SULLIVAN – Dr. Cleo A. Hall, 95, of Sullivan died peacefully at 9:10 p.m. Monday (Jan. 14, 2013) at Heartland Christian Village in Neoga.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Sullivan First United Methodist Church with John Plummer officiating. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. today (Friday, Jan. 18) at Reed Funeral Home, Sullivan, and one hour before the funeral service at the church. Burial will be in Keller Cemetery, Lovington.
Suggested memorials in her name may be made to the Sullivan First United Methodist Church Building Fund, the Moultrie County Historical and Genealogical Society, or Titus Manor at Wyman Park. Condolences may be sent to the family at reedfuneralhome.net.
Dr. Hall was born March 11, 1917, on a farm in rural Sullivan, the daughter of Thomas Emerson and Mary Ollie Scott Hall.
Surviving her include a brother, Loren E. Hall Sr. (Phyllis) of Coolidge, Ariz.; nephews, Roger J. Roney (Janet) of Lovington, J. Allan Roney (Lynne) of Clayton, Mo., Paul Roney (Lucia) of Bethany, Loren E. Hall Jr. (Carol) of Coolidge, Ariz.; niece, Kay Roney Chambers (John) of Bluff Springs; and 11 grandnieces and grandnephews.
Her parents; sister and brother-in-law, Ina and Joseph Roney; infant sister, June Hall; and niece, Rebecca Hall Burrus, preceded her in death.
She was a graduate of Cushman rural school and Sullivan High School, where she was valedictorian of the class of 1934. She received two bachelor's degrees from the University of Illinois, a master's degree from Columbia University in New York City, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Chicago. She was a mathematics teacher at Findlay, Centralia, Lockport, and Monticello Junior College for Women in Godfrey.
In her second career, she served 29 years with the Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Illinois, Washington, D.C., and at Washington State University, where she was state leader of Home Economics Extension.
When Cleo was with the USDA in Washington, D.C., in the late '60s, the Extension Service helped implement the "War on Poverty" and the Civil Rights Act. While protesters, picketers and rioters were busy on the mall outside the agriculture building, she and others were trying to help these same people from the inside, with very little means and no proven method to success. Her years in Washington, D.C. were, in Cleo's words, "an interesting experience."
Later, in the state of Washington, she put into practice some of the programs she helped develop in D.C., including the food and nutrition program for low-income families.
She received the Sullivan High School Alumni Hall of Fame Award in 1989 for her life's work.
In 1980, she retired to Sullivan, where she tutored adults, delivered Meals on Wheels and took piano lessons. She was a member of the Moultrie County Historical and Genealogical Society, the Fortnightly Book Club, the Women's Club and the First United Methodist Church of Sullivan. "Always do the best you can," was the example she set for her nieces and nephews and anyone her life touched.
The family is thankful for the excellent care she received at Titus Manor in Sullivan, Heartland Christian Village in Neoga and Lincolnland Hospice.