The Lives We Celebrated in January 2023

Please go to our website obituaries or contact us for any information about Memorial Services for Loved Ones planned in the future.


Now retired, longtime Funeral Director and Pre-Arrangement Specialist Tom Gotlund speaks to both the practical and generous purposes of Pre=Planning funeral arrangements.  

He shares that this can be as simple as getting some preferences down on paper all the way up to more extensive planning, and even pre-funding the expense as part of an overall financial planning strategy. Regardless of the initial plans, there is as much flexibility to this process as the planner desires. Should circumstances change or preferences change, pre-planned services can take into account those changes.  “People want to be comfortable with our staff, our facility and their decisions. We’re there to answer the questions” stated Tom, adding “there is a real sense of relief among families in knowing they’ve taken a huge burden away from their family by prearranging”. 

Whether you are Pre-Planning or have an At-Need circumstance, please feel free to contact us at 847.253.0168 or

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The Lives We Celebrated in December 2022

Please go to our website obituaries or contact us for any information about Memorial Services for Loved Ones planned in the future.

The Lives We Celebrated in November 2022

Please go to our website obituaries or contact us for any information about Memorial Services for Loved Ones planned in the future.

Rosanna Glueckert, who helped run Glueckert Funeral Home in Arlington Heights, dead at 85

The funeral home has handled arrangements for thousands, including Arlington International Racecourse figures like trainer Ernie Poulos and jockey R.L. “Bobby” Baird.

By  Maureen O’Donnell

When Rosanna Glueckert organized a pre-prom party at her home or a Christmas brunch after midnight mass, neighborhood kids knew they’d get a warm welcome and a great meal.

“She’d always throw in her lasagna,” which she learned to make from her Naples-born Italian mother, according to her son John.

On Fridays during Lent, she brought homemade pepper-and-egg sandwiches to Glueckert Funeral Home in Arlington Heights.

She helped with housekeeping and greeted visitors at the funeral home, which has been operated by the Glueckert family since 1970.

“When they got busy, she would be down at the funeral home,” her son said. 

Mrs. Glueckert, 85, of Arlington Heights, died Oct. 25 at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, he said.

Young Rosanna grew up in Berwyn and, for a time, River Forest. She was the daughter of Cecilia and Pat Airdo. Her father, also an Italian immigrant, was a commercial property owner and manager, her son said.

During summers, she enjoying traveling to Waukegan to attend the Hull House camp at the old Bowen Country Club.

After Trinity High School, she studied at Northern Illinois University, where she made lifelong friends in her sorority, Kappa Delta.

“My grandfather was big on going to college,” her son said. “She was the first one in her family to go to college.”

Rosanna and John Glueckert on their wedding day in 1958.
Rosanna and John Glueckert on their wedding day in 1958.

At Northern, she met John Glueckert. They were married in 1958 at St. Leonard’s Catholic Church in Berwyn and celebrated with a banquet at the Oak Park Arms hotel, followed by a two-week honeymoon in Miami Beach.

Over the years, the Glueckert family handled funeral arrangements for thousands, including Arlington International Racecourse figures like trainer Ernie Poulos and jockey R.L. “Bobby” Baird, who rode at Arlington and in the Kentucky Derby.

“For someone who didn’t have a 9-to-5 job, she was someone who worked a lot,” her son said. “She enjoyed being with other people and being part of a good organization that did worthwhile things like the Knights of Columbus Holy Rosary Council, the Ladies Auxiliary.”

Mrs. Glueckert also helped raise money for the Chicago Maternity Center, a West Side program with medical professionals who cared for thousands of expectant mothers and delivered their babies in home births.

She did Little League scoring and served in the PTA at Greenbrier Elementary School and the booster club at the old Arlington High School. She volunteered in a snack shop at Northwest Community Hospital and ran an Italian ice booth for Arlington Heights’ Frontier Days.

Mrs. Glueckert liked to bowl and played in the St. James Women’s Golf League.

A gifted crafter, she set a beautiful table at Christmas.

“If she saw something at an art or a craft fair, she’d go home and replicate it or make it better,” her son said. “Wreaths, ornaments; she’d sew the place settings. Everything was always like a first-rate restaurant. You’d come in, and there’d be rings around the napkins, all the silverware.”

Rosanna Glueckert (second from right) with her husband John and their children (from left) John, Marcie Glueckert-Heidkamp and Jackie Glueckert.
Rosanna Glueckert (second from right) with her husband John and their children (from left) John, Marcie Glueckert-Heidkamp and Jackie Glueckert.

Her husband died in 2017. In addition to her son John, Mrs. Glueckert is survived by her daughters Mary Cecilia “Marcie” Glueckert-Heidkamp and Jacqueline Glueckert, her brother Vincent Airdo and four grandchildren.

She enjoyed playing buffalo-themed slot machines when she and her husband visited their condo in Las Vegas. At her wake at Glueckert Funeral Home, her son said, “We had the florist do a slot machine-themed floral arrangement with her buffalo machine.”

Rosanna and John Glueckert (center) and their family.

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Glueckert Funeral Home – The Lives We Celebrated in October 2022

The Lives We Celebrated in October 2022

Please go to our website obituaries or contact us for any information about Memorial Services for Loved Ones planned in the future.

Our Matriarch has passed on, but her Style remains with us. 

It may not be a coincidence at all that the Queen of the Commonwealth of England, and the Matriarch of the Glueckert Funeral Home Family, passed away so closely in time to one another. Both, according to anyone you talk to, were a tremendous force of nature. More so, both were universally loved.  

Rosanna Glueckert was special. When she and her husband embarked on the dream of their own funeral home, she was there to fulfill whatever role might be necessary; reception, answering the phone, to assisting with every facet of helping John W. Glueckert Sr. establish what became Glueckert Funeral Home as the absolute gold standard in a neighborhood and region where professionalism and service mattered. By the way, She was also a mother to 3 children at the same time,  to Marcie, John Jr. and Jackie. All three have grown up in, and continue to serve in the family funeral home, taking care of generations of families in Arlington Heights, and well beyond. It’s not a surprise that each of her children went on to serve the families their parents served, and many more since then. While Rosanna’s children numbered 3, she was a maternal figure to scores of their friends as well. If need be, she could even keep a secret and offer a little advice to one of these temporarily distressed surrogates who knew she’d know what to say or do. Grandkids absolutely benefited from “Grandma” for chores that could arise at precisely the time they needed a little extra financial boost! Not just that, her advice to them was free for the asking and might be a little easier than going through a less compassionate chain of command. 

A lot of Funeral Directors have served and continue to serve at Glueckert, each with a special account of their experiences and relationship with Rosana. The shrewd ones understood that nothing was “official” until Rosanna deemed it so. In the very beginning, she was the funeral assistant and learned to understand every important detail and maintained keen attention to those details. She could gently let people know something she could see or feel, that might not be so obvious to anyone else. These tendencies were definitely traits her children inherited, and values that were taught and caught by anyone fortunate enough to become a Director at Glueckert Funeral Home. While she never sought attention or needed to be out front, her presence and desire to care for the families would surely be felt. 

Many of the Staff over the years regarded Rosanna as a maternal figure to them as well. She had a unique relationship with each of them Her relationships with her children, grandchildren, and everyone who served at the funeral home were all that way. That went for even those who were regular visitors. When you talked to her, she was charming, witty, sweet, funny, and direct. If need be, very direct.  She was generous in spirit. Some Directors and staff would confidently tell you that she considered them her favorite. That’s forgivable. When you were in her presence, she would make you feel like you were her only concern,  As poet Maya Angelou wrote, ” People may forget what you say and what you do. What they’ll never forget…is how they make you feel.” Rosanna knew how important it was for people who chose this career to be grounded in compassion, faith and confidence. Personally, or professionally, you could not walk away from an encounter with her where you didn’t emerge feeling more special. 

Now Retired Director, Tom Gotlund, reported to Glueckert funeral home on December 1, 1990, first tasked with washing the cars, and shortly thereafter, was directed upstairs to help decorate the Christmas trees in the funeral home under the watchful guidance of Rosanna. Having Tom help meant much less time on a ladder for Rosanna. Tom, like everyone else was at least a foot taller than Rosanna. Tom’s mother, though a bit senior to Rosanna, was from the same era and the same west side neighborhood, and reminded him of one another. Tom remembers a couple things special about those west side ladies; they’d pick a fragrance, and they’d pick a guy, and they stick with both of them for their lifetimes. Rosanna had a sweet vibe and a sweet scent that Tom remembers and having spent nearly his entire career with this family, he never remembers having a cross word, and only caring words and concern from Rosanna. Tom was a mentor and trainer to so many young directors who would come along for the next several years. A few months ago, while attending the theatre, not knowing Rosanna would be there…when the lights went down, he recognized her fragrance. Her presence would never be mistaken for Tom. 

Director Matthew Bennett refers to her as the cornerstone, who defended the honor of her husband and loved ones with tenacity. He’s confident he’s a loved one!  Sometimes stubborn, but always. relentlessly kind, is how Matt describes her–then add a side order of chuckles. Director Sam Resch, speaks of being Rosanna’s first Farmer invited over for Thanksgiving early in his tenure, when his wife and daughter were traveling home to see family in Iowa. When Sam was ordained Deacon, this year, Rosanna was in attendance at Holy Name Cathedral to witness her guy Sam receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. Realizing she may be the one to keep him humble going forward, she beamed with pride.  She provides Sam with a lot of material going forward for profound sermons well into the future. . Director Greg Dzioba smiles as he remembers her smiling and waving at him while pulling into the parking lot in a stylish convertible sports car. After making sure the funeral processions went out on time, she’d chat over a cup of coffee with the Directors before everyone got back to business. No matter how busy it always is, she always made time for a kind word. Then it was time to check in with Bonnie! . Bonnie is not simply the receptionist at Glueckert, more often than not, she’s quadruple tasking to assist her colleagues, and more than likely the very first face you see, first voice you hear, and first greeting you receive at Glueckert Funeral Home. As Rosanna was the first to ever perform these roles for this family business, she understood from Day One what it took to fill this role and how important it is. Since the children took over the day-to-day operations, when Rosanna needed the facts, and the inside scoop, it was Bonnie she sat next to. They didn’t discuss; they conspired! 

If you noticed that working with Rosanna was indistinguishable than being a member of her family, you’re beginning to understand just how special she really was. At her final services, it was said in that sermon that she left a lot of herself here with everyone who loved her…Think of a thought or a story as you read this. We’re willing to bet it’s a good one. 

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‘A pretty lucky lady’: Rosanna Glueckert of family funeral business remembered in Arlington Heights

The Glueckert Funeral Home family business, established in 1970 by Rosanna and John, pictured in front, was passed on to children Marcie, John Jr. and Jackie. Courtesy of the Glueckert family

When Rosanna and John Glueckert weren’t at their family funeral home in Arlington Heights, a social gathering or one of their grandkids’ events, they likely were at their condo in Las Vegas, where John could handicap horse races at every thoroughbred racetrack across the country and Roe could play the slots.

“Mom loved casinos and playing slot machines and the whole atmosphere,” said her daughter Jackie Glueckert. “She was a pretty lucky lady.”

Following John’s death in 2017, the Glueckerts are mourning the loss of their mother, who died Tuesday at Northwest Community Hospital after becoming ill Monday. She was 85.

The Glueckerts were college sweethearts who were married for 59 years after meeting at Northern Illinois University. Rosanna, a Berwyn native and graduate of Trinity High School, joined the Kappa Delta sorority at DeKalb, where she made lifelong friendships.

She followed John back to Arlington Heights, where his family had settled because of its involvement in the horse racing industry and the proximity to Arlington Park.

In the early days of their funeral home in the 1970s, Rosanna answered phones and worked visitations while John tended to other parts of the business.

“It’s a family business. There wasn’t a lot of help at that time,” said Jackie Glueckert, now the office manager at the funeral home she runs with her brother John and sister Marcie.

After the Glueckerts bought the funeral home on the northeast corner of Vail Avenue and Northwest Highway in 1970, the business eventually grew, and they moved to their current location on Arlington Heights Road in 1987.

Rosanna became involved in a host of social and civic organizations in and around town, including the Arlington Heights Allied Arts Guild, Knights of Columbus Holy Rosary Council Ladies Auxiliary, and P.E.O. Chapter ER, a philanthropic organization for women. She also golfed in the St. James ladies league and bowled in the Sherwood ladies league for years.

“My mom was such a special person,” Jackie Glueckert said. “She loved Arlington Heights and the community and gave back as much as she could. She was always around in town.”

The Glueckert kids now are busy preparing for their mother’s funeral while they’re doing the same for others.

“We have a great staff, and they have always pitched in and done everything they can to assist us. It is difficult, because we’re so hands-on, and this week has been terribly busy,” Jackie Glueckert said. “You’re grieving yourself, but you still have to be there for your client families. Everyone’s going through the same grief we’re going through.”

Visitation is scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home, 1520 N. Arlington Heights Road. The funeral will begin with prayers at the home at 10:15 a.m. Monday followed by an 11 a.m. Mass at St. James Catholic Church, 820 N. Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights.

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Glueckert Funeral Home – The Lives We Celebrated in September 2022

The Lives We Celebrated in September 2022

Please go to our website obituaries or contact us for any information about Memorial Services for Loved Ones planned in the future.