Marguerite Emilie Beans, age 99, passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home in Joppa, IL, on Jan 18th 2017.
Marguerite was born August 23, 1917, in Clinton County Illinois to Wesley B. Schoene and Mayme (Hearding) Schoene. She was preceded in death by her parents as well as by her husband of 64 years Phil L. Beans, and her sisters Evelyn Worms of Belleville, IL and Marie Nouel of Wichita Falls, TX.
Marguerite is survived by her brother Robert Schoene of Tucson, AZ, her three children, Lewis Beans of Paducah, KY; Mary Beans of Plano, TX; and Carolyn Britt of Christmas, FL; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Marguerite grew up in Trenton, IL where she went to school and graduated as valedictorian of her high school class. She attended McKendree College in Lebanon, IL and later attended a women's college in Kansas City.
In the 1940s, Marguerite moved to Alton, IL where she worked for Illinois Bell as a telephone switchboard supervisor. During World War II, when male employees were in short supply, Marguerite trained women as well as blind employees how to work the switchboard, moving patch cords to connect telephone calls. This experience ingrained in Marguerite the value of hiring women and people with disabilities. Her job as a switchboard supervisor for Illinois Bell led Marguerite to meet her husband, Phil Beans, while training power plant employees in Alton to run the power plant's telephone switchboard.
Phil and Marguerite moved to Massac County in 1951, when EEI was under construction and Phil was hired to work at the new plant. They attended and were members of Oak Grove United Methodist Church in Joppa.
Marguerite was dedicated to her family and to giving back to the community. Education and the arts were very important to her. She was active at Franklin Grade school, as a leader in the PTA, as a band parent, and as a substitute teacher. She served as a Girl Scout Leader for many years and was a camp counsellor at Bear Creek Girl Scout Camp on Kentucky Lake.
In the 1960's, Marguerite was an activist for equal civil rights in Massac County and worked with a number of church organizations in Southern Illinois to improve race relations.
Marguerite felt strongly that mental health care should be available to everyone and was instrumental in bringing the first mental health services to Massac County by coordinating with SIU, and in establishing Massac County Mental Health.
Marguerite believed strongly that everyone should have access to healthy drinking water. Together, she and Phil obtained funding for and initiated the founding of Fort Massac Water District. She was active Beta Sigma Phi, a women's cultural and community service organization, and in Business and Professional Women, where she was named Business Woman of the Year.
In accordance with Marguerite's wishes, there will be no services. If you would like to remember Marguerite or commemorate her life monetarily, please make a donation to the community service organization of your choice.
Miller Funeral Home in Metropolis is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left at www.aikinsfarmer-millerfh.com