October 25, 1933 - November 23, 2020
Helen Ruth Qualls, (nee Livesay) age 87, of Sauk Village, IL passed away on Monday, November 23, 2020. Helen was born October 25, 1933 to the late, Gay and Pearl (Hyden) Livesay in Jonesville, VA. She leaves behind her two daughters, Jackie (David) Rotondi of Homewood, IL, Jill (Mark) Qualls Wrabel of San Francisco, CA; two grand children, Ashley (Dan) Gusich of Homewood, IL, Gina Rotondi of Homewood, IL; two great-grandchildren, Jacob and Ben Gusich of Homewood, IL; siblings, Kermit (Ann) Livesay of Jonesville, VA, Dale Livesay of Woodway, VA, James (Bridget) Livesay of Dot, VA; many special Nieces and Nephews who played an important role in her life that she loved to keep up with all via Facebook, Email and Telephone. Helen also will be missed by her neighbor, friend and companion for over 50 years, Teruko "Teddi" Sites. Together, they shared daily meals, shopped and enjoyed the everyday ups & downs of life together. She was welcomed in to ever lasting eternity by her parents, Gay and Pearl Livesay, siblings, Lorene Lee, Mary Hobbs, Joyce Hettich, Dwight Livesay, Helen had a wonderful career as an office manager for John Rudin Company in Chicago for many years where she developed lifelong friendships with many. Enjoyed travel daily to the City on the train and frequent shopping at Marshall Fields These experiences influenced Helen in meaningful ways. The urban work experience exposed her to cultures, fashion, diversity that would continue to shape her all throughout her lifetime. International Chemical Company as a beloved secretary until the business closed in 1972. Moving from the hustling City of Chicago to a less taxing suburban administrative position close to home, this allowed her more time with family. As a big fish in a small pond, Helen excelled at providing a professional demeanor to this industrial company with its small office in Chicago Heights. She enjoyed the short commute and the time this allowed her for her family. In 1973, Helen went to work at Bloom Trail High School District 206 where she served in a variety of administrative roles throughout the school. She loved working with the young adults and educators where she had the opportunity to shape and be shaped in meaningful ways. She became well versed in youth culture and the educational system which opened doors for a wide range of individuals & activities. She developed many longtime friendships with administrative staff, principals and students that gave her great pleasure throughout her life. She rarely went out in public without running into someone who knew and respected her. Helen served on the Bloom Trail Hall of Fame Planning Committee, where she followed and developed relationships with many of the emeritus Alumni’s' post high school careers Helen was a lifelong Baptist who had a loving relationship with God which brought her great comfort during her passing. She was involved in many senior groups as well as a devoted volunteer for many charitable organizations & local entities. Helen was an amazing Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Sister, Aunt, Friend, Neighbor & Coworker. She was the ultimate people person. No matter how you knew her, she touched your lives in a meaningful way. No matter what state or county she traveled to, she would have a contact, personal connection or make a new one along the way. Each one of us feels fortunate to have her in our lives for 87 wonderful years. As a wife, she supported her loving husband, Bruce, in his longtime career at Eastman Kodak Company and post retirement, Nutmeg. She was dutiful in creating a life, household and lifestyle that supported her husband’s industrious work ethic. Her support allowed him to fulfill his studious long hours of work to come home to a happy family with dinner on the table after working an 8-hour workday herself. She maintained contact with many of Bruce’s coworkers and developed a meaningful relationship with many through her lifetime. These folks will miss her correspondence, Facebook, cards and letters and know they hold a special place in Helen’s life. As a full-time working mother, she raised two daughters with painstaking efforts to create equal treatment of each while allowing them to maintain their different personalities. She was a wonderful example of a working wonder woman balancing career, cooking, cleaning, shopping and maintaining all aspects of her life effortlessly in a time long before this became the “norm". Making it appear like magic, she would host large family gatherings to create wonderful long-lasting memories with her family on Christmas with a sea of gifts, food and drink complete with visits from Santa. She would talk or correspond with each daughter frequently and instill in them compassion & kindness for others first and foremost. As Grandmother, Great Grandmother she would shower you with small gifts, candy and love. She adored taking her Granddaughter Gina to dinner and plays or hanging out in her home with her. Gina would often play little tricks on Granny…like putting her reading glasses on the Santa pillow which delighted Helen to no end. Jacob and Ben were the highlight of Helen's golden years as she watched the boundless energy of her great grandchildren growing up while always maintaining the gravity of her concern about the legacy that we leave for them. As the oldest Sister of eight, she influenced all of her Brothers, Sisters and their families in a variety of ways. As a young married woman, she moved to Chicago to expand the opportunities for herself and her new husband. She fostered her Brother, Dwight and Sister, Joyce to move to the Midwest to create an extended family of Nieces and Nephews that she watched over like a Mother Hen until the very day she passed with visits and constant correspondence contact via social media and text. Her vacations were always spent traveling to visit those who stayed in Virginia; Kermit, Lorene, Mary, Jim, Dale and their spouse & families. She loved seeing each one, keeping up with all of their children and their children's’ children. She could always tell you what each was doing at any time. These connections bought her countless joy and richly influenced her life on a daily basis. As a Friend, Neighbor & Coworker. Her neighbors and coworkers all became friends. Often referred to by family members as the "Energizer Bunny", she just kept going and going by taking others to doctor appointments, daily assisting friends with medical needs and everyday life matters. She was driven to help and you never left Helens’ house without eating and a doggie bag for the road. Each visit she would share food, a token or special conversation. You were always left with her goodness with each exchange. As a child of the depression growing up, she never owned many possessions. As an adult, she loved to shop and collect. Her home was a museum of vacation tokens, candy, collectables and "some not so" collectable items. Often each item had a special meaning, purpose or use. Parting with these items was always a task for her.” Helen loved her independent life. She will remain a force of good and caring that will live on in each of us. She was blessed to be able to live independently up until a short hospital stay. She was fearless in the face of COVID-19. Everyone has seen the and heard stories of our brave frontline workers. Nothing can prepare you for the first-hand countless acts of courage every one of those individuals take on each day. Our experience with these heroes at the hospital was eye opening. A Memorial Visitation will be held on Saturday, May 7th, from 1:00 p.m. until the time of Celebration of Helen's Life at 2:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Chicago Heights, 900 Thomas St. Chicago Heights, Illinois. Per church policy, masks are required. A Committal Service in Weber City, VA will be held at a later date. In Memory of Helen, donations may be directed to the charity of the donor's choice. For information visit heartland memorial.com or call 708-444-2266.
Helen Ruth Qualls, (nee Livesay) age 87, of Sauk Village, IL passed away on Monday, November 23, 2020. Helen was born October 25, 1933 to the late, Gay and Pearl (Hyden) Livesay in Jonesville, VA. She leaves behind her two daughters, Jackie... View Obituary & Service Information
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