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Catherine Irene Jennings, known affectionately as Kate, passed away peacefully on October 3, 2023, in Effingham, Illinois.
Born on July 8, 1928, in Cowden, Illinois, she was the cherished daughter of Charles C. and Verna I. (Harris) Evans. Kate married the love of her life, Wilbert C. Jennings on September 18, 1949, and enjoyed 46 years of marriage, filled with love, laughter, and companionship until Wilbert's passing on May 11, 1996.
Over the years, Kate worked at various places such as the Illinois Glove Factory in Effingham, Kuehne Manufacturing Company in Mattoon, and the Pant and Glove Factory in Altamont. She also ran Kate's Bus Tours. However, her true passion was in her work as a hairdresser for 42 years, and decorating wedding cakes for many years, adding joy to countless celebrations. Kate was an active member of her community. She was the 1946 Cowden class reunion organizer, served as an election judge and a member of the Fayette County Extension Office, never missing a meeting. One of Kate's most enduring commitments was to her Christian faith. She was an active member of the Liberty Christian Church in Brownstown. Her faith was an integral part of her life, providing her with strength and comfort.
Kate had a variety of interests that brought her much joy. She had a love for collecting salt and pepper shakers, birdhouses, and cookie jars. She enjoyed visiting antique shops and baking pies and cookies. Her homemade treats were always a hit at family gatherings and community events.
Kate was a devoted mother to her sons, Terry (Brenda) Jennings of Parker, Colorado, and Barry (Laurie) Jennings of Beecher City. She was a guiding light in their lives, providing them with wisdom and love. She was also a cherished grandmother and great-grandmother. Her grandchildren, Tina (Doug) Gist of Pulaski, Teresa Shepherd of Aurora, CO, Tammy (Brian) Dawson of Castle Pines, CO, Mackenzie (Jud) Wienke of Tuscola, and Joshua (fiancé Kelly Knoth) Jennings of Louisville, KY and great-grandchildren, Emma Wienke, Brecken Wienke, Cooper Wienke, and Mason Wienke, each held a special place in her heart. She is also survived by her sister Ruth Ann Childress of Shelbyville, sister-in-law Joan Evans of Beecher City, and brother-in-law Ray Lee of Riverton.
Kate was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Wilbert, her brothers Charles, Jerry, David, John, and Cecil Evans, her sister Shirley Lee, and stepsisters Emma Freeman and Naomi Carr.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, in Lockart-Green Funeral Home in Beecher City with Pastor Kent Denton officiating. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will follow in Mound Cemetery in Cowden. Memorials may be made in Kate’s name to the American Cancer Society or HSHS St. Anthony’s Foundation-Hospice. Lockart-Green Funeral Home in Beecher City is assisting the family.
Family and friends are invited to light a candle or share a story at www.lockartgreenfuneralhome.com.