June Fey Obituary

Service Information

 
In Memory of

June Elizabeth Fey

June 29, 1928 - April 29, 2014
Obituary

June Fey, 85, of Peoria, Ill., passed away Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Peoria. June was born June 29, 1928 in the little hamlet of Reno in Southern Illinois, the only child of Lewis Vernon and Emma Elizabeth Clanton, and by them the child of the very pioneer farmers and cattlefolk who founded that territory before Illinois became a state. Venturing as a young woman with her own horizons, she broke from farm life and set out for the big city of Peoria to become a telephone operator, even after her father said he’d get that tractor (and lose the horse for the plowing) and relented on getting the farm electrified.  That...


June Fey, 85, of Peoria, Ill., passed away Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Peoria.



June was born June 29, 1928 in the little hamlet of Reno in Southern Illinois, the only child of Lewis Vernon and Emma Elizabeth Clanton, and by them the child of the very pioneer farmers and cattlefolk who founded that territory before Illinois became a state.



Venturing as a young woman with her own horizons, she broke from farm life and set out for the big city of Peoria to become a telephone operator, even after her father said he’d get that tractor (and lose the horse for the plowing) and relented on getting the farm electrified.  That flight was 1946, departing the year she graduated from nearby Pocahontas High School, class of sixteen.



She married Ulysses “Bud” Fey on Nov. 20, 1948, at the First Christian Church in Springfield, Ill.  With her husband she built and managed a small residential construction corporation, Bud Fey Builders, which ran successfully for more than 30 years.  Together they built a home and lived a vocation of hospitality and concern for others to which many family and friends can bear witness.  June was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Peoria.



Surviving are her two sons, Michael Fey of Peoria and Dennis (Terri) Fey of Highland Park, Ill.



Services will be held on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 2pm at Davison-Fulton Woodland Chapel with visitation one hour prior to the service.  The Rev. Susan Pinkerton and Rev. Richard Pippin will officiate.  Interment will be in Parkview Cemetery. 



***



June, Aunt June, Mom—was born June Elizabeth Clanton on June 29, 1928 in the little hamlet of Reno in Southern Illinois, the only child of Lewis Vernon and Emma Elizabeth Clanton, and by them the child of the very pioneer farmers and cattlefolk who founded that territory before Illinois became a state.



Mom’s recollections of those days became our own, my and my brother’s, as they commingled with the many days of our lives (foundational days for many an earthquake ahead) sporting around the farm of our beloved grandparents, caught up and bodied forth from her life there by way of our own loving play and pastoral adventures.  There we were transformed by—not taught—a hospitality that circulated like the aroma of Grandma’s fried wild mushrooms; nothing here of skilled politeness, but of all the unwilled release the flower performs its fragrance.  This would be the hospitality that would welcome relation, neighbor, and every other character, who would cross the threshold of the home she would make with Dad, and kept fifty-odd years on Sunnyview Drive—there are many who can bear witness, and many dear and gone ahead of her to that place more home than home.



Woven crazy-quilt with Grandpa’s stories of Indians, gypsies, and the Great War, with the sound of my Grandma’s allowing laughter, with the outdoing stories of visiting neighbors and shirttail kin—there was Mom’s cowgirl train trek with her father to take the cattle to market in St. Louis; how she traded her southern fried chicken for bologna sandwiches at school (and got in trouble for it); the storied return of her lost dog Spotty; how she had to read by kerosene lamp; and how, venturing to be girl, then young woman with her own horizons, she finally broke away from farm life and set out for the big city of Peoria to become a telephone operator, even after her father said he’d get that tractor (and lose the horse for the plowing) and relented on getting the farm electrified.  That flight was 1946, departing the year she graduated from nearby Pocahontas High School, class of sixteen.



Independent in Peoria she met her partner in a “match made in Heaven,” my Grandma Fey called it, but we have many times wondered (in both humor and bewilderment) how this only child managed to survive being thrown in with “The Feys.”  Still, in 1948, she took the plunge and married Ulysses (you better call him “Bud”) George Fey, the only male child surrounded by our five (usually) delightfully imposing Aunts : suddenly high drama, but what clan and color for all of us who remember the many feuds and forgivenesses, the funny and the furious, the parties and partings.



Mom was partner in every sense, including business, as she and Dad together built a small residential construction corporation, Bud Fey Builders, which ran successfully for the many years supporting our growing up and then some, until Dad decided to “retire” to just as demanding a career in large commercial construction.  Mom was in that generation of women who though crucial to success were seldom recognized and sought no recognition—somehow they put it all under the job title “Wife.”



Somehow Mom could be the whole half of a business, be Cub Scout den mother, cook, household manager, as well as mother of us (and that was hardly easy), caregiver to her own mother, her husband’s mother, and so on, through the great list of impossibles that are nevertheless borne, one can suppose, by all great mothers. 



The great sweep of our family years together, which dramatic chronicling one might suppose best tells the “real” story, oddly are now easily elided, as if they have turned out to only footnote a  singular vocation, especially clear now, into which Mom was born and which issues in all who have been enjoined by her:  Mom’s exceptional grace was the hospitality she carried forward.  In furthering that, in a way she shared with Dad, she would unhesitatingly charge herself with the care of anyone who came into its ambit, summoned even fiercely in the case of her relations.  While this could be unwelcome and irksome, of course, there could be no dismissing her care as just so much controlling and busybodying.  All one had to do was consult the most of one’s daily interactions and compare her concerning embrace to the economic management of feelings, the reduction of relations to contracts and transactions—all the commoditizing and empty intrusiveness of the world.



This sense of charge and vocation was such a feature of Mom and Dad, that it took some years for both my brother and I to realize just how exceptional was such an answerability, that this was not a regular feature of the world, but a calling to love that both escapes and enables it. 



For such a grace we can only thank God and this woman, June, our mother, who so willingly responded to its annunciation.  May this same grace welcome her into joy and peace in excess of every graciousness she performed and inspired.



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Peoria Journal Star
PEORIA - June Fey, 85, of Peoria, Ill., passed away Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in Peoria. June was born June 29, 1928, in the little hamlet of...

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