The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


April 10, 2013

Eleanor “Jean” Deeken Alexis

DANVILLE — Eleanor “Jean” Deeken Alexis, 93, of Danville, passed away at 9:35 p.m. on April 6, 2013, at Colonial Manor Nursing Home in Danville.

She was born on Oct. 10, 1919, in Danville, the daughter of Henry and Ella (Stuck) Deeken.

Surviving her are her best friend and longtime companion, Gerry Lawrence, who cared vigilantly for her throughout her later years; one son, Peter (Caren) Alexis of Dallas, Texas; two grandsons, Jonathan (Natalie) Alexis of Dallas, Texas, and Matthew (Davis) Alexis of New York, N.Y.; and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom she loved dearly.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Carl and John; and seven sisters, Alma, Beulah, Dawn, Dorothy, Francis, Emma, Mary; and another close friend of more than 50 years, Ruth Gruelle Harding.

She attended Lincoln School and graduated from Danville High School in 1937. For 37 years she was an employee of Illinois Bell Telephone Company in Danville. She served as group chief operator prior to her retirement in 1978.

Her memberships include: the Telephone Pioneers of America, the Columbus Club, the Turtle Club and the Oaklawn Improvement Neighborhood Group. She was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church.

An avid sports fan, she supported the football and basketball programs at the University of Illinois. For a number of years dating back to the 1960s, she held season tickets to the Illini football games. She was proud to have attended the first University of Illinois basketball game at Assembly Hall on March 4, 1963. Additionally, she was a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears. Her other hobbies included playing golf, reading, travel, gardening and bowling.

For more than 20 years, she hosted in her home the annual Deeken family Christmas celebration, a daylong event that drew large numbers of relatives. Known for her quick wit and easy laugh, she delighted in activities with family and friends. She held all her friends very close to her heart. She was a devoted mother and grandmother.

A committed animal lover and rescuer, she owned and saved many dogs, cats and birds. Most recently her beloved dogs were Maggie and Happy. She could name most of the pets that she owned in her life, going back to Teddy, the first dog she helped raise in the 1920s.

A celebration of Jean’s life will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, April 12, at Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center, A Life Celebration Home, in Danville, with Fr. Ted Pracz officiating. A visitation will 4-7 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at the funeral home, with a rosary at 3:30 p.m. Burial will take place at Sunset Memorial Park.

Memorials can be made in Jean’s name to the Columbus Club of the Knights of Columbus, 310 Bryan Ave., Danville, IL 61832.

Please join Jean’s family in sharing photos, videos and memories of her through her Tribute Wall at

Text Only
  • OBIT Pic Gossar Garlin M. Gossar DANVILLE — Garlin M. Gossar, 59, of Danville, passed away on April 17, 2014. He was born Jan. 19, 1955, in Danville, the son of Garlin and Vernice (Dalton) Gossar.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBIT Pic Smith, Freda Freda M. Smith DANVILLE — Freda M. Smith, 88, of Danville, passed this life at 7:41 a.m. Sunday, April 13, 2014, at Presence United Samaritans Medical Center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBIT Pic Frazier James 'Jimmy' Frazier Jr. WESTVILLE — James “Jimmy” Frazier Jr., 18, of Westville, passed away at 5:27 p.m. on Thursday, April 17, 2014, at Presence Mercy Medical Center, Aurora.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBIT Pic Cintella Mary Juanita Cintella WESTVILLE — Mary Juanita Cintella, 98, of Westville, passed away at 11:15 p.m. April 16, 2014, at North Logan Health Care, Danville.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBIT Pic Boucier-Henry Martha Boucier-Henry Martha Boucier-Henry, 80, of Danville, went to be with her Lord on April 15, 2014.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBIT Pic 1 Church William C. 'Bill' Church CATLIN — William C. “Bill” Church, 87, a lifelong Catlin resident and farmer, passed away peacefully at 3:55 a.m. Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in the emergency room at Carle Hospital, Urbana.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bowers, Mildred.jpg Mildred Bowers

    Mildred Bowers, 87, of Oakwood, passed away April 9, 2014.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-CN 04-17 Todd, C photo Charles R. ‘Chuck’ Todd Jr.

    Charles R. “Chuck” Todd Jr., 62, of Danville, passed away at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at Gardenview Nursing Home in Danville.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBIT Pic Hicks Virginia Hicks DANVILLE — Virginia Hicks, 95, of Oakwood, passed away on April 15, 2014.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • OBIT Pic Wise Wendall 'Barney' Wise DANVILLE — Wendall “Barney” Wise, 91, of Danville, passed away on April 14, 2014.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
NDN Video
Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN
Must Read