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DANVILLE — Cheryl Bills McIntire of Danville passed away Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, at the Garden Court Neighborhood of Liberty Village.

Cheryl was born to Eldon and Bernice Bills, at Elgin Memorial Hospital, in 1955. They predeceased her, as did her grandmother, Emily Popp, who helped raise her.

She was raised in Barrington, the middle of seven children. She graduated from Barrington High School in 1973 and from Illinois State University in 1977. Later in life, she obtained a master's degree in social work from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree in education from Eastern Illinois University.

After graduating from Illinois State, she took a job as a juvenile probation officer in McLean County. It was there she met her husband, Robert McIntire, who survives. They were married in Barrington in 1978.  

Cheryl’s professional career led her from the McLean County Court Services Office to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services as a caseworker, which she maintained as the McIntires moved to Ottawa, Ill., and then Champaign. Her husband’s employment then led her to Catlin, Vermilion County, where she obtained employment as a school social worker for the Vermilion Association for Special Education and then Danville District 118. She then returned to DCFS as a supervisor, moved to Danville and eventually advanced to the position of assistant regional administrator for the central region of DCFS. 

When administrations changed, her employment with DCFS ended, and she matriculated to Eastern Illinois University to obtain a master’s degree in education. She interned for Danville District 118, served as principal of Pleasant Acres Elementary School in Rantoul, and then served as principal of Northeast Elementary Magnet School in Danville. While principal there, through her efforts and the support of her staff, Northeast Elementary was awarded the Gold Award from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for the healthy food program instituted there, the first elementary school in the nation to receive such an award. She made many special friends among the teaching and support staff at Northeast.

She left District 118 to return to DCFS as an assistant deputy director, administering adoptions statewide for that agency. After her retirement, she served as executive director for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Vermilion County and as an administrator for the Center for Youth and Family Solutions.

She was initiated as an alumni member of Pi Beta Phi fraternity for women in 2013, following the affiliation of her daughter, Melinda McIntire of Chicago, who survives her. Her stepson, Jeffrey McIntire of Philadelphia, Pa., also survives, though his wife, Carolyn, preceded Cheryl in death this past summer. She is survived by a brother, Dennis (Nancy) Bills of Danville; a brother, Richard (Suzette) Bills of Cary; a brother, Allen (Pamela) Bills of Virginia Beach, Va.; and a sister, Karen Bills See of Michigan.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Douglas Bills; and sister, Deborah (Duane) Cope. Duane survives.

Cheryl’s devotion to children, beginning with a social work internship for the Salvation Army in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood, was lifelong. She loved helping her children in care and students succeed and loved mentoring others who had the same devotion. She also loved antiquing and owned several antique businesses in the Danville area. She was a devoted Chicago Cubs fan and was present at Wrigley Field with her husband and daughter when the Cubs clinched the pennant in 2016. She loved walking and spoiling her Scotties, Thompson and Katie.

A celebration of life service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, at St. James United Methodist Church, 504 N. Vermilion St., Danville, IL 61832. Officiating will be Pastor Randall Robinson. Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. the evening prior, on Friday, Sept. 17, at Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 3940 N. Vermilion St., Danville, IL 61834. Per Cheryl’s wishes, she will be cremated following the service.

Memorial donations may be made to the Salvation Army, ALS Association, Alzheimer’s Association or Danville Public Library Foundation. Please join Cheryl’s family in sharing memories, photos and videos on her tribute wall at sunsetfuneralhome.com.

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