MARENGO – Millie Chewning passed away Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, surrounded by family and loved ones on her farm in Marengo. She was 87. |
Millie was born Sept. 11, 1925, in Detroit, the eldest daughter of Anthony and Anna Kurr. She married Eldon (Al) Chewning and moved to Illinois in 1954. They eventually settled in Crystal Lake to raise their family.
They survived the Palm Sunday tornado of 1965, which demolished their house. Several months later, they opened Branded Steak House, considered unique at the time for its urban style and open char-broiler.
In 1971, they opened Cloven Hoof Steak House in Marengo, which burned to the ground in 1976, but was promptly rebuilt.
Millie and Al operated the newly built restaurant until he passed away in 1983. Soon after, she retired from the restaurant business and spent the remainder of her career providing in-home care for the elderly.
Her clients appreciated the wholesome baked treats and tender care she provided.
She loved classical music, opera, theater and singing in the Sacred Heart Catholic Church choir. She also thoroughly enjoyed world travel and visited Greece, Europe, Mexico, China, Israel and Poland.
Still Millie's true joy was spending time with her six children, their spouses and 12 grandchildren on "The Farm."
For the grandkids, Grandma Millie's farm became their playground. She loved hosting Sunday dinner, where family and friends were welcome – there always was room for another seat at the table.
Millie was a health and nutrition advocate before it was fashionable, and fresh vegetables from her abundant garden often were part of the meal.
Millie was preceded in death by her husband, Eldon "Al" Chewning; and son, David A. Chewning.
She is survived by her daughters, Ann Henry, Diane (John) McNamara, Claire (Stewart) Brown and Lisa Skala; son, Glen (Barbara) Chewning; daughter-in-law, Sharon Wolf Chewning; and 12 grandchildren, Patrick and Kellan McNamara, Lauren and Andrea Henry, Emily (Greg) Chewning Brodsky, Ben and Jessica Chewning, Allison, Andrew and Anna Brown, Ellen Skala and David W. Chewning. Millie also is survived by her sister, best friend and world travel partner, Rosemary Kurr, and her supportive and loving brother, Raymond Kurr.
The visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, with a memorial gathering at 7 p.m. at Davenport Funeral Home, 419 E. Terra Cotta Ave. (Route 176), Crystal Lake. Please join us in celebrating Millie's life through Mass at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 323 N. Taylor St., Marengo.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in the form of contributions to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, 1820 Mt. Elliot St., Detroit, MI 48207-3485, or WTTW Channel 11, 5400 N. Saint Louis Ave., Chicago, IL 60625, wttw.com.
For information, call the funeral home at 815-459-3411 or visit www.davenportfamily.com/
Published in the Northwest Herald on Jan. 9, 2013