HERRIN — Esther Jane “E.J.” Helleny, 94, died Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in her home.
E.J., the daughter of John and Esther Jane Craver, was born July 2, 1923, in Murphysboro. She graduated from Murphysboro High School and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. After graduation, E.J. taught school in Sesser and Anna-Jonesboro.
E.J. married Taffie Helleny of Herrin on June 18, 1950. He preceded her in death on Jan. 1, 2016. They had three children, Joey Helleny of Herrin, Jane (Craig) Herman of Herrin and Robert (Cathy) Helleny of Carterville.
She had three grandchildren that she loved dearly, Kim (Shayne) Alexander of Paducah, Rebecca (Matthew) Maloney of Herrin and Mary Kate Herman of Herrin. She is also survived by her beloved animal companions Buddy and Smokie, as well as one brother-in-law, Charles Helleny of Herrin. She was also loved by an extended family of nieces and nephews.
E.J. was also preceded in death by her parents, her in-laws, two brothers, a sister, four brothers-in-law, five sisters-in-law, two nephews and one niece.
E.J. had always been active in the community. She had been a buyer for the Herrin Hospital Auxiliary Gift Garden. She was a charter member of the Herrin Garden Club. She had been a member of the Herrin Women’s Club, a Girl Scout leader and the Order of the Eastern Star. She was a past president of the Friends of Morris Library and a past board member of the Friends of WSIU. She also enjoyed playing bridge.
E.J. was a past deacon and past elder at the First Presbyterian Church in Herrin.
Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 at the Meredith-Waddell Funeral Home in Herrin. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, in the funeral home, with the Rev. Michael S. Neubert officiating. Burial will be in Herrin City Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the First Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Herrin.