Arlene J. Straus, age 89, of Big Rock, IL passed away on Friday, March 10, 2023 at HarborChase Assisted Living Center in Naperville, IL. She was born on July 12, 1933 in Aurora, IL the daughter of Arlington and Gladys (Malmgren) Jones.
Arlene was united in marriage on August 7, 1970 to Leon Straus and they spent the next 43 years happily together until his passing on November 29, 2013.
Mrs. Straus was a graduate of Northern Illinois State Teachers College in DeKalb, IL and taught for one year in New Bern, NC; six years at Hinckley-Big Rock High School in Hinckley, IL; and twenty-nine years at West Aurora High School in Aurora, IL. She also worked many summers managing the gift shop at Blackberry Farms in Aurora, IL.
She was a member of the Sigma Kappa sorority during her college years, as well as the Big Rock Baptist Church and Big Rock Historical Society.
She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and aunt who will be deeply missed by her family and friends. She always made it a point to attend as many of her grandchildren’s events (mostly sporting events!) as possible and her generosity and devotion to her family was unparalleled.
She is survived by her children, Brad (Kristy) Phillips of Hinckley, IL and Brian (Sue) Phillips of Big Rock, IL; her grandchildren, Allison (Richard Zabelin) Phillips-Zabelin, Lauren Phillips, Kaitlin (Adam Blazek) Phillips, Rachel (Brendan) Williamson, Eric Phillips; great-grandchildren Clara, Charlotte, Henry Zabelin and Cole Williamson; her brother-in-law, Dale Johnson; a nephew and several nieces and their children, her step-children, Jeff, Steve, Lori, Pete, Tamara, and Shari; also, several step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Arlington and Gladys Jones; her husband, Leon Straus; her sister, Kathy Johnson.
The family would also like to thank her caregivers, Danette Bulson and Catherine Rawers for their unrelenting kindness, love and compassion towards our mom. You will always be in our hearts.
Funeral Services and Interment will be private.
Donations in Mrs. Straus’ honor can be made to the Big Rock Historical Society, Alzheimer’s Association or the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in honor of a family member.
Arrangements by Nelson Funeral Homes & Crematory, www.NelsonFuneralHomes.com or 815-286-3247.