Jean DeChant, 1932-2008
Jean Louise Miller DeChant, 76, died Monday at her home in Bloomington, Ill.Her funeral will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, at Second Presbyterian Church, Bloomington, where she was a member for 39 years. Dr. Charles B. Hardwick will officiate, assisted by Rev. Peggy Vogelsinger. Interment will follow at East Lawn Memorial Gardens, Bloomington. Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, at Calvert & Metzler Memorial Home in Bloomington. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Community Cancer Center or BroMenn Hospice, both of Normal, Ill., or Second Presbyterian Church Youth Choir Programs, in Bloomington.Jean was born Jan. 11, 1932, in Lancaster, Pa., a daughter of Walter C. and Mabel Weimer Miller. She was married to Robert D. DeChant on Oct. 26, 1951, in Skippack, Pa., by his cousin, the Rev. Edward DeChant.Jean is survived by her husband, Robert; children Catherine (William) Schowengerdt, of Champaign, Ill., Marcia (James) Larson, of Towanda, Ill., Douglas (Charlotte) DeChant, of Edwards, and Melissa (Peter) Gross, of Fairplay, Colo.; grandchildren Kate (Christopher) Rogers, Christine and Cassandra Schowengerdt, Michael and Caroline Larson, Samuel, Joseph, David and Susanna DeChant, Addison and Nicholas Gross; great-granddaughter Adeline Rogers; sister Elizabeth Ann (George) Kratzert, of Lancaster; niece Lorie Kegerise, of Lancaster; and two nephews, Kevin Kratzert, of Lancaster, and Keith Kratzert, of Florida. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, George W. Miller.Jean attended Wilson College, in Chambersburg, Pa., and lived in LeRoy, Ohio, (subsequently named Westfield Center, OH) for 17 years. During her 40 years in Bloomington-Normal, Ill., she lovingly raised four children to appreciate all life has to offer, and actively participated in her churchs chapel choir, Bible Study Fellowship, BroMenn Service Auxillary, the David Davis Mansion, PEO Chapter FH and Bloomington Womens Club.Jean was a classically trained pianist, receiving a number of National Music Federation Awards. She also had the extraordinary privilege of playing the Netherlands Carillon at Arlington National Cemetery. She was a great lover and supporter of the arts as well, and shared her gifts in many ways, including directing a childrens choir, playing the organ and piano at church, and instructing young people on the piano. Sadly, illness and disease over the past 25 years robbed her of the immense enjoyment she received from her gifts of music and writing, but also paved the way for her love of Jesus Christ.Jean enjoyed traveling, photography, knitting, crewel embroidery, and growing flowers. She especially treasured time spent with and teaching her grandchildren.