Vera Arlene Rist-Minnaert, 104, of Atkinson, passed away of natural causes on May 25, 2020, at Hammond-Henry Hospital Long Term Care Center, Geneseo. A private funeral service will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, 2020, at Vandemore Funeral Homes & Crematory – Atkinson Chapel. A live stream broadcast of the funeral service will be available on Vandemore Funeral Home’s Facebook page. Burial will follow at St. Anthony Cemetery, Atkinson. Memorials may be directed to Brother James Court Residential Home for the Developmentally Disabled, Springfield, where her son Kenny resides.
Vera was born on January 1, 1916, in Galva, IL, the daughter of Ada Greenwood-Rist and Frank Rist. She graduated from Kewanee High School in May of 1934. Vera was united in marriage to Walter "Bud" Minnaert on February 6, 1937, at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Atkinson, IL. Bud preceded her in death on October 24, 1956. After Bud died suddenly of a heart attack in 1956, Vera supported her three children by working a number of jobs -shoe store clerk, school bus driver, house cleaner, transporting new vehicles cross country to car dealerships, cashier at the Stuckey’s Restaurant on the edge of town and finally, working for the Atkinson Post Office and Rock Island Post Office for 22 years. Vera was a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church, past president of St. Anthony Parish Altar & Rosary Society, member of the National Catholic Society of Foresters, past secretary of the Women of the Moose Chapter No. 597, past Chaplain and secretary of the Women’s Organization of Atkinson, coordinator of the Atkinson Senior Citizen/Heritage Square Lunches for 17 years (for which she became the recipient of the Henry County Ageless Achiever Award) and a member of numerous card clubs. Vera enjoyed puzzles, cooking, crocheting afghans, watching her beloved Cubs, and most of all, playing cards. She always embraced new technology, and at the age of 84 years old, Vera bought a computer. She began corresponding by email with friends and family around the country, played cards on-line with people from around the world and established her own Facebook page to could keep up with the lives of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. As a lifelong Cubs fan, Vera was one of the few people in the country to honestly say she had waited 100 years for the Cubs to win the World Series!
Those left to cherish her memory include her sons, Jack (Carol) Minnaert, Atkinson, Michael (Linda) Minnaert, Geneseo, and Kenny Minnaert, Springfield, IL; grandchildren, Angie (Jack) Minnaert – Ashcraft, Trev (Frank Cella) Minnaert, Troy (Sheri) Minnaert, Cameron (Kathy) Minnaert, Nicole (Brian) Minnaert-Kutmas, Jill (Joe) Minnaert-Woulf, and Brett (Tasia) Minnaert; great-grandchildren, Eric and Marc Ashcraft, Tyler and Riley Minnaert, Rachel and Madilyn Minnaert, Payton, Allie, and Matthew Kutmas, Ashton and Elysia Woulf, and Amara Minnaert.
Vera was preceded in death by her parents, Ada and Frank, her husband, Bud, sisters, Thelma Rist-Herman, Frances Rist-Smith, and Doris Rist-Smith, and great-granddaughter, Addison Rachel Woulf.
The family would like to thank the entire staff at Hammond-Henry Hospital Long Term Care Center, and Hospice Compassus, for their care.