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Vera M. Sides

Vera M. Sides, 87, of Congerville, passed away Monday (March 5, 2018) at Washington Christian Village.

Vera was born Feb. 8, 1931, in East Peoria, to Pete and Beulah Heatherington VanOppen. She married Orelle Sides on June 5, 1965, in East Peoria. Orelle preceded Vera in death in April 2012. She was also preceded in death by her daughter, Sinnia Shippe; two sisters, Orpha Johnson and Nellie Baum; and two brothers, Delbert and Paul VanOppen.

Surviving are her son, Ronald McLaughlin, Congerville, and many nieces and nephews.

Earlier in her life, Vera worked in Peoria at Ideal Troy and PARC and also worked at PAG Seed in Congerville.

Throughout her life, Vera enjoyed babysitting children out of her home in Congerville. Although over the years she cared for children for over two generations, she would often admit to caring for “thousands” of children when asked how many she had cared for. Vera always looked forward to surprising the children at the Sides' annual Easter egg hunt.

Vera was an avid gardener who was known for having a green thumb. When she wasn’t able to maintain her garden due to her declining health, the neighbors would make sure she was still able to enjoy her garden.

In honor of Vera’s wishes, there will be no services held and cremation rites will be accorded.

Memorials may be made to St. Jude Runners Association.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

the life of: Vera M. Sides
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