Eva Schejbal, nee Saidlova, age 90, of Skokie, died Sunday, October 31, 2021, at her residence.
Beloved wife of the late Jaroslav; loving mother of David (Judee Richardson).
Eva was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia (today Czech Republic), on September 9, 1931. She passed peacefully at home on October 31, with David and Judee by her side.
Eva grew up in times of war and occupation. An only child, she was 7 years old when the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia. She was a teenager when the Soviets began to occupy the country.
After high school, Eva attended Charles University in Prague and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art and design. She also studied English as a second language, and it was in one of her classes that she met her future husband, Jaroslav Schejbal. Nine years her senior, he was a young professor of English, and it was love at first sight.
Eva and Jaroslav married in 1958, and their only child David was born in 1961. A severe shortage of housing in Prague required most young couples to live with in-laws, so Eva, Jaroslav, and David lived with Eva’s parents. Eva worked in design houses focusing on textiles.
In 1968, during the Prague Spring, Eva, Jaroslav, and David emigrated to the U.S. and settled in Evanston and later in Skokie, Illinois. Jaroslav was offered a teaching position at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle (today UIC). They left weeks before Soviet tanks rolled through Prague to reinforce communist rule.
Although Eva studied English in college, her language proficiency was limited, so once in the U.S., she was not able to find a job in her area of expertise. Instead, she found work that she enjoyed in retail, focusing on high-end jewelry and crystal.
Unable to go back for two decades, Eva returned to Prague in the late 1980s as the Velvet Revolution eroded Communist rule. Her heart was split between the country in which she was born and the country that she made her new home, so for the next 20 years, Eva made biannual trip to Prague to spend time with old friends.
Having experienced oppression, Eva was a staunch supporter of democracy and the power of the collective good. She valued the right to vote, exercised it regularly, and supported causes that benefit those most in need. A modest woman, Eva cared for her family above all else. She described her 62-year marriage as “a big love”, and her devotion to David was unconditional. She is deeply missed.
Service and Interment are private.
A Celebration of Life will take place at a later date.
Funeral info: 847.673.6111.