STREATOR - Armella Marie "Mel" Conness, 71, of Jonesville, formerly of Tonica and Streator, died Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, at the OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Hagi Funeral Home in Streator. Visitation will be from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Hagi Funeral Home. Burial will be in Lostland Cemetery in rural Streator.
Armella was born May 29, 1942, in Streator, the daughter of Michael "Chet" and Lucille (Zelenack) Conness.
Mel had been employed as a beautician for 40 years and was employed at Ancare Veterinarian Clinic in LaSalle since 1999.
She was of the Catholic faith and had been a lifetime member of the American Quarter Horse Association and American Paint Horse Association. She was a 4-H leader for many years and had started the Royal Rangers Mounted Drill Team that traveled and performed at numerous events.
She was a graduate of Marquette High School, class of 1960.
She loved her horses, Australian Shepherds, gardening and country music.
She is survived by one daughter, Tamara Rouse of Toulon; three sons, Brian (Maria) Payne of Oglesby, Jeff (Christi) Sams of Decatur and Brett (Theresa) Brittingham of Janesville, Wis.; 14 grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; her father, Michael "Chet" Conness of rural Toluca; one sister, Marylou Bartoli of rural Wenona; and one brother, Chester Michael (Debra Ann) Conness of rural Lostant. Also, a special friend, Darrell Lasik of Jonesville, survives.
She was preceded in death by her mother.
Pallbearers will be grandchildren, Kaley Rouse, Michael and Christopher Payne and Kamry Brittingham; nephew, Brad Bartoli; and friend, Richard Vecchi. Honorary pallbearers will be grandchildren, Jared Rouse and Garett Brittingham.
Memorials may be made to her family.