Sophie Paro

Sophie Paro, née DiMassa, passed away Sept. 18, 2023, in Burr Ridge.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., the middle child of three, Sophie moved to southern California as a teenager, just in time to attend San Pedro High School, serve as Girls League president, graduate as class valedictorian and meet fellow student John Paro, the man she would marry.

After high school, she earned an education degree at Long Beach State University and went on to work in the Los Angeles public school system, where she joyfully and masterfully taught second - and third-graders.

Sophie became a mother to three sons and a daughter in the nine years after her 1955 wedding. In 1967, she and John moved to Wayne, Penn., and together they created a wonderful home and many dear friendships over the next 50 years in the suburbs of Philadelphia (save for a four-year stint in Freeport, Bahamas).

With boundless energy, Sophie always gave 100 percent of her warm and caring spirit to any effort she committed to. Cub Scout den mother, Girl Scout troop leader, co-chair of their club's dinner and dancing series, weekly Mass lector and consummate hostess for any type of gathering, from sophisticated gourmet dinner to child's birthday party. One of the keys to her entertaining prowess was, of course, her spectacular cooking and baking skills. The same recipe in anyone else's hands never seemed to have results as delicious. Sophie would say her love for her guests was the secret ingredient.

She is survived by her husband of 68 years, John; her brother and sister-in-law; her four children; her three daughters-in-law; her seven grandchildren; her six great-grandchildren; and four nieces and nephews.

A funeral Mass was said Sept. 26 at St. John of the Cross Catholic Church in Western Springs.

A gathering to celebrate her life in the Philadelphia area is also being planned for later this year

Memorials may be made to King-Bruwaert House, 6101 S. County Line Road, Burr Ridge IL 60517; or The Bethesda Project, 1630 South Street Philadelphia, PA 19146.