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The Author of Life welcomed Jean Yvonne Chastain Vogen to His eternal garden on March 7, 2019, in Urbana, Illinois. As the first of three daughters, her father, Homer Leon Chastain, and her mother, Ruth Erin Knox Chastain, affectionately called her Jeanie when she was born in Urbana on February 24, 1927. They and her sister, Susan Grimm, preceded her to the Lord’s waiting embrace. She is survived by her husband, Rolf Edward Vogen of Champaign, and her sister, Martha Brady of Tracy, California.
Jean grew to maturity in Decatur, honing her creative personality, while her caregiving soul blossomed. She graduated from Decatur High School in January 1945 and matriculated to the University of Illinois that fall, majoring in communications-advertising. While a student, she met the love of her life, Rolf, a returning U.S. Marine Corps veteran, who lived next door to her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha. Married on September 27, 1947, in Decatur, they lived more than 71 years together in communities of friends and loved ones in central and northern Illinois; Champaign, Oregon, Elizabeth, Newark, Mahomet, and finally full circle in Champaign. Jean and Rolf raised three sons; Jon (Maxine) of La Jolla, CA, Richard (Brenda) of Mahomet, IL, and Gary (Gina) of Wimauma, FL. Rolf and they survive, along with eight grandchildren and seven great grandsons.
Known for her exquisite floral gardening, Jean also wrote beautiful poetry and prose for those who crossed her path. As a devoted mother and homemaker, she supported her farming family while also working at the weekly newspaper, the Newark schools, Baum’s clothing store in Morris, the Kendall County recording office, and as a craft business owner with her partner and dear friend, Ann.
Jean passionately supported her communities and churches, spending countless hours as a volunteer for U of I Extension and 4-H, the Newark Library board, the Peace Lutheran Church building committee, and as area president of the American Lutheran Church Women, among numerous other civic activities.
Jean loved life, traveling far and wide for fellowship with loved ones and new acquaintances. From her beloved family cabin at Houghton Lake, Michigan, to places where her children resided in Austria, Malaysia, Arizona, Florida, Iowa, New Mexico, and Virginia, she always arrived to serve her family and friends, and most of all, her Lord, Jesus Christ.
A celebration of Jean’s life will be held on Sunday, March 31, 2019, at the Lutheran Church of Mahomet, 410 Andover Drive, Mahomet, Illinois 61853, with visitation at 2pm, service at 3pm, and fellowship from 4-6pm.
Burial of Jean’s mortal remains will occur at 11am on Saturday, April 27, 2019, at the Helmar Lutheran Church Cemetery in Newark, Illinois. Friends are welcome to join the family there or afterwards at the Helmar Lutheran Church, 11935 Lisbon Road, Newark, IL 60541.
Rolf and her family are grateful for the dedicated caregivers who have loved and served Jean at Bridle Brook, Evergreen Place (formerly Villa), Meadowbrook Health Center, and Harbor Light Hospice.
Donations in her memory may be directed to Lutheran World Relief, 700 Light Street, Baltimore, MD 21230, or to Harbor Light Hospice, 332 W Marion Avenue, Suite N1, Forsyth, IL 62535.
Lutheran World Relief
700 Light Street, Baltimore MD 21230
Harbor Light Hospice
332 West Marion Avenue, Suite N1, Forsyth IL 62535