Nancy Jane (Holm) Rowley
, was absolutely the most loving wife, caring mother, thoughtful Nana, beloved sister, cherished daughter and loyal friend. Much too suddenly and too soon, she joined the angels and saints in Heaven on January 10, 2021, at the age of 56. She was a truly warm-hearted, kind and vibrant woman who left a positive mark on everyone she ever met. Born as the youngest of four children (Dave, John and Mark), Nancy made her way into the world May 1, 1964, to the proud parents, John “Jack” and Rita Holm, in the town of Geneva, Illinois. Nancy inherited her mother’s beauty, both inside and out, and her father’s quick wit. Jack and Rita instilled in Nancy a devout Catholic faith and strong emphasis on family. She attended St. Peter’s grade school, where she made many great friends. She recently attended a reunion of grade school friends at Swedish Days in Geneva and enjoyed seeing everyone.
Nancy then attended Rosary Catholic High School where her fun-hearted spirit led to her involvement in cheerleading, poms (affectionately referred to as the “Bomb Squad”) and many other social events. She also excelled academically. Although always understated, Nancy would often remind Todd - later in life - that she was a member of the National Honor Society (and he wasn’t!). Her sweet personality and affinity to listen to others led her to making lifelong friends, especially a group of dear members of her “Rosary clique”, with whom she remained close to over the years and enjoyed many reunions and trips. Her sincere and kind personality also led her to meeting the love of her life, Todd. While the two simply attended a Rosary/Marmion turnabout dance together during their high school days - which always prompted multiple versions of that story when the subject came up - Todd and Nancy officially started dating while attending the University of Iowa, and the rest was history.
During their college days, Nancy could always be found reluctantly laughing at Todd’s nonstop jokes and hanging out at 819 Iowa Ave (Todd’s house across from Nancy’s Chi Omega sorority). Nancy always claimed that the truly funny jokes were hers, just repeated more loudly by Todd. They made such wonderful friends at Iowa, again making many great memories together and they truly enjoyed their years there. They remained lifelong loyal Hawkeyes!! Todd and “Nance” were the very best of friends, which made for the strong foundation of their wonderful 32-year marriage. When Todd and Nancy had their first serious dinner date at IRP in Iowa City, they quickly realized their common backgrounds, strong Catholic commitments and the importance of family. Nancy was immediately welcomed into the Rowley family, and she became a loved member of the large Irish Catholic clan.
After college, Nancy became a buyer for Von Maur in Davenport, Iowa and Todd started his business career in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They kept their long-distance relationship going strong, with weekly treks to visit each other. Soon, they were engaged, and Nancy moved to Rantoul, Illinois, (outside of Champaign) where Todd was working. They were married on March 19, 1988, concelebrated by close family friends, several Marmion priests. This began an incredible journey together from Rantoul to Tucson, Arizona and then on to Kansas City, making many, many friends. Wherever they were, Nancy was leaving her footprints along the way. She was always involved in her family’s school and Church - from St. Malachy’s to St. Cyril’s to Cure of Ars to Rockhurst and Sion. Nancy’s steady and caring personality always found her contributing in many ways, including chairing school auctions, PTO boards, Holy Smokes BBQ events and many, many more. Her quiet but strong leadership was always on display and always welcomed. She just had a special way of making everyone feel welcomed and others simply enjoyed being around her.
Of the many things that Nancy accomplished, where she shined most brightly was being a devoted mother and role model to her three children, Colleen Marie (Brett Blackwell), Ryan Patrick and Nicholas John, and an adored “Nana” to her grandson, Beckett James, and granddaughter, Rowley Irene. From hosting a delicious Sunday dinner each weekend - where she continuously outdid herself - to putting on the most thoughtful holiday celebrations and perfectly curated family trips to constant playdates full of endless creativity and laughter with her grandchildren, Nancy was always surrounded by her family, whom she loved deeply, and they loved her more than words can ever express. Nancy’s generous-loving spirit didn’t stop there. She brought it into every aspect of life, including her devout Catholic faith and cherished friendships. In fact, she held so many dear relationships throughout the school years, in her many successful rounds on the golf course, hands of bridge and book club get-togethers, amongst the neighborhood of Royse, on the waters of Lake Lotawana, during her time volunteering with Starfish Ministry and everywhere in between. Nancy made each circle she touched a little better and a whole lot brighter.
Todd and Nancy were truly enjoying the past 10 years, or so, as “empty nesters,” spending time together and enjoying so many activities. Nancy loved traveling and they enjoyed many great trips - Italy, France, Ireland, Switzerland, Caribbean trips, Mexico trips, Florida trips and more. Nancy loved playing cards (bridge, Euchre and hearts), they loved restaurants, she loved cooking and she was becoming an avid golfer. All of these interests led to sharing great times with many friends and family. Nancy was always able to throw a great party. She was a wonderful hostess, whether it was her Sunday dinners with the family, dinner club parties with the neighborhood crew, 4th of July parties at Lake Lotawana or incredible holiday celebrations. There are truly too many great memories to list. These times will always be cherished. Nancy was very blessed!!
We will always remember Nancy’s warm smile and the special smile in her eyes. She was an incredibly exceptional person, loved by many wherever she went. She will forever and always be missed but surely never forgotten. Services will be held at Cure’ of Ars Catholic Church following COVID-19 protocols and restrictions - Rosary and Visitation, Friday, January 15th, 5:00 - 7:00 P.M. | Funeral, Saturday, January 16th, 10:00 A.M.*Due to the current COVID-19 circumstances, the family understands that live streaming may be your safest opportunity for celebrating Nancy and encourages you to do so.
Please visit www.cureofars.com/funeral
on the day of the service to view.Kathleen (McLean) Columbo
Kristen Marie (Weiss) Thomas, age 59, passed away peacefully at her home in Oswego, on May 8, 2023. She fought a courageous battle with strength, dignity, and quiet grace.
Kristen was born in Aurora, Illinois to Leon and Jeane Weiss on October 7, 1963. She attended Holy Angels Catholic School and Rosary High School before attending Northern Illinois University, where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and went on to earn her Paralegal certificate with Honors from Roosevelt University. Kristen joined the Chicago law firm of Coghlan, Joyce, Kukankos, Keleher, & Urbut in October 1985, where she was a trusted and valued paralegal and office manager until 2016. Kristen then joined The Scion Group as a paralegal in 2018. Kristen’s work life was only a small part of her story.
Her real love was for her family and friends. Kristen met her sweetheart and future husband, Ron, while they both attended NIU. They were married on June 11, 1988, and eventually established their home in Oswego, a warm and welcoming place of so many family holidays, celebrations, and outdoor barbecues. Kristen had a knack for making things beautiful and special. Kristen’s dream was to become a mother. That dream was realized in 2005, when she and Ron traveled to China to adopt their daughter, Emily. Then, in 2010, they were able to happily complete their family when they again traveled to China to adopt young Evan. Above everything, Kristen loved being their mother and cherished every memory with them. She loved attending their many activities and was so proud of their accomplishments in their young lives. To know Kristen was to be a friend of Kristen’s. In meeting her, her genuine kindness, care, and compassion for others was instantly present in her warm smile, soulful eyes, and sly sense of humor.
There are almost too many friendships to list: her cherished childhood friends whom she remained in touch with until her passing, long-standing friends from NIU, work colleagues who became close friends, her Chicago “train gang”, those who were part of her China adoption groups, parents she met through their children’s activities, neighborhood friends, and so many others who have been blessed to know her along the way.
Kristen was preceded in death by her beloved father, paternal grandparents, paternal uncle, maternal grandparents, maternal great-aunt, and father-in-law.
Kristen is survived by her loving and devoted husband of almost 35 years, Ronald Thomas and her children, Emily and Evan Thomas of Oswego, IL; mother, Jeane (Konopasek) Weiss of Aurora, IL; brother, Mark Weiss of Greendale, WI; sister, Mary (Gary) Guzzardo of Palatine, IL; sister, Rachel Weiss of Aurora, IL; mother-in-law, Josephine Thomas of Oswego, IL; brother-in-law, Jeff (Cherie) Thomas of Oswego, IL; sister-in-law, Cheryl (John) Stube of Chicago, IL; nieces and nephews: Michael (Cora) Weiss of Madison, WI; Sara Weiss of Greendale, WI; Kara Weiss of Aurora, IL; Joey Guzzardo of Palatine, IL; and John Stube III of Chicago, IL.
She was a treasure and a gift to her family, and she will be missed every day.
Kristen’s family would like to give special thanks and gratitude to her doctor and nurses at the Rush Copley Cancer Center, and those at the Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center, who were always so positive, helpful, and encouraging to Kristen.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Anne Catholic Church, 551 Boulder Hill Pass, Oswego, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 17,2023 at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow at Risen Lord Catholic Cemetery.
Donations can be made in Kristen’s memory to OCRA (Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance) or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.