Illinois, USA - Mariam Shamoon, a longtime Chicagoan, active in her church and surrounded by family, who admired her for her vibrant lifestyle despite advanced years. Sunday night, Shamoon, 78, met a tragic fate, cut down by a car.
Around 5 p.m., Mariam Shamoon was returning from a day of Christmas shopping near her apartment building in the 6300 block of North Kedzie Avenue. As she crossed West Devon Avenue only half a block from her front door, a car turning right on a green light from Kedzie onto Devon struck and killed her.
The driver of the car—Sergio Candelara, 27, of the 3100 block of West Montrose Avenue—was cited for not having a driver's license and striking a pedestrian in the roadway.
Family members gathered at Shamoon's residence Monday said that she had immigrated to the United States from Iraq in 1978, working for a manufacturing company in Niles before retiring on disability. Shamoon lived alone, but she loved to spend time with her brothers and sisters and their children and at her church, Mart Mariam Chaldean Catholic Church, where a service will be held Wednesday morning.
"As long as she was with people, that's it—that's all that mattered," said Shamoon's nephew, Tony Shamoon. "We thought 80 years old, maybe heart disease or old age would take her. We didn't think a modern-day vehicle would take her out."
Mariam Shamoon's brother, Gabriel, said that his sister was always careful crossing the busy streets near her apartment. That Candelara had a green light when he struck Shamoon was little consolation, he said.
"People should yield to animals, never mind a human being, for God's sake," Gabriel Shamoon said.