SAYBROOK — Martha LaCene Dillow Ferrell, formerly of Saybrook, passed peacefully at her home March 18, 2019, in Santa Cruz, Calif.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 37 years, Dr. Carl Ferrell, and her daughter, Elaine (Ron) Sparkman. She is survived by her sons, Randall (Elizabeth) Ferrell, Wrentham, Mass., and Jeffrey (Elise) Ferrell, Santa Cruz, Calif.; grandchildren, Sara (Claude) Meeks Lafayette, La.; Jessica (Chad) Clampit, Pleasant Valley, Mo.; Steven (Lauren) Sparkman, Austin, Texas; and Alya and Ariel Ferrell, Santa Cruz; and five great-grandchildren, including Evan Sparkman, who was welcomed into this world just a few days before LaCene departed.
After graduating from Anna-Jonesboro High School in southern Illinois, LaCene moved to New York City to work for Pan Am Airlines. She returned to Illinois to marry Carl Ferrell, who was in veterinary school at that time. They moved to Saybrook when he graduated.
While she lived in Saybrook, LaCene managed her husband's veterinary business and was active in the Methodist Church and Saybrook's public school system. After her husband's death, she worked as a travel agent, and she traveled the world.
LaCene was always an active person; She was an avid quilter and seamstress, and loved working in her garden. In her later years, she volunteered for elderly social services, delivering groceries for Grey Bears while helping people in her community in any way she could. Being a spiritual person, she loved Bible studies and always felt drawn to aiding others in need.
In her final year, she would often speak of her advanced age and increasing health issues and say that she was looking forward to “going home” when it was her time. And when it was finally her time, when she was called home, she didn't hesitate — she passed on at a table, with a crossword puzzle book still in her hand.
A celebration of her life will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Cheney's Grove Township Library, 204 S. State, Saybrook.