Orland Funeral Home

9900 W 143RD ST, Orland Park, IL


Carla R. Walenta

March 11, 1945August 9, 2020

Carla Walenta, nee Baratta, age 75 of Orland Park, at rest August 9, 2020. Beloved wife of Gary. Loving daughter of the late Benjamin and Emily Baratta. Carla graduated from Northwestern University and was a dedicated and respected first grade teacher at Worth Elementary for 45 years. Carla was also an alternate for the Honey Bears in the 1980's. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her including her beloved Saint Bernard Poppy.

A visitation will be held Wednesday, August 19th from 10 AM until time of Memorial Service at 1 PM at Orland Funeral Home, 9900 West 143rd. Street, Orland Park, Illinois.

In consideration of the safety of our guests and associates, Orland Funeral Home will adhere to the current gathering restrictions in the state of Illinois, which allow 50 or fewer guests at services at a time. Proper social distancing must be practiced and all guests will be required to wear face masks. For more information please call 708-460-7500 or visit www.orlandfuneralhome.com.


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, August 19, 2020

  • Memorial Service

    Wednesday, August 19, 2020


Carla R. Walenta

have a memory or condolence to add?

Laura Saracco

August 19, 2020

Over the many decades I knew Carla from Worth Elementary School and retiree lunches I saw her as a Beautiful soul both outside and in. She was someone that made me smile or chuckle as a delightful presence in the room. I am so very saddened at her passing, and I will miss her dearly. May you find peace through special memories each and every day Gary.
Sending my most sincere condolences. Laura Saracco

Kathy Dennis

August 17, 2020

I have known Carla for 28 years. I first met her as my daughter's first grade teacher. Not long after that I became a team member teaching next door to her. Carla's humor, upbeat spirit, style, and witty ways, made my life at the Elementary an enjoyable one. Carla and I shared our students and shared our stories daily.

I will never forget her thoughtfulness. She would always help me out when it came to important style questions and would have accent pieces for every one of my mother of the bride dresses. She would insist that I borrow them and would not take no for an answer. She knew I needed to reach out of my comfort zone to achieve the right fashion look. Her eye for style was impeccable.

Carla was very generous, caring, and always willing to lend a listening ear. I will miss her dearly, but will hold all my wonderful memories of her close to my heart forever.

Love you Carla!

Ed Guzdziol

August 17, 2020

Carla was a true Renaissance woman. An impressive graduate of North Western University, a Honey Bear, a persuasive negotiator for the interests of her peers, a “fisherwoman” in the northern lakes of Canada and an outstanding educator. She fit the Greek ideal of a sound mind in a sound body.
Gary, I cannot attend Carla’s services on the 19th but please accept Anita and my condolences on Carla’s passing. The world will be a lesser place because Carla will no longer be here with us.

Diane McMillin

August 16, 2020

I first met Carla when I started working at Worth Elementary back in 1987. She made it fun to go to work where we would collaborate together making lesson plans after school for the kids. We spent a lot of time shopping together at the children's school stores in the area. Our favorite times were going to school conferences because we would get 1 hour lunches; we spent more time planning those lunches than worrying about the conference's criteria.
We never went to a craft fair we didn't like.
Another fun time was going on class field trips to the zoo. The weekend before the trip, we would go to the zoo and buy plastic animals for all the kids to take home after the trip. Carla was always dressed to the hilt, even when we went to the zoo; the high heels were on.
During schools days, if she saw you were having a bad day, She would always bring me some chocolate from her stash in her desk drawer.
Carla was always a good friend and she will truly be missed.

Nancy and Dolores Pekala

August 16, 2020

Sometimes, if you are very lucky, you cross paths with someone who comes into this world sprinkling her special brand of magic to everyone she meets.

Carla Walenta was one of those rare people. While our relationship with Carla was a casual one (she was long a close friend and neighbor of my brother Neal, his wife Lynda and niece Natalie), we knew her well enough to understand she was one of the special ones.

She always had a welcoming smile, wonderful sense of humor and caring nature for everyone around her. Whether it was her eagerness to hide presents for my niece until Christmas morning, her devotion and love for her dear four-legged family members or her kindness in stopping for a long chat when you happened to run into her in the grocery aisle, Carla was someone you were just grateful to know.

She made an indelible mark on everyone whose paths she crossed---from the hundreds of children whom she helped shape into adults as a schoolteacher, to her close family and neighbors, to casual acquaintances she met along the way.

And she did it with such panache and style! Always dressed to the nines, Carla’s unique style shined through everything she did—from her beautiful outdoor Christmas decorations to her interior design to her own fashion sense.

Carla worked her magic on everyone she knew and we are grateful she was generous enough to sprinkle some of it on us. We are especially appreciative of the love she showered on her Pekala neighbors whom she treated as family.

It is absolutely appropriate that one of the five magic words is “Thank You”.

Carla, a big “thank you” for the joy and warmth and generosity you brought into this world. You always gave more than you took from it and we are grateful for having known you.

We honor you. We celebrate you and we will forever remember your unique brand of magic you shared with us.

True magic never dies and neither will our memories and love for you. Rest in peace dear Carla.

Linda Esposito

August 13, 2020

I had the pleasure of teaching with Carla for many, many years. She was truly one-of-a-kind! Carla was kind, caring, spoke her mind, and could always make you laugh. It was a guaranteed good time to be out with Carla and Gary. I will hold fond memories in my heart forever. Our sincerest sympathies, Linda and Pete Esposito

Lorraine Arena-Simmons

August 13, 2020

Dear Gary
Carla and I started teaching together in Worth, she in 1968 and I in 1969. We go back a long way.
She was always someone to admire. Her classroom was decorated so beautifully, I know the children were always mesmerized. Her students were always well behaved and she expected them to be the best they could be. She always had their complete attention. I never heard he raise her voice.
Carla had was kind to everyone she met and always had a smile to greet whomever she passed in the halls. Most of all, Carla always dressed to the “nines”! Her hair, make-up and apparel we impeccable!!! She was a positive role model to us all.

So, so sorry for your loss. Carla will be missed by all who knew her.
My deepest sympathy to you and your beloved puppy. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
I will have nothing but good memories and a smile when I think of her.

Neal, Lynda and Natalie Pekala

August 12, 2020

Dear Gary,

Words cannot express what we feel at this time. It is with a heavy heart that we offer you our deepest condolences.

Wherever there was Carla, there you were.

Carla was right by your side. She was your biggest cheerleader and closest friend.

The two of you enjoyed being with each other and did everything together. Whether it was was going on vacation on cruise ships, bus tours, camping, traveling to Door County in August or simply shopping for flowers for your home, gardening or dining, the two of you always enjoy being with each other and had such a beautiful life together.

You have so many wonderful memories enjoying your beautiful dogs, your beautiful home, your beautiful vacations, your beautiful life.

We know how heartbroken you are at this time and please know that we are always here for you day or night.

With love and our deepest sympathy,

Neal, Lynda and Natalie

Neal, Lynda, Natalie and Buehrle Pekala

August 11, 2020

We have been next-door neighbors and dear friends with Carla and Gary for 28 years.

We have had the pleasure of seeing Carla outside attending to her beautiful flowers, decorating her home so meticulously season after season, and visiting when we saw each other.

Carla was beautiful inside and out. She was so fashionable with beautiful taste in clothes and had an impeccable sense of fashion. Carla had a wonderful smile and the most beautiful green eyes. She was always quick with a sharp and funny come back which would always put a smile on our face. She was caring, compassionate, loving and had the most beautiful heart.

We could always count on Carla for anything at anytime.

She loved her dogs Bentley and Poppy and always made sure that they had a nice new toy!

We will miss her beautiful smile and laugh, her tending to her home and our simple wave of hello and goodbye.

For now Carla, this is us waving goodbye. We will miss you dearly.

Love You Lots XOXOXO

Neal, Lynda, Natalie and Buehrle

Barbara Kulach

August 11, 2020

Carla was such a great person. She was always cheerful and put everyone in a great mood. I'm so happy that I got to meet her and become great friends with her. We shared so many good laughs and memories that I will never forget. Carla you will always be in my mind and I pray for you and your husband.


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