You can pay respects to Pradel during two visitation days in Naperville
The public can pay final respects to former Naperville Mayor A. George Pradel in the same place where he presided over city council meetings for 20 years: the Naperville Municipal Center.
Pradel's family has scheduled two days of public visitation from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at city hall, 400 S. Eagle St. The police and fire departments will have a presence during the event.
Officials said the municipal center has the space to host major public occasions, with a large council chamber, an attached parking garage and another garage across Webster Street in the Water Street District.
They say they're expecting large crowds to pay respects to Pradel, who also made his mark as a nearly lifelong resident of Naperville, a corporal in the Marine Corps and a Naperville police officer for 29 years, known as Officer Friendly. The public visitations will allow residents to say a final goodbye to a man regarded by those who knew him as a "one-of-a-kind public servant."
Pradel died Tuesday morning at age 80.
On Wednesday, on what would have been his 81st birthday, the sculpture on Washington Street portraying him as Officer Friendly became a small memorial, decorated with flowers, candles, a wreath and a "happy birthday" balloon.
Pradel's family, including his children, Carol, George and Gary, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, said on their pradel.com website that his funeral service and interment will be private.
Instead of flooding the municipal center with flowers, Pradel's family asks well-wishers do make donations in Pradel's memory to the Arthur Ray Foundation, which will pass along donations to the former mayor's favorite charities, including Safety Town of Naperville (now named in honor of Pradel and his late wife, Patricia), Naperville Responds for Veterans, Loaves & Fishes Community Services and Little Friends, among others.
The foundation aims to promote art and technology to better humanity, and was created by Gary Pradel and family in honor of Naperville's longest-serving mayor, whose full given name was Arthur George Pradel. The "Ray" in the foundation's name comes from Patricia Pradel's father.
The foundation's first work was to honor Pradel's love of movies, themselves a combination of art and technology, by establishing the Naperville Independent Film Festival.
By supporting organizations Pradel loved, the foundation aims to help children and adults benefit physically, mentally and spiritually through arts and technology, Gary Pradel writes on the organization's "About Us" page.
To donate, visit http://www.arthurray.org/, call (630) 729-3182 or mail a check to The Arthur Ray Foundation, 902 Sumter Court, Naperville, IL 60540.