Catholic 05

Anne Virginia (Slavin) Desmond

February 8, 1929 ~ May 27, 2023 (age 94) 94 Years Old


Anne Virginia Desmond (née Slavin) of Woodstock, IL, passed away peacefully on May 27, 2023, after 94 rich and full years of life. Anne was a remarkable woman – a devoted wife, mother, sister, neighbor, and friend, as well as a voracious reader, lifelong learner, devout Irish Catholic, pioneering businesswoman, and eternal optimist. She shared love, kindness, humor, and wisdom with everyone she met, and she will be deeply missed.

Anne was born to Howard and Agnes Slavin on February 8, 1929, on the outskirts of Hebron, IL. She was raised on a 200-acre dairy farm alongside her two elder sisters, Helen and Catherine, and younger sister, Jeanne. Always curious and engaged, Anne excelled at school and graduated top of her class at Hebron High School before attending Edgewood College in Madison, WI. She then pursued an advanced business program and was one of few women to earn a master’s degree in business administration from UW Madison in 1951.     

Anne married William John Desmond of Woodstock, IL, on June 14, 1952, with whom she shared nearly 70 happy years and raised three sons. They spent the first two years of their marriage in San Francisco, CA, while Bill served with the U.S. Marine Corps before moving back to Woodstock to raise their family. Anne was a proud and active Woodstock resident. She served on the public library board, delivered Meals on Wheels to local residents, was a keen bridge player, and faithfully attended St. Mary’s Catholic Church. After her boys were grown, Anne bought and ran a successful Sears store in Harvard, IL, for many years. She and Bill enjoyed a long retirement, spending time with dear friends in Schooner Oaks, FL, looking after their grandkids with an endless supply of Cheetos and card games, sending brilliantly punchy notes for every birthday and holiday, and being admittedly bad at golf.

Anne was sadly preceded in death by her husband, Bill, in 2020, and her eldest son, William Howard Desmond, in 2021. She is survived by her sons, Timothy John Desmond (m. Sally Desmond) of Westlake Village, CA, and David Joseph Desmond of Fontana, WI, and her daughter-in-law, Kristine Desmond (m. William H. Desmond) of Waukesha, WI, as well as five beloved grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. This includes William Gordon Desmond (m. Sarahjeet Singh) of Warren, VT, and their two sons, William Damoder Desmond and Dara Max Desmond; Margaret Rose Desmond (m. Francisco Lewis) of Colchester, UK, and their daughter, Thomasin Rose Desmond Lewis; Samuel John Desmond (m. Emily Ayres Desmond) of Seattle, WA, and their son, Howard Douglas Desmond; Claire Margaret Desmond (m. Adam Raty) of Oakland, CA; and Jane Marie Desmond (Arlen Horton) of Sawtell, Australia.

Anne had a strong sense of who she was and where she came from while showing infinite compassion and support to others. She was a powerful combination of dignified, grounded, and wise. With her passing, we lose a decent, talented person whose warmth and wit touched so many.

The Desmond family welcomes you to join them in celebrating Anne’s life on Thursday, June 22, 2023 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Woodstock.  There will be a visitation from 9:00 -10:20 am in the St Joseph Center at the church, followed by a mass at 10:30 am.  The family would especially like to thank the staff and hospice team of Golden Years in Walworth, WI, for the wonderful care they provided to Anne. In lieu of flowers, please consider giving to the Woodstock Food Pantry or the Woodstock Public Library in Anne’s honor. For information call the Schneider, Leucht, Merwin & Cooney Funeral Home at 815 338 1710 or see our website at

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Memorial Gathering
June 22, 2023

9:00 AM to 10:20 AM
St. Mary Catholic Church
312 Lincoln Avenue
Woodstock, IL 60098

Memorial Mass
June 22, 2023

10:30 AM
St. Mary Catholic Church
312 Lincoln Avenue
Woodstock, IL 60098


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