GOREVILLE - Cora Belle Childers, 98, passed away on July 5, 2023 at Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion. Cora would have been 99 on August 19th. Cora married Harold Childers on March 10, 1946 in Pittsburgh, IL. He preceded her in death on September 5, 1993.
Cora grew up on a farm in rural Johnson County, surrounded by her older brothers and sisters and their families. Because of this, Cora was not only related to her neighbors, but she and her nieces became best friends.
Cora graduated from Goreville High School, but shortly after her graduation, she and many members of the Johns family moved to Chicago Heights to work and to assist in the efforts of WWII. The Johns family’s greatest contribution to the war though was losing Cecile Ray, Cora’s older brother, in combat. While living in Chicago Heights, Cora worked in a battery factory, but she also spent time writing to a young soldier named Harold Childers. Through their correspondence, their love grew strong, and shortly after Harold returned from the service, they were married. Harold and his father decided to build a home, and after many months of dedication and hard work, the home was finished. Cora lived in this home for most of her life. It was only when she could no longer live alone that she moved out. Her granddaughter, Shanna and her husband, now reside in the home, and that pleased Cora immensely. The house that Harold built for her has become a family legacy.
Harold and Cora had two children, David and Pat. Cora devoted her love and her time to raising her kids and being a wife. She was active in church, community, and school activities, and made certain her kids had the opportunity to become hardworking, productive adults. When Pat was a teenager, Cora began to work outside the home. After a few years of odd jobs, she assumed the position of Goreville’s Postmaster. She held the job for 21 years, and never took a sick day! Quite an amazing accomplishment!
Cora always enjoyed staying busy. In addition to her commitment to her career, she grew a huge vegetable garden, worked hard in her church, babysat grandkids, and loved picnics and camping at Cedar Lake with her precious family. She also continued her relationships with her nieces, Joy Stearns, June Walker, and Lowanda Cadle. They were not only related, but were best friends. This tradition has carried on with Cora’s daughter Pat, and June’s daughter Pam. Family was always very important to Cora.
It was Cora’s strong faith that brought her through enormous losses in her life. Her husband Harold died suddenly from a heart attack and just three years later her son David was killed in a motorcycle accident. Even though her heart was breaking, she continued to reach out and comfort others. Her commitment to her family and friends never ceased.
Age slowed Cora down, but it never stopped her. She enjoyed sharing a birthday celebration each year with her niece Joy, both born on August 19th. Pat and Pam made it possible for Cora, Lowanda, June, and Joy to spend special times together. It was difficult for Cora when June died. She lost one of her best friends. She often spoke of how she missed talking to June at least once daily. Cora’s nieces were her pals.
Cora is survived by her daughter, Patricia (Bob) Cruse of Marion; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Shanna (Jon) Green of Goreville and their children, Alexis Massey, Peyton Massey, Kyleigh Massey, Tristan Green, and Liam Green; Amber (Jason) Halstead of Carterville and their children, Avery Halstead, Cameron Halstead and Kayden Martin of Georgia; Matthew (Tammy) Childers of Marion and their children, Kyle (Lexie) Childers of Laramie, WY and Dalton Francis of New Jersey; Leigh Anne (Jon) Rutan of Texas; and Will Childers of Mississippi; nephew, Jim (Mary Ann) Dunn of Goreville; nieces, Joy Stearns of Goreville, Lowanda Cadle of Marion; special great niece, Pam Reuscher of Tunnel Hill.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold; son, David Childers; parents, Marshall and Alverta Johns; siblings, Violet Stearns, Bernadean Dunn, Pleas Johns, Loren Johns and Cecil Ray Johns; and niece, June Walker.
Funeral services for Cora will be held at 3:00pm on Sunday, July 9, 2023 at Goreville United Methodist Church with Pastors Doug Atkins and Alan Milligan officiating. Burial will follow at Busby Cemetery in Goreville. Visitation will be held from 2:00pm until the time of service on Sunday.
Memorials may be made in Cora’s name to Hospice of Southern Illinois, Goreville United Methodist Church or Busby Cemetery and will be accepted at the church.
Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale is in charge of arrangements. For more information visit www.meredithfh.com