Jeanne Crippin (nee Hays), age 80, passed away on January 11 after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. Those mourning her most are Larry, her devoted husband of 58 years; grateful children David (Maggie Nowak) Crippin and Rachel (Chris) Clark; adoring grandchildren Alex, Andrew and Renatta; fond stepbrothers Bob (late Sue Ann) Krakoski and Joe (Kay) Krakoski Jr. and dear brother-in-law Jerry (late Harriet) Vacketta. However, she also leaves behind countless friends and extended family members who consider themselves lucky to have known her.
Jeanne was born in Westville, Ill. and attended Illinois Wesleyan University. She worked as a nursing supervisor at the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute and a nurse in private practice before earning a graduate degree in counseling psychology from what was then George Williams College. She worked as a therapist for many years before “retiring” to sell antiques. The antique business, which she just recently gave up after her diagnosis, brought her much joy and led to many interesting conversations and lasting friendships while she worked to preserve small (and large) pieces of history.
Throughout much of her life, Jeanne was an active and loyal member of Alpha Omicron Pi, the sorority she joined in college. She held volunteer and leadership positions in her local alumni group, as well as serving as a regional director for collegiate chapters and on the archives and centennial committees for international headquarters. She also volunteered in many positions at Bethel United Church of Christ, a community she held dear for over 50 years.
Over the years, so many friends, family members and even casual acquaintances (often much older or younger), came to rely on her for advice, professional expertise, or just her good ear. She was strong, loyal, and believed everyone should get an equal chance at a good life.
While disappointed to leave this Earth earlier than she had anticipated, Jeanne was comforted to know she would be reunited in heaven with her beloved mother Berniece Etchison Hays Krakoski, father Ralph Hays, stepfather Joseph Krakoski, sister Harriet Vacketta, and stepsister Maryann (Ron) Jurek.
Visitation will be held Saturday, February 3 from 9-11 a.m. at Bethel United Church of Christ, 315 E. St. Charles Road, Elmhurst, Ill. Also at the church, there will be a memorial service at 11 a.m. followed by a reception with light lunch, refreshments, and more remembrances.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Bethel UCC Memorial Garden at bethel-ucc.org/give or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital at stjude.org/give.