Mildred Evelyn Rongey

Mildred Evelyn Rongey, 94, formerly of Belleville, IL, but recently residing at the Grange Home in Mascoutah, IL, went to Heaven to be with our Lord on Monday, March 28, 2011.

Mildred was born on August 4, 1916, in Granite City, IL. She never married, choosing instead to devote her life to her students. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelor's degree in education, she taught school for over 44 years, first at Monroe Elementary School in East St. Louis, IL, then at East St. Louis Senior High School, and then at Columbus Elementary School in Edwardsville, IL. After retiring from the school system, she continued her ministry to children by providing private tutoring to hundreds of students in Belleville and the surrounding area over a 14-year time span. She particularly loved helping students with reading difficulties.

Along with her family, she was a charter member of Edgemont Bible Church. She was a member of the church's board of education, was coordinator of the junior church program, and taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School for many years. She was also a sponsor of the Youth for Christ Club. She attended Bible Study Fellowship and was a member of St. Matthew United Methodist Church in Belleville.

Miss Rongey was a 60-year member and a past president of Delta Kappa Gamma, a professional honorary Society of women educators. Membership in this society is by invitation only and is considered a prestigious honor. She was a nominee for the Lamp of Learning Award. Prior to retirement, she was a sponsor of the Future Nurses of America Club and a member of the St. Clair County Committee on Nursing Scholarships.

Miss Rongey enjoyed traveling and drove her car up to a few years ago when she had to give up her license due to failing vision. She traveled extensively, even driving cross country at the age of 84. She loved the St. Louis Cardinals and had a special place in her heart for Mark McGuire.

Mildred was one of those people who spend their entire life giving to others. She donated most of her retirement income to Christian charities, many benefiting children and the homeless. She said that God had given her everything she needed, and those people needed the money more than she.

The family would like to express appreciation to the staff of the Grange Home and Heartland Hospice who treated Mildred like a loved family member.

She was preceded in death by her:

  • Parents: Justus E. and Olinda nee Rickert Rongey
  • Sister: Viola H. Rongey
  • Nephew: Terry L. Calvert

She is survived by her:

  • Sister and best friend: Doris, nee Rongey, Matzka of O'Fallon, IL
  • Nieces and nephews
    • Cynthia Calvert of Athena, OR
    • Erica Timmerman (Barrett Dick) of Bradenton, FL
    • Deborah (W.Turner) Clem of Montgomery, AL
    • Dave (Kathy) Matzka of Lebanon, IL
    • Michael Matzka of Kaufman, TX
  • Cousin: Margie (Jerry) DeHart of Belleville, IL
  • 8 great nieces and nephews
  • 13 great-great nieces and nephews
  • Dear friends: Ken and Linda Williams of Swansea, IL
  • Thousands of children she taught over 58 years as an educator

Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Feed the Children, Heartland Hospice or St. Matthew United Methodist Church.Visitation: Friends may call from 3-7 p.m. on Sunday, April 3, 2011, at Kurrus Funeral Home, Belleville, IL.

Funeral: Funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on April, 4, 2011, at Kurrus Funeral Home with the Rev. James Slone officiating. Burial will be in Valhalla Gardens of Memory in Belleville, IL.

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