Carleen (Bray Golick) Skerston passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 23, 2019. She was known for her luck winning at euchre, at the boat, at charitable events, and most recently she bet on the winning horse at the Kentucky Derby!
Born on September 4, 1934 to Leo and Anna (Stremlau) Bray of Utica, Illinois, she was the youngest of eight children and was the matriarch of 250+ people at the most recent Bray Family Reunion. A graduate of LaSalle-Peru Township High School, she was one of the only women to go into Chemical Engineering at LPO and was often the only female in her classes. Carleen had a life-long interest in politics, tracking multiple news sites on her phone and on TV in order to get all angles. She was a member of the Peoria Journal Star Board and had been a “Jill for Jack” campaigning for John F. Kennedy and had an honored invitation to his inauguration.
An avid fan of tennis, she played multiple times per week until she was 79 years old. She also loved telling stories with the American Girl Dolls at the LaSalle County Historical Society. She was the go-to person to recall ages and dates, and she would recount the same by doing a magical formula of “so-and-so is three months older than X who was born when the Utica bridge flooded” – but somehow this was the most accurate of records.
She was blessed with a long life, but what comes with that is that she was preceded in death by many including her husband of 55 years, Skip Skerston; husband Bill Golick; brothers Howard, Ed, Bill, and Bob; sisters Charlotte, Dodie, and Harriet; children Joyce, Chuck, and Sam; and many other friends and family.
She is survived by her brother Jim (Mary) Bray of Utica, children and step-children Bruce (Linda) Skerston of Oglesby, Lila (Chuck) Shevokas of Oglesby, Dave (Sarah) Golick of Peru, Rich (Lisa) Golick of Seabrook, Texas, Dan (Marietta) Skerston of Wooster, Ohio, Scott (Jennifer) Skerston of Peru, and Sarah (Mark) Walczynski of Tonica.
She is also survived by in-laws Clara Cosgrove of Merryville, Indiana, Betty Kozel of Oglesby, Lenny Mozina of Peru, Cathy Castrone of Birmingham, Alabama, Ron Skerston of Prescott, Wisconsin, and Jack Skerston of Deer River, Minnesota.
She has 16 grandchildren including Beau Skerston of Peru, Amanda Skerston of Peru, Greg Krauss of Ottawa, Ramona (Mark) Lindquist of Chicago, Joyce (James) O’Hare of LaSalle, Eric (Jill) Shevokas of Oglesby, Jason (Jennifer) Shevokas of Granbury, Texas, Nicole Shevokas of Brea, California, John (Linda) Golick of Peru, Joe Golick of Oglesby, Angela Skerston of Lawrence, Kansas, Sabrina Skerston of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Amber (John) Clarner of Oglesby, Lydia Skerston of Peru, Mitch (Nicole) Walczynski of Valparaiso, Indiana, and Wes (Alicia) Walczynski of Valparaiso, Indiana.
The Hurst Funeral Home in Tonica is assisting the family with arrangements. A celebration of life will be held at Deer Park Country Club from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 26.
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