Pedestrian killed in accident on Lawler had connections to Niles North

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Pedestrian killed in accident on Lawler had connections to Niles North

Hannah Bader

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It’s been almost three weeks since the traffic accident that took place right outside Niles North, killing pedestrian Leon Goldberg, a neighborhood resident. It was the beginning of ninth period on Oct. 2 when a car hit Goldberg, who was crossing Lawler. The school’s nurses rushed outside to try to save him with CPR, but from the first time they looked into his eyes, they knew he was dead. This was especially hard on one nurse in particular, Peggy Bassrawi, as she was a close friend of Goldberg and his family.

Goldberg, 84, was a loving father to his family and an amazing friend to all. He was able to overcome life at its worst, having been the only one out of his eight siblings to survive the Holocaust. He was the type of man who never wanted to see anyone unhappy, Bassrawi notes.

Every evening, he would walk across Lawler to get to the Westfield Old Orchard mall to meet with a friend. At the end of the night, if there was a woman leaving by herself, he would escort her to her car so that he wouldn’t have to worry about her being all alone in the dark.

Goldberg’s funeral took place on Thursday, Oct. 11.  Bassrawi wasn’t able to attend, but she did go over to his daughter’s house to pay her condolences to the family. His daughter, Lila Weiland, is a Niles North graduate, class of 1981. The Goldberg family members were happy to talk, despite how much they were struggling with the accident’s aftermath. “They never expected this to happen, but who does?” Bassrawi said.

That night, something wonderful happened. As Bassrawi was leaving, she looked up to the sky and was greeted by a beautiful rainbow. She called it “Leon’s rainbow”, because to her, it was as if Goldberg was radiating his love for one last time.

In tribute to Goldberg’s death, a tree has been planted for him in his holy land of Israel.