In recent weeks they spent quiet, happy hours watching the show "Gilmore Girls," which centers on the affectionate bonds of a mother and daughter.
Audrey was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma 13 years ago. She underwent many treatments and operations without complaint because of her determination to enjoy every day she could and be around for her family.
She was born Audrey Beth Cohen at Edgewater Hospital, the oldest of three daughters of Myron and Harriet "Bunny" Cohen. Her father was a Yellow Pages salesman for publisher Reuben H. Donnelley.
The Cohens raised their family in Skokie, where Audrey attended kindergarten at Kenton School. She went on to Lincoln Junior High School and Niles East High School.
As a girl, she loved putting on her headphones to listen to the music of Bob Dylan, Carole King and James Taylor.
She and her sisters Karen (Mike) Dinelli and Nancy (Bill) Saputo were close. They enjoyed everything from seeing musicals and Barry Manilow concerts together to getting through the pandemic by going on power walks. "The three of us are like one," Karen said. "If we had to pick someone we wanted to be with, it would be each other."
When Audrey returned home on break from her studies at Northern Illinois University, the sisters, excited about being together again, figured out a way to share one room. "The three of us pushed two twin beds together," Karen said, "so that none of us would be left out and have to sleep alone."
"Our laughing never ended," Nancy said. "Even when laughing wasn't appropriate we found ourselves looking at each other and cracking up."
"She was always the cool sister-the way she dressed, the things she did," Karen said. "And all our friends are each others' friends."
Even while undergoing medical procedures, Audrey welcomed people into her cheery Skokie home, which became the gathering place for laughter-filled Pampered Chef parties and Christmas cookie exchanges for friends from every phase of her life-from grade school to high school and college, as well as her years raising Sally and working.
Her buttery rugelach and mandel bread were some of the first to be grabbed at the cookie exchanges.
Audrey started baking weeks ahead of time to make hundreds of goodies for Sally's bat mitzvah. And she made 15 different kinds of treats for the sweet table for her niece Taylor Schulze's 2017 wedding.
Once, when her sisters were reminiscing about the chocolate peanut butter bars served in the Niles East cafeteria, Audrey said, "Well, let's make them."
She already had all the ingredients in the house.
In addition to being a terrific baker, "She would throw together a Passover dinner and make great brisket," Karen said.
She often hosted Passover and Rosh Hashanah dinners for friends and family.
Audrey enjoyed a 2017 trip to Mexico that was prompted by online research Sally did that helped reconnect her to Rich's family in the state of Guanajuato. The Alvarados visited their many relatives in the area, where they were greeted so warmly and fed so well, it made them weep happy tears.
Over the years, Audrey gave a loving home to many cats. Her most recent feline friends, Maya and Midnight, loved sitting in her lap to be petted. Wesley, her West Highland Terrier, lived to be 17, thanks to tender care from Audrey, Rich and Sally.
As a young woman, Audrey worked as a waitress at Arvey's Restaurant in Niles. She also worked in the housewares department at Marshall Field's, where, she joked, she spent much of her paycheck.
Later, Audrey held jobs at Lincolnwood Bank; the law firm of Goldberg Kohn; American Family Insurance and Fifth Third Bank.
In addition to her husband Rich, daughter Sally, sisters Nancy and Karen, and niece Taylor, Audrey is survived by her nephew Steve Dinelli, Rich's son Richard Jr. and grandchildren Timothy Alvarado, Krystal (Nick) Gerling, Cody Alvarado and great-grandchildren Lincoln and Layla, as well as countless cousins and friends.
Service Wednesday 12 noon at Chicago Jewish Funerals, 8851 Skokie Blvd. (at Niles Center Road) Skokie. Interment Shalom Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions would be welcomed to a charity Audrey co-founded with Karen and her friend Gail Paskind to support doctors working on head and neck cancers: Headstrong Voices for Healing, 9444 Kostner Ave., Skokie, IL 60076, www.headstrongvoicesforhealing.org. To attend the funeral live stream, please visit our website. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals - Skokie Chapel, 847.229.8822, www.cjfinfo.com