Jean's Story

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Jean Marie (Wallis) Skinner passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015, at Hendricks County Hospital in Danville, Ind. Jean was born June 12, 1931, in Cairo. She was the daughter of St. Elmo Wallis of Mayfield, Ky. and Marie (Moreland) Wallis of Cairo. She is preceded in death by her father, St. Elmo Wallis, her mother, Marie Wallis, her husband, Harold A. Skinner and her sister, Ruth Hoskins. Jean attended and graduated from Cairo High School in 1949. She received a bachelor of science and master’s of science degrees, graduating from Southern Illinois University in 1954. She married her long-time sweetheart, Harold A. Skinner, in Cairo on June 13, 1954. She and Harold had four children, eight grandchildren and one great grandchild; Marianne Skinner of Belleville, Margaret (Skinner) Henthorne, Michelle, Melody, Robert, Jr. and Molly Henthorne of Hillsdale, Mich., Marcia Skinner, Jennifer and Nina Skinner of Carterville, Harold Allen Skinner, Jr., Lindsey, Nathan and Linus Skinner of Columbia, S.C. She loved her son-in-law, Robert Henthorne, and daughter-in-law, Jaqueline Skinner as she would her own children. She is also survived by three siblings, Ann Alexander of Fairview Heights, Elmo Wallis of McLeansboro and Michael Wallis of Portage, Ind. Jean’s career began as a teacher at Eldorado and Equality High School. When she and Harold moved to McLeansboro in 1961, she served as Hamilton County Extension Advisor from University of Illinois for 20 years and as Expanded Nutrition Program Advisor for eight years. She was active in National Illinois and District Association of Extension Home Economics. She loved square dancing, 4-H, Fall Festival exhibits, band parents, hospital auxiliary, Association of Mentally Challenged, Historical Society, served as chairman of History for Hamilton County Sesquicentennial in 1971 and church historian for Sesquicentennial in 1985. She was also a Rebekah president, United Methodist Women, Twilight Unit H.E.A., Hospital Auxiliary, United Methodist Village contact, Senior Citizen’s Kitchen Band. She spent many hours as “Grandma Jean’ at the Hamilton County Pre-School reading to the classes. Jean moved from McLeansboro in 2007 to Indianapolis. Jean continued to be active with the library, bingo, tai chi, water aerobics, computer classes and water color painting. She enjoyed traveling with Elder Hostal Tours. She enjoyed most visiting with her friends, family and gathering to enjoy food and stories. A private service was held in Indianapolis with her family. Jean will be laid to rest beside her beloved husband, Harold, at IOOF Cemetery in McLeansboro. Further arrangements are still pending. Any offerings may be given to the church she called home; the First United Methodist Church in McLeansboro. Any correspondence may be forwarded to her daughter, Marcia Skinner, 1003 Main St., Carterville, IL 62918. Jean’s passing brings great sorry to her family and those who knew her well, but also great joy and peace as she is with her husband again.
Published on  November 5, 2015
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