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Viola Beal

Viola Hazel Cook Beal, 93, of El Paso, formerly of Normal and Peoria, passed away Tuesday (Feb. 12, 2019) at Heritage Health, El Paso.

Viola was born Sept. 18, 1925, in Peoria, to James M. and Viola Becker Cook. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Gerald H. Cook and James M. Cook Jr.; and special cousin, Philip John (Joyce) Becker.

She is survived by brother, Richard P. (Georgette) Cook, Double Oak, Texas; son, Tom (Kathy) Beal, Hudson; daughter, Jan Lancaster, Bloomington; grandchildren, John Lancaster, Lisa (JR) Buhs, Bob Beal, Sara (Jeremy) Lorance; and great-granddaughter, Kailee Lorance.

Viola graduated from Woodruff High School in Peoria. She attended Augustana College and Bradley University, from which she received her bachelor's degree. She later received a master's degree in social work from the University of Iowa. She taught grade school in Prospect, Ore., before relocating to Illinois, moving first to Peoria Heights and then to Normal where she began a career as a social worker, helping countless children and families over the years. She was employed by the State of Illinois, Tri County Special Education, and finished her career at Bloomington District 87.

Viola was a kind, caring person and a wonderful mother. Her pastimes included reading, knitting, crocheting, researching the family ancestry and working in her yard. She especially enjoyed dining out with her friends and family.

Per her wishes, following cremation, there will be no services. The family would like to express their appreciation for the compassion and care shown to Viola during her stay at Heritage Health. Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, is in charge of arrangements.

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