Teacher Dies at Cubs Game, Leaves Community in Mourning

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Maureen Oleskiewicz, a 28-year old teacher at Independence Junior High School in Palos Heights, died on Sunday after choking on a hot dog at Wrigley Field.

The tragic incident took place while Oleskiewicz was sitting with her brother Martin around 1 p.m., just prior to the first pitch.

Maureen Oleskiewicz Pic

"They're sitting there eating lunch before the game, looking at the field and the next thing she's on the floor," said Margaret Oleskiewicz, Maureen's mother. "He didn't even know she was in distress and then she's on the floor."

Maureen went into cardiac arrest and never recovered, despite EMT efforts to revive her.

Wrote the team in a press release:

"The Chicago Cubs are saddened to hear news of the untimely death of Maureen Oleskiewicz. We express our deepest sympathy to her family and friends. We will continue to keep her family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

News of Oleskiewicz's passing hit the community at Independence Junior High hard, where Maureen taught 6th and 7th grade language arts and often engaged students in team spirit days.

"There is no magic wand to fix what we cannot comprehend," District 128 Supt. Kathleen Casey wrote in a letter to parents. "Maureen had a positive impact on countless students, parents and … colleagues. Her vibrant, positive outlook on life and her joyful nature will be missed more than words can convey."

A Tuesday night vigil was held at Incarnation Catholic Parish in Palos Heights and was filled to capacity in Oleskiewicz's honor.