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Rita Beardsley Obituary

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September 25, 1932 — January 26, 2024

Rita Beardsley, age 91, of West Chicago, passed away after a very brief illness on January 26, 2024. She was born on September 25, 1932 in Ottawa Illinois to Jessie and Raymond Parks. At the age of 17 she set out to put herself through nursing school in Aurora. It was while attending school there that she met and fell in love with her future husband of 65 years, Kenneth Beardsley, and continued a life-long journey of nursing and nurturing both humans and a few furry friends as well.

Raised primarily singlehanded by her mother, a union-founding garment maker, Rita developed a natural sense of independence and determination. At a time when women were still usually not working outside of the home, she was one of the first nursing supervisors hired to open the “new” Central DuPage Hospital in 1960s, eventually serving as head nurse of pediatrics. After leaving CDH and serving a brief stint at Hinsdale Hospital, she settled into her role as head nurse in pediatrics at the new Delnor Community Hospital, yet rarely did she miss a single concert, play performance, competition, exhibition, baseball game, etc involving her children or grandchildren. She made everyone feel safe, thus her home also served as the neighborhood emergency triage clinic and storm shelter.

Rita’s hands were always busy whether it was holding a baby, sewing, knitting, crocheting an afghan, or making a quilt. In addition to being a diehard Cubs fan, she was passionate about giraffes. She also kept her mind sharp with genealogy, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and was a master at Wheel of Fortune.

As many have noted, a nurse never really “retires,” they just stop getting paid. This was true for Rita as she continued to serve past her retirement in a variety of volunteer roles.

She is survived by her loving children, Karen (Steve) Brenner, LouAnne Ooton, Jeff (Rebecca) Beardsley, and Jennifer (John) Gill; 12 cherished grandchildren: Chrissy (Greg), Mike (Sarah), Dan, Kael (Meghan), Jessie, Ian, Scott (Katie), Jacob, Abbey (Dan), Briana, Addison, John, and Tom; 9 treasured great-grandchildren; several grand puppies, nieces and nephews, and her dearest friend Carolyn.

Rita was preceded in death by her husband Kenneth, granddaughter Marissa, grandson William as well as her parents and siblings.

Visitation for Rita will be held on Saturday, February 10. 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, 155 N. Prince Crossing Rd., West Chicago with a service at 12:00 p.m. Services will conclude at church. Private Inurnment will take place at a later date. Contributions in Rita’s memory may be to St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, 155 N. Prince Crossing Rd, West Chicago, IL 60185 or AccentCare Inpatient Hospice Center, 2195 W. Diehl Rd, Naperville, IL 60563. Arrangements by Norris-Segert Funeral Home and Cremation Services, for info 630-231-0060.

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