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Loretta K. Dessen

May 26, 1931 -
September 4, 2019

Loretta Dessen age 88 passed away peacefully at her home Farmlake in Urbana, IL on September 4th. Loretta was born in Chicago, IL on May 26th, 1931 to Philip and Lila (Ziven) Katz. She grew up on the north side of Chicago in Rogers Park and graduated from Senn High School in 1949, after which she attended the Univers…read more

Loretta Dessen age 88 passed away peacefully at her home Farmlake in Urbana, IL on September 4th. Loretta was born in Chicago, IL on May 26th, 1931 to Philip and Lila (Ziven) Katz. She grew up on the north side of Chicago in Rogers Park and graduated from Senn High School in 1949, after which she attended the University of New Mexico and the University of Illinois. In 1951 she married Edward Dessen who she met at summer camp in Wisconsin where they both worked as camp counselors, Edward preceded her in death in 2005. Loretta and Edward Dessen were known as the founders of Illini Studio photography which remains in business to this day. In the mid 1960’s Loretta established Farmlake Day Camp at the suggestion of her husband Edward which ran until 1980. Loretta taught many local children how to swim, ride horses and sing camp songs. She was known for her amazing repertoire of camp songs and her grill cheese and tomato soup lunches. Many alumni of Farmlake Day Camp continue to cherish their memories of their time at Farmlake. Upon retiring from Illini Studio Loretta along with Edward began welcoming University of Illinois students to Farmlake for barn dances, where Loretta fondly became known as the Checks Mix Lady for distributing her delicious treats. The barn dances will continue in Loretta’s memory. Loretta is lovingly remembered by her surviving children David (Deborah) Dessen, Jonathon (Patricia) Dessen and Ruth Ami Dessen, 5 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister and brother-in-law Adrian (Skookie) and Sandy Bernsen and numerous nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to: the Shriners Hospital of your choice, Sinai Temple Religious School or National Audubon Society. Services will be held at 10:00am Friday September 6th at Sinai Temple 3104 W. Windsor Rd. Champaign with internment at Mt. Hope Cemetery.

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