(What Jan Costello said at Aunt Nannie’s funeral, October 8, 2005)
I am one of Nancy Hendren’s many nieces and nephews—and whether we live in Petersburg or California or one of many other locations, we all called her “Aunt Nannie.”
Anyone who knew our Aunt Nannie was familiar with the fact that she was a GREAT COOK—and she ALWAYS loved sharing her recipes. Although I’m not much of a cook, even I could make Aunt Nannie’s “Death by Chocolate” recipe--and I’m sure it will be a family favorite for years to come.
I’ve been thinking about what Aunt Nannie might have included in a “Recipe for Life,” knowing it would be another award winning recipe. So here’s my best guess about what she may have written down for us if we had asked her to share the ingredients in her very own “Recipe for Life.”
Number 1…Put Family First
Love them and care for them and always be there for them.
Communicate with them—meaning write notes to them, or call them, or bring them
together—and LISTEN to them.
Comfort them when they are sick or sad or lonely or lost.
Cherish the roots of a family and look forward to how those roots grow and develop
in a thousand different directions.
Tell them a good story and encourage them to tell stories, too.
Celebrate with them every chance you get.
Number 2…Make Friends All Along the Way
Share with them—and treat them like family, too.
Help them feel good about themselves.
And yes, tell them some good stories, too.
Number 3….Figure Out What Your Talents Are—And Let
Them Blossom Through Education and Exploration
Remember, it doesn’t matter what path you take, as long as long as it’s right for you. Just try your best to use your talents wisely—and have fun along the way.
Number 4… Help Build Your Community, Wherever That Might Be
Give your time and energy to the causes you believe in.
Number 5…Discover A FAITH—And Always Keep It With You
It will keep you strong and healthy and it will give meaning to everything you do.
And it will help remind you that the best things in life don’t cost money.
Those are five core ingredients, but don’t forget the spices that add “ZEST” and “QUALITY” to any recipe. When it comes to the “Recipe for Life,” be sure you add the following:
--A hefty dose of humility
--A huge slab of honesty
--An endless supply of humor
--Bushels and bushels of kindness and compassion
--A boundless amount of respect—for people and for traditions
--Hunks and hunks of creativity
--And at least 10 tons of courage
Finally, there’s one last secret spice---you have to add some kind of “SPARKLE” to life, like a
“TWINKLE OF AN EYE”—something that captures life’s magic and glory—something that makes you want to live every day to the fullest.
Aunt Nannie shared her “Recipe for Life” with all of us. She didn’t find it in a book. She just knew what to put together to make it work. Aunt Nannie had a million great recipes, but her “Recipe for Life” was her greatest recipe of all.
Thank you, Aunt Nannie
Sept. 1, 1914 -- Oct. 4, 2005
Nancy E. Hendren, 91, a longtime resident of Carthage, died Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2005, in the Hancock County Nursing Home in Carthage where she had been a resident for the last year and a half, and of Our Home in Hamilton for the year prior to that.
She was born on Sept. 1, 1914, on the family farm in rural Petersburg, a daughter of John B. and Dorcas Kirby Grosboll. On Oct. 5, 1940, she married W. Paul Hendren at the University of Illinois Chapel in Champaign. He died Sept. 4, 1973.
She is survived by one daughter, Jane E. (Bruce) Leathem of Carthage; one son, Paul C. (Suzanne) Hendren of Champaign; four grandchildren, Matthew Hendren of Bend, Ore., Anne E. (Dion) Toney of Mahomet, Tammy M. Leathem of Chicago, and Thomas M. (Erin) Leathem of Hoffman Estates; one great-grandson, Damyan of Mahomet; and many nieces and nephews and a host of friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; two sisters, Mildred M. (Toots) Stier, and infant sister Ideline Grosboll; three brothers, Thomas K. Jep, and John E. (Pete) Grosboll.
She attended Pantier School and graduated from Petersburg High School, and received her bachelors degree from the University of Illinois in 1940. While a student at the University of Illinois, she and 15 other young farm women founded 4-H house on the university campus, which is still active today. These women became known as the 4-H House Pearls. In 1952 she moved to Carthage where her husband joined Dr. A.M. Orum to form the Orum and Hendren Veterinary Hospital.
Her first honor was bestowed upon her in 1930 when she was a member of a 4-H demonstration team in Menard County and was awarded an all expense paid trip to Europe by the 4-H Club Congress in Chicago. She had an assistantship at the Department of Home Economics at the University of Illinois, and later while her husband was in the first Veterinary Medicine Class at the University of Illinois, she taught at Urbana High School. In 1956 she received the Gold Key Award at the 4-H Club International Congress in Chicago. She was named Hancock County Outstanding Republican Woman in 1988. She received a lifetime achievement award for volunteerism by Western Illinois R.S.V.P. in 1991. An award of merit was presented by the University of Illinois for outstanding achievements as an alumnus in 1992. She served as dietician at Carthage Memorial Hospital from 1959 to 1973. Following the death of her husband, she served as a member of the Board of Directors of Hancock Savings and Loan for 13 years. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Carthage where she served as an Elder and Deacon. She served on the Women's Advisory Board for the Peoria Journal Star newspaper for nine years. She was active in many civic, educational and professional organizations including American Legion Auxiliary, American Association of University Women, Hancock County R.S.V.P. Chapter J, P.E.O., Carthage Women's Club, she served as the chairman of the Carthage Christmas Club for over 40 years, Illinois Home Economics Association, Phi Upsilon Omicron and the Illinois Veterinary Medical Association Auxiliary. In 1997 she was honored as the Grand Marshall of the Carthage Fourth of July Parade. It would be remiss to not mention that she was renown for her jokes and story telling. Her greatest love was her family.
Friends may call at the Lamporte Funeral Home in Carthage after 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, with family meeting friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, in the First Presbyterian Church in Carthage. Rev. Greg G. Busboom will officiate. Burial will follow in the Moss Ridge Cemetery.
Memorials in the name of Nancy E. Hendren have been established for the First Presbyterian Church of Carthage or the Carthage Public Library.
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