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Diann Pemberton Keith

Diann Pemberton Keith

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BENTON — Diann Pemberton Keith, 76, passed away at 1:30 p.m. July 22, 2020, in Memorial Hospital in Carbondale.

She was born Sept. 12, 1943, to Stanley and Geneva (Williams) Pemberton in Benton.

Diann married Robert Merrill Keith on Aug. 10, 1968, and they were married for 51 years. She loved him infinitely.

Diann's purpose in life was to love, care for, and educate children. She obtained a bachelor's and master's degree in education from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. She fulfilled her purpose each day of her life through her love and support for her children, nieces and nephews and the many children whose lives she changed for the better during her 34 years as an educator. During those 34 years, Diann taught school in Rantoul; Austin, Texas; and Benton. She served as a teacher of special education students, kindergartners, and first graders, among other assignments.

Diann is survived by her loving husband, Robert, and her beloved dog, Pepper, both of Benton; a daughter, Heather Keith of Findlay, Ohio; a son, Dan Keith and his partner, Caitlin Crolley of Asheville, North Carolina; brothers-in-law, Robert Gariepy of Benton, Kevin (Kristi) Josephson of Onalaska, Wisconsin, Scott (Roberta) Josephson of Minneota, Minnesota; sisters-in-law, Kindra Pemberton of Macendonia, Deanna (Ron) Graham of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and Jyl Josephson (Jim Nelson) of Jersey City, New Jersey. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews, whom she was very proud of and loved deeply.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Stanley and Geneva Pemberton; her brother, John Pemberton; and her sister, Norah Jane Gariepy.

Services have been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home, 301 S. Main St., in Benton. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, July 26, at Pate Funeral Home. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Monday, July 27, at Pate Funeral Home, with the Rev. Kurt Sanders officiating. Burial will take place following services in Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery in Benton.

Phase 4 guidelines will be in effect. There is a limit of 50 people in the building at a time. It is asked that everyone wears a mask and use social distancing guidelines.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Benton West City Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry, and can be collected at the funeral home, or mailed to BWCMA, P.O. Box 934, Benton, IL 62812.

Online Condolences can be given at

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