A woman who moved throughout the Midwest and East Coast was always active in her communities.
Geraldine Craven, 93, was born in Defiance, Ohio. She spent her early years living on her family’s farm. She was a bright child who graduated high school when she was 15 and then worked as a secretary prior to getting married on her family's farm. She later became a homemaker as her children were growing up.
The couple moved to Toledo and onto New Jersey where her husband worked out of New York. He was transferred to Chicago in 1954 and the couple moved to the Roseland area before settling in South Holland in 1960.
An active member of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lansing, Craven taught Bible classes and would help the pastor with secretarial work. She was also involved in the Parent Teacher Association when her children were in school.
“She loved needlework,” said her daughter, Mary Wilkins, of Crete. “She was very good at needlepoint and liked to refinish furniture. She also liked to sew and made of lot of her children’s clothing”
Wilkins said her family was able to travel with her father in his work and that they got to see a lot of the East Coast that way.
“I have good memories. She was tough and strict, but in a loving way,” said her younger daughter, Chris Craven, of South Holland. “She was very active in her church and active with her kids. When we were kids there was always someone over for dinner. It was the place to be.”
Craven described her mother as a perfectionist who was neat and clean and a good Christian woman. She was a grandmother of three and great-grandmother of eight ranging in age from 19 years down to 2.
“She dearly loved her grandchildren,” Wilkins said.
Craven had been married to her husband for 72 years when he died last year.