The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
By Holly Willdrick/Quill Reporter
Meet your neighbor, Veteran Peggy Sears Villwock, who served in the United States Navy. Peggy is the daughter of Clinton and Eleanor Sears, born in La Harpe and a 1968 La Harpe High School graduate. She attended Illinois State for one year before enlisting in the Navy. She took Basic Training in Bainbridge, MD and Air Traffic Control School in Glynco, GA.
Peggy was stationed at the Navy Base in Memphis, Tennessee from September 4, 1969 to December 1, 1971. She worked in the tower and helped with flight plans. The closest she came to the war was when two Medivac helicopters came in from Vietnam and one from Spain when she was on duty.
She was honored to meet astronauts Jim Lovell and Alan Sheppard. She still has the flight plans from their flights with their autograph.
Peggy married during this time to Greg Villwock who was stationed in California. He worked on a helicopter carrier that picked up the astronauts on one of their last "splash landings".
After her service in Memphis, Peggy joined her husband in California until he left for Vietnam. After he returned, they moved to Chicago. She worked for Playskool as well as with a photographer taking pictures.
Three children were born: Tiffany in 1977 featured on one of the Playskool toy boxes; Jennifer in 1981; and Brian in 1983. Peggy and Greg separated and later divorced. She returned to La Harpe in 1985, for a good place to raise her kids and to be closer to her family.
She was employed at the Wal-Mart Photo Lab and at Western Illinois University, Macomb. She now works full time at WIU in the Graduate and Family Housing Office and has earned her Bachelors Degree in Board of Governors and her Masters in Sociology there.
Her children are grown and she enjoys her only grandchild Brennan.
In her spare time, she enjoys needlework, collecting movies, photography and staying active in the La Harpe American Legion now for 28 years.
She has served as Financial Officer twice and just finished a 8 year term as the American Legion Commander for Hancock County. She also organizes the placements of 450 flags at the cemetery each year for Memorial Day.