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Ellen M. Dickerson

October 20, 1910 March 14, 2007
Ellen M. Dickerson
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Obituary for Ellen M. Dickerson

PEORIA-Ellen M. “Pat” Dickerson, 96 of the Terrace Nursing Home in Waukegan, IL and formerly of St. Augustine Manor in Peoria, died on Wednesday, March 14, 2007 at her residence after a short illness. She was born October 20, 1910 in Conception Bay, Newfoundland to Daniel and Ellen Dawson Connolly. She loved the fact that she was Irish and a “Goofy Newfie”. At age 96, she had outlived her parents, 5 sisters and 3 brothers. She was also preceded in death by her husband, George C. Dickerson on September 20, 1974 in Peoria, son Leo, daughter, Geri Kahl, 2 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren, thus leaving to mourn while celebrating her life, her children, Dolores “Dee” (Bob) Sylkaitis of Peoria, Rose Shults of Bristol, WI, Dan (Vickie) Dickerson of Dunlap, James (Maureen) Dickerson of Peoria, Janie (Pete) Smith of Bartonville, Pat (Nancy) Dickerson of El Dorado Hills, CA, and Steve (Teri) Dickerson of Corona, CA, her most beloved foster children, Judy (Charles) Swearingen of Peoria, JoAnn (Bob) Rush of Kewanee and Patty (Tim) Kelly of Denver, CO, 33 grandchildren, 52 great-grandchildren, 18 great great-grandchildren and several nieces, nephews, family and friends. She came to the United States at the age of 17. She became an X-Ray Technician, Registered Nurse and Nurse Anesthetist. She took classes at St. Ambrose College and Loyola University. She worked at Mercy Hospital in Chicago, IL. She became a United States citizen and shortly thereafter entered the Army Air Force, where she attained the rank of Captain. Then she met George, they were married on November 8, 1941 in Galesburg, had a large family and then opened their home to many foster children and anyone else who needed a place to stay. She occasionally worked part-time at Methodist Hospital while she held a full-time job at St. Francis Hospital and “retired” in 1977 after George died. She became the first resident of St. Augustine Manor and Father Mario Shaw was like another one of her children. She ran the gift shop, took care of the chapel and was the resident nurse. Mother’s Day often found her asking for beds of flowers for gifts so she could landscape the manor. She became involved in Cursillo, their prison ministry and Teens Encounter Christ. In the years following her retirement from St. Francis, she also was active as a public speaker. She moved to the Terrace in 2005, where she was taken care of by her daughter, Rose, the administrator and Rose’s family. She was a long time member of the Peoria Poetry Club and had a collection of poems published, “Memories Are Forever”. She was in her 61st year as an active member of the Franciscan Society. She maintained her nursing license from 1934 to 1996. She was the recipient of many awards and honors including the Horan Award for community service. A Funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Peoria Heights. Rev. Thomas Taylor and Deacon Robert Myers will officiate. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Monday at Wright & Salmon Mortuary with recitation of the rosary at 6:45 p.m. Additional visitation will be 30 minutes before the mass at the church. Burial will be in Resurrection Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Augustine Manor or South Side Office of concern. Tributes and condolences may be submitted to www.wrightandsalmon.com

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