LONGVIEW — Myrna Jean (Rochat) Madigan, 82, of Danville, formerly of Longview, passed away Thursday (July 8, 2021) at Odd Fellow-Rebekah Home, Mattoon.
Myrna, known as Jean to her very close friends, was born Oct. 13, 1938, in Sullivan, to William L. (Bill) Rochat and E. May Rochat.
A private graveside service will be held at Smyser Christian Church Cemetery, rural Gays.
Myrna graduated from Villa Grove High School. She attended Murray State and Eastern Illinois universities, where she studied art. She was a stay-at-home mother for several years. Myrna then worked in several financial institutions before founding Farm Business Consultants, Tuscola, which she owned and operated for over 20 years.
After selling her business and retiring, Myrna returned to her artistic interests. She became a master artist in spinning, weaving and knitting and honed her skills through courses at a variety of venues, including John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, N.C. She was the recipient of a 2021 Illinois Arts Council Agency Ethnic & Folk Arts Master/Apprentice Program Award. This program helps communities preserve their own culture by providing for a master traditional artist to pass on their skills to a qualified apprentice in a time-honored method in order to preserve Illinois’s exceptionally rich cultural heritage. She was an active member of the Champaign Urbana Spinners and Weavers Guild, Five Mile House Foundation of rural Charleston and Amish Heritage Center near Arcola.
Myrna was a member of the Tuscola Rotary Club, serving as the club’s first female president in 1995. Myrna traveled to Nice, France, for the 1995 Rotary International Convention. While in Europe, she was able to research her Rochat family genealogy and tour Switzerland. She was a life member of the Switzerland County Historical Society, where she participated in the maintenance and preservation of the Vevay, Ind., area. She served Heritage Community Unit School District 8 as treasurer for 26 years. Myrna was the founding leader of The Corner 4-H Club in southeast Champaign County and remained active in 4-H on county, state and national levels for over 20 years. She was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Broadlands.
Myrna was preceded in death by her parents and close friend, Phil Teare.
She is survived by her children, Erin (Phil) Partenheimer of Newman, Michael (Sinéad Rice) Madigan of Urbana and Mary (Mark) Richars of Newton; grandchildren, Audrey (Tony) Cler of Royal, Meta (Amanda Hodges) Partenheimer of Boston, Emilie (Jonathan) Simon of Star Prairie, Wis., Anna (Hayden) Fiedler of Lone Tree, Colo., Grace Madigan of Chicago, Eisla Madigan of Urbana and Will (Lexy Long) Richars and Kate Richars, both of Newton; great-grandsons, Emmet and Chase Cler; sister, Lois (Terry) Naddy of Villa Grove; and former husband and father of her children, Patrick O. Madigan of Longview.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Five Mile House, P.O. Box 114, Charleston, IL 61920, fivemilehouse.org/donate; the Champaign Urbana Spinners and Weavers Guild, P.O. Box 6814, Champaign, IL 61826-6814; or the Amish Heritage Center, P.O. Box 284, Arthur, IL 61911, illinoisamish.org/donate. Online condolences may be shared at hilligossshraderfh.com.