Melissa (Missy) Ann Free passed away on October 9, 2019. She was born March 13, 1958, in Monmouth, Illinois and grew up in Kirkwood, Illinois as the youngest of seven children born to Bill and Louise Lease. She graduated from Yorkwood High School in 1976 and married Tom Free on March 27, 1977. They welcomed daughter Jessica in 1978 and daughter Whitney in 1985.
Missy and Tom moved north to Lanark, Illinois in 1985. She spent much of her career as an administrative assistant at various businesses, eventually deciding that healthcare was the field she enjoyed most. She had a servant’s heart, loved helping others and volunteered her time to several causes and groups. She served on Eastland School District’s school board for 8 years with her final few years as president, served on the Lanark City Council, helped with the Pitter Patter Pantry to serve Carroll County moms, supported many Lanark United Methodist Church functions, and spent countless hours at her daughters’ school activities and supporting them behind the scenes. During her own battle with cancer, Missy helped promote and fundraise for treatment facilities and equipment in Clinton, Iowa, where she worked at Mercy Hospital.
Missy’s favorite thing to do was to be with her family. They vacationed in northern Wisconsin every summer for many years, making memories on Little St. Germain Lake. Missy and Tom made many close friends wherever they lived, and went on many trips with those friends. She loved ladies’ weekends with her daughters, twin sister Mindy, and other “Greenstreet Girls” (her mother’s maiden name). She also loved being Nana to her grandkids, spoiling and snuggling them at every opportunity.
Missy had a way of making everyone around her smile, and you always knew how she felt. She found joy in the simple things, and her infectious smile and laugh will be remembered by all who knew her. She loved deeply, gave generously, worked hard, knew how to have fun, and rocked sassy pink lipstick better than anyone. She and Tom were committed to finding something good in every day -- even the hardest ones. In their 45 years together, they were truly best friends, spending as much time together as they could. They experienced life’s highest highs and lowest lows, but always put their family, faith and each other first.
Missy leaves behind her husband, Tom; her daughter and son-in-law Jessica and Chet Mellema; daughter and son-in-law Whitney Free and Joe Martin; grandchildren Charlotte (9) and Henry (6) Mellema; siblings Mindy (Mike) Henry, Kevin Lease, Lana (Mike) Booth, Mike Lease, and Lynn (Lorraine) Lease; father-in-law and mother-in-law Jim and Gladys Free; and many siblings-in-law, nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her mother and father, sister Linda, and numerous other relatives and close friends.
A Celebration of Life will be at 11:30 a.m., Monday, October 14, 2019 at McGuire & Davies Funeral Home and Crematory, Monmouth. Visitation will be prior to the service from 9:00-11:30 a.m. at the funeral home. Cremation rites have been accorded. Interment will be in Belmont Cemetery. The family will also hold a casual Celebration of Life at the Lanark United Methodist Church in Lanark, Illinois, on Saturday, October 12, 2019 from 3:00-7:00 p.m. Memorial donations may be made in Missy’s name to Lanark United Methodist Church, Pitter Patter Pantry, or an Eastland High School scholarship fund to be established by her family.
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