METAMORA - Joan Mary (Theisen) McSherry, 85, of Metamora passed away at 9:44 a.m. Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, surrounded by her family.
Joan was born on July 25, 1929, in Detroit, Mich., to Sylvester A. and Mary B. (Harns) Theisen. She married Jack P. McSherry on Aug. 9, 1952, in Detroit. He survives.
She is also survived by six children, Brian, Cindy, Kevin, Patrick, Janine and Lisa; 13 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two brothers, Phil of Royal Oak, Mich., and Dick of Marquette, Mich.
Joan's creativity and strong aesthetic were nurtured at Marygrove College in Detroit, where she graduated with a degree in fine arts. Many will remember her as their preschool teacher at the Royal Oak School District in Royal Oak, Mich., and Mossville United Methodist Church. She most recently created custom jewelry and greeting cards under the name JoMac Originals, which were sold at Historic Grounds, the Peoria Art Guild, the Metamora Farmers Market and on Etsy.
Joan faced more challenges than many in her life, but met them with determination, a strong belief in God and her own positive outlook. She struggled with cancer for more than 60 years and ultimately lost a leg to the disease at age 77, but that never changed the way she lived her life. She was active in her favorite pursuits until the end. She believed her life was a gift and was thankful for every day and every hour spent with family and friends and watching the bluebirds out her atrium window. She was always learning something new. Her zest and great respect for life were a source of boundless encouragement for those around her. She never failed to see the beauty in the world around her and cultivated a sense of calm and peace at the beginning of each new day.
Joan was a past president of the Peoria Garden Club. She was also a member of the Illinois Judges' Council/GCI Flower Show Judges. She enjoyed her extensive gardens at home and used all of her knowledge gained over many years as a master gardener. She was a recipient of many awards for her own flower arrangements and prize-winning plants. Additionally, she volunteered with the Newcomers' Club and the St. Vincent de Paul Guild in Peoria and the Leila Hospital Auxiliary in Battle Creek, Mich., where she received the "Angel of the Year" award recognizing 700 hours of service. Her other passion was antiquing. She was a member of the Antique Study Group and loved venturing out to small towns throughout central Illinois to collect.
Her family will remember her strength, resiliency, great caring and wonderful appreciation of everyday beauty. She met many odds and still persevered. She will always be an inspiration to us as we move through our lives.
A memorial Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, at St. Mary of Lourdes Catholic Church in Germantown Hills. Father Neri Greskoviak and Father Gregory Jozefiak will officiate. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, at Wright & Salmon Mortuary, with recitation of the Rosary at 7 p.m. Cremation rites have been accorded. Entombment of ashes will be in Resurrection Mausoleum at a later date.
Memorials may be made to Children's Hospital of Illinois or St. Mary of Lourdes Catholic Church.
Tributes and condolences may be submitted to www.wrightandsalmon.com.
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