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Mayor A. George Pradel
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Obituary for Mayor A. George Pradel

Mayor A. George Pradel, also known as "Officer Friendly", age 80, a Naperville, IL resident since 1939, passed away on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 after a two year battle with cancer. He was born September 5, 1937 in Chicago, IL.

Beloved husband of 55 years to the late Patricia C. "Pat" Pradel (nee Burke), whom he married August 20, 1960 and who preceded him in death on August 29, 2015, loving father of George (Shelly Phillips) Pradel of Golden, CO, Carol (Amy) Pradel of Naperville and Gary (Annemarie) Pradel of Naperville, adored grandfather of six and great-grandfather of four, devoted son of the late Arthur and Virginia (nee Spitler) Pradel, dear brother of Jack (Ginny) Pradel of Naperville, Paul (Sue) Pradel of Appleton, WI, Grace (John) Wendel of Elmhurst, IL, Charlotte (Guy) Fraley of Naperville and the late Ruth (Amon) Hill, father-in-law of the late Laura Pradel, brother-in-law of Joyce (the late Errol) Brown of Vancouver, WA, the late Shirley (the late Ted) Taillon, the late Raymond (the late Sheila) Burke, the late Mary (the late Thomas) Barbera and the late Nancy (the late Richard) Becker, fond uncle, great-uncle and friend of thousands.

Mayor A. George Pradel was born in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood in 1937 and his family moved to Naperville two years later and would call the city his home for the rest of his life. Mayor Pradel was a 1955 graduate of Naperville Community High School and went on to serve for three years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He earned an associate degree in Police Science from the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn and became a member of the Oakbrook Terrace, IL Police Department in 1963. In 1966, he joined the Naperville Police Department, where he spent much of his career visiting schools and speaking to children, earning him the nickname "Officer Friendly."

Mayor Pradel was perhaps best known for bringing the national Safety Town program to the Naperville community in the 1970s. In 1977, Naperville started Safety Town, and Mayor Chet Rybicki named Mayor Pradel to be its first teacher. Now serving over 1,700 students in its summer program each year, generations of Naperville children have learned about pedestrian, bike, fire, water, railroad, bus, animal and personal safety thanks to Mayor Pradel’s efforts. So synonymous was Mayor Pradel with Safety Town that the kid sized building campus on Aurora Avenue was renamed the A. George and Patricia Pradel Safety Town of Naperville in 2015.

Mayor Pradel served on the Naperville Police Department for over 29 years before retiring from the force as Lieutenant of Police on April 30, 1995, to become Mayor of Naperville. Mayor Pradel was re-elected in 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2011 making him the longest-serving mayor of Naperville. He will be remembered for his many public appearances, friendly demeanor and his demonstrated enthusiasm for Naperville. Mayor Pradel continued to be the City’s “number one cheerleader” after being named the first Mayor Emeritus in Naperville’s history following the end of his tenure as mayor in 2015.

Throughout the years, Mayor Pradel gave tirelessly to not only city government, but local and regional organizations as well. A member of the Rotary Club International, Illinois Police Association and Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Pradel was the recipient of numerous awards, including from the Rotary Club, Boys Scouts of America, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chamber of Commerce and an Honorary Doctorate from North Central College. He was a member of Our Saviour's Lutheran Church and a former member of Central Baptist Church, both in Naperville.

Visitation Saturday, September 8th AND Sunday, September 9th, 2018, 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM at Naperville City Hall, 400 S. Eagle St., Naperville, IL 60540, (630) 420-6111, naperville.il.us

Funeral services will be private.

Private interment: Naperville Cemetery, Naperville.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Mayor Pradel's memory may be made to:

The A. George & Patricia C. Pradel Fund, C/o DuPage Foundation, 3000 Woodcreek Drive, Suite 310, Downers Grove, IL 60515 http://www.pradel.com

All donated funds will be distributed to Mayor Pradel's favorite local charities and to help organizations like Safety Town of Naperville, Naperville Responds for our Veterans, Little Friends, Inc., and many others that help children and adults using art and technology.

Arrangements by Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Naperville, IL.

For more information, please call (630) 355-0213.


To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Mayor A. George Pradel, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

8

Sep

10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Naperville City Hall

400 S. Eagle St.
Naperville , IL 60540

Visitation

Sunday

9

Sep

10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Naperville City Hall

400 S. Eagle St.
Naperville , IL 60540

Cemetery Details

Location

Naperville Cemetery

705 S. Washington St.
Naperville, Illinois 60540


Memorial Contribution

The A. George & Patricia C. Pradel Fund

C/O DuPage Foundation
3000 Wooded Creek Drive, Suite 310
Downers Grove, IL 60515
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