Leona “Lee” Vandemore, 76, passed away surrounded by her family on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 4:30 a.m. at the Bickford Cottage in Davenport, IA.Lee was born on May 18, 1937 to Charles and Vada (Gilbert) Harding in Kewanee, Illinois. She was a 1955 graduate of Wethersfield High School working as a waitress at Davidson’s Restaurant while in school.
From the time she was a young girl, Lee willingly took on the role of caretaker first to her ailing mother and then to her 3 younger brothers. Later in life she cared for her aunt throughout an extended illness. Lee cared for these people while also caring for her growing family. Lee was devoted mother and wife. She provided support, love, and structure.
She married Charles Vandemore on June 25, 1955 and he preceded her in death on August 13, 2011. She is survived by her six children together: Linda (Steve Pont), Daniel(Ann), Steven, Diane (Berkley Savage), Karen (Tim VanDyke), and Sharon (Matt Nordhagen), eight grandchildren: Gretchen (Zachary Fulton), Brett (Kathleen), Megan (Anthony Militello), Lauren, Aaron, Adrianna, Nathan, and Emery and five great-grandchildren: Jonah, Kade, Alexander, Hayden, and Dominic. Also, surviving are her brothers John “Eb” Wirth and Jerry Wirth.
Her favorite times were those spent with her family. You could always find Lee in the kitchen baking or preparing a wonderful meal. She always ensured there was room at the table for one more. When not in the kitchen, Lee would be found supporting one of her children’s activities from sports to theater. Lee was a familiar face as a Customer Service Manager at Wal-Mart in Kewanee where she made many close friends throughout her 15 years.
Lee’s warm smile will be missed by the many friends she has made over the years. We have lost the cornerstone of our family, but she will never be forgotten.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 AM, Saturday, June 8 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Kewanee. Celebrant will be Rev. Anthony Bernas. Visitation will be held from 6:00-8:00 PM, Friday, June 7 at Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee with a rosary being recited at 7:45 PM. Burial will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the Beverly Farm Foundation (www.beverlyfarm.org), the residence of Steve Vandemore. This is a not-for-profit residence and training center adults with developmental disabilities.