Willa Jean Dellinger, 82, of Peru, died peacefully on June 13, 2021, surrounded by her family at St. Margaret’s Health in Peru.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 AM Wednesday in the Hurst Funeral Home in LaSalle with the Rev Gary Blake officiating. Burial will be at St. Vincent’s Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday from 9:00 AM until time of services.
Willa was born in Sublette on August 31, 1938, to Mathias and Mary (Johnston) Bildhauer. Willa graduated from St. Patrick’s School in LaSalle, LaSalle-Peru High School, LPO Junior College, and Illinois State University. She taught in the Peru Public Schools for 27 years until retirement. She was beloved by her students. She married James F. Dellinger, the love of her life, on June 9, 1972. Willa was an avid reader and particularly enjoyed poetry. Jim and Willa traveled extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Willa mostly cherished her childhood’s dream of visiting Ireland. She organized and initiated the Maud Powell Music Festival in Peru and established the Pre-Post Liver Transplant Support Group at IVCH. She also served on the Mental Health Board and Peru Library Board.
Willa is survived by her husband Jim of Peru, one daughter; Mary Elizabeth (Patricia A. Leone) Dellinger-Leone of New York, five step-children; Jim (Doreen) Dellinger of LaSalle, Jill (Jeff) Nichols of Yorkville, Jeff (Rhonda) Dellinger of Yorkville, Jan Ingraham of Yorkville, and Jack (Teresa) Dellinger of Newark, seven step-grandchildren, two step-great grandchildren, one sister; Janice (Bill) Rogowski of Peru, one nephew, and three nieces.
She was preceded in death by her parents and one brother William Bildhauer.
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