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DAVIS, Calif. -- Leona Gilchrist, 97,
formerly of Emden, Ill., died peacefully on Sept. 18, 2010, at the
Courtyard Skilled Nursing Facility in Davis, Calif.
She was cremated. Burial and services are to be held
later at Bethel Cemetery in Logan County, Ill.
Mrs. Gilchrist was a longtime teacher in the
Hartsburg-Emden school district in Illinois.
She was born May 22, 1913, in Lincoln, Ill. Her
parents were Dirk and Anna Weiland Oltmann. She
married Welby Gilchrist on June 4, 1939, and he
preceded her in death in February 1969.
She is survived by two sons, David (and Judith)
of Winters, Calif., and Lynn of Salinas, Calif.; two
brothers, Donald and Paul of Peoria; and a
sister-in-law, Norma Bell of Pekin, Ill.
She also was preceded in death by four brothers,
Richard of Hartsburg, Ill., Earl of Yerington, Nev.,
Robert of Lincoln, Ill., and Kenneth of Pekin, Ill.
She was a member of the Hartsburg Methodist
Church in Illinois and an active member of the Beta
Sigma Phi sorority.
She graduated from Illinois State University in
Normal, Ill., and began her teaching career in 1933
near Hartsburg, Ill., in the one-room Richland
country school, where the teacher carried in the
water and fueled the furnace. She concluded her
teaching career with the fourth grade at the Emden
(Ill.) Grade School at age 65. She was a dedicated
and passionate teacher, remembered affectionately by
students and parents alike.
She resided on the family farm following her
husband's death until she moved to Winters, Calif.,
in 2001 to live with her son David and
Memorials may be made to the Old Bethel Church
Fund, the Hartsburg Methodist Church or a charity of
the donor's choice.