Vreni Naess

Vreni Naess

Vreni Naess, who played key roles in numerous cultural and educational programs in and around Hyde Park, died recently at her home. Relatives said she had not suffered from any lingering disability or illness.

Born in Muri, Switzerland, in 1933, Naess came to Hyde Park in 1958, where she received her Bachelors’ degree in romance languages from the University of Chicago in 1961. She was a strong supporter of the arts her entire life, and she ran Hyde Park in-school music programs for a number of years.

From 1970 to 1987, Naess worked for the Chicago Children’s Choir which was housed in the First Unitarian Church. She acted as office manager, babysitter, life organizer and general “fixer.” She was dedicated to the concept that the choir should be a multi-racial, multi-class melting pot of opportunity. Naess later worked as administrator for the University of Chicago Department of Germanic Studies

Vaess sudden death left numerous survivors: three children, Mark, Ralph and Barbara; two grandsons, Lauritz and Marco Naess; daughter-in-law Denise Dahn, her sister Käti Rytz Brechbühl and family, sister-in-law Heidi Brechbühl, brother-in-law Res Wyss and family. Vaess’s wish was to be cremated and her ashes stay with the family.

Condolences can be mailed to: Naess Family, 5492 S. Everett Ave #3, Chicago, IL 60615, USA. A memorial service may be held at a later, post-Covid date. The family asks that memorial contributions, in lieu of flowers or gifts, be made to the Lisa Fittko Internship, at Crossroads Fund, 3411 W. Diversey Ave, # 20, Chicago, IL 60647, or online at: crossroadsfund.org/vreni

A communal Book of Remembrance is online for us all to get together digitally and share memories of Vreni. Please do take time to share your memories on Facebook at Remembering Vreni Naess. Vreni touched many lives, and it will be a cherished memory for us to learn (for the first time) about many of those events.

(1) entry


I have such fond memories of Vreni, a most gentle and thoughtful presence. Sending much love to all the children.

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