Nancy Ellen Cole Vial, 80, of Pontiac, died at 3:55 a.m. on Dec. 20, 2016 at Evenglow Lodge, Pontiac. She was born at home on Feb. 28, 1936 in Greene County Illinois to George Allen and Mabel Kinser Cole. Visitation will be December 26, 2016 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home, Pontiac. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Dec. 27 at First United Methodist Church, Pontiac.
She resided in rural Blackstone most of her adult life. She married Richard E. Vial on July 8, 1956. He died on Jan. 25, 2000. She later married Robert St. John, March 3, 2001 and he died on Sept. 10, 2010.
She is survived by two children, Daniel R. (Julie) Vial of Blackstone and Laurie B. (Michael Ball) Vial of Champaign. She is also survived by four grandchildren Jacob D. (Kelly) Vial of Chicago, Molly D. (Brandon) Laue of Altamont, Neal R. Benjamin of Carthage and Claire E. Benjamin of Champaign as well as a great-grandson, Wyatt Laue. Also surviving are three brothers David (Shirley) Cole of Danville, Gale (Joy) Cole of Palmyra and Kendall (Charlot) Cole of Virden. She is also survived by two stepdaughters Joni (Tak Cheung) St. John of Manville and Lori (Jay) Wittrig of Hopedale and step grandchildren Emily (Aaron) Petri of Bloomington, Edward (Haley) Wittrig of St. Louis, MO, Elizabeth Wittrig of Hopedale and Ray St. John of Peoria and one step great-granddaughter Olivia Petri.
Nancy was also preceded in death by an infant son, Jonathan and her parents.
Nancy attended Illinois College and graduated from Passavant Memorial Hospital School of Nursing, both in Jacksonville and was a registered nurse. She worked at St. James Hospital, Pontiac and later worked for the Livingston County Public Health Department from 1968-1990 where she worked at the Chest Clinic and made home visits. She was active in the Illinois Heart and Lung Association and the Illinois Conference on Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.
Nancy was a 4-H leader for many years and started the Sunbury Shamrocks 4-H Club. She was a member of the Blackstone United Methodist Church and served as organist for over 40 years. She was active in United Methodist Women at the local and district levels. And she was also active in the Livingston County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee and volunteered at Evenglow Lodge doing nail care for many years.
Nancy loved to sew in the winter and made hundreds of beautiful items, among them several wedding gowns including those for Laurie, Julie and Molly.
In the summer Nancy spent her time outdoors in her vegetable garden, flower beds and caring for the lawn and acreage. She was passionate about picking black raspberries and froze them to make “Gramma Jamma” year-round. She loved identifying and feeding birds and participating in the Audubon Society’s bird counts.
Memorials are suggested to Evenglow Lodge or the First United Methodist Church, Pontiac, where she was a member.