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RANTOUL — Marjorie Louise (Barnett) Black of Rantoul, known to many as “Marge” or "Margie,” passed away peacefully with family at her side on Saturday (Aug. 10, 2019).

She was born July 13, 1937, the youngest child of Frank William and Goldia Mae (Cox) Barnett, on a small farm near Chrisman. She attended the first three years of school in a one-room schoolhouse known as Maple Grove School. She also attended elementary schools in Metcalf and Clarksville, graduating from Marshall High School, Marshall, in 1955.

In 1958, she married the love of her life, Jon Robert Black, a member of the U.S. Army. They traveled to many military bases within the United States and Germany. They were proud parents of four children, Kelli, Cheryle, Jon William and Shawn. Their infant son, Jon William, died on Sept. 26, 1962, in Germany. SP/5 Jon Robert Black died Sept. 28, 1966, after serving in Vietnam. Her daughter, Kelli L. (Black) Sydes, died July 22, 2018. Marjorie never remarried.

Marge could be easily described as having a gypsy attitude to living her life, choosing jobs and moving to new places whenever she felt it was beneficial. Always upper most in her mind was giving her daughters a good life. She always put them first. Marge was a loving mother and grandmother. She was extremely proud of her family's personal achievements and loved sharing pictures and telling stories. Marge believed in the power of sharing big hugs with everyone whose path she crossed. To know Marge, was to love her.

Marge was among the first three women hired at the police department in Paris, Ill., as a radio dispatcher. She also worked in Danville at the same position. In addition, she worked at the Danville Commercial News as an obituary writer and a classified sales adviser, then later as a civil service employee where she worked at Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul and Camp Lincoln in Springfield.

Upon retirement, she missed working and served for five years as a page at the Rantoul Public Library. After trying retirement one more time, she went back to work in the retail shop at Cracker Barrel in Urbana. This came to be her favorite job of all. She loved greeting the customers, always with a smile and perky disposition. She had to finally retire after surviving two heart attacks in January 2010.

She is survived by two daughters, Cheryle (Don) Peterson of Darien and Shawn Schroeder of Danville; a son-in-law, Randy Sydes of Rantoul; three grandsons, Jon Eric (Gabby Venckute) Peterson of West Ellis, Wis., Bradley Peterson of Chicago and Aaron Sydes of Rantoul; and three granddaughters, Grace Sydes of Rantoul, Sarah Schroeder of Chicago and Aly Schroeder of Danville. She is also survived by many beloved nieces and nephews.

Services celebrating her life will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, at Templeton Funeral Home in Paris. Burial will follow in Hoult Cemetery near Chrisman. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Templeton Funeral Home in Paris.

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