Marjorie (Marge) Louise Fanning, 88, formerly of Peoria, passed away Saturday, July 1, 2017, at Bella Terra Nursing Center in Morton Grove, Ill.

Born Jan. 30, 1929, in Canton to Ralph and Ethel Hensley, she married William Kelly Fanning Sr. April 6, 1947, at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Canton. He died on Aug. 7, 2014.

She was also preceded in death by two sons, William Kelly Fanning Jr. and Eric Paul Fanning Sr.

Marge is survived by two sons, Robin (Sandra) Fanning of Wilmette and Tim (Christine) Fanning of Park Ridge, daughters-in-law Betty and Leslie, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. 

She graduated from Canton High School in 1946. Marge attended the Lutheran Seminary in Maywood, Ill., in preparation for the four years (1960-1964) she and her husband spent serving in India as missionaries for the Lutheran Church.

Marge became a reporter for the Pekin Daily Times in 1967, Assistant Editor of Tazewell County News in 1969 and served on the first Peoria Journal Star Advisory Board in 1970. She joined the Peoria Journal Star in 1974, holding several positions before being promoted to Managing Editor in 1979. 

While at the Peoria Journal Star, she achieved many firsts: first woman supervisor in the newsroom, first woman on the copy desk, first woman Sunday Edition Editor and the first woman Managing Editor of a major Illinois newspaper. Marge served as President of the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association in 1990. She retired from the Peoria Journal Star in 1991. 

Marge was also the first woman to be named to the Morton Civil Defense Board (1969) and selected Morton Citizen of the Year (1971). She helped to organize the Morton Junior Women’s Club (1966) and served as its president (1970). Marge was President of the Morton YWCA Board (1970), as well as the Morton Community Chest Drive Chairman (1971) and Director (1972). 

Marge was member of the Salem Lutheran Church, Peoria, Ill., for 50 years. 

Visitation will be held Friday, August 11, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Salem Lutheran Church in Peoria. A memorial service will take place at Salem Lutheran Church Saturday, August 12, at 11 a.m. A luncheon will be served following the service.

Memorials can be made to Salem Lutheran Church.