Maureen Elizabeth (Cekay) Appleton, of Taylorville, IL, passed away suddenly on Friday, November 6, 2015, in Springfield, IL. Mrs. Appleton, 65, died at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield after a 16-month battle against cancer. At the time of her death, she was surrounded by her loving family: husband William Roberts Appleton, to whom she was married for 41 years; and daughters Mary Elizabeth, of Kansas City, MO, Laura Ann Chau (Hanson), of Oswego, IL, and Carolyn Maureen Zinter (Kevin) of Elmhurst, IL.
Mrs. Appleton taught 6th grade language arts for 18 years at Taylorville Junior High School. Before that she was director of development at St. Vincent Memorial Hospital, Taylorville. She also worked for many years as a flight attendant for United Airlines, based out of Chicago.
A long-time member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Taylorville, Mrs. Appleton also served on the Taylorville Area Arts Council, and the St. Vincent's Hospital Auxiliary.
Mrs. Appleton was born in Chicago, IL, in 1950, to Robert and Rita Cekay, who moved their family to Northlake, IL, then Melrose Park, IL, and eventually to Mundelein, IL, where Maureen was a student at Santa Maria Del Poppolo Elementary School and Carmel Catholic High School. She attended Adrian College in Michigan for her freshman year, then transferred to Mundelein College in Chicago, where she majored in theater, with a minor in education. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1972.
Family was central to her life. As a young girl, whenever her mother suffered pregancy-related illnesses, Maureen acted as the “little mother” to her six siblings. Those bonds grew stronger as the siblings grew up; Maureen was a role model to them, and her home in Taylorville became a gathering place for family holidays and parties. She was devoted to her parents, and ushered them through their senior years. Friends and colleagues remember her as smart, elegant, strong, and practical, someone who, in the words of one longtime friend, encouraged everyone, including her students, to “live your best life.”
She was preceded in death by her parents and by her brother Thomas G. Cekay (wife, Luann Zanzola).
Besides her husband and daughters, Mrs. Appleton is survived by: her brothers Robert Cekay (wife, Roberta), Dr. Daniel Cekay (wife, Susan), John Cekay (wife, Martina), and Patrick Cekay; her sister, Mary Eileen Cekay-Allen (husband, Rick); her grandchildren Benjamin, Ryan and Nora Maureen Zinter, and Emerson Grace Chau; and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, November 10, at McClure Funeral Home, 302 W. Poplar St., Taylorville. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Wednesday, November 11, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 108 W. Adams St., Taylorville. Burial will be at Oak Hill Cemetery, 820 S. Cherokee St., Taylorville.
Memorials in Mrs. Appleton's name may be sent to the Christian County Senior Citizen Center, 701 W. Adams St., Taylorville, IL, 62568, or to St. Mary's School, 422 S. Washington St, Taylorville, IL 62528.
McClure Funeral Home is assisting the Appleton family with arrangements. Memories of Maureen or condolences to the family may be left online at www.mcclurefuneralhome.com.