Alice Louise Veasman (1921 - 2019)

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Alice Veasman died peacefully on February 23, 2019 at age 97 in her apartment at Casey's Pond Senior Living in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where she lived happily since late 2014.

She was born on July 24, 1921 in Chicago to Fred and Rita Pellegrini. Her younger siblings were Richard (deceased) and Fredine.

She began her passion for dancing at an early age. After graduation from Amundsen High School and secretarial school, she worked for Gooder-Henrichsen, an engineering firm that shored up buildings in Chicago when the subway was built. During this time, she continued dancing with Emily Hoffman's School of Dance where she performed at theaters, hotels and conventions. She was very acrobatic and did ballet, tap, Spanish, and contemporary dance, having been selected by Martha Graham to perform this new genre in Chicago. She was a natural ballroom dancer her whole life. She and Dad danced at parties and celebrations. He happily let others dance with her, too. She could follow anyone.

She met Frank Veasman, her husband for 53 years, at Gooder-Henrichsen. He was engaged to another and she had a boyfriend. He was an engineering graduate of the University of Illinois. When World War II was threatening and he wanted to do defense work, he asked Alice to type his applications after work. She somewhat goaded him into taking her out to dinner for her efforts and their feelings for each other began to bloom. They had two more dates before he left for Newport News, VA to work as an engineer for a Navy contractor and they wrote letters constantly. While Alice was on a Pellegrini family vacation in Newport News, Frank asked her to marry him.

They were married on Oct 25, 1941 in St. Benedict's Church in Chicago. It was a big Italian wedding. After the war began Frank joined the Navy as an Ensign and was sent to Cal Tech for several months.

Gail was born in Chicago in 1943, as Alice was with her parents while Frank was at Cal Tech. After Frank was assigned to the Naval Office of Research and Invention in Washington, D.C., they moved to D.C. and remained there until the end of World War II.

They moved back to the Chicago area and bought their first home in Oak Forest, Ill. just before Ken was born in 1948. She was active in the PTA and all of her children's activities. Both Gail and Ken graduated from the University of Illinois.

Gail married Brooks Kellogg in1966, and Ken married Michelle Sassaman in 1996.

In 1975, Frank and Alice moved to Sopchoppy where they helped build the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church. She continued being active in her new community with the Garden Club, Homemakers Club, Rotary and the church. She was a wonderful cook and enjoyed hosting many family and friends gatherings here and in Illinois.

Published in The Wakulla News on Mar. 20, 2019
bullet University of Illinois
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