BLOOMINGTON - Henrietta Ellen Carlson Crain, 94, Bloomington, formerly of Normal and McLean, passed away May 5, 2019, at Bickford Senior Living of Bloomington.
A private family service will be scheduled for a later date with interment at Funks Grove Cemetery.
Henrietta Ellen Carlson was born Dec. 16, 1924, and she grew up on a farm in rural Chillicothe. She was the daughter of the late George Carlson and Carrie (Ohlmann) Carlson. She married Claude Wilde Crain of McLean on June 12, 1948, in Sparland.
Henrietta is survived by her three children, Cheryl (Michael) Whelan, Bloomington; Cindy (Tom) Newman, Mount Pleasant, Wis.; Alan (Teresa) Crain, McLean; her only grandchild, James (fiancée, Nina Dugan) Newman, Evanston; a sister, Elsie Carlson Johnson Lucking, Sun City Center, Fla.; a niece, Ann Carlson Brown, Peoria; two nephews Jeff (Karen) Johnson, Carol Stream, and Jay (Kim) Kyp-Johnson, Glen Ellyn; and several great-nieces and great-nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; and brother, Arthur Carlson, Chillicothe.
Henrietta graduated from Sparland High School. She then graduated from Illinois State Normal University in 1947 (now Illinois State University) with a degree in home economics. She was proud that she had paid for her college education by working in the summers as a waitress at Starved Rock State Park Lodge, Oglesby.
She started her career teaching home economics at Washburn High School and then at Atlanta High School after her marriage and move to rural McLean. Henrietta then became a sixth-grade teacher at Atlanta Grade School for more than 14 years. She also worked for many years as a substitute teacher, teacher of homebound students, and a tutor.
Henrietta and Claude were married for 41 years until his death in 1989. They were farmers in McLean. Henrietta moved to Normal in 1990 where she was a member of the Wesley United Methodist Church, Bloomington.
A lifelong learner, Henrietta had a passion for reading, Bible study, McLean County history, writing, and genealogy. She had documented the Crain genealogy back to 1797, as well as other family tree branches. She satisfied her curiosity about world history and cultures by traveling throughout North America, and to Europe, Central America, and the Middle East. She was an avid bridge player, achieving a Silver Life Master ranking for tournament play in duplicate bridge.
The family expresses its gratitude to the staff of Bickford Senior Living of Bloomington where Henrietta lived since 2018, and to the staff of Compassus Hospice, Palliative Care, and Home Health of Bloomington.
Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider The Funks Grove Cemetery Association (www.funksgrove.org) or Wesley United Methodist Church (www.wesley-umc.com).
Condolences and memories may be shared at www.carmodyflynn.com.