Thora Geraldine Cahill, nee Lawrence, 90 of Phoenix, Arizona passed away October 19, 2019 in her home, surrounded by the love of her family and friends. Thora was born to Ralph and Mae Lawrence in West Frankfort, Illinois. She came into the world with a bang on July 4, 1929, growing up in the fields of southern Illinois with her siblings and extended family. Thora left home after high school to embark upon an adventurous life in the big city of Chicago, where she met Jim, the love of her life and husband of 50 years. A strong and independent woman with an indomitable spirit, Thora lived a full life as a nun, wife, mother, grandmother, business woman, neighbor, and friend. She founded and served as Executive Director of Illinois Child Care Bureau and was a founding member of the National Child & Adult Care Food Program Sponsor’s Association, dutifully advocating to ensure childhood health and access to quality nutrition for over 30 years. Thora was preceded in death by her husband James J. Cahill, Sr.; her parents Ralph and Mae Lawrence, her sisters Dottie Scheid and Evelyn Burns, and her brother Phil, affectionately known as Cowboy. She is survived by her sister Sharon Clark, a.k.a Aunt Katy (John); her four children Marie (Tom Semancik), Thora Cahill-Solis (Manuel), Jeanne, Jim (Maureen, nee Kennedy); her six grandchildren Dan (Vanessa Enriquez), Katie, Drew, Lisette, Sam, Gabe; her eagerly anticipated first great grandchild, Baby Cahill; many nieces and nephews; and countless friends, neighbors and colleagues – all of whom who will miss her vitality and sense of humor. The fondest family memories include taking trips to amazing destinations including Michigan, Key West, Ireland, Costa Rica and Italy. Thora had many gifts that she graciously shared with those around her. She lived vibrantly, connected to others, and built community. Her generosity, kindness, and wise counsel will live on in all she touched. Graveside services will be held on Friday, November 15, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. at The National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 Cave Creek Rd., Phoenix AZ 85024. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Thora’s name to the Congregation of St. Joseph, 1515 Ogden Ave, LaGrange Park, Illinois 60526 or Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E Flower St, Phoenix, Arizona 85014. The family extends their sincere and deep gratitude to her compassionate caregivers, Dawn, Emma, Angie, Madi, Kay, Niesha and Tiffany; and the caring staff of Hospice of the Valley.
Mother, we salute you.
Richardson Funeral Home, Tempe, Arizona is compassionately serving the family.
To send flowers to Thora's family, please visit our floral section.
The Congregation of St Joseph
1515 Ogden Avenue, LaGrange IL 60526
Hospice of the Valley
1510 E Flower St, Phoenix AZ 85014