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Rae Bobell

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CHILLICOTHE - Rae L. (Harper) Bobell, 92, of Renchville Road passed away serenely at home on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013.

Rae was born March 6, 1921, to Ward and Helen Obermiller Harper of Mount Pulaski, Ill.

She attended grade and high school in Mount Pulaski and was a confirmed member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Mount Pulaski.

Rae received her teaching certificate after two years at Carthage College and, beginning at age 19, taught three years in Logan County country schools, Laughery and Oakland, at an initial salary of $75 per month for all eight grades. Later she worked for the Ennis Downing Insurance Agency.

In February 1946, she married the love of her life, Mount Pulaski farmboy and U.S. Navy veteran, Gordon Bobell. They eloped and were wed in Piggott, Ark.

In September 1947, they moved to Renchville, where she made her home for 66 years. Following the birth of her second son, she resumed her teaching career at Mossville Elementary.

Rae taught eighth grade for three years and then spent 25 years in first grade, her favorite. She retired in 1981.

Rae's husband, Gordon, passed away in 1993, and her youngest son, Rex, died in 1991 after a 23-year battle with leukemia.

She was involved in the initial establishment of the Peoria-area affiliate of .

Rae is survived by two sons, Terry (Becky) Bobell of Chillicothe and Gordon Kent (Patti) Bobell of Renchville; and one daughter, Jo Ellen (Wiley) Bobell of West Peoria. Also surviving are four grandchildren, Matt of Renchville and Tanya, Tammy and Logan of Michigan; and six great-grandchildren who gave her much joy.

She raised her family, taught school and continued her own education and received an education degree from Western Illinois University in 1975.

Her friends were very special to her as were members of the U.S. Navy 8th Beach Battalion, her husband's World War II outfit. They met every year after the war.

Rae was a life-member of the Peoria Retired Teachers Association, the Illinois RTA and the National Retired Teachers and a 73-year member of Eastern Star.

Rae always saw the good in people and took care to address each at their own level. She was so loved and will be so missed. She was especially grateful for her primary care giver, Kent, whose devotion allowed her to remain in her own home the last several years.

Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. today, Aug. 18, 2013, at Weber-Hurd Funeral Home in Chillicothe. A graveside service will be conducted at 1 p.m. Monday at Mount Pulaski Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to either or Chillicothe Community Fire Department, Station 5 in remembrance of Rae.

Published in Peoria Journal Star from Aug. 17 to Aug. 18, 2013
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