We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at O'Quinn-Peebles-Phillips Funeral Home & Crematory
April 23, 1931-September 21, 2022
At the age of 91, Frances Alice Anne McIlroy McQuade passed away peacefully in her sleep on September 21, 2022. Frances was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 63 years, James Stanley McQuade, her mother, Annie McIlroy, father, William Cross McIlroy, and brothers Robert, Hayes, William, and Kenneth McIlroy.
Frances is survived by her son, William Brian McQuade (John Baldwin) of Bryson City, daughter Shonagh McQuade Weems (Edward Weems) of Buies Creek; grandchildren Jonathan McQuade, Maria McQuade (Torie Cherry, great-grandson Robert), Thomas McQuade, Brandon Hillegass (Taylor Hillegass), Meredith Hillegass (Zachary Harper, son Grayson), Erika Hillegass, Austin McQuade, Megan Johnson (Jeremy Johnson, son Fischer), and Gabe Hillegass (Quinn Hillegass, children Adelaide, Ellery, Finley, and Jack); brother, John McIlroy, and many nieces, nephews, and extended family members.
Frances grew up in Dungannon, Northern Ireland, on a farm surrounded by a large family and numerous animals. In Frances’s early years, she was a voracious reader. Her love of reading continued for years as she was a regular at the library bringing home an armful of books each visit. Frances began her career teaching at a local primary school in Ireland. She always enjoyed music and served as an organist at her church. Her love for music continued throughout her life, and Frances could be found singing joyful hymns and playing piano in her home. Frances was a lover of Jeopardy, Scrabble, crosswords, and bird watching, especially hummingbirds and cardinals. Frances also had a great love for flowers and plants. She excelled at sports, played on her high school hockey team, and was an avid tennis player for years. Riding horses, sledding, and being active well into her later years amazed many. She was often seen enjoying nature walks around the Keith Hills neighborhood.
Once married, Frances moved with her husband, Stanley, many times as he advanced his career. Their travels led them to Ireland, Canada, Vermont, New York, and North Carolina. She was a welcomed sight for many as she traveled back and forth between Ireland and North Carolina, visiting family and friends. Although she worked as a church secretary and ran the family medical practice as an office manager in Bryson City, she is best known as a devoted wife, mother, granny/nanny, and thoughtful friend. Some of her most cherished moments were spent with her children and later her seven grandchildren, being a school chauffeur, and having family over for many delicious Irish home-cooked meals. She set an extraordinary example of Christian love and strong family values.
Frances was an active member of Memorial Baptist Church of Buies Creek for many years. She was the quiet and kind force behind Stanley, as she kept him organized while running a busy household. Frances helped with meals on wheels and always made time to visit others. Whether bringing a dish to a sick friend or sharing photos she had taken of their family, she was always thinking of others. Frances remained steadfast in her faith her entire life.
Frances will be remembered as a positive influence in many people’s lives, and she will be missed and mourned on both sides of the Atlantic.
A celebration of her life will be held on Friday, September 30, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. at O’Quinn Peebles Phillips Funeral Home at 1310 S. Main St. Lillington, NC 27546.