Wilma Egelston

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Wilma Lula, nee Loomis, Egelston, 105, of Freeburg, Illinois, formerly of Salem, Chicago, Cicero, and Jonesboro, IL passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 9, 2020.

Wilma was born on June 23,1914 in Salem, IL with a smile on her face and joy in her heart. She was the daughter of Lewis Leroy and Lula Schanafelt Loomis and grew up with her five siblings on the family farm, which she always treasured. She shared stories about milking cows with her sisters and squirting their dad when he entered the barn. Wilma enjoyed sharing laughs with family and friends and had a special enthusiasm for life.

She graduated from Salem High School and on December 16, 1933, married Rex Egelston in Charleston, IL. They were married for more than sixty years until Rex’s passing in 1994. Wilma worked for many years, beginning with the Brown Shoe Company in Salem, Illinois. After she and Rex made their home in Cicero, IL, she worked at Bradford Gear Company and then at Hotpoint as an assembler during the Second World War. In 1947, they moved to Jonesboro along with their sons where she began working at the International Shoe Factory. Wilma retired from the shoe factory and became the house mother for student nurses at Anna State Hospital where she later served as a seamstress until her retirement. In 2007 she moved to Cedar Trails Assisted Living Center in Freeburg, Illinois where she was closer to her son, Donald, and his family.  She was a resident at Cedar Trails since the day it opened.

Wilma was a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and an accomplished seamstress, having sewn most of her own clothes. She had a zest for life and enjoyed fishing, playing cards, canning vegetables from her garden, attending family reunions, camping, and traveling with family throughout the United States. Wilma was a great teacher, sharing her skills for knitting, sewing, baking, gardening, playing cards and driving with many. In her eighties, Wilma could be found sitting cross-legged on the floor playing games with her great-grandchildren and having lunch with her friends at McDonalds. She was devoted to her family and friends, even providing sanctuary to them in her home during the Depression. She will forever be remembered for her chocolate chip cookies, her homemade noodles, her strawberry jam, her giggle and her spunk.

Wilma was a member of the Christian Church, (Disciples of Christ) in Anna, Illinois and frequently participated in Church Services offered by the Sanctuary Church at Cedar Trails in Freeburg.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Rex Vernon Egelston; two sons, Asa Loomis Egelston who died in infancy and Richard Vernon Egelston; her parents; three sisters, Dorotha Loomis, Margaret Wheeler, and Ena Williams Johnson; two brothers, John Loomis and Earl Loomis.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Donald Rex and Elinor Egelston of Freeburg, Illinois;
five grandchildren, Diane R. (Troy) Johnson of DeKalb, Illinois, Denise R. (Jeffrey) Burkett of Neenah, Wisconsin, Dawn R. Egelston (Michael Schmidt) of Newark, Ohio, Chris (Robin) Egelston of Carterville, Illinois, and Victoria (Steve) Mausey of Arnold, Missouri;
a daughter-in-law, Kathleen Egelston of Carterville, Illinois;
nine great-grandchildren, Daniel Burkett, Nicholas Burkett, Courtney Burkett, Adam Burkett, Katherine Johnson, Thomas Johnson, Kristin Johnson, Samuel Egelston Schmidt and Rachel Schmidt;
two step great-grandchildren, Sean (Carol) Greenlee and Sara (Ben) Greenlee Craft;
four step great-great-grandchildren;
a sister-in-law, Maurine Millies of Burlington, Wisconsin;
and special nieces, Deanna Dent of Belleville, Illinois, and Linda Gudaitis of Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, in addition to many other nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be given to the Hoots Chapel Church, 5276 Hoots Chapel Rd. Salem, Illinois   62881 or the Sanctuary Church, 998 N. State St Freeburg, Illinois 62243. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.

Funeral:  Graveside services will take place at the East Lawn Cemetery in Salem, Illinois.  Due to the ongoing national emergency, graveside services will be private and a celebration of her life will take place at a later date.


6 Comments on Wilma Egelston

Gary and Emily Boyd Meyer said : Guest Report Apr 24, 2020 at 6:08 PM

Don and Family, Just a few weeks ago as we drove past the "Egelston Place", west of Jonesboro, we commented about the beauty of the daffodils planted in the shape of an "E" on the hill! (Yes, they're still there1) We spoke of you, Dick and your parents. Gary remembers playing basketball with you when in Jonesboro Grade School. After our marriage in 2002, Gary and I moved to the Boyd Farm here on Kratzinger Hollow Rd. Classmate, Sandra Meisenheimer, and your dear Mother came to visit. She was such a delight ...and shared her memories of my parents, Claud and Mary Boyd. You are in our thoughts, and I'll always think of Wilma each spring when the daffodils on the hill bloom! Gary and Emily Boyd-Meyer A-J's Class of 1956

  • Jonesboro
  • Illinois
rosemary becherer said : Guest Report Apr 23, 2020 at 12:41 PM

Sorry to read about the death or your mother. What a great lady! You have my sympathy,

  • Freeburg
  • IL
Jane said : Guest Report Apr 18, 2020 at 7:10 PM

Sorry for the loss of Wilma! I worked at Cedar Trails and I remember the day that Wilma arrived. She was using a walker and she said, “I’m going to get rid of this!” She was full of spunk. I’ve often thought of her since I quit working at Cedar Trails. She was a sweetheart. She will be missed by all who knew her!

  • Swansea
  • Illinois
Miriam McKinney said : Guest Report Apr 14, 2020 at 5:34 PM

Dear Don, Elinor and family, My sincere sympathies for Mrs Egelston’s passing from this life into eternal life. What a beautiful life she lived. I have very fond memories when Dad and Mom would take us to visit with Wilma in Jonesboro when you all would be there. What great memories I have of those times when we were younger! Mom and dad surely were there at heaven’s door to embrace her! Time and miles may have distanced our families but the love and memories still remain. Love, hugs, and prayers for all of you at this time! Miriam and family...

  • Decatur
  • IL
Barbara Logan said : Guest Report Apr 14, 2020 at 9:57 AM

Rex and Elinor: Please accept our Deepest Sympathy at the passing of your Mother, May God give you His peace. Barb and Vic

  • Freeburg
  • IL
Ed Loomis & Family said : Guest Report Apr 10, 2020 at 3:48 PM

Aunt Wilma was a favorite. The only one in the family to achieve the age of 105. Her great sense of humor and zest for life was an inspiration to all of us. Of course we already miss her.

  • Nokomis
  • Florida

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