Evelyn Rose Zehr, 87, formerly of Champaign, IL passed away peacefully in her sleep on Feb. 8, 2020 (her husband’s birthday) at Prairie Gardens Assisted Living in Sun Prairie, WI. Her devotion to her family and firm trust in the God who loves us supported her in her struggle which ultimately gave her real peace up until the end of her life.
Evelyn was born on Nov. 25, 1932 to the late Ralph and Mary (Springer) Schertz, in Cheney Grove Township, McLean County, Illinois near Saybrook. She grew up as the oldest of four siblings and spent much of her childhood making sure she helped her parents keep her younger sisters and brother in line!
On April 6, 1951 she married Wilmer Dale Zehr from Ludlow, IL. He was 19 years old, and she was 18. They were married for 66 years until his passing in 2017. The couple lived in Champaign, IL from 1951 until 2015 when they relocated near family in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.
Wilmer and Evelyn together raised their three children, Randy, Steve & Sheri, with patience, discipline and humility. From the very beginning, they dedicated their children to God and encouraged them to explore the beauty and truth of God’s deep love for them. While Evelyn was a stay-at-home Mom, she also assisted her husband in running their successful photography business out of the home in Champaign. They started the business together “in faith” in 1973 after years of working as a photographer for various companies in town.
Wilmer and Evelyn were true servants and always had time to give of themselves to others. They volunteered at many church and community organizations and events, assisting many who were less fortunate than them. They are fondly remembered by all their nieces and nephews, family and their many friends. Evelyn is already dearly missed by all of us, but we now celebrate the fact that she is at peace with her Creator, husband, daughter-in-law and many others who knew and loved her.
Evelyn is survived by her children Randy (Colleen) Zehr of Sun Prairie, WI, Steve Zehr of Minnetonka, MN and Sheri O’Brien of Gilbert, AZ; her granddaughters Ashley (Zehr) Robinson, Alaina (Zehr)Bresette, Allison (Zehr) Robertstad, Heather (Zehr) McCormick, Kate Zehr, and Emily O’Brien; nine great-grandchildren (and one on the way!), and her siblings Wilma (Sam) Haarer of White Pigeon, MI, Linda (Frank) Foster of Tallahassee, FL, and Harlan (Ellen) Schertz of Branson, MO. Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents, husband and Susan (Lawlor) Zehr, daughter-in-law and dear wife of Steve Zehr.
We also want to thank the wonderful staff at Prairie Gardens Assisted Living in Sun Prairie, WI where Mom lived, for the wonderful care and love expressed to her while with them; and to the people at Agrace Hospice in Madison, WI who were truly a God-send during the last months of her life.
A visitation and memorial service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 at Morgan Memorial Home, 1304 Regency Drive in Savoy, IL 61874 (visitation from 10 a.m., memorial service at 11 a.m. followed by a lunch reception.
The family graciously requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made to Agrace Hospice. Please make your donation payable to “Agrace Foundation” and mail it to: Agrace, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711, or go to https://www.agrace.org/donate/