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She pioneered teaching special education classes Lorraine Bunfill Unger was born in Brown County, Cooperstown Township, in West Central Illinois on Aug. 27, 1921. She departed this life to be forever with her Lord on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at the age of 87 years and 9 months. She was the eldest child of Fred and Marie Bunfill, who farmed in Brown and Schuyler counties.
Lorraine attended one-room rural schools, graduating from the eighth grade in 1934. After four years in Rushville High School, she went on to Western Illinois State Teachers College (now W.I.U) for two years, then taught in elementary grades for three years. She married a farmer, Edwin Unger, in 1943.
After becoming the mother of six children, she began teaching again, and taught for a total of 10 years in elementary grades. She pioneered in teaching Special Education classes in Schuyler County schools. She went back to college to obtain her B.S. degree in education from Western Illinois University in December 1972.
In 1992, she and her husband moved to Ava, Mo., to live with their youngest offspring. Her husband, afflicted with an autoimmune disease, benefited from their daughter Eloise’s nursing training. Ed died in 1996.
Besides her parents, two brothers, Glenn Bunfill, of Gainesville, and Lee Bunfill, of Fayetteville, Ark., preceded her in death. Mrs. Unger was also preceded in death by one son, Neil Unger, of Bloomington, Ill., a daughter, Elaine Unger Hulvey, of Camden, Ill., and a granddaughter, Toni Lee Unger, of Blandinsville and Macomb, Ill.
She leaves behind her little sister, Carol (Arthur) VanGerpen, of LaHabra, Calif.; a son, Allen Lee Unger (Glenda) of Blandinsville, Ill.; three daughters: Rosemary Unger (Don) Sparrow of Cary, N.C., Lucy Darlene Unger, of Charlotte N.C., and Eloise Unger Hallmark (Nurse Practitioner) (Leslie), of Ava, Mo.
She will be missed by six grandchildren: Dustin Unger, Bridget (Rick) Munson, Ben Sparrow, Kathryn Sparrow, Miranda Hallmark and Elise Hallmark. Lorraine took great delight in her three great-grandchildren, Olivia, Laurel, and Clair Lorraine Munson. She was honored to have Clair Lorraine named as her namesake.
Lorraine was an avid lover of nature and especially enjoyed watching birds. She served for several years as president of the Schuyler Co. chapter of the Audubon Society. She also worked with the local Kids for Conservation group, educating children about the wonders of the natural world. From 1981-1992, she wrote a weekly column entitled “Along Nature’s Trails,” which was published in the Cass County Star-Gazette.
Until recently, Lorraine enjoyed doing volunteer supplementary work in the kindergarten room at Plainview School, Douglas County, Mo. Throughout her life, she wrote frequently in diaries and journals and was a dedicated letter writer. She was an enthusiastic reader, and collected many treasured books. She was also a talented seamstress, making many clothes for herself and her family.
Another of her favorite lifelong pastimes was scrapbooking, and her scrapbooks highlighted many of her favorite stories, poems, and pictures.
Lorraine had a fervent faith in God, and was devoted to studying the Bible. She was active in the former Curry Chapel Church near Rushville, and then the former Bethany Bible Church near Camden. Later she was active in the Goodhope General Baptist Church near her Missouri home, and also taught Women’s Bible study groups for 10 or more years in Douglas County, Mo.
Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, June 1, at the Worthington Funeral Home in Rushville with her son, Rev. A. Lee Unger officiating. Interment was on the family lot in Langford Cemetery, Woodstock Township, Schuyler Co., Ill. Visitation was from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home. Memorials may given to Gideons International.
Private condolences and expressions of sympathy may be sent to www.worthingtonfh.com.