Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-06-09
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Longtime LGBTQ activist Julie Valloni dies
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2021-04-06

This article shared 1479 times since Tue Apr 6, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Longtime LGBTQ activist Julie Valloni died March 28 in Rockford, Illinois due to complications from a hip fracture. She was 80.

Valloni was born July 12, 1940 and grew up in Chicago where she graduated from Austin High School. She attended DePaul University for two years in the 1950s and years later began working as a legal secretary for Schwartzberg, Barnett and Cohen for seven years. Valloni left that law firm for a legal secretary job at Jenner and Block, where she worked for almost 20 years.

Among the many things Valloni did for the LGBTQ community was as co-chair the Chicago contingent to the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Her co-chair was Victor Salvo, who later founded the Legacy Project. She also co-chaired what was then called the Gay and Lesbian Parents Group that met at Horizons (now Center on Halsted) in the 1980s, with Mike Menefee. She also led Chicago 35, a group for lesbians aged 35 and older, for a number of years.

Valloni loved to travel and embarked on trips to every continent, as well as the base camp on Mount Everest. Other activities that she enjoyed included snorkeling and participating in the annual Hussle Up the Hancock, a 1,632-stair climb to raise money for the Respiratory Health Association, on behalf of Jenner and Block.

Like many gay and lesbian people in her generation, Valloni had to stay closeted outside her close family and friends circles. She met her daughter Karen's teacher Sister Frances Celine Leahy during a parent-teacher conference at the local Catholic school she attended. They fell in love and were together for 28 years until Leahy's death in 1999.

Valloni is survived by her daughter Karen (Al) Romero and their son James Romero, brother Ralph (Cathy)Sorice, many nieces and nephews and countless chosen family members and friends.

"Julie was a warm and unassuming activist with no agenda whatsoever—beyond sharing and celebrating the dignity and humanity of all LGBTQ people," said Salvo. "She and her lover, Sr. Frances, were an utter joy to work with. They were both great soundboards with no shortage of encouragement to share. The March on Washington was my first attempt at anything approaching 'community leadership.' That intimidating challenge was made possible because I had a partner who saw only the best in every situation and every person. I went to Julie to 'recharge my batteries.' Activists like Julie Valloni are all too rare. Her passing leaves a hole in my heart and an echo in my memories. I am still trying to process it."

"Julie was a fantastic, outspoken, wonderful woman," said Menefee. "She was an incredible asset to the Gay and Lesbian Parent's Group and I will always remember the outings we did with our children, and later grandchildren, to places like Cantigny Park and the Shrine Circus in the Chicago suburbs. I was always thrilled to work with her and have her in my life."

"Julie was as sweet as could be, but beneath her wonderful smile and unpretentious charm was a soul absolutely dedicated to the cause," said former Horizons Executive Director Bruce Koff. "I initially mistook her boundless faith and optimism for naivete but I quickly saw that these were simply manifestations of her remarkable tenacity and determination. As co-director of the Gay and Lesbian Parents Group, she gave LGBTQ parents in those early days a critical voice and a vital place to connect, find support and share resources. Julie was a pioneer whom we could rely on to get the job done, and I will always be grateful to her."

"When I first started at Jenner in 1997 Julie was my assistant," said longtime friend and Jenner and Block partner Gail H. Morse. "She was invaluable in learning the ropes at this new firm, generous with her insights and would always meet me with a smile and a cheery greeting. It was not until I settled in and we talked more that I learned of Julie's advocacy for LGBT civil rights, her role in organizing Chicagoans to support and attend the March on Washington and her work on issues involving the lesbian community in Chicago. Our stories are so powerful and hers as a trailblazing lesbian had me in awe of her strength, integrity in standing up for what is right and what she accomplished in her quiet way. We build community with our history one story at a time. Those stories reflecting action are the bricks paving the road for the future. Julie powerfully paved the road to a better world for the LGBT communities in Chicago and nationally."

The visitation and memorial service will take place Saturday, May 15, at 1 p.m. at Shopiere Congregational Church, 5328 E. Church St., Beloit, WI 53511.


This article shared 1479 times since Tue Apr 6, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

PASSAGES Author, cultural theorist, scholar Lauren Berlant dies 2021-07-15
- Author, cultural theorist and scholar Lauren Berlant died June 28 in a Chicago hospice facility of a rare form of cancer. They were 63. Berlant (who used they/them pronouns professionally) was born Oct. 31, 1957 in ...


Gay News

Prominent lesbian educator/activist/author Sally Gearhart dies at 90 2021-07-15
- Sally Gearhart—the first out lesbian to receive a tenure-track position at San Francisco State University and a prominent LGBTQ-rights advocate—died July 14, according to The Bay Area Reporter, which cited an email Jean Crosby sent to ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Ray Marchman 2021-06-23
- Ray Marchman, a onetime Chicago resident, passed away in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on June 6. He was 87. According to an obituary on Dignity Memorial's website, Marchman was born in Miami in 1933—the only child of ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Fritzie Fritzshall, Auschwitz survivor, innovator in Holocaust education 2021-06-20
--From a press release - As a Survivor of the Holocaust and the President of Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, Fritzie Fritzshall devoted her life to combatting hatred and prejudice, inspiring people to become Upstanders instead of bystanders, and speaking ...


Gay News

Fifth annual Pulse Nightclub memorial in downstate Illinois on June 12 2021-06-09
- On Saturday, June 12, at 7 p.m. in Bloomington, Illinois, local organizations will remember the 49 lives lost at the Pulse Nightclub in 2016 with their fifth annual outdoor memorial service, according to a joint press ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Press secretary, LGBTQ passings, poll results, Pride items 2021-05-30
- Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre made history as the first gay woman to lead a White House press briefing in the James S. Brady Briefing Room, and the second Black woman to do so, LGBTQ Nation ...


Gay News

Remembering Kay "Tobin" Lahusen 2021-05-29
- Much of LGBTQ history, and history in general, has been lost. Even after photography was invented, the lens (and pen) was often directed subjectively, documenting what the mainstream media thought were the significant moments of the ...


Gay News

White Party organizer Jeffrey Sanker dies 2021-05-29
- Gay circuit-party impresario Jeffrey Sanker—owner of the Los Angeles-based White Party Entertainment company—died May 28 after a long battle with liver cancer, the Los Angeles Blade reported. The Blade said ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Kay "Tobin" Lahusen, a founding mother of the gay rights movement, 91 2021-05-26
- Kay Lahusen, 91, died in gentle hospice care at Chester County Hospital on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, after a brief illness. She was born in Cincinnati in January 1930 and as an infant was adopted and ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Victory Institute, activists pass on, Mikayla Miller, Nina West 2021-05-23
- On May 2, The Victory Institute inducted 21 leaders to its newly formed LGBTQ Victory Hall of Fame, according to PrideSource.com. Twenty members were inducted as part of the founding class while U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Social-justice activist, dominatrix Mistress Velvet dies 2021-05-21
- PASSAGES Social-justice activist, dominatrix Mistress Velvet dies By Carrie Maxwell Social-justice activist and dominatrix Mistress Velvet (who used they/them pronouns) died by suicide May 9 in Chicago. They were 33. ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Lesbian-feminist musician, activist Alix Dobkin dies 2021-05-19
- Lesbian singer-songwriter and feminist activist Alix Dobkin died May 19 due to complications from a brain aneurysm and stroke. She was 80. Dobkin—who was known by many as the Head Lesbian—was born Aug. 16, 1940 in ...


Gay News

Former Illinois Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood dies at 66 2021-05-19
- Corinne Wood, the former Illinois lieutenant governor under Gov. George Ryan, died after a 15-year battle with breast cancer, CBS Chicago reported. She was 66. Wood served as the state's first female lieutenant governor from 1999 ...


Gay News

Actress Olympia Dukakis dies at 89 2021-05-01
- Olympia Dukakis—who won an Oscar for her supporting role in the 1987 hit Moonstruck and starred in Look Who's Talking and Mr. Holland's Opus as well as iterations of TV's Tales of the City—died May 1 at her home in New York City ...


Gay News

PASSAGES: AIDS activist, anti-imperalist organizer Tryfan Morys Eibhlyn Llwyd 2021-04-25
- Longtime AIDS activist and anti-imperalist organizer Tryfan Morys Eibhlyn Llwyd (also known as Arawn Eibhlyn, and who uses the pronouns they/them/their) died March 3 in Louisville, Kentucky due to natural causes. They were 70. Llwyd was ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.