Lana Elder

CHENOA - Lana J. (Olivero) Elder, 48, of Chenoa passed away peacefully at her home on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, surrounded by family and friends.

Lana was born on Dec. 25, 1963, to John and Lorraine (Wargo) Olivero in Peru, Ill., and was surely the best Christmas present they received that year. Lana grew up in Peru, Ill., graduating from LaSalle-Peru High School in 1982.

After high school, Lana went on to earn a business degree in 1986 from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where she also met her future husband, Eric P. Elder of Chenoa, Ill. After college, Lana moved to Flint, Mich., to work as a Systems Analyst for Electronic Data Systems. She later moved to Houston, Texas, where she worked with Eric in the computer department of Texaco Inc., and soon after married Eric in Houston on April 29, 1989. Lana continued to work at Texaco until the birth of their first child, when she decided to dedicate her full time to raising and home schooling all of their six children.

Lana was a strong believer in Christ and brought much peace, joy and hope to many people in her everyday life and through her family's ministry at Her smile was radiant and her spirit soared, bringing joy to everyone she met. She had a passion for studying the word of God and always took strength from the verse that says, "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" (Isaiah 40:31). Through her life and her testimony, many people came to know Jesus. She touched so many lives and brought so many people to know and love our Lord. Her words of encouragement, hope and love were shown through her everyday life and in her written words. Lana's grace, strength and strong desire to live her life to the fullest was demonstrated even to the end of her battle with Stage 4 breast cancer.

Lana was a loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend to all. She was actively involved in several home school associations, encouraging other families who also chose to home school their children. She loved serving in the church with children and youth and was a huge inspiration and role model in their lives. To them she was always just "one of the kids." Lana's desire has always been that people would find comfort in the Savior who had comforted her and that they would always believe in His love for them and His unique purpose for their life. While our hearts ache at the lack of her presence with us, we rejoice knowing she is with the Savior she loved, resting in the palm of God's hand.

Lana is survived by her devoted husband, Eric; and their six beautiful children, Karis (21), Lucas (20), Makari (18), Josiah (14), Bo (12) and Kaleo (9). Lana is also survived by many loving family members, including her mother, Lorraine (Wargo) Olivero of Peru; eight brothers and sisters, John Paul Olivero of Peru, Lisa Olivero of Ladd, Laurie (Steve) Landsman of Willowbrook, Mark (Laura) Olivero of Fort Wayne, Ind., Linda Olivero of Springfield, Tom (Wendy) Olivero of Utica, Lucy Olivero of Chicago and Luke (Jeanna) Olivero of LaSalle; and 12 nieces and nephews.

Lana was preceded in death by her loving father, John Olivero of Peru.

A celebration of Lana's life will be held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at Eastview Christian Church in Normal, Ill. A visitation will also be held at the church from 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 19, and again before the service from 12 to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20. Duffy-Pils Memorial Home in Chenoa is in charge of arrangements.

While Lana supported many worthy causes in her life, the cause in which she most heavily invested was her family. Although gifts are not necessary, we believe she would be most honored if any gifts were made, that they be given simply to the family of Lana Elder, 25615 E 3000 North Road, Chenoa, IL 61726.

Published in Peoria Journal Star on Nov. 18, 2012