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MORTON – Ora Vivian “Vi” (Abel) Etheridge, 100, of Morton, passed away on December 8, 2020, at UnityPoint Health Methodist in Peoria.
She was born on November 22, 1920, to Ora Carl and Alice (Buckles) Hughes in Villa Ridge, Ill. She married Clarence W. Abel on July 15, 1942 in Alton, Ill. He passed away on March 6, 1982. She later married Ronald W. Etheridge on March 5, 1994 in East Peoria, Ill. He preceded her in death on December 22, 2005. She was also preceded in death by both parents; three infant brothers, Carl Jr., Philbert, and Roy; four sisters, Ruth Brown, Gladys Thompson, Jean Hulsey, and Vera Kent.
Surviving are one son, Don (Patti) Abel of Morton; and one step-daughter, Sharon K. Martin of East Peoria. Vi had several nieces and nephews, including a niece, Thoma Mehl of Peoria, who was very special to her.
For the past 4 years, she has lived at The Villas of HollyBrook in Morton. The family wishes to recognize Heidi Peek and her staff, and the outside health workers for the love and care that they gave to Mom. She was loved by many at the Villas and was affectionately known as “Vi the Walker”. Her passion was walking laps round the halls several times daily.
She graduated from Dongola High School in 1938. She retired in 1982 from 7-Up Bottling Co. in Peoria, after 22 ½ years of service. Prior to that she was a waitress at Brownfield’s Restaurant and Citron’s Clothing Store, both in East Peoria.
Vi lived on Harris Road in East Peoria for over 60 years. She loved to work in her garden and yard and was passionate about pulling weeds. She loved her trips to garage sales. She was a member of the VFW Auxiliary and the Red Hatters. She was an active member of the First Baptist Church in East Peoria for over 70 years and made lifelong loving relationships with the members.
Vi was loved by many and seemed to always have a big smile on her face that would light up a room. She had natural curly hair and was asked by many of her friends at the Villas where she got her permanents. She loved her furry friends and had many over her lifetime.
The family has entrusted Knapp - Johnson Funeral Home in Morton with the arrangements. There will be no services due to COVID. A private graveside service at Swan Lake Memory Gardens in Peoria will be held at a later date.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the First Baptist Church in East Peoria, IL or St. Jude Ride, Peoria, IL.
To leave an online condolence for the family, visit www.knappjohnson.com