Cover photo for Christine Anne Geovanis's Obituary
Christine Anne Geovanis Profile Photo
1959 Chris 2024

Christine Anne Geovanis

April 4, 1959 — February 12, 2024

Chicago

Christine Anne Geovanis, communications director of the Chicago Teachers Union and a lifelong and passionate advocate for social justice, has died. 

Born in South Chicago Community Hospital in 1959 to Thomas Geovanis, a former steelworker who became a Chicago City Colleges professor, and Rita Geovanis, nee Van Curen, who became an Early Childhood Education teacher and director, Chris grew up in the Roseland and Austin neighborhoods, where she attended Brennan and Ella Flagg Young schools. Chris completed elementary school at Charles E. Piper and graduated from Morton West High School in Berwyn. 

The eldest of five siblings, Chris began her social justice work at a very young age, canvassing door-to-door for progressive political candidates and defending the rights of Palestinians to their homeland during elementary and high school. During two years at the University of Chicago, she honed her critical thinking, writing, and speaking skills, and she continued to develop her strong artistic skills through classes at U. of C. and at The Art Institute of Chicago. 

While working for the University of Chicago in the 1980s, she also used her writing talents to help non-profit organizations and small community-based organizations find grant money for their programs. She became an ardent supporter of community-focused political candidates, many of whom were undermined and whose campaign workers were physically harassed by the Daley political machine. She worked for Chuy Garcia in one of his earliest campaigns and organized precinct turnout for Miguel Del Valle during one of his re-election campaigns for the Illinois State Senate. 

Chris had a 17-year career in Cook County Government in employee communications. In 2017 she began working for the Chicago Teachers Union as Communications Director. Her messaging helped rally broad support for teachers during the 2019 strike. She also helped the Union communicate its focus on educational equity throughout the district. Chris enjoyed warm relationships with many of the education reporters in the city and suburbs, while serving the interests of CPS teachers and staff under CTU presidents Karen Lewis, Jesse Sharkey, and Stacy Gates. 

A superb baker and cook, Chris held a Master Gardener certificate and created an enormous garden, growing herbs, strawberries, tomatoes, beans, and much more. She also drew and painted in pastels, pencils, and oils. 

In 1992, she met the love of her life and her collaborator in social justice work, Dick Reilly. Together over 27 years, they started HammerHard MediaWorks and Chicago Indymedia, two alternative news media sites providing community-driven journalism free of corporate interests. They also helped found Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism, a mainstay organization mobilizing opposition to the US invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq in 2003. Attending countless demonstrations with her iconic camera poised for a shot, Chris documented and supported causes ranging from protests at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline, demonstrations supporting Black Lives Matter and Occupy Chicago, and the cause closest to her heart, an end to the occupation of Palestine. 

Chris and Dick shared a love of the outdoors, kayaking through the waters of British Columbia, and camping and hiking in the Canadian Rockies. Ever-present companions in their combined passion for liberation for working people the world over, Chris and Dick formed their own team of freedom fighters until Dick’s untimely death in 2020. 

Chris died peacefully on February 12, 2024 at her home after a long illness. She was predeceased by her father Thomas; her step-father Floyd Lung; her mother Rita; and her beloved partner Dick Reilly.  

She is survived by her siblings Nick Geovanis, Janet Geovanis, Vivienne Geovanis, and Carla (Tony Tallmadge) Geovanis; spiritual brothers Jeff Pickert and Scott Mechanic; nephews Jon Geovanis-Hollister, Isaac Geovanis-Schwartz, Theodore Geovanis-Schwartz, and Max Tallmadge; aunts Helen Bergman and Sandy Van Curen; cousin Becki Gerson; extended family in the Midwest and Germany; friends in the US and around the world; and her beloved dog Solo. 


Memorial donations to Palestine Children's Relief Fund would be appreciated.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Christine Anne Geovanis, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, February 18, 2024

2:00 - 9:00 pm (Central time)

Kuratko-Nosek Funeral Home and Cremation Services

2447 Des Plaines Ave, North Riverside, IL 60546

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Words of Remembrance

Sunday, February 18, 2024

7:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Kuratko-Nosek Funeral Home and Cremation Services

2447 Des Plaines Ave, North Riverside, IL 60546

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, February 19, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Kuratko-Nosek Funeral Home and Cremation Services

2447 Des Plaines Ave, North Riverside, IL 60546

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment

Monday, February 19, 2024

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