Rebecca Sue Oltman, 73, of Minonk, passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus at 12:11 pm, Wednesday, September 1, 2021 at Carle BroMenn in Normal, IL.
She was born June 25, 1948 in Peoria to Jesse and Emeline (Scheirer) Kennel.
Growing up on a farm in Metamora, IL and being one of seven children, she made many wonderful childhood memories. She enjoyed her years as a student at St. Mary’s Grade School and Metamora High School.
Rebecca received her undergraduate degree in Education from Canton Community College and Illinois State University. Later, she earned her Master’s degree in Education and Administration from Bradley University.
On June 6, 1970, she married Arlen West and resided on Sunset Drive in East Peoria, IL where they later had three daughters whom they dearly loved.
Many fondly remember Rebecca as their teacher from Germantown Hills Elementary School and Riverview Grade School. She served as a principal for Riverview Grade School and later at Fieldcrest Elementary South, where she eventually retired.
On April 19, 2003, she married Jack Oltman and loved living with him on his farm in Minonk, IL. He survives.
Also surviving are three daughters, Rachel (Scott) Kramer of Germantown Hills, IL, Gretchen (John) McDonald of Peoria, IL, Megan West of Washington, IL; two step children, Jeff Oltman of Minonk, IL and Julie (Paul) Brooks of Benld, IL; five brothers and sisters, Jim Kennel of Metamora, IL, Bob (Ellen) Kennel of Metamora, IL, Mary Jo Barnhill of Danvers, IL, Tim Kennel of Metamora, IL, Lisa (Greg) Delaney of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, sister-in-law Renae Kennel of Lowpoint, IL ; nine grandchildren, Maria (Benjamin) Wolfe, Weston Kramer, Taylor Lowery, Brayden Lowery, Jennifer (Luke) Mulch, Stephanie (Randy) Shipman, Molly (Quinn) Krug, Christopher Oltman, Nathan Oltman; five great- grandchildren, Elizabeth Wolfe, Lydia Mulch, Charlotte Mulch, Rendan Shipman, Kirsten Shipman; and two great-grandchildren on the way.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Larry “Joe” Kennel.
Rebecca was known for loving Jesus with all of her heart. She faithfully shared His love with others and will be remembered for being a prayer warrior.
She enjoyed being with her family and friends, working outside in her garden, carrying on the legacy of her mother through cooking, sewing, writing poetry, singing with The Village Aires, going on trips to The Holy Land, participating in women’s Bible studies and having family reunions with her siblings and extended family. She and Jack made
many wonderful memories wintering in Fort Myers, FL for 12 years. She especially had a place in her heart for Salem4Youth Ranch in Flanagan, IL. Rebecca was a volunteer cook and absolutely loved serving there. She will be remembered especially for her faithfulness in writing thoughtful cards and her generosity in helping others.
When writing in a keepsake memory book for her family, she was asked the question, “Do you have a good piece of advice?” As an encouragement to us all, Rebecca wrote, “Love Jesus, talk to Him daily, thank God for all of your blessings, help those in need, and regard each new day as a gift from God. What you do with that day is your gift to God.”
There will be a private graveside service on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home in Minonk is assisting the family with arrangements. A celebration of life service for friends and family will be held at a later date.
Memorials may be made to Redeemer Community Church in Minonk (568 N. Chestnut St. Minonk, IL 61760) or Salem4Youth (15161 N. 400 E. Rd. Flanagan, IL 61740) or Hands of Love Ministry (704 Devon Drive, Germantown Hills, IL 61548).
Online tributes and condolences may be made at www.ruestmanharrisfuneralhome.com