About Juliana Veeck
JULIANA VEECK-BROSNAN | 1961-2010: Clinical psychologist loved working with youth
Mother of 3 had a way with kids, quirky sense of humor
June 16, 2010
BY STEFANO ESPOSITO Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
As a clinical psychologist, Juliana Veeck-Brosnan counseled some of the city's most troubled youth -- adolescents others had written off -- and helped them find a passage through the chaos of their lives.
"Juliana was probably one of the most gifted psychologists ever," said her close friend and former colleague at Children's Memorial Hospital, psychologist Sharon Berry. "And she worked with the hardest and most difficult situations."
Juliana Veeck-Brosnan was able to use her professional training in explaining her cancer diagnosis to her children.
Mrs. Veeck-Brosnan, daughter of legendary White Sox owner Bill Veeck, died Saturday at Illinois Masonic Medical Center. The North Side woman was 48, and had spent much of the last 20 years dealing with the cancer that ultimately took her life.
In the same open and uncomplicated way she reached delinquents, Mrs. Veeck-Brosnan was able to reassure and explain to her own young children what it meant to have cancer.
"Obviously they cried, but they all took it in stride," said Mrs. Veeck-Brosnan's husband, Tom Brosnan. "They understood it. . . . They are strong kids because of her."
Mrs. Veeck-Brosnan was born July 4, 1961, in the city. At about that time, her father owned the White Sox. Mr. Veeck became known as baseball's P.T. Barnum. His innovative promotions, both with the Sox and other baseball clubs, included: sending a 3-foot-7-inch batter to the plate to get a walk; outfitting players in shorts, and giving fans off-the-wall gifts, including live lobsters.
But to his daughter -- and to his other children -- he wasn't a celebrity.
"With children, he's your dad, and it's that simple," said Mr. Veeck's widow, Mary-Frances Veeck, who lives in Hyde Park.
Mrs. Veeck-Brosnan graduated from the University of Chicago Laboratory School and went on to earn a doctorate in psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She later interned at Children's Memorial Hospital and practiced clinical psychology there in the mid-1990s. She went on to work with vulnerable youths at Kaleidoscope, a social service agency on South Damen, and then went into private practice.
Although Mrs. Veeck-Brosnan later counseled people of all ages, she took particular interest in helping youths, her husband said.
"She was able to slow them down, [teach them] to look at what they're doing right and start developing a plan to do those things better," Mr. Brosnan said.
Like much of her family -- who hailed from Maryland -- Mrs. Veeck-Brosnan loved to ride horses. She also loved to plant flowers, although "she wasn't a big fan of roses," her husband said.
And like her father, she had a quirky sense of humor. When she got married in 1989, she brought her black lab "Raven" to the church. Raven sat in the back row, wearing a shiny new yellow collar.
"It was great," Mr. Brosnan said. "I thought she was nuts at first, but it really worked well."
In addition to Mrs. Veeck-Brosnan's husband and mother, survivors include: three children, Christian Brosnan, 14, Jack Brosnan, 12, and Olivia Brosnan, 6, and siblings Michael Veeck of South Carolina, Marya Veeck of Chicago, Gregory Veeck of Kalamazoo, Mich., Lisa Veeck of Chicago and Ellen Maggs of Phoenix, Ariz.
Visitation is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 5472 S. Kimbark. A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday at the church.