Cover photo for Edward E Widener's Obituary
Edward E Widener Profile Photo

Edward E Widener

d. September 9, 2023

Mr. Edward Everett Widener, 95, passed away Saturday, September 9, 2023 at Lamoine Assisted Living and Memory Care Center in Macomb, IL.  At the time of his passing, he was surrounded by the love and comfort of his children, Rodney and Teresa, and his grandson and granddaughter-in-law, Jonathan and Sarah Widener.

He was preceded in death just fifteen months ago by his wife of seventy two years, Mrs. Betty Anderson Widener, the love of his life.

Eddie was born August 3, 1928 in Birmingham Township, Schuyler County, IL to Everett and Pearl Robinson Widener.  He was the older brother to his sister Marilyn. He graduated from Augusta High School in 1946. On January 1, 1948 he began work at the Augusta Farmers Co-Op.  On September 10, 1949, Eddie and Betty were married in Rushville, IL by Reverend Joe Mason at his parsonage.

With Betty by his side, they made their loving home in Augusta and raised two children: Rodney, born July 2, 1951 and Teresa, born March 8, 1954.  Eddie became manager of the Augusta Farmers Co-Op on July 1, 1973 and remained there until his retirement on June 30, 1993.  Upon his father Everett’s death in 1992, he inherited the farm where he grew up.

Eddie’s commitment to his hometown of Augusta and his dedication to fostering the success of the Widener farm and the surrounding farming community.  He was a member of the Board for the Preservation of Round Prairie Cemetery and took on the restoration of the Prather, Birmingham and Pulaski rural cemeteries.  He did extensive research into the genealogy of the Widener, Anderson, Robinson and Unger families, as well as pioneer families in sections of Hancock, McDonough and Schuyler counties, Birmingham Township, the Scotts neighborhood, Gin Ridge and  Nubbin Ridge Road.

His passion for the preservation of local history was matched by his creativity.  He made exact wooden models of several landmark structures, including the Augusta Farmers Co-Op elevator building, the Nubbin Ridge Church and Oakwood School #12 on Nubbin Ridge Road. Eddie’s attention to detail was remarkable. When showing his model of the Oakwood School, he would point out his desk and chair while telling stories of what it was like to be a student in a one room school house.  Both the school and church are no longer standing, making his models a lasting tribute to a time past.

Eddie’s wood working skills were not limited to historic models.  Eddie also restored furniture. He refurbished an oak kitchen chair his mother, Pearl, had purchased during the Depression and rescued an old oak desk chair at the Elevator from being thrown away, giving it renewed usefulness. The wood from a fallen walnut tree on the farm became a table of Arts & Crafts design and the base for a cast iron rooster windmill weight, preserved from the farm’s original windmill.  Over the years, he renovated and restored two homes where he and his family lived.  201 West Green Street remains the Widener home.

Although most of the Widener farm is tilled, a portion of it is reserved as native woods. Eddie took pride in his woods. In spring, he would take Rodney and Teresa out to gather mushrooms, and in summer there were blackberries to be picked. Winter would find him in his library, studying the Civil War and reading novels by Zane Grey and frontier stories by Louis L’Amour.

Even as age began to catch up with him, he refused to slow down. He continued to grow his vegetable    garden and enjoyed being out and about on his Kubota tractor cutting grass all around the properties. In May, Eddie, with the help of his daughter Teresa, re-painted the Round Prairie Cemetery sign.

Eddie is remembered as a man of loyalty and devotion to family, strong in principles and meticulous in every aspect of his life. Eddie lived every day to make his part of the world a better place than he found it.  He instilled in his children the satisfaction that comes with hard work, reverence for the land and a respect for and curiosity about history. He lived his days in the spirit of place called Augusta.  A drive down his beloved Nubbin Ridge Road in any season will fill the heart with contentment and the serenity that was Edward Everett Widener’s life.  

Eddie is survived by a close and loving family:

Sister Marilyn Woods and brother-in-law Lindy Woods of Macomb, IL.

Son Rodney and daughter-in-law Deborah Stanley-Widener of Indianapolis, IN and daughter-in-law Denise Elchak Widener of Twinsburg, OH.  Daughter Teresa Crossland and son-in-law Lyle Crossland, of the Greater St. Louis, MO area.

Grandchildren and great-grandchildren:  Rodney and Denise Elchak Widener’s children; son Benjamin and daughter-in-law Kelly Woods Widener of Pennington, NJ / their children; Michael, Connor and Addison.  Son Jonathan and daughter-in-law Sarah Jones Widener of Franklin, TN.  Son Andrew and daughter-in-law Sandra Hajek Widener of North Royalton, OH / their children; Riley, Sam and Emily Rose.  

Teresa and Lyle Crossland’s children: daughter Taylor and son-in-law Donald Squires of Webster Groves, MO / their children; Finn, Charlotte and Harold August.  Son Elliot and Cidney Woodson of Clayton, MO.

Visitation to honor the lives well lived by Eddie and Betty Widener will be held at the Hamilton Funeral Home in Augusta on October 12, 2023 between 4:00p.m. and 7:00p.m.

Interment for Edward and Betty Widener at Round Prairie Cemetery will be held at a later date.

In memoriam to Edward Widener, the Widener and Crossland families request that donations be made in his name to the Round Prairie Cemetery in Birmingham, IL for the continuing preservation of local history.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Edward E Widener, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Visitation

Thursday, October 12, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Hamilton Funeral Homes - Augusta

200 Orchard St, Augusta, IL 62311

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