Irene E. Foreman

October 11, 2018

Irene E. Foreman finished her long and useful life of service Sunday (Oct. 7, 2018). She moved on to her eternal celebration while surrounded by family in the house her husband, Marvin, built for her back in 1956.

She married Marvin Foreman on Valentine’s Day in 1948. They raised four daughters who gave them 11 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, with one more on the way.

Irene, known as “Gigi” after her first great-grandchild was born, grew up during the Great Depression and began her lifelong service to others during World War II and continued for seven decades, including active membership in the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, Mill School Mother’s Club, the Lady’s Aid Golden Circle of Zion, volunteering at Prairie View Nursing Home and joyfully supporting Zion Lutheran Church of Chebanse all her years. She was employed by the U.S. Postal Service for 35 years but felt her work was not done. After retiring, she worked as a clerk for the Chebanse Township where she never missed an election until her 94th birthday.

Gigi knew how to work and serve. She also knew how to enjoy life. She traveled the continent, visiting all 50 states and all 10 provinces of Canada. As a young girl, she found fun and friendship in bowling with the Women’s League. She continued that love for more than 40 years.

She loved her family, her friends and even strangers (who did not stay strangers for long!). She often shared that her name, Irene, means “peace,” and she dedicated her life to living up to her name. She spread peace and love all the days of her life.

Surviving are those four daughters, Marla (John) Montague, of Bradley, Margo Elsey, of Bradley, Paula Sims, of Chebanse, and Pamela Billadeau, of Bradley; and one stepdaughter, Alice Faletti, of Wilmington. In addition, she is survived by 11 grandchildren, Mark (Bonnie) Montague, Monica (Andre) Leriger, Nikki (Paul) Himmell, Bree (Mike) Anderson, Kipp (April Brouillet) Elsey, Todd Smith, Rhiannon (Neal) Currier, Duke (Mary) Elsey, Shannon Elsey, Ashley Grace and Cory Billadeau; and one sister-in-law, Edith Bukowski. She also will “be missed and celebrated” by numerous nieces and nephews.

Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband; her siblings, Arthur Wolfe, Ed (Ella) Wolfe, Elsie Wolfe, Hazel Wolfe, Mildred (Howard) Goldtrap, Henry (Gertrude) Wolfe, August (Irma) Wolfe and Louis (Wanda) Wolfe; and additional brothers and sisters-in-law, Glenn, Evelyn, Illo, Kennith and Midge Foreman, Fred and Margaret Werner and Frances “Toddy” Bukowski.

Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, at Zion Lutheran Church, Chebanse. An additional time for visitation will be from 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, until the 11 a.m. funeral service, also at the church, with the Rev. Kene Whybrew officiating. Burial will follow in Mound Grove Cemetery, Kankakee.

Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Hospice of Kankakee Valley or to Zion Lutheran Church in Chebanse.

Please sign her online guestbook at knappfuneralhomes.com.


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