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TUSCOLA — Dolores Jane Byers, 90, of rural Tuscola passed away at 11:15 a.m. on Thursday (July 18, 2019) at Tuscola Health Care Center, where she had been a resident for four years.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 24, 2019, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 600 E. North Line Road in Tuscola, with Pastor Jason Braaten officiating. Burial will be in Lewis Cemetery, northwest of Tuscola, near her cousins, aunts, uncles, maternal grandparents, maternal great-grandparents and neighbors.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, 2019, at Hilligoss Shrader Funeral Home, 705 S. Main St., Tuscola.

Mrs. Byers was born March 8, 1929, on the Chambers farm, two miles southwest of Sadorus in Champaign County, a daughter of Walter Ludwig and Bertha Pauline Vollmer Morenz. She attended St. Paul’s Lutheran Parochial School and was valedictorian of the Sadorus High School graduating class of 1947.

She married Laverl Byers on Feb. 19, 1949, in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church parsonage due to the fact that her childhood church had been destroyed by fire and the new building was under construction. The couple celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this past winter.

Survivors include her husband; daughter, Susan (Larry) Harbaugh of Tuscola; grandson, Gregory Harbaugh of Newman; granddaughter, Jennifer Harbaugh of Edwardsville; sister, Betty Reifsteck of Sadorus; brothers, Larry (Mary) Morenz of Galena and Earl Morenz of O’Fallon; and in-laws, Harold Cook of Champaign and James and Beverly Byers of Tolono. Between her siblings and those of her husband, Dolores is survived by 25 nieces and nephews.

Dolores was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Robert Morenz; a sister and brother-in-law, Orlena and Carl Welch; sister, Fern Cook;  brother-in-law, Kenneth O. Reifsteck; five nephews; and one great-niece.  

Dolores worked for the University of Illinois and U.S.I. Chemical west of Tuscola before returning to help her husband build a family farm living first west of Parkville in Champaign County, later north of Kemp in Douglas County and moving northwest of Tuscola in 1964, where she spent the remainder of her life. She was no stranger to tractor driving and delivered the family grain to the bin sites and elevator in the fall going all the way back to the years when 100 bushels of grain was delivered at a time in the back of a pickup truck with sideboards.

She was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, where she served as treasurer of the building fund for many years, was an active member of the ladies aid and enjoyed being a part of the Tuesday morning quilting club. She taught Vacation Bible School and was a member of the Douglas County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee and was a director on the Farmer’s Home Administration Board.

Dolores was an impeccable housekeeper, seamstress, vegetable gardener and loved a good game of euchre or a crossword puzzle. For nearly 70 years, she enjoyed New Year’s Eve celebrations by playing cards with cousins Ken and Margaret Roellig of Tolono and Alfred and Evelyn Karcher of Sadorus. Her homemade pies and noodles were legendary, and she loved to crochet, knit and especially enjoyed a good comedy movie or television show, as well as trips to Branson with her husband. The couple square danced with the Wheel and Dealer’s Club for many years and enjoyed ballroom dances at the Regent. Her grandson, Greg, was known to bring his friends to Grandma’s because she loved to play the video game Mario and always had a strategy to get them to the “next level.”

In recent years, she remained connected to friends by sharing jokes through email on the internet and enjoyed playing the game Tetris on her iPad.

The family wishes to thank the staff of Tuscola Health Care for their outstanding care of Dolores over the past few years as well as the Harbor Light Hospice team of professionals who worked diligently to bring peace and comfort to her final years.

Memorials may be made to Tuscola Health Care Center or Immanuel Lutheran Church, Tuscola.

Online condolences may be shared via hilligossshraderfh.com.