Marna Jane Stewart, 86 of Keithsburg, Illinois, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and sister, left this world on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 – gone too soon. Visitation is at Keithsburg First Christian Church from 10 to 11 a.m., Monday, December 5, followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Greenmound Cemetery, Keithsburg. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Dennison Funeral Home, Aledo, for a fund, to be established, benefiting the Keithsburg area. The family challenges friends and family to attend one yard sale and pick one wild flower next summer in memory of Marna. Online condolences may be left at www.dennisonfuneralhome.com.
She was born to Kenneth and Eva Kenney Tharp on October 30, 1936. Marna was one of 11 siblings who grew up in the New Boston and Keithsburg areas, where she learned to farm; a passion that would translate to a successful garden that generations of her family would enjoy.
In high school, as the star cheerleader, she naturally fell for the basketball star and her future husband, Gene. They were married on December 24, 1954. The two would start their lives in San Diego as Gene was deployed in the Navy and Marna was raising the first of their three children with the help of her sister Mary.
While being a full-time mother, Marna still found time to run a pool hall called M&M Recreation, as well as being the glue that held a fish market and later a construction business together, working the books and keeping her husband in line.
In retirement, she enjoyed traveling, where she visited 49 of 50 states (all but Alaska), as well as Canada and Mexico, with Gene at her side. They spent countless hours at sporting events for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Marna was fond of going to yard sales, shopping, walks (usually with a grandchild or two trying to keep up), riding her bike, a glass of wine with dinner, a bowl of popcorn while she watched a recording of Days of Our Lives, out-fishing everyone in the boat, and tending to her flowers and garden, but she LOVED her family fiercely. She always said “If you need anything, let us know” and “love you more.”
Marna is survived by her husband of nearly 68 years: Gene Stewart of Keithsburg; children: Steven (Rebecca) Stewart of Cedar Key, Florida, Julie (Brad) Weeks of New Boston, and Gail (Darwin) Weeks of Burlington; grandchildren: Wendy (David) Fisher, Shane (Jennifer) Stewart, Chad (Kayla) Weeks, Amanda Weeks, and Richelle Weeks; great grandchildren: Victoria, MacKenzie, and Morgan Fisher, Joey, Natalie, and Kyle Stewart, and Savannah (Cody) Fanning; and siblings: Doris Whitesell, Irvin (Kay) Tharp, and Roger (Linda) Tharp; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; great grandson: Dylan Stewart; and siblings: Dorothy Harader, Esther Gibbs, Mary Gilmour, Lyle Tharp, Marvin Tharp, Jim Tharp, and Frank Tharp.