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Brianna Hope Wood

May 29, 1989 August 23, 2021
Brianna Hope Wood
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Obituary for Brianna Hope Wood

Brianna Hope Wood, 32, of Peoria, passed away at 4:32 p.m. on Monday, August 23, 2021, at UnityPoint Health Methodist Hospital, surrounded by family, following a brief but hard-fought battle with Legionnaires’ disease, a rare form of pneumonia.

Brianna was born on May 29, 1989, in York, Pennsylvania, to Jeff and Sandi Okrongley Cross. They survive. Also surviving are her husband Ryan, whom she married on December 19, 2020, in Peoria; her sister Jordan (Mitch) Ryan, brother Trevor Cross; maternal grandparents Nancy DenBesten and Walter (Ann Marie) Okrongley; paternal grandfather Wayne Cross; mother-in-law Edie Wood; sister-in-law Erin (Dillon) Kelly; nephews Cooper Ryan and Silas Miller; nieces Lily Miller and Charlotte Ryan; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and other extended family members. Brianna was preceded in death by her grandmother Helen Cross, uncle Roger Cross, father-in-law Steve Wood and best friend Alexa Sheeder.

After living in Pennsylvania for the first eight years of her life, Brianna and her family moved to Oxford, Mississippi, before relocating to Peoria in 1999. Brianna graduated from Dunlap High School in 2007, then earned a Bachelor of Education from St. Ambrose University in 2011.

Pursuing her life passion to make a difference in underserved communities, Brianna taught third grade at Harrison School in Peoria. But she didn’t just teach academics. She taught the whole child, attending her students’ games and performances and even checking in on them at home.

When she wasn’t teaching, Brianna loved to perform in local community theater productions. Whether she was the lead role or a dancer in the ensemble, her smile and energy stole the stage. Though she was reserved when necessary, Brianna preferred to be the center of attention – the first to hit the dance floor, the biggest smile in every photo, the loudest laugh in the room.
Even if you only met her once, she made an impression. She had a huge heart, an unmatched capacity to love and an ability to feel every emotion exponentially.

Brianna loved to do crafts, make TikTok videos and watch The Office. Besides the classroom and the stage, Brianna’s favorite place was relaxing on the beach. In contrast, she also loved amusement parks where she could ride the most extreme roller coasters.

Above all else, Brianna loved her family and friends. She was the best wife, daughter, sister, friend and educator. She loved people more than anything, and she made everyone know that just by being Brianna.

A celebration of Brianna’s life will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 28, 2021 with visitation two hours prior to the service at Peoria Heights Congregational Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Brianna’s memory may be made to Harrison School, or the scholarship funds at Corn Stock Theatre or Peoria Players Theatre.

Online condolences can be made at www.wrightandsalmon.com.

Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

28

Aug

10:30 AM 8/28/2021 10:30:00 AM - 12:30 PM 8/28/2021 12:30:00 PM
Peoria Heights Congregational Church

4906 N Prospect Rd
Peoria Heights, IL 61616

Peoria Heights Congregational Church
4906 N Prospect Rd Peoria Heights 61616 IL
United States

Memorial Service

Saturday

28

Aug

12:30 PM 8/28/2021 12:30:00 PM
Peoria Heights Congregational Church

4906 N Prospect Rd
Peoria Heights, IL 61616

Peoria Heights Congregational Church
4906 N Prospect Rd Peoria Heights 61616 IL
United States
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