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Gayeanne Pirck

March 20, 1940 June 23, 2016
Gayeanne Pirck
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Obituary for Gayeanne Pirck

Gayeanne (nee Hirstein, Woerner) Pirck, passed peacefully into the Kingdom of Heaven to be with her son, brothers, parents and husband on June 23, at home, completely surrounded by her family.

She is survived by her children, Erin (nee Woerner) Jones of Peoria, Angela (nee Woerner) Gonzales of Peoria, Joel Woerner (Melissa) of Trivoli, Jason Woerner (Allison) of Ballwin, MO, and Nathan Woerner (Shannan) of Washington; her grandchildren, Felicia (nee Gonzales) Weese (Jacob), Shane Jones, Lacey (nee Gonzales) Burrows (Jesse), Seth Jones, John Woerner, Jacob Woerner, Matthew Woerner, Kamryn Rutledge, and Grace Woerner; her great grandchildren, Vincent Weese, Bennett Weese, Elliott Weese, Maverick Burrows, and Jaxon Jones; as well as her sisters-in-law, cousins, nieces and a nephew, who all held a very special place in her heart.

Gayeanne was preceded in death by her son, Sean Woerner, her brothers Dennis (Denny) Hirstein and Dean Hirstein, her parents, Eldon and Alice (Kammermann) Hirstein, and her husband, John (Jack) Pirck.

Gayeanne was born in Peoria, and raised in Morton, IL, graduating from Morton High School in 1958.

She grew up surrounded by many cousins of the Hirstein and Kammermann families, and made many friends including a group of high school friends (known as “the 49ers”) that she continued to meet for dinner and shenanigans through the end of her life.

She met and married Donald Woerner in 1961, and had six beautiful children, raising them in the Enchanted Forest subdivision where she also met many lifelong friends.

It was here too that she developed her culinary skills that would be the centerpiece of gatherings for years to come.

When her children entered school, Gayeanne worked retail to earn additional money, deciding in the 1980s to go back to school and graduating near the top of her class from Illinois Central College with a degree that led to a second career in medical office administration, where she met many more friends and colleagues, prior to her retirement in 2004.

After a few short years of single living, Gayeanne found love again when she met Jack “Wuzzie” Pirck in 1985, and they were married surrounded by her family and friends in 1989.

Together they built a life of country living, camping, traveling the country, hanging out with friends until the wee hours, spending quality time with her grandchildren, and hosting elaborate gatherings and holiday celebrations.

Following the untimely death of her beloved Jack in 2000, and a serious battle with colon cancer in 2004, Gayeanne fought back to health and demonstrated the qualities for which she will ever be known: an unbelievable will to live life to the fullest, with family, friends, a great sense of humor, and oh, that laugh!

She was able to watch her grandchildren grow, several marry, and hold her great grandchildren, who affectionately called her “GiGi”.

She spent much time also with her lifelong friends, traveling internationally a few times, talking and laughing at all hours, listening to her favorite music, and she continued to make new friends until the end of her life.

She also never lost her desire to shop.

Mom, I think you left a few unopened packages at the house.

Gayeanne faced many heartbreaks and challenges in her life, including the death of her son Sean and her two brothers Denny and Dean, as well as her husband Jack, all gone too soon.

She also occasionally suffered a hot temper and a need for order.

And probably had more than her share of dented bumpers.

However, she will be forever remembered for her strength, passion, and legacy of love.

“She gave the best hugs”, “A wonderful, wild woman”, a self-described “Goddess”.

For most of her life, Gayeanne’s home was filled with comforting quotes and sayings.

Knowing life on this earth would not last forever, she wanted to be remembered in this way:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, what a ride!”

Rest in peace, Gazer.

This life will not be the same without you.

We look fondly forward until the day we meet again.

Gayeanne did not want a funeral or memorial service, she asked instead that a celebration of her life be held.

Arrangements are pending for the celebration in July.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to these organizations that were very important to her:  Autism Speaks and St. Jude Midwest Affiliate.  She also would want to remind everyone of the importance of tissue and organ donation, to save a life.

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