Audrey Mae Steury, 93, passed away on Thursday, November 7, 2019 at Swiss Village in Berne. She was born on March 29, 1926 in Chicago to Ernest and Ida (Davis) Bleeck. With her mother dying from tuberculosis, she was admitted at 18 months old to the Salem Children’s Home in Flanagan, Illinois, where she remained for 24 years. She thrived in the nurturing environment created by director Chester Moser and wife, Helen, who became her Mom and Dad Moser. The home’s indelible influence on her life is evidenced by her strong faith, as well as hundreds of poems, songs, sayings, Psalms and scriptures that she could recite even into her 90s - as can many of her family.
In 1950, she married Ivan Steury who was also employed by the Salem Home. In 1952, they moved to his family farm near Monroe with a new son. They built a successful dairy farm and added two daughters and another son to the family. The stories of her adventures at the Salem Home and the farm were many, and she loved to tell them. She was a warm, kind spirit, who loved to tell jokes and make people laugh, and she will be sorely missed by all those who knew her.
She and her husband were active members of the Evangelical Mennonite Church and later the Mt. Hope Church of the Nazarene. She was active in 4-H, the Extension Homemakers Club and Adams Central School. She was a published poet. She was employed at Swiss Village, Chalet Village, Bank of Geneva, Berne Apparel and NAAS Foods. They moved to Berne in 1990, where she remained after his death in 1997. In 2017, she moved to Swiss Village where, for many years, she had been a frequent visitor to dozens of residents. When she was in her 90s, her daughter-in-law and granddaughter located her brother, Ralph (who had passed away in 1992) and a large extended family, whom she had never known. In 2017, she met three of these new family members.
She is survived by two sons, Stan (Carrie) Steury of Vilas, North Carolina; and Mike (Beth) Steury of Berne; two daughters, Karen (Stan) Weaver of Geneva; and Amee Crider of Bluffton; three sisters-in-law, Edith Arnold of Berne; Edna Bryant of Pierceton; and Martha Steury of Goshen; 14 grandchildren, Drew, Cameron, and Sawyer Steury; Jason Weaver; Laura (Herb) Bergman; Brandi (Jeff) Berkshire; Megan (Tad) Feaster; Katie (Travis) Moore; Abby (Trevor) Yardley; Amber Smith; Jon (Allison) Crider; Chris Crider; Jenna (Adam) Langston; and Colton Steury; and 20 great-grandchildren, Jordyn, Jarrett, and Ally Weaver; Herb (Andi) Bergman; Madalyn Bergman; Blake and Jayden Berkshire; Aaliyah, Karlie, Cooper, and Miles Feaster; Haleigh Mosser, Emerlynn Moore; Elijah, Raelynn, Noah, and Titus Yardley; Brooklynn Smith; Lewis Crider; and Dylan Langston.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; brother, Ralph, of Longview, Washington; son-in-law, Donald Crider; granddaughter, Emily Steury; and great-granddaughter; Zoey Smith.
Visitation will be from 3-8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12 at Zwick & Jahn Funeral Home – Yager-Kirchhofer Chapel in Berne and one hour prior to the 11 a.m. funeral service on Wednesday, November 13 at Mt. Hope Church of the Nazarene. Burial will be at Berne Evangelical Church Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Salem Children’s Home, 15161N 400E Rd, Flannigan, IL 61740.
Arrangements provided by Zwick & Jahn Funeral Home, Yager-Kirchhofer Chapel in Berne. To sign the online guestbook, visit www.zwickjahn.com.