Betty Jo Calhoun

Betty Jo Calhoun

GIBSON CITY — Betty Jo Calhoun received her much-anticipated, long-awaited heavenly body on the morning of Friday, June 28, 2019, at the Gibson Area Hospital Annex in Gibson City.

Abiding by her wishes, there will be no visitation or funeral. She will be cremated. Interment will be at OddFellows Cemetery in Herrin, Ill., at a future time.

She is reunited with her son Thomas Joseph Calhoun; her husband, Olan Dean Calhoun; three sisters, Lila, Mary and Flo; and her parents, Joseph William Fricke and Sibyl Hycienth (Elston) Fricke.

Following later will be her son Dennis Calhoun and daughter-in-law Jaye of Scottsdale, Ariz.; her daughter, Dr. Carol Calhoun Williams, and son-in-law, Scott Williams, of Melvin; and her grandchildren John Joseph, Olan Jennings and Rose Elston Williams, all of Melvin. Her honorary daughter and grandson, Alexa and Steven Chun of Libertyville, Ill., also survive.

Betty was born laughing on July 1, 1923, on the family farm along the Big Muddy just north of Carbondale, Ill. The third of four sisters, she grew up surrounded by love, laughter, hard work and homemade fun.

As a young woman, she joined the U.S. Cadet Nursing Corps, training at St. Louis City Hospital from 1944 to 1947.  With her newly minted R.N., she became head nurse of the maternity ward at Herrin Hospital.

There she met Dean Calhoun, and they were married on June 10, 1950. Together they created a loving, happy home for their three children — Dennis in 1953, Carol in 1958 and Tom in 1963. Betty said she raised three “only” children; she would send one   to school and bring home a new baby to constantly cuddle.  Their union ended when Dean passed away in April 1991.

Betty was active in the First United Methodist Church in Waukegan, Ill., until 2008. That year she moved to Cissna Park, where she enjoyed meeting a new set of friends in the church, her residence at Creekside Retirement Center and the general community.  

As age took its toll, she moved to the Villas of Holly Brook assisted-living facility in Gibson City, followed by the Annex nursing home in Gibson City, close to her daughter, Carol. She received excellent, loving care at both places, for which her family is grateful.

Betty was known as a friend to all, quick to laugh, and quick to assist in any way she could.  Her happy, loving heart touched many lives — family, friends, patients, who will best honor her by passing that spirit along as they journey through life.

Please share memories on Betty’s tribute wall at