Ethel Gay Viau

CHICAGO – Ethel Gay Viau of North Chicago, passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home in Westernport, Md., On Sept. 18, 2013 and has now joined her parent’s Steven Grenfell and Ila Ehrenberg (Grenfell), and her brother Harry Schmidt in Heaven. Ethel was 75 years old.

She was born Nov. 19, 1937, in Escanaba. Throughout her life, Ethel, loved music and learned to play piano at a very young age. She enjoyed experiencing nature in a variety of ways; from fishing to camping to walking nature trails. Her love of animals was beyond compare. For the past 16 years she cared for three cats, two at a time; Calvin, Hobbes, and her beloved cat, Milo. All three were delighted to reside with her and receive their daily spa treatments.

Ethel, graduated from Northern Michigan University in 1978 at the age 41 with a B.S. degree. After graduation, Ethel lived in Alexandria, La., and began work as both an Art Educator and Rape Crisis Center Coordinator. In 1985, Ethel moved to Waukegan, Ill., and began work as a Social Worker for both Catholic Charities and DCFS. For 29 years, Ethel made it her goal to provide children with the best living situation possible through her work and volunteer efforts. She positively impacted thousands of children during their time of need, and always had a teddy bear waiting in the backseat of her car to provide comfort to them.

Ethel was preceded in death by her parents, Steven Grenfell and Ila Ehrenberg (Grenfell); her brother, Harry Schmidt; and one grandchild Karl Norberg Jr.

Ethel is survived by her children, Deborah (David) Dayton of Westernport, Md., Steven (Vicki) Viau of Gladstone, Nancy (Karl) Norberg of Escanaba, Donald (Jean) Viau of Escanaba, and Robert (Catherine) Viau of Waukegan, Ill.; 10 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and her precious cat, Milo.

A memorial service will be held at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 620 Grove Ave. in Waukegan, Ill., on Monday, Sept. 23, 2013 at 11 a.m. Visitation beginning at 10 a.m.

Internment Service to be held at Garden’s of Rest Chapel, 6556 U S 2-41 in Wells, on Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to Orphans of the Storm, 2200 Riverwoods Road Riverwoods, Ill. 60015 in her memory.