Arlene Ann McHale Thornley

Arlene Ann McHale Thornley, age 91, passed to new life on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Madison, Wis.

Formerly of Palatine, Ill., she had just moved to her new home and died peacefully with her family by her side.

Ann was born to Edward J. McHale and Wilhelmina Totzke on March 30, 1925, in Chicago. She graduated from Immaculata High School in 1942 and attended Northwestern University and Harper College. She married Charles Thornley on June 3, 1944, at the U.S. Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Fla., and they moved two dozen times in their 72 years together. Ann made each house feel like home in a matter of days. They had many life-long friends from sea to sea.
Ann had a great love of words as an avid reader, writer, and journalist. Published in several periodicals, she won an award for her news writing from the Missouri Press Women's Association. Her weekly column in the Centralia (Mo.) Fireside Guard detailed her family life and experiences with humor and candor. She was the charter member of the Thornley Grammar Police.

Ann also had a great love of the Word of God and was proud of spreading it through her work with children in CCD, SPRED, and the parish school. Through the years, she was active in Girl Scouts, the Republican Women's Club, Altar and Rosary Society, Women's Guild, Bible study, and various ministries in her Church, including taking communion to the homebound.
Her places of work other than the Centralia newspaper included RCA in Chicago; Ivy Hill Elementary School in Arlington Heights, Ill.; CF Industries in Deerfield, Ill.; and The Christian Shop in Palatine.

Ann always said she considered her greatest achievement to be her six children.
Ann was preceded in death by her parents, her grandson Samuel Cox, and her great-grandson Khalid Rheaume. Survivors include her husband, Charles, of Meadowmere Madison Assisted Living Community; children Karen Hansen Simon and husband Chip of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Susan Rheaume and husband Michael of Palatine; Jo Thornley Cox and husband Jody of Gladstone, Mo.; Ned Thornley and wife June of Grapevine, Texas; Erin Thornley Parisi and husband Joe of Madison; and Jane England Denham and husband Jim of Centralia.

Surviving grandchildren are Scott Hansen, Emma Simon, Michael Rheaume Jr., Andrew Rheaume, Jackson Cox, Anna Cox Turmail, Nick Thornley, Sadie Parisi, Eden Parisi, Cameron England, and Brian England. Great-grandchildren are Moriah Rheaume; Lydia Turmail; Kara, Gemma, and Calvin Thornley; and Dylan Smith. Ann also has a number of cousins and dear friends surviving.
Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. Oct. 8, 2016 at ST. THOMAS OF VILLANOVA CHURCH, 1201 E. Anderson Drive, Palatine, IL, followed by the funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Burial will be private. A luncheon will be served after the Mass.

In lieu of flowers, Charles asks that memorial contributions be made to Catholic Charities, 721 N. LaSalle, Chicago, IL 60654, (; St. Thomas of Villanova Parish,1201 E. Anderson Drive, Palatine, IL 60074-4155; or to the Marshall School Annual Fund in memory of Sam Cox and Ann Thornley, 1215 Rice Lake Road, Duluth, MN 55811 (

Gunderson East
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Drive

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