Charlene C. Keim, 86, formerly of Annawan, passed away on Friday, July 10, 2020, at Toulon Healthcare Center, Toulon, IL. Cremation rites have been accorded and a memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 18, 2020, at Fairview United Methodist Church, Annawan, IL. Reverend Terry Lancaster will officiate. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery. Vandemore Funeral Homes & Crematory – Atkinson Chapel will be assisting with arrangements. Memorials may be directed to Fairview United Methodist Church or Annawan-Alba Rescue.
Charlene was born in the Annawan area on May 11, 1934, the daughter of James R. and Lucille "Irene" (Palmer) (Parker) Mear. She graduated from Annawan High School in 1952 She married Darrell A. Keim on April 26, 1953, by Reverend Glenn Catlin, at the then Fairview Evangelical United Brethren Church, Annawan, IL. He preceded her in death on January 11, 2020. She worked as an administrative assistant for Mayhew Moving and Storage for several years before spending time raising their three children as a full-time homemaker. She rejoined the workforce as a hostess/waitress at the Sauk Trail Inn, Annawan, IL before becoming the challenged student transfer school bus driver for the Annawan school district under DeVrieze Bus
Service. She later became a postal clerk working at the Annawan Post Office until retiring in 1992 after 21 ½ years of service.
Charlene was a very civic-minded individual. She was a lifelong member of Fairview United Methodist Church where she held positions of Sunday School Secretary and Sunday School Teacher. She was a life member of the United Fairview Woman’s Club doing ministerial and fundraising for the less fortunate of the world while expanding the religious opportunity of caring. She held several officer positions including President while helping to guide the women’s group in their care programs. She was the Church Membership and Historian Recorder and in 1990 she organized, indexed, and published four booklets into one of the "Old" church records (1928-1979) for the Church Parsonage and Membership Libraries. She retired from this position after 20 years of membership recording. She was a member of the Annawan Women’s Club for many years, being President during the 1965-1966 year.
Charlene was a charter member of the "Friends of the Round Barn" that worked for the restoration, upkeep, and tours for the barn located at Johnson’s Sauk Trail State Park. She sold items made by the members at the help desk the club set up to help fund the restoration and upkeep projects of the barn. She was a charter member of the Henry County Genealogical Society and was very active in the setting up and researching genealogical records of families in the Henry County area. She also spent countless hours on the genealogical history of Keim, Palmer, Parker, Moon, Peart, and Ford. She published a book on the Parker family genealogy in 1968 with continuing updates through her death.
Charlene enjoyed traveling and spending time with Darrell exploring our nation’s many wonders and crisscrossing the country to visit their children and relatives. Her hobbies were numerous and included genealogy, cross-stitch, crafts, gardening, art, and crochet.
Charlene is survived by her sons, Dennis Keim, Springfield, OR, Michael (Beth) Keim, Port Byron, IL, and a daughter, Deborah (William) Salmond, Rock Hill,, SC; four grandchildren, James (Ashley) Keim, Carmel, IN, Sarah (Justin) Williams, Romeoville, IL, Amy Salmond, Rock Hill, SC, Ivan Salmond, Rock Hill, SC; two great-grandchildren, Wesley Keim and Ella Keim, Carmel, IN.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her loving husband, Darrell, and a brother Roy.