Ella Stewart Chullen, 92, of Benton, Illinois, passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at the home of her daughter, Cinda Chullen Riccio, in Houston, Texas. Ella was born on January 27, 1921, in Weeksbury, Kentucky, the daughter of the late Robert Lee and Lucinda (Hall) Stewart. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, John Chullen and eleven siblings; Robert L. Stewart, James H. “Bud” Stewart, Mike Stewart, Josie McCown Tackett, Ada Rowe, Ellie Moore, Babe Hamilton, Myrtle Evens, Dee Stewart, Essie Gerhart, and Ralph D. Stewart.
Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 15, 2013 at the Morton & Johnson Funeral Home in Benton, Illinois. Burial will be at the Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery in Benton immediately following the service. Visitation will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 14 at the funeral home.
Ella is survived by her three children: John Lee Chullen and wife Susan of Benton, Illinois, Claris Ann “CC” Chullen of Thompsonville, Illinois, and Cinda Chullen Riccio and husband Joseph of Houston, Texas, and eleven grandchildren; Dr. Kelly Dawn Chullen-Hoppers, Dr. Cody Logan Chullen, Armstrong, Ansel, Austin, and Amelia Chullen Riccio, Clarice Michele Moroni, Bryson Wayne, Braxton James, Barretta Calisa, and Jolene Janea Maria Chullen; two great-grandchildren: Cooper David Hoppers and James Paul Moroni; several nieces and nephews; and her companion Rat Terrier dog, “Lucy”.
Ella was a vivacious woman with a huge and loving heart. She was a great cook and loved to dance. She was bountifully blessed with many skills. She started her work life as a “Rosie the Riveter” building aircraft during World War II. She served as a midwife delivering 33 babies in Eastern Kentucky and spent many years as a postmaster and social worker. She adamantly supported education, and later in life, graduated along side her daughter Cinda with an Associates of Arts from Rend Lake College. Afterwards, she completed a Bachelor of Arts from Eastern Illinois University leading to a career as an institutional food service manager. After retirement, she managed a child care business from her home until her husband’s declining health required her full-time attention. She was a member of the Eastern Star and was baptized late in life at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas.
Those wishing to make a memorial donation in Ella’s honor may do so to Gloria Dei Early Childhood Ministries, 18220 Upper Bay Road, Houston, Texas 77058.