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Margaret H. (Heick) Kohlhase

June 17, 1925 March 24, 2021
Margaret H. (Heick) Kohlhase
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Obituary for Margaret H. (Heick) Kohlhase

Peoria- Margaret H. (Heick) Kohlhase, age 95, of Peoria, passed away at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at Proctor Place in Peoria.

Born June 17, 1925 in Alberta, MN, a daughter to George H. and Helen (Gausmann) Heick. Margaret grew up on her family farm. Although raised an only child, she was a member of a close-knit community of friends and relations who lived on surrounding farms and in towns nearby. She enjoyed going to school, attending the local Methodist church and sharing childhood adventures with her many cousins. ‘Back home’ would always mean the farm. Her children loved listening to stories about the hard grit of running a farm, especially during the drought years and Depression, as well as lighthearted ones about family gatherings and some of the pranks the family used to play on each other. Like her mother, she graduated as the Valedictorian of Alberta High School.

Margaret attended, and loved, Hamline University in St. Paul MN where she studied math and chemistry, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1947. At Hamline she was a member of a local sorority, Sigma Gamma, and, most formatively, part of a group of lifelong close friends nicknamed the Dirty Dozen. One member of the Dirty Dozen, Margaret’s roommate Millie, married Margaret’s cousin Earl, joining her two worlds. Margaret would share many adventures in later life with Millie and Earl Gausman, exploring the country and attending elder hostel programs. Margaret also met her future husband at Hamline upon his return from serving in WWII in the US army medical corp. After teaching chemistry for a year at Purham High School, Margaret married William Lawrence Kohlhase in Alberta, MN on July 22, 1948. Their first child, Lawrence, was born in St Paul, MN while William attended graduate school. The couple then moved to Buffalo, NY where they had a second child, Janet. They were transferred by DuPont to Wilmington, DE where they welcomed two more babies, Randy and Mary. After a sojourn in Martinsville, VA, they and their children finally settled in Peoria, IL in 1966.

While living in Peoria, Margaret attended Knox College and earned a Master of Education from Bradley University. She worked as a math and, briefly, chemistry teacher at Woodruff High School from 1968 through 1988. Margaret also taught math at Illinois Central College. Margaret’s dedication to her career and students was exemplified by her ability to continue teaching despite the passing of her husband on November 20, 1975, and then the passing of her oldest child a year later.

She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Peoria, actively participating in the CHC adult Sunday school and MMM groups, and where she was an enthusiastic supporter of, and volunteer for, the Loaves and Fishes program. Margaret’s desire to continue to learn and acquire new skills led her to take many of Bradley’s Continuing Education and computing classes. She shared her computer knowledge with teenagers at Friendship House, where she volunteered for years. She also was an engaged member of the Peoria community and was a strong contributor to the energy in her clubs, including PEO, her book club, Peoria Area Women’s Club, the North Peoria Women’s Club, American Association of University Women (AAUW), Women of Woodruff (WOW), and the Peoria Area Retired Teachers Association (PARTA). Margaret often served as an officer in her organizations and her computer skills were frequently called upon to coordinate and print the yearbooks. Margaret remained very active in retirement through her volunteering and club memberships. Margaret maintained a passion for the arts throughout her life, regularly attending and supporting the local museums, symphony and opera.

Margaret also enjoyed visiting major museums and attending cultural events on the world’s stages, as she travelled extensively throughout her later life. A memorable trip was one of the first teacher exchange groups into China in 1978, including a side trip to Tibet. Far from the mundane, however, were the many family car trips to national parks in the US, which set a continuing love of travel in her children. In retirement she often travelled to New York, Green Bay, London, and Houston to visit family and attend the birth of every grandchild.

She was an original resident of the Centennial section of Proctor Place when she entered in 2006, and where she developed and renewed close friendships with residents and staff. She was an active community resident and drove friends to events such as the symphony until age 91. Margaret moved into the healthcare section in 2018, where she found a great many new puzzle buddies amongst the residents and staff.

Survivors include two daughters:Janet (Steven Craig) Kohlhase of Houston TX and Mary (Christopher Darbyshire) Kohlhase of the United Kingdom; seven grandchildren: Christine and Timothy Craig; William, Michael and George Darbyshire; Ross (Adele) Kohlhase, Nathalia (Ernie) Arnouts, as well as former daughter-in-law Julie Kohlhase., as well as former daughter-in-law Julie Kohlhase. To stay in touch with the family, feel free to contact Janet Kohlhase at janetkohlhase@sbcglobal.net or Mary Kohlhase at marykohlhase@aol.com.

Margaret was preceded in death by her parents, husband William and two sons: Lawrence and Randall Kohlhase.

Per Margaret’s passion for science and teaching, she had her body donated to Anatomical Gift Association. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 2:00 PM at Proctor Place Senior Living. An additional memorial service will take place on Friday, July 16, 2021 at 11:00 AM at First United Methodist Church with a visitation being held one-hour prior. Rev. Dr. Timothy Ozment will officiate. Livestreaming can be viewed at http://www.peoria1.com/memorial.

Memorials in Margaret’s memory may be made to the Loaves and Fish Program at First United Methodist Church of Peoria or to the Kohlhase-Gausman-Dittes-Heick Endowed Scholarship at Hamline University via Hamline.edu/giving. Donors should select "other designation" and type in the name of the Endowed Scholarship as listed above. Additionally, there is a question on the form that asks if this gift is in memory of someone. In that section, please type in that your gift is in memory of Margaret Heick Kohlhase '47. You may also send by mail to: Hamline University Development, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, MS-C1917, Saint Paul, MN 55104. In the memo line, please name the Endowment Scholarship as listed above.

Friends and family may sign the online guestbook by logging onto www.wrightandsalmon.com.

Previous Events

Memorial Service

Thursday

15

Jul

2:00 PM 7/15/2021 2:00:00 PM
Proctor Place Senior Living

2724 W. Reservoir Blvd
Peoria, IL 61615

Proctor Place Senior Living
2724 W. Reservoir Blvd Peoria 61615 IL
United States

Visitation

Friday

16

Jul

10:00 AM 7/16/2021 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 7/16/2021 11:00:00 AM
First United Methodist Church

116 NE Perry Avenue
Peoria, IL 61603

First United Methodist Church
116 NE Perry Avenue Peoria 61603 IL
United States

Memorial Service

Friday

16

Jul

11:00 AM 7/16/2021 11:00:00 AM - 12:00 PM 7/16/2021 12:00:00 PM
First United Methodist Church

116 NE Perry Avenue
Peoria, IL 61603

First United Methodist Church
116 NE Perry Avenue Peoria 61603 IL
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Summit Cemetery Final Resting Place

East 7th Street
Morris, MN 56267

East 7th Street Morris 56267 MN
United States

Memorial Contribution

Kohlhase-Gausman-Dittes-Heick Endowed Scholarship at Hamline University

Donors want to select "other designation" and type in the name of the Endowed Scholarship as listed above. Additionally there is a question on the form that asks if this gift is in memory of someone. In that section, type in that their gift is in memory of Margaret Heick Kohlhase '47. By mail send to: Hamline University Development, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, MS-C1917, Saint Paul, MN 55104.In memo line name the Endowment Scholarship as listed above.

First United Methodist Church Loaves & Fish Ministry

116 NE Perry Avenue
Peoria, IL 61603
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