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.
Margaret was born June 17, 1925 in Alberta, MN, to George H. and Helen (Gausmann) Heick. Like her mother, she graduated as the Valedictorian of Alberta High School. She attended, and loved, Hamline University in St. Paul MN where she studied math and chemistry, graduating in 1947 Phi Beta Kappa. At Hamline she was a member of Sigma Delta sorority and part of a group of lifelong close friends nicknamed the Dirty Dozen. Margaret also met her future husband at Hamline upon his return from serving in WWII. On July 22, 1948 she married William Lawrence Kohlhase in Alberta, MN. Their first child Lawrence was born in Minnesota while William attended graduate school. The couple then moved to Buffalo, NY where they had a second child, Janet. They were transferred 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 received her master’s in 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 Community College.
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 add new skills led her to take many computing classes. She shared this 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, 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 the world. A memorable trip was one of the first teacher exchange groups into China in 1978, including a side trip to Tibet. In retirement she often travelled to New York, Green Bay, London, and Houston to visit family and attend the birth of every grandchild.
Survivors include two daughters: Janet (Steve 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.
Margaret was preceded in death by her parents, husband William and two sons, Lawrence and Randall Kohlhase.
Two memorial services will be held: the first on Thursday, July 15, 2021 at 2 p.m. at Proctor Place Senior Living and the second on Friday, July 16, 2021, visitation at 10 a.m. and service at 11 a.m., both to be held at First United Methodist Church. Rev. Dr. Timothy Ozment will officiate. Live Streaming can be viewed at http://www.peoria1.com/memorial
Burial of ashes will take place in Summit Cemetery in Morris, Minnesota at a later date.Contributions in Margaret’s memory may be made to the Loaves and Fishes Program at First United Methodist Church of Peoria or to the Kohlhase-Gausman-Dittes-Heick Endowed Scholarship at Hamline University via Hamline.edu/giving. Please see her obituary at www.wrightandsalmon.com for further details. There, friends and family may sign the online guestbook after logging on.