CHARLESTON, IL – Phyllis Leigh Rearden, age 90 of Charleston, passed away on Thursday, May 13, 2021. A visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. at Adams Funeral Chapel in Charleston. Her funeral mass will begin at 11:00 a.m. at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church located at 921 Madison Avenue on Wednesday with Father Braden Maher officiating. Burial will follow in Roselawn Cemetery – Charleston. In lieu of flowers, donations in her honor may be made to the American Indian College Fund or to Citizens Against Child Abuse and left at the visitation/funeral mass or mailed to Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, IL 61920.
Phyllis was born February 11, 1931 in Enid, Oklahoma and was a daughter of the late Philip Arthur and Mary Leigh (Duncan) Coulter. She married John Rearden on December 28, 1955 in Enid and they have celebrated 65 years of marriage. In addition to her husband, she is survived by three sons, John Rearden, Jr. and wife Melodee of Rockford, Illinois, Philip Rearden and wife Marsha of Westfield, Indiana and David Rearden and wife Molly of Springfield, Illinois; 10 grandchildren, Jennifer Nance, Nora Fry (Dan), Max Rearden, Nathan Rearden (Yukyung Han), Hilary Rearden, Gregory Rearden, Eric Rearden, Carly Rearden, Katherine Rearden, and Patrick Rearden. Phyllis was also extremely close to her extended family which included several first cousins. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, Philip Arthur Coulter and her daughter, Mary Anne Nance.
Phyllis graduated high school in Drummond, Oklahoma and attained her bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State). She earned a master’s degree in library science from the University of Illinois and was employed as a librarian with Eastern Illinois University for more than 20 years. She was also a member of the American Library Association and a generous supporter of the Charleston Carnegie Public Library.
Phyllis was a devout member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Charleston. She had many life-long interests which included genealogy and history. She loved to travel with her family and many of her and John’s travel destinations were to historical locations through the Elderhostel educational travel program. One of her more memorable trips was to the beautiful and secluded Isle of Royale National Park. Phyllis also spent her leisure time reading murder mysteries and stitching her latest cross-stitch creation. Phyllis was unarguably a generous and charitable individual and was supportive of many causes and charities which were near and dear to her heart.
Phyllis adored her family and loved them unconditionally. She always looked forward to their company and was overjoyed to just sit and visit. Her love was returned by a family who was appreciative of the example she set for them through the smart and practical way in which she lived her life.
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