Mary Imogene “Jean” Wagenblast, 91, of Brighton, Illinois, passed away peacefully on December 16, 2021. She was born April 21, 1930, in Alton, Illinois, to Gus and Mary (Bull) Orban as their first child and beloved only daughter, followed by four sons.
On October 1, 1949, she married Henry “Hank” Lewis Wagenblast and they spent nearly 23 years together until his sudden death in 1972.
Jean was a devoted and loving wife, mother, and grandmother. Her family was her greatest joy. She loved taking care of her children and grandchildren, and was always their biggest supporter, offering love and encouragement to them in all they strived for.
She was also a faithful member of St. John’s United Church of Christ in Brighton. She was a long-time member of the Women’s Fellowship and helped with many activities of the church. Her kindness extended to friends throughout the community, and she was widely known for baking and sharing desserts and many kinds of cookies.
Jean and Hank had four daughters, all surviving: Judy Wagenblast Poppenhagen, Springfield; Janet (Jim) Hopper, Gillespie; Jill Wagenblast, Glen Carbon; and Joi Wagenblast, Wheaton, Illinois. Jean also is grandmother to Eric Wagenblast, Carol (John) Dilks, and Sara (Steve) Gillilan. In addition, she is survived by her sister-in-law Mary Orban and has several nieces and nephews who remember her as a wonderful aunt.
Jean was preceded in death by her husband; parents; her four brothers, Dennis, Ken, Dale and Jimmy Orban; her son-in-law Ron Poppenhagen; and close family friend Bill Faux.
Visitation begins at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, December 20, 2021, at St. John’s United Church of Christ of Brighton, followed by an 11:00 a.m. service officiated by Irene Gulovsen. Burial will follow at Brighton Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to St. John’s United Church of Christ of Brighton.
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