Juanita Wallen

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Juanita V. Wallen, nee Gass, 91, of Belleville, IL, died peacefully at home on Thursday, March 21, 2024.

Juanita was born in Belleville, the second to last of 12 children of Joseph and Katherine, nee Hopfinger, Gass.  She was a sharp, fun-loving, strong-willed lady and lifelong learner, loving wife, mother and grandmother who loved gardening and spending time with her family.

Juanita was a career-long Librarian at Belleville West High School and Belleville Area College (now SWIC).  She also worked for the Red Cross, Collinsville District 10, and Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center.  Juanita graduated from Notre Dame High School, the University of Illinois, and University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and was a long-time member of St. Teresa Church.

Juanita was preceded in death by her husband, Dean Wallen; her parents; all her siblings, brothers, Norbert, Vincent, Marcel, Edward, Joseph, Anthony, and Cletus Gass; sisters, Catherine Garey, Delores Conklin, Marie Braun, and Bernice Spresser; as well as many sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.

She is survived by her three children, Nicolette McCullough (John) of Barnhart, MO, SooJin Wallen (Erol Weber) of Belleville, IL, and Herschel Wallen of Portland, OR; seven grandchildren, Justin Abegglen, Adam McCullough, Nicholas McCullough, Griffin Wallen, Theodore Wallen, Alyssa Brunsmann, and Elena Weber; two sisters-in-law, Wilma Gass and Janet Wilson; and many nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to the American Red Cross or the Shriners Hospitals for Children. ­­­Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.

Visitation:  Friends may visit from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, March 24, 2024, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL.

Funeral:  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, March 25, 2024, at St. Teresa Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Msgr. John Myler officiating.

Burial will be at Green Mount Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, IL.


8 Comments on Juanita Wallen

Lynn Schwoebel said : Guest Report Mar 27, 2024 at 6:56 AM

Dear family, I had the honor of being Mrs. Wallen’s secretary at Belleville West for one semester while filling in for Sheila’s maternity leave. She was a wonderful boss and I truly enjoyed our time together. After that I accepted a position in the assistant principals office, so we continued to be coworkers. I loved going down to the library and talking with her. She loved her children so deeply, and was always so very proud to share stories about them. A truly lovely lady! Praying that you will feel God’s loving arms wrapped around you, holding you close and filling you with His peace in the days and weeks ahead.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Anne Harter said : Guest Report Mar 26, 2024 at 8:46 AM

I often think that people we have loved and who have loved us not only make us more human but they become part of us and we carry then around all the time whether we see them or not. and in some way, we are the sum total of those who have loved us and those we have given ourselves to. Juanita, you will be with us always. Anne Harter, l

  • Belleville
  • Il
Char Conklin said : Guest Report Mar 25, 2024 at 6:19 AM

A life well-lived and well-loved. Who can forget Aunt Juanita's beautiful smile and contagious laugh! She will be deeply missed but so many smiles will come to our faces as we remember all the wonderful times. RIP Aunt Juanita.

  • Boynton Beach
  • Florida
Virgil & Alexis said : Guest Report Mar 24, 2024 at 11:28 PM

Hi Niki, Soojin and Herschel and family, so sorry your mom has passed, our deepest sympathies to you. Sorry we're not there this weekend, but you and your mom are in our thoughts and prayers. She was a wonderful person.

  • Pleasanton
Rickey lugge said : Guest Report Mar 24, 2024 at 7:20 PM

So sorry for your loss prayers for family

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Carol S. said : Guest Report Mar 24, 2024 at 1:51 PM

The last of the twelve siblings from the “Gass Family’s Greatest Generation”. We honor all of them for their service and a life well lived.

  • Houston
  • TX
Ronald and Janet Poole said : Guest Report Mar 23, 2024 at 7:18 PM

Sorry for your loss we will be thinking and praying for the family

  • little river
  • SC
Lynn said : Guest Report Mar 23, 2024 at 8:38 AM

My heart goes out to the family! Juanita was the sweetest lady who always made you feel welcome in her home. She loved her children dearly. God rest her soul❤️

  • Belleville
  • Illinois

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