Jeanette Stevens

KANKAKEE -- Rev. Jeanette E. Stevens, 82, of Kankakee, passed away at her home Wednesday (April 29, 2020).

She was born April 21, 1938, the daughter of Edward and Aileen (Beaudoin) Gerretse. Jeanette married Robert R. Stevens on June 19, 1971, at First Baptist Church in Kankakee. He preceded her in death Oct. 11, 2009.

Surviving are her stepdaughter, Roberta Kay Tidmore, of Pyatt, Ark.; stepson, Rev. Brian Lee Stevens, of Cherokee Village, Ark.; her brothers, Gary Lynn (Linda) Gerretse, of Kankakee, Dale Lee (Kimberly) Gerretse, of Bourbonnais; and sister, Diana Jean (Scott Hedditch) Gerretse, of Orr, Minn.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents; and one brother, Ray Gerretse.

She was a 1956 graduate of Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School and then went on to receive her Bachelor of Science in Education at Northern Illinois University in 1960 and her Masters in Education and Counseling in 1967 from Rosary College and Governors State University. She also went to Northern Baptist Seminary M. Division in pastoral care and counseling.

Jeanette was a Brownie Scout, belonged to Girl Scouts of America, First Curve Bar Scout in Kankakee County. She was a pro marksman for the NRA, received the American Legion Award in 1956, was leader of 4-H EC and AG Club, Delta Kappa Gamma International teachers honorary, president of Upsilon and Phi Chapters, a member of Delta Psi Kappa Internal Physical Education Fraternity, Kappa Delta Phi, Education Honorary, Alpha Tau Alpha library science honorary, American Red Cross instructor in First Aid, CPR and water safety and received the 30-year award for service. She was a life member of the Illinois Education Association and National Education Association, Bradley-Bourbonnais Education Association past president, life member of the National and Illinois Rifle Association and Honorable Mention Medal of Merit from Congressman George G. O’Brien. Jeanette was listed in Two Thousand Woman of Achievement in 1971 and in Who’s Who Among Human Services. She was past president of Nokomis Rotary and Emiritus Member of American Alliance for Health Physical Education and Recreation. She served as waterfront director at Camp Shaw-waw-naw-see, served on the faculty of George E. Thompson High School, St. Charles, and Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, and substitute taught at North School in Nokomis.

Jeanette was an ordained deacon in the Central Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church, ordained elder in the Central Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church, retired from the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church, served as youth pastor at Bourbonnais Grace United Methodist Church, served Deselm United Methodist Church, Ritchey United Methodist Church, Kankakee Asbury United Methodist Church, Nokomis United Methodist Church, Saunemin United Methodist Church and Odell Community Church. She also served as supply at St. Marks, Filmore and Zion ECLA in Montgomery County and served as night chaplin at Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee.

She also enjoyed reading, gardening, stamp collecting, candlemaking, crocheting and knitting.

There will be a public memorial service post COVID-19.

Please sign her online guestbook at

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