Obituary of Margaret A. Keigher
Margaret “Margie” A. Keigher.
Margaret A. Keigher, of Joliet, passed away peacefully on Friday, November 13, 2020, at her home in Joliet. Margie was born on September 7, 1931, daughter of the late Leo and Veronica (née Haley) Keigher. She was born in Chicago and soon after moved to Joliet, where she attended St. Patrick’s Grade School and graduated from St. Francis Academy, where she was the editor of the school paper and the lead in several school plays. She was a parishioner at St. Patrick’s Church and the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus.
After graduation, Margie was involved in the Catholic Social Club of Joliet, worked as a counselor with the YMCA, and then worked at the Joliet Correctional Center on Collins Street in Joliet. It was her interactions with those entering the prison that led to her life’s work of helping those in need. Margie then joined the Daughters of Charity, founded in France by St. Vincent de Paul and Saint Louise de Marillac to help the poor and sick. Margie took the name of Sister Leo after her father Leo. She began teaching at St. Vincent’s Grade School in Perryville Mo, close to the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, for which the Daughters of Charity are renowned. While in Perryville Margie continued her education on weekends and summers at Marillac College in St. Louis. Her brother Francis (Brother Leo) served as a Vincentian brother in Perryville while Margie lived there.
After Margies’s time at Perryville, she taught at grade schools in Birmingham AL, Milwaukee WI, St. Louis MO, and New Orleans LA. After her father and brother passed away, Margie returned to Joliet to help her mother. After serving as a Daughter of Charity for 23 years, she continued her work as a teacher in Joliet at Hufford Jr. High School, Washington Jr. High, Joliet Junior College (Adult Learning Program), and also at the Spanish Center in Joliet.
Margie was such a kind and loving person and made an impact on so many lives. As a teacher, she had a gift for making learning fun, which made her a favorite with her students. She was always finding ways to help the poor and lonely both during her years as a Daughter of Charity and afterward in the Joliet area. She reached out to strangers she chanced to meet with a smile and a kind word, and would often say goodbye with a gesture upwards and the words “See you at the Party!”.
She kept contact with her classmates from St. Patrick’s and St. Francis Academy, enjoying the many reunions over the years.
Margie loved her neighbors on Glenwood Avenue, often calling them “her angels”. She really enjoyed their visits and was grateful for their friendship. She loved her parish, St. Patrick’s Church, where she was a volunteer at liturgies and events throughout the years. She especially enjoyed their annual St. Patrick’s Day party.
Margie loved and was devoted to her large family. She always looked forward to the many parties, reunions, events, and vacations which she enjoyed so very much! She loved playing the piano, especially the old songs like Easter Parade, Doodley Doo, and Till We Meet Again. When it was someone’s birthday without fail she would call up and say “I have a singing telegram for (So-and-So). Please hold...” and after settling herself at the piano she would play and sing “Happy Birthday”.
Having such a positive attitude and strong faith, Margie inspired her family to count their blessings, be generous to others, and stay close to Jesus. She led a sparing and sharing life, denying herself what most of us take for granted and giving very generously to charities, especially Food for the Poor. Margie set an example, day in and day out, of what it means to love one’s neighbor, and the lessons she taught us will live on for generations. Her family loved her so very much and she will be dearly missed by all.
Margie is survived by her siblings Francis “Bro. Leo” Keigher, C.M., Theresa (the late Jerry) O’Connor, Rita (the late Glenn) Keenan, Eileen (Tom) Schiltz, Jim (Joyce) Traina, Patrick (the late Carroll) Keigher, and Kathleen (Warren) Lindsay, and her brother in law Tom Flavin. Numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins also survive.
She is preceded by her parents; siblings Mary (John “Buddy”) McGrail, Lois Flavin, Mike Keigher; niece, Sheri Schiltz; and great-niece Marina Schiltz; as well as several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Funeral Services for Margaret A. Keigher will be held on Saturday, November 28, 2020. Family and friends are asked to gather at 11:15 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus, 640 N. Raynor Ave., Joliet IL, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. Interment will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery in Manhattan IL.
Visitation will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 27, 2020, at the Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, 3200 Black Rd (at Essington Rd.), Joliet IL. In accordance with the Illinois guidelines, a 10 person capacity will be followed. Face masks are required and social distancing will be observed.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in her name to St. Vincent De Paul Society would be appreciated. For more information, please call (815) 741-5500 or visit her Memorial Tribute page at www.fredcdames.com.