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Mary Ellen Hanlon

July 9, 1937 January 31, 2012
Mary Ellen Hanlon
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Obituary for Mary Ellen Hanlon

Peoria- Mary Ellen Hanlon, 74, of Peoria, and a native of the Kickapoo area passed away at 12:51 AM Tuesday, January 31, 2012, at the Fondulac Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in East Peoria, IL after a lengthy illness. She had been a resident there since 2006. Mary Ellen was born July 9, 1937, in Rosefield Township, at the old Hanlon home place south of Kickapoo, the youngest of eight children of Herbert Isaac and Emma Katherine Kirchgessner Hanlon. She is survived by one sister, Eileen M. Hanlon Siegle of Peoria; three brothers, John F. (Faye) Hanlon of Huntington, West Virginia, Walter H. (B. JoeAnn) Hanlon and Gerald R. “Jerry” (Joyce) Hanlon, both of Peoria; and one sister-in-law, Earlene Collins Hanlon of Elmwood, IL. She is also survived by 23 nieces and nephews, including her Godchildren, Katherine Sleva of Bedford, Indiana, and Juanita Routt of Peoria. She was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Blanche M. Cruise; two brothers, Virgil C. Hanlon and George R. “Ray” Hanlon; two brothers-in-law, Ward E. Cruise and David B. Siegle; one sister-in-law, Carrie Peters Hanlon; and two nieces, Patricia Waldschmidt and Dorothy Tschaepe. Mary Ellen graduated from St. Mary’s Catholic School in Kickapoo, and was a 1955 graduate of the Academy of Our Lady in Peoria, She was first employed with the old First National Bank in Peoria until entering the convent of The School Sisters Of St. Francis Order of Nuns in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she remained for some 9 years until leaving for health reasons, after which she was employed with St. Francis Hospital where she worked as a nurses attendant until her retirement in 2001. Mary Ellen was a talented singer and musician. Many will remember her as the fiddle player with the early Hanlon Family Band in the 1950’s, especially at the old Silverleaf Pavilion near Kickapoo. She also took her music to her place of work at St. Francis Hospital where with her beautiful singing voice she performed with her guitar for patients, primarily those confined in the hospital’s emotionally challenged special health unit at the time. She was a loving and caring person and was highly respected, particularly for those traits and for her consoling nature toward those in special need and her attitude toward the patients. She will always be remembered for her music, her beautiful smile, and her out-going nature. Mary Ellen resided in Peoria for most of her life and was a long time member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Her heart remained in the Kickapoo village and it was her request that her funeral service be conducted there at St. Mary’s Catholic Church where a funeral Mass will be said on Monday, February 6, 2012 at 10:30 AM. The Rosary will be recited beginning at 9:00 AM at the church followed by a one hour visitation from 9:30 until the time of the Mass. The Rev. Joseph Dondanville will officiate. Burial will be in St. Patrick’s Cemetery at Kickapoo. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Wright & Salmon Mortuary. Memorials may be made to St. Mary’s Church in Kickapoo, Sacred Heart Church in Peoria, or to Harbor Light Hospice. Tributes and condolences may be submitted to


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