The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


March 7, 2013

Jeannette Dumais

DANVILLE — Jeannette Dumais, 77, a longtime resident of Danville, died after a sudden illness on Feb. 19, 2013, surrounded by friends and family.

Known as “Dumey” to her friends, Jeannette lived in Danville for more than 40 years and worked at Hyster for nearly 30. In 1998, when Hyster relocated, she went to work at SEN-MAIL, a Danville direct-mail company founded by Jan Gudauskas, one of her Hyster friends. By 2005, she was devoting more time to antique hunting and selling on eBay.

Born Aug. 22, 1935, in Aurora, Jeannette was the daughter of dairy farmers Aloysius and Mary Horejs Penzenstadler.

She grew with her sisters, Joan and Mary Lou, on Fitchome Farms in Aurora and on Kam Lake Farm near Gilman, which later became the Heartland Spa. She graduated from St. Patrick’s High School in Kankakee in 1953 and was looking forward to the 60th reunion.

Jeannette was briefly married to the late Donald Dumais in St. Anne in the 1960s.

In 1972, she moved to Danville to work at Hyster, where she advanced through the ranks and was one of the first women to attain management level, first as dealer contact and finally as government contract manager. There she formed many close friendships, including Ellen Hurley George, Mary Norenberg and Jan Gudauskas, a group that often met for dinner and wine at what they called their “Hyster Board Meetings.”

Jeannette was an expert seamstress and knitter, creating intricate clothing for her friends. She enjoyed working out and was proud of her endurance, walking the neighborhood dogs two miles at a time. She was a pit bull rescue advocate and loved shows like “The Dog Whisperer.”

Jeannette collected antiques and Czechoslovakian glassware in honor of her mother’s Bohemian roots. She used her nose for vintage goods to work on props and furnishing for the Red Mask Players during the 1980s and to find locations and props for a History Channel special filmed in Danville in 2003. It was this passion that led her to approach the owner of Judd’s Auction House shortly before it opened in 2005 and volunteer to “help and do anything necessary for a woman to succeed in business,” her friend Marilee Judd recalls. Jeanette worked steadily at the auction house, hunting and rehabbing antiques until the month before her death.

Jeannette was hospitalized in February with sudden onset ALS and endured a brief debilitation with equanimity. She was loyally supported during her illness by her friends.

A memorial gathering will take place from 2-4 p.m. March 9, at Judd’s Auction House, 812 N. Vermilion St.

She is survived by her sister Joan E. Penzenstadler, of Austin, Texas; her nieces, Marcy Marzuki, of Park Forest, and Frieda Gress, of Elgin, Texas; a nephew, Bernard Gress, of Washington, D.C.; numerous loyal friends; and a dog that was briefly hers, a 4-year-old pit bull named Cautious. Jeannette was preceded in death by her parents; and sister Mary Lou Marzuki, of Park Forest.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Danville YWCA women’s shelter or the Citizens for Animal Rescue and Adoption in Tilton.

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
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station 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
Must Read