Trailblazing Seniors: 2023 Inductees into the Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame


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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) proudly revealed its 2023 inductees for the prestigious Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame, a ceremony set to spotlight three remarkable individuals during local events this autumn.

IDoA Director Paula Basta enthusiastically shared, “Each of this year’s inductees represents a positive image of aging and has made meaningful contributions over the course of their lives, including in older age.  I’m pleased to welcome these three individuals into the Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame and to recognize their impressive accomplishments.”

Established to laud seniors for their pivotal roles in society, the Hall of Fame annually inducts a select few who have made impactful contributions in realms like community service, arts, education, and the workforce. This year, amidst a record wave of nominations, three were chosen:

Hilda E. Frontany, 80, Chicago: A fervent community activist, Frontany’s endeavors have centered around championing housing rights for Latinos and underserved groups. She has also been instrumental in ensuring bilingual election provisions and played a pivotal role in the inception of community policing in Chicago in the 90s. Currently, her legacy continues with Rincon Family Services, which has dedicated a building in her honor.

Dr. Peter Orris, 78, Chicago: With an illustrious career spanning over four decades, Dr. Orris has been an emblematic figure in occupational and environmental medicine. Holding multiple professorships, he’s also contributed to international health agendas by advising organizations like WHO. Notably, before his medical journey, Dr. Orris was an activist, participating in marches advocating for integrated schools and voting rights.

Shirley Paceley, 72, Decatur: An advocate for the disabled, Paceley has almost five decades of service under her belt. Not only has she crafted curriculum to curb abuse against the disabled, but she has also been instrumental in establishing protocols for law enforcement when dealing with victims with disabilities. Her contributions have spanned across 30 states, making her a beacon of hope for many.

The addition of these three luminaries now brings the total Hall of Fame membership to 137.


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