Chicago Violence

School Closed as Beloved Teacher Killed in Drive-By Chicago Shooting is Laid to Rest

On any other Tuesday, Cynthia Trevillion's students would be attending her class on Chicago's North Side. But on this Tuesday, they remembered the beloved teacher at her funeral.  

Doors at the Chicago Waldorf School remained closed as students and staff mourned the loss of their teacher and colleague, who became one of the latest innocent victims of Chicago's gun violence when she was killed Friday in a drive-by shooting in the city's Rogers Park neighborhood.

A private funeral was held at Christian Community Church Tuesday morning.

"I think, for me, when I think of Cynthia, I think of her gentle spirit," Mary Jo Oresti, a friend of Trevillion's, said. "She was very light-filled. She would do anything for you."

"She was joyful and cheerful and very positive and kind. Students adored her, loved her to this day," friend Zvinka Hayda said.

The 64-year-old was fatally shot while walking with her husband around 6:30 p.m. near the Morse CTA Red Line station. 

"We all kind of looked at each other froze," said Melodie Johnson, who witnessed the shooting. "And then a guy came running around the corner and said somebody’s died."

Trevillion was shot in the head and neck, authorities said, and taken to Presence St. Francis Hospital where she was pronounced dead just before 7:20 p.m.

Chicago police said Trevillion was not the intended target of the drive-by shooting.

Her husband John Trevillion said they were on their way to dinner with friends, walking to catch the train just steps from their home when shots rang out.

John Trevillion said he heard what sounded like firecrackers and quickly dropped to the ground before seeing that his wife had been hit.

Married 29 years, he described Cynthia Trevillion as "an extremely generous soul."

Both teachers, the couple moved from her home state of Michigan to Chicago roughly 15 years ago and have worked at the Chicago Waldorf School ever since.

Cynthia Trevillion taught middle school math, according to the school’s website, and recently became an education support specialist, helping children who needed extra guidance in the classroom.

"She was able to see in the child what was holding them back from learning," said Rev. Ann Burfeind of the Christian Community Church in Rogers Park, where a wake was held for Trevillion's loved ones to say their goodbyes.

Some of her students came together at a candlelight vigil Saturday night.

The impact of the loss was deeply felt at both her school and the greater Rogers Park community.

The same night Cynthia Trevillion was killed, a 15-year-old boy was shot about a mile away, leaving many area residents concerned.

"It could have been me. It could have been me. I feel sorry for her husband," said neighbor Marshall Jenkins.

On Monday, dozens of people gathered in the middle of the street to reclaim their sense of safety. 

Monday's meeting began with prayer in the middle of the street - then ended early with shouting, as wounds of fear and frustration were on display from residents loudly demanding more specific solutions. 

"Attend a beat meeting, start a block club, work with a child," offered 49th Ward Ald. Joe Moore - none of them quick solutions, but important tools in the push to prevent crime.

Contact Us