Cover photo for Arlene M. Gwozdz's Obituary
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1938 Arlene 2024

Arlene M. Gwozdz

November 13, 1938 — January 27, 2024


Services for Arlene M. Gwozdz (nee Schramer Dreyfus), 85, of Palatine, formerly of Mt. Prospect, will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2024. Visitation from 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. will be at Ahlgrim Family Funeral Home, 201 N. Northwest Hwy. in Palatine. Mass will follow at 10 a.m. at St. Theresa Church, 455 N. Benton St., Palatine. Graveside interment will immediately follow at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, lunch to follow. 


Arlene was born on November 13, 1938 in Aurora, IL to Peter John and Edith (nee Sevier) Schramer. She went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, January 27, 2024 at her home surrounded by her four children.


Arlene was a loving mom, devoted grandma, loyal friend, caring sister, niece, and aunt, hard working nurse, and active parishioner of St. Theresa Parish including the Women’s Club.


Arlene cherished memories of her early childhood in Aurora living and playing with her six sisters and being cared for by her devoted parents. Upon the sudden passing of her mother, she moved to St. Vincent’s Orphanage. Arlene and her sister Thelma were later adopted by Allen and Julia Dreyfus. The family lived in several places including Elgin, Fairfield, IA, and Owensboro, KY. Allen, a converted Catholic, particularly showered Arlene with compassion and had a significant influence in her decision to become a nurse.


Arlene trained to become a nurse at St. Joseph Infirmary in Louisville, KY. She married Jerry Smith in 1960 and they had one son, Kenneth. After moving to Chicago, Arlene married her second husband, Ron Gwozdz, with whom she had three daughters—Cindy, Vicki, and Christy. They settled in Mt. Prospect in 1969 just doors away from St. Emily’s parish. In 1979, Arlene went back to work at Holy Family Hospital in Des Plaines where she worked for 25 years as a registered nurse, primarily in surgery.


Arlene is survived by her children Kenneth (Ellen Hanson) Smith of Mt. Prospect, Cindy (Ron) Mittlestaedt of Grayslake, Vicki (Dave) Wilson of Palatine and Christy (Darren) Hunter of Broomfield, CO; grandchildren Evan and Chase Mittlestaedt, Benjamin and Chloe Wilson, Alice, Noelle, and Grayson Hunter; sister Helen, and her beloved cat Tish. Arlene was an aunt, cousin, niece, and friend to many.


She was preceded in death by all of her parents, sisters Beatrice, Dorothy, Norma, Phyllis, and Thelma, infant brothers Leonard and Nicholas, brother- and sister-in-law Gene and Carol Oslowski, and granddaughter, Grace Kearney Mittlestaedt.


In lieu of flowers, feel welcome to make a donation in her memory to your favorite charity—Arlene could never pick just one. 

To order memorial trees in memory of Arlene M. Gwozdz, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, February 3, 2024

8:30 - 9:30 am (Central time)

Ahlgrim Family Funeral Home

201 N Northwest Hwy, Palatine, IL 60067

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


Saturday, February 3, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

St. Theresa Catholic Church

455 N Benton St, Palatine, IL 60067

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


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