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Martha Christian

Published: Friday, May 30, 2014 8:23 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, May 30, 2014 2:03 p.m. CDT

KEWANEE — Martha Helen Christian, 85, of Kewanee died at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 28, 2014, at Hope Creek Care Center in East Moline.

She was born March 5, 1929, in Waverly, Ky., the daughter of Charles E. and Anna M. (Wolfe) Russelburg. She married John F. Christian on July 12, 1948, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tiskilwa. He survives, as do four children, Steve (Sharon) Christian of Annawan, Cheryl Kerr of Kewanee, Greg (Laurie) Christian of East Moline and Roxanne (Wayne) Nash of Rock Island, three sisters, Katherine (Walt) Christian of Wilmington, Del., Eva Cunefare of Mendota, and Phyllis Salsman of Galesburg; a sister-in-law, Helena Russelburg of Princeton; eight grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; one stepgreat-grandchild; one stepgreat-great-grandchild and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a son-in-law, Dick Kerr; four brothers, Charles, Joseph, Robert and Bernard “Rommie”; a sister, Retha Vance and a great grandchild.

Martha graduated from Tiskilwa High School. She had worked as a cook at Sauk Trail Inn in Annawan and at the Chuck Wagon in Mineral. She also drove a school bus for the Annawan School District. She was a member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and its Altar and Rosary Society and the St. Patrick’s Altar and Rosary Society in Sheffield. She served on the Mineral Library Board and was active in the children’s activities at Annawan schools. She was an avid and lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs and Bears and the Fighting Illini. She especially enjoyed her family and they were very important to her.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 31, at St. John Paul II Parish at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. Celebrant will be Fr. Johndamaseni Zilimu. Burial will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery.

Visitation will be held one hour prior to the services at the church.

Memorials may be directed to the Kewanee Fire and Rescue. Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee is in charge of arrangements.

This obituary may be viewed and private condolences left at

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