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Frances Peasley


Frances Peasley, 86, Woodstock, died Thursday, March 29, 2012, at Hearthstone Manor.

She was born June 3, 1925, on the family farm near Raritan to John D. and Anna Marie O’Leary Keane. She graduated from Media High School in 1942 and attended Western Illinois University from 1942 to 1943. She married Don Peasley Feb. 14, 1946, and lived in Woodstock with her husband and family since October 1947.

She commuted daily to Chicago to earn a bachelor’s degree in theology from Mundelein College in 1973 and a master’s degree in psychology from Roosevelt University in 1975.

She established a psychotherapy practice and, in addition, provided free counseling to students at St. Teresa School in Chicago, where her older daughter, Mary, taught. She was a member of St. Mary Parish in Woodstock since 1947. 

Her years of community activity centered on projects helping children and adults. She worked on a countywide religious education program for people with mental disabilities. She was a founding member of FISH, a program to assist families in need. She was a charter member of Friends of Woodstock Public Library. She made a sizable financial contribution to upgrade and expand books in the remodeled Woodstock library when it opened in 2001, and the area near the entrance is named the Fran Peasley Audio Visual Center.

She served on the Adult and Child Therapy Services advisory board as a psychologist and on the McHenry County Red Cross Chapter board for many years.

She was deeply interested in scientific matters. She took advantage of the Library of Congress free program providing books on tape to the blind and others unable to read text when her health problems began in 1988. Her taste in books varied from philosophical and psychological literature to English mystery writers, including P.D. James and her detective, Adam Dalgliesh.  After visits to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., neurologists were not able to diagnose a cause of her neurological disorder, which caused extreme dizziness throughout waking hours. 

As a mother, she especially enjoyed reading to her children and grandchildren while engaging them in lively conversations on a wide range of subjects including, as they got older, their own particular pursuits — though she would often comment with humor that she might not understand the technology they discussed.

Survivors include her husband; two daughters, Mary Peasley (friend Hobert Holloway), Chicago, and Sarah Peasley (Christopher Miller) , Littleton, Colo.; two sons,  Mark (Laura) Peasley, Woodstock, and  Charles (Debbie) Peasley, Yorba Linda, Calif.; two sisters, Lillian Romano and Joan Keane, both of Monmouth; a brother, Patrick, Raritan; and three grandchildren, Peter (Cristina) Beverwyk and Chris (Kinny Patel) Beverwyk, Chicago, and  Victoria Sisk, Littleton; Molly and Shane Brown, Woodstock; and a great-granddaughter, Veda Beverwyk, Chicago.  

Peasley donated her body to medical science.  A Mass to celebrate her life was held March 31 at St. Mary Church. 

Memorials can be made to the Adult and Child Therapy Services, 708 Washington St., Woodstock, IL 60098; or Friends of Woodstock Public Library, 414 W. Judd St., Woodstock, IL 60098.

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