Jean C. LaRue
CHATHAM - Jean C. LaRue, Chatham IL, died on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 5:45 a.m. with her family at her side.
She was born on the McGinnis Farm near Eldorado, IL on a snowy winter day, February 20, 1930 to Velma and George L. Bean. She married John B. LaRue on December 4, 1954. After 54 years of marriage, he preceded her in death on February 18, 2009.
Three children, Patricia Garrett, William (Bill) LaRue of Chatham, IL, and John Charles (Mari) LaRue of Longwood, FL, and 3 grandchildren, John Patrick (Ashley) Garrett of Riverton, Nicholas and Olivia LaRue, Longwood, FL survive and one great-grandchild, Hayden Garrett of Riverton, IL. Jean is also survived by two brothers, Walter (Charlene) Bean, Waterloo, IL, Jerry (June) Bean, Lakeland, FL, and a sister Carolyn (Jimmy) Lane, Columbia, IL, 17 nieces and nephews, and several grand and great grand nieces/nephews. Her parents and two sisters, Georgia Wyatt and Norma Novena Bonnell, preceded her in death.
Jean graduated from Eldorado Township High School in 1947 and was third in her class of 105 students. Her senior year in high school, her Latin teacher became ill, and Jean was chosen and paid to teach first year Latin until her teacher recovered. She won a scholarship to SIU Carbondale.
Jean has lived in the Springfield area since 1949. She worked for the General Assembly in 1949, the Illinois Department of Architecture and Engineering, and later worked at the Pentagon for the Department of the Navy in Washington, DC. She also was employed as a secretary in the engineering department at Sangamo Electric where she met her future husband, John. Jean then stayed home with her children for 18 years before returning to school at Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) where she received her associate degree in nursing in 1973. She also received her BSN from Sangamon State (UIS) and her Master's degree in nursing from SIU Edwardsville. She worked at Memorial Hospital for 25 years and taught nursing at LLCC for 22 years. She loved her nursing career.
Jean was baptized at age 16 at the Southern Baptist Church in Harrisburg, IL. After their children were born Jean and John became 50 year members of First Christian Church of Springfield. Their children were baptized in this church. Her son, Charles, became a Star Scout through the church scouting program, and her daughter, Patricia, was married here. Jean taught Sunday school and was active in the Christian Women's Fellowship.
Jean enjoyed reading and was a fan of books from an early age. When she returned to school in 1969, her reading was devoted to text books and nursing texts in particular. As a professor of nursing at LLCC, Jean spent hours writing and perfecting lectures eventually putting all their content on PowerPoint. She also worked with other nursing faculty developing curriculum revisions to help the nursing program achieve NLN accreditation. Jean and Paula Vehlow participated in the curriculum development and teaching of the first "Bridge" program which allowed experienced Licensed Practical Nurses to enter the LLCC ADN program after they took a summer course at the college. Her greatest joy, however, was in teaching and supervising students on various clinical units at local hospitals, and helping them develop the knowledge and skills to become safe, caring nurses.
After retirement in 2003, Jean enjoyed reading for pleasure again. As avid readers, Jean and her husband, John, were enthusiastic supporters of the Chatham Public Library. The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Chatham Public Library in her honor and to support the good work the Chatham Library does for the community. To honor her support of nursing students, Jean has established an LLCC nursing scholarship at LLCC in her name. Contributions to the Jean C. LaRue scholarship fund would be appreciated by the family.
In addition to her devotion to reading and nursing, Jean liked to cook and was famous for her coconut cream pies. She also enjoyed gardening, canning tomatoes, green beans, salsa, and making pickles which she shared with family and friends. Jean was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and special friend to many and will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate to share her life.
In accordance with her wishes, cremation rites will be performed by Lincoln Land Cremation Society. Graveside ceremonies will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at Camp Butler National Cemetery.
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