Important passages: Evelyn Echols service set; Drake hosts its first gay wedding

SHARE Important passages: Evelyn Echols service set; Drake hosts its first gay wedding

Evelyn Echols’ memorial service will be held Monday.

The legion of Evelyn Echols’ friends are sure to be on hand for the 10 a.m. memorial service Monday at Holy Name Cathedral for the founder of the famed travel and hospitality training schools that bore her name. Along with being a driving force in the travel business for decades, Echols was long a major player on Chicago’s civic, charity and social scenes and, along with her late husband and top advertising executive David Echols, always a positive presence at any gathering they attended.

Evelyn died the way we all dream will be our good fortune: At age 99, in her sleep and still mentally sharp.

RIP, dear lady.

†There will be a very different rite of passage on Sunday, Oct. 12 in the Gold Coast Ballroom of the Drake, when the legendary Chicago hotel hosts its first same-sex marriage ceremony — honoring one of its own.

The wedding will be between Shaun Rajah, the hotel’s catering manager, and his husband-to-be Jasper Nowell, one of the top managers of the new Fig & Olive restaurant on Oak Street. While same-sex marriage became legal in Illinois June 1, the Rajah-Nowell nuptials will be the first to be held at the Drake.

Given both men’s professional relationships with top cuisine-oriented establishments, you can bet the dinner served at their wedding will be gourmet all the way — prepared by the Drake’s executive chef, Herve Cuyeu, who will blend the two men’s two cultures by combining the flavors of both Asian and Western elements.

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