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Beth Cortina
Beth Cortina
Beth Ann Cortina 1965 - 2011

In lieu of flowers, Nick has asked that donations be made to Wish Upon a Wedding Chicago Chapter.

The check would be made payable to 
Wish Upon a Wedding-Chicago
C/o Treasurer, Jon Phillips-Wish Upon a Wedding
4245 North Hamlin Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618

A Rememberance Written by Naperville Police Chief David Dial on January 17, 2011

Last week, our community lost a wonderful servant, Beth Cortina, to a battle with cancer. You might not have been fortunate enough to know Beth and to know what a special person you have had serving you. However, if you have lived or worked in Naperville during the last 12 years, she has had very direct involvement into the delivery of any of the city services you may have requested. This is because she has served as a supervisor in the city’s Public Safety Answering Point and later as the manager of the entire Communications Center for the city of Naperville. 

When we initially hired Beth as a communications supervisor, she had more than eight years of professional public safety communications experience in another police department. Two of those years included service as a communications training officer. From our interviews and background checks, we knew of her job qualifications, but we did not know at that time what a truly wonderful and giving person she was.

Her personal qualities were best exemplified in a letter Oct. 23, 2005. The author of that letter was a member of a small emergency dispatch center near New Orleans. Like all other people who lived in the Bedford Township community served by that small dispatch center, the dispatchers had suffered the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. The letter sent by one of those dispatchers was addressed to Beth and accompanied by a card depicting a mother and baby tiger on the front of it. I am sharing this letter with you so that you can all know about a different side of the men and women who serve you. 

Here is what someone who never met Beth wrote to her.

“Dear Beth: The tigers on this card are rare and some of the most beautiful animals on earth. This is how I think of you! You are indeed one of the rare and beautiful human beings on earth! When you first called and spoke with me, your voice was like that of an angel. We are so used to being ignored and forgotten about because we are such a small agency, plus the fact we are at the end of the earth, because we are only eight miles from the Mississippi line and 40 miles north of New Orleans. 

You can just imagine how we felt when someone called and asked about us. We have all cried and have felt so loved. Although we don’t do this job for praise or glory, it is so wonderful to know that people who do what we do care so much. It is the highest honor you could have bestowed upon us. You and the Naperville Police Department just could never know how much your love, caring and generosity has meant to all of us!

“At this time, we have five full-time dispatchers, two of whom lost everything. Because of you and the Naperville Police Department, we have received cards and boxes of items that all of us were able to use. When you asked if we were all right, I said ‘yes, we were all fine.’ It wasn’t until all of these things started coming in did I realize how much we really all lost. Because we had our health, I just thought we had everything. The small things meant so much, such as toothpaste, tooth brushes, soap and other things. ... For instance, toilet paper became one of the most valuable and important things in the world, along with MRE’s (food) and water. It is so funny how much a person takes for granted. We have all learned the most important thing in this whole world is the love, caring and compassion from your fellow men and women. God bless you and all members of the Naperville Police Department, especially the communications section. It is very true that there are indeed angels among us. Thank you, with love.”

Beth’s dedication to her profession and desire to provide you with the best possible service was no less than her dedication and compassion to her fellow man. As a community, we have been blessed with her service to us.