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Leona Gilchrist

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[October 06, 2010]  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 daughter-in-law Judith.

Memorials may be made to the Old Bethel Church Fund, the Hartsburg Methodist Church or a charity of the donor's choice.



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