We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Owens Funeral Home
Leona Ophelia Chester, 97, passed away peacefully on September 5, 2022 in Paxton, Illinois. She was born August 25, 1925 in Barnsdall, Oklahoma to Lonnie and Verla Chester who gave her the middle names of her two grandmothers. At a young age, she move to New Mexico with her older sisters, Faye (Reiter) and Nita (Franks).
Leona graduated from Artesia High School where she played the clarinet in the AHS Bulldog Band. Her musical abilities extended to the piano on which she could play every song (in any key) in The Methodist Hymnal.
Leona met her future husband at Bethany College in Oklahoma City. The custom was for the women choose alternate seats at the table, followed by the men who could choose their dining companions. On Thursdays the tables were turned, and the women chose their seats after the men were in place. Leona had her eye on Louis, and he noticed her when she sat with him. They were married May15, 1943 and later graduated from Western New Mexico University in Silver City.
Leona was an active minister's wife, playing the piano and organ or volunteering as needed. She created a loving home for her children, Helene and Dwight. For many years Leona was a member of the Tatum United Methodist Church. Leona was fond of traveling and continued to travel into her nineties. In later years, she enjoyed solving crossword puzzles and participating in social activities in her retirement home. She was a friend to all.
Leona is predeceased by her husband and by her son, Dwight Crenshaw. She is survived by her daughter, Helene Caton (Bobby) of Champaign, Illinois, her granddaughter, Kellee Caton (David Hill), and her great-granddaughter, Zella Caton Hill of Savona, British Columbia, Canada.
Leona will be remembered for her fierce spirit and for her love of family and her church. A memorial service will take place at a later date in the Tatum Cemetery.
Her family would like to express gratitude to the Accolade Healthcare and Carle Hospital nurses, Transitions Hospice Care, to Pastor Julia Melgreen and the family of the Champaign First United Church and to Pastor Beth Anthony and the Tatum United Methodist Church.