Anita Jeanette Stahl Van Pelt, 91, Elkhart, died at 1:54 a.m. Thursday (Feb. 6, 2014) at St. John’s Hospital, Springfield.
Anita was born Sept. 6, 1922, at home in Elkhart, to Edwin R. and Edna M. Burns Stahl. She graduated from Elkhart High School and later attended Brown’s Business College. During World War II, she worked at Selectiver Service, where she made lifelong friends. She married Harvey Clark Van Pelt on July 22, 1944. He preceded her in death in 1955. She later married Loren E. Potts. He also preceded her in death after several years. She was a member of Elkhart Methodist Church.
After moving to Lanesville in the late 1950s, Anita owned and ran the Country Market, a grocery and general merchandise store, with a post office; she was the Lanesville postmaster. She closed this in the late 1960s when large supermarkets had made small-town stores no longer viable. She worked for the Illinois Department of Public Health as an accountant, and later as a personnel liaison until her retirement in 1983.
In 1986, she moved back to her hometown of Elkhart where she lived until her death in the home that her grandparents, Maytiebelle and Charles Stahl, had built in 1903.
She loved Elkhart and was very active in community affairs. She was a founding member of the Elkhart Historical Society, a member of the Needs and Goals Committee, the treasurer of the Elkhart Cemetery Association and a former board member of the Oasis Senior Center in Lincoln. Anita was an avid reader, writer and correspondent. She had a lifelong interest in culture, history, the arts and current events and politics. She traveled all over the United States as well as in Europe and to Israel and Jordan.
She was a loyal friend who assisted and cared for many elderly friends and relatives. Anita had a generous spirit and supported many charitable organizations.
She was preceded in death by her parents; two husbands; her younger brother, Henry Stahl; infant grandson, Benjamin Van Pelt; nephew, Eddie Stahl; and recently by her beloved canine companion and friend, Annie.
She is survived by her son, William H. Van Pelt, Springfield; her daughter, Virginia A. Van Pelt, Elkhart; grandson, Adam (Sarah) Van Pelt, Atlanta, Ga.; brother, Jack (Carol) Stahl, Albuquerque, N.M..; sister-in-law, Geraldine "Jerry" Stahl, Bartlesville, Okla.; her cousin’s widow, Priscilla "Pat" Johnson, Decatur; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Anita will be sorely missed, but remembered for her great sense of humor, her hilarious stories and accounts of events, and her kind and loving heart.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Elkhart Methodist Church, P.O. Box 112, Elkhart, IL 62634, or Humane Society of Logan County (HSLC), P.O. Box 404, Lincoln, IL 62656.
Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Elkhart Methodist Church with Darrell Howard officiating and Dayle Badman and Rick Braun assisting. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow in Elkhart Cemetery. Arrangements are being handled by Holland Barry & Bennett Funeral Home, Lincoln.