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Our Lady of the Angels (OLA) School Fire, December 1, 1958



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Janet Gasteier
Room Age Birthdate Grade B/G/T
210 9 2/13/49 4 Girl
Teacher
Sister Mary Seraphica Kelley, BVM
Address
1057 N Springfield 
Family
Father: Edward Gasteier
Mother: Elieen (Shirk) Gasteier
Grandparents: Edward and Josephine Gasteier 
About Janet
Janet's father came from a large family of 12 brothers and sisters, most of who have passed away, but two of her aunts and many, many cousins are still alive and living in the Chicago area. 
Interred: Mount Carmel (Hillside, IL)
Memories of Janet
Janet was my best friend and lived across the street from me. She lived with her grandmother, her mom and her dad in a very sparse looking flat of a three-story apartment building. We would spend hours telling and sharing secrets and listening to "Eloise" our favorite storybook character. I will never forget her Christmas tree and her fish, and the excitement of being able to eat over at her house for dinner--I remember having hot dogs with ketchup and sliced tomatoes with tons of pepper, put on it by her mother. Janet's mother always dressed in a black leather jacket--something unusual for a woman in the fifties! After Janet's death, her grandmother, her mom and her father all died within two years of Janet's passing.
    -- (Charlene Campanale, Friend - October 2015)
The fire happened 9 years before I was born, so I never knew Janet, but she has always been a part of our family. Actually, Janet's parents did not die within 2 years of her death. Her father lived until 1990 and her mother was hospitalized after a nervous breakdown.
    -- (Margaret Gasteier, Cousin - October 2015)
I met Janet the summer before first grade. She lived down the street on Keystone Avenue in an upstairs flat. Our families became friends. We spent a lot of time together, sleeping over at each others homes, going to summer camp and on outings with our mothers. In late November, 1958, we went on a Christmas outing to Amblings Flowerland and our mom's said we could each buy one thing we wanted. Janet picked out a small nativity scene and insisted on it, which I thought was unusual because we usually picked out toys. Her parents placed the nativity scene on her grave that year. I always took comfort in believing she felt close to God at the time of her death. She was a tiny little red head with a sweet disposition. I've morned for her all my life.
    -- (Loralei Saraniec, Friend - October 2015)
My folks owned the house at 1118 N. Keystone and they rented the upstairs to Janet & her folks. I remember her as being very quiet and shy.
    -- (Bob Ratkowski, Friend - October 2015)