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Chicago Fire star sends birthday wishes to daughter of legendary Chicago firefighter

Taylor Kinney tapes video greeting for former U.S. Navy W.A.V.E.S. from World War II in honor of her 98th birthday

Note: The following article was written by Vincent J. Leinen, son of Estelle Leinen, who provided permission for the Congregation to share it with you. Estelle is a graduate of Providence High School and the niece of Sister Mary Camilla (Glavin) (RIP).

DOW CITY, Iowa – Estelle Leinen celebrated her 98th birthday in April. The Chicago native is a big fan of the television series Chicago Fire and its popular star, Taylor Kinney. This week, Kinney, who portrays Kelly Severide on the series, surprised and thrilled Leinen with an incredibly special birthday greeting.

Estelle Leinen

“I hope this message finds you well. I’m wishing you a belated happy birthday,” says Kinney on the video that also features an appearance by his new puppy, Billie. “I just wanted to say thank you for your support and service.”

Estelle is the niece of Sister Mary Camilla (Glavin), SP. Her parents were married at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica, Chicago. Estelle is a Providence High School, Chicago, graduate (Class of 1940) and married at St. Bartholomew’s Catholic Church, Chicago. She is also one of the last remaining U.S. Navy W.A.V.E.S. veterans from World War II and a member of the rapidly dwindling Greatest Generation.

She was born and raised in Chicago and is the daughter of legendary Lt. Frank Busch (Chicago Fire Department, 1911-1942), whose badge is enshrined in the Chicago Fire Department Academy. He was badly injured in 1934 battling Chicago’s second-greatest fire, known as the Union Stock Yards Fire.

Frank Busch Chicago Fire Department on horse-drawn fire wagon.

Having grown up on the streets of Chicago as the daughter of a firefighter, Estelle has a strong affinity for Chicago Fire and the show’s locations, action scenes, dynamics, and fire station politics. She understands firsthand the perils of the job and applauds the show’s writers for capturing the dangers with authenticity and dignity.

During these unprecedented, challenging times, Estelle especially appreciated the time Kinney took to wish her well and acknowledge her military service. She was recruited into the service 65 years ago by the legendary Genevieve Sullivan (sister of the famous five Sullivan Brothers and the basis for the movie Saving Private Ryan).

Estelle Leinen during World War II.

Estelle was honored in 2009 at the Sullivan Museum, Waterloo, Iowa.

Sister Mary Camilla (Glavin) died at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods on Sept. 7, 1959, after a lingering illness for some months. Sister Mary Camilla was born in Chicago on Oct. 8, 1892, the daughter of Margaret McNamara and Edward C. Glavin.

Her father was not a practical Catholic although the children were baptized. Sister Mary Camilla was baptized in St. Patrick’s Church, Chicago, on Oct. 26, 1892, and was confirmed in 1905 at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, the parish in which she resided at the time.

Vincent also shared a photo of Estelle from her 95th birthday when she received a very rare original 1940 Providence High School hard copy yearbook. In addition, a digital copy was provided, as well as a birthday card and decal from Providence-St. Mel School.

Estelle attended Providence High School because her mother, Mary Alice (Glavin) Busch’s sister, Sister Mary Camilla, was a Sister of Providence. The Congregation managed and taught at the school.

Estelle Leinen during her 95th birthday party.

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