Mary Ann Peel: August 24, 1931 - November 23, 2019
Mary Ann Peel was born August 24, 1931, in Topeka, Kansas, to Henry and Corrine (Fowler) Bromich. As the oldest of 4 siblings, Mary Ann enjoyed playing with her sisters, her brother, and friends, as well as listening to her favorite stories on the radio. She loved baking with her mother and continued to bake delicious treats for her family and friends throughout her life specializing in pie crusts and Christmas cookies.
Mary Ann graduated from Topeka High School and went on to attend Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, where she majored in home economics and art. At K State, she joined the Alpha Delta Pi sorority where she served as the chapter treasurer and created many life-long friendships with her sorority sisters. Years later, Mary Ann was thrilled when two of her nieces also joined ADPi at K State as well as her daughter at Texas Christian University.
When her father, Henry, passed away, Mary Ann left KSU to help work at the Topeka Supply and Boiler Works, Co., her family’s business. While living back home in Topeka, Mary Ann went on a blind date and met Joe Peel, a Captain in the US Marines, and was soon engaged to be married. Their nuptials took place at the Marine base in Kaneohe Bay on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, where Captain Peel was stationed in 1953. The couple lived for a short time in Hawaii before returning to Topeka, where Joe soon entered law school at Washburn University.
In 1957, Mary Ann and Joe were blessed with the birth of their son, Bill. The following year, Joe accepted a position with the Health Insurance Association of America in Chicago, Illinois. The Peels moved their family to Glenview, Illinois, where Mary Ann became involved with the Presbyterian church and many women’s groups. Their daughter, Barbara, was born in Illinois in 1966. The Peels became members of the Glenview Community Church where Mary Ann became involved with the women’s chapter groups.
Mary Ann was an avid and loyal sports fan. She enjoyed cheering on the Kansas State teams and followed their winning football team to many of their bowl games. Living in the Chicago area, she became a die-hard Cubs, Bulls, and Bears fan. Mary Ann and Joe delighted in sharing season tickets to the Chicago Bears football games for several years as well as two seasons with the Washington Redskins when they lived in Virginia. If Mary Ann and Joe were home on a weekend, they would spend their time cheering the many sports on tv.
Mr. and Mrs. Peel loved playing golf. During the week, Mary Ann would play in two women’s leagues and would play rounds with Joe on Sundays throughout the summer. Their course was the Glenview Park District Golf Course and quickly became their home away from home. Mary Ann was also honored to serve as the Tuesday women’s league president. Golf led the couple to travel to many great golf courses around the world. And if any member of their foursome had a question about a rule in golf, Mary Ann could practically recite the PGA Rule Book.
Other hobbies that Mary Ann was fond of included playing bridge with several bridge groups, jigsaw puzzles as well as crossword puzzles. She learned to create crewel needle art from her mother while growing up and spent countless hours stitching beautiful pieces. With her art background, Mary Ann would design several of her crewel works of her own including pictures of each of the houses she and Joe had lived in using beautiful stitches and colors to represent the homes and landscaping. Nearly every wall in their home had a piece of Mary Ann’s crewel or cross stitched artwork.
In 1985, shortly before the birth of their first grand daughter, Megan; Mary Ann and Joe moved to the Washington DC area where the HIAA had consolidated their offices. They enjoyed living in Fairfax, Virginia, soaking in the history of the area, and being tour guides for their family and friends who came to visit. Here, the Peels joined a country club where they played golf and met new neighbors.
When Joe was ready to retire, they moved back to Illinois where they could be closer to Bill, Melanie, Megan, and their next grand daughter, Emily. Mary Ann and Joe moved to Naperville, Illinois, where Joe was hired by the Fraternal Insurance Association in Naperville. They soon joined Cress Creek Country Club and enjoyed playing golf in leagues and making some great friends.
During their “retirement”, the Peels began traveling to beautiful locations on cruises. They were fortunate to travel to Alaska, rivers through Germany and the Netherlands, the Mediterranean, as well as the British Isles, Aruba, and Curacao. On their cruises, Mary Ann and Joe met many friends and enjoyed keeping in touch with their pen pals.
Mr. and Mrs. Peel were also traveling to Minnesota to visit Barb’s family with Joe Pletsch and grandsons Kyle and Jake. Home ownership, the upkeep of their yard, and shoveling snow soon became tiresome and the Peels decided to downsize. They moved into Lexington Square Senior Apartments in Lombard, IL, where they enjoyed senior living and again made many friends.
In 2017, after living a long happy life, Joe Peel passed away. Mary Ann had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and lived on the memory care floor of Lexington Square. In the fall of 2019, Mary Ann was moved to Hugo, MN to Good Life Senior Living where she passed away on November 23.
Mary Ann was preceded in death by her parents Henry and Corinne Bromich, sister Althea Leistikow, and beloved husband Joe W. Peel. Mary Ann Peel is survived by son Bill Peel (Melanie), daughter Barb Pletsch (Joe), grandchildren Megan Barag (Aaron), Emily Peel, Kyle Pletsch, Jacob Pletsch, and great grandson Henry Barag; brother Bud Bromich (Judy), sister Sandy Wittmer, as well as her loving nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Mary Ann’s life is being planned for the spring of 2020 at Mount Hope Cemetery, in Topeka, Kansas, where she will be laid to rest next to her husband, Joe.
In lieu of flowers, the Peel and Pletsch families would truly appreciate any donations in Mary Ann Peel’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association. https://act.alz.org/site/Donation2