Helen Rawson Stroner, 98, died Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, at Valley Hi Nursing Home, Woodstock, where she lived for the past two years.
She was born March 24, 1919, at her grandfather’s home in Chicago to John and Helen (Melka) Eminger.
Her first husband, Bill Rawson, passed away in 1984. She later married Irv Stroner in 1989 and had five wonderful years with him before he passed.
Shortly after her birth, her family moved to Lombard, where she attended school and graduated from York High School in Elmhurst in 1937. Athletics and competition were an important part of her life. As a child, her father entered her into running races, and she played baseball for the women’s league with the Elmhurst V8s from 1934 to 1941. In 1940, she married her coach, Bill Rawson, on the baseball field before a game surrounded by her fellow teammates and were given that day’s ticket sales as a wedding gift. They continued to live in Lombard until they moved to a farm in Woodstock in 1947 and raised cows, pigs and sheep.
After graduating from high school, she worked for National Tea Grocery and eventually was promoted to a temporary store manager. After moving to Woodstock, she worked at Guardian Electric, Oaks and Arnold Engineering until she retired in 1983. She enjoyed traveling and was fortunate to go on family camping trips across the United States and to Hawaii, Alaska, Australia and Europe. Attending the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal fulfilled one of her lifelong dreams.
Besides traveling, Helen enjoyed bowling, gardening, feeding and watching birds, playing cards, and watching sports of all kinds. Hosting and feeding her family and friends was something that she treasured. She belonged to the machinists union and was a member of the Audubon Society, Environmental Defenders and the Farm Bureau, where she especially enjoyed participating in the Ag in the Classroom program.
In the end, Helen’s worn-out and much-used heart grew tired, and she was ready to rest. She had a feisty personality and was full of tenacity. Her delightful sense of humor will be greatly missed.
Survivors include two daughters, Janet Beck and Sally (Ken) Martine; four grandchildren, Collin (Holly) Beck, Todd Beck, Elizabeth Martine and Hannah Martine; and a great-grandson, Landon Beck.
She was preceded in death by her parents, both husbands, an infant sister, an infant son, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
A Celebration of Life was held Feb. 15 at Querhammer & Flagg Funeral Home, Crystal Lake. Interment was private.
Memorial donations can be made to the McHenry County Farm Bureau Foundation at www.mchenrycfb.org or to an Alzheimer’s Association.