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Josephine ‘Jo’ LaFever

Published: Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

DIXON – Josephine “Jo” LaFever, 97, of Dixon, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012. Her ascension into the Kingdom of Heaven completes her family of six brothers and sisters born to Louis and Victoria Bevilacqua, immigrants of Italian nationality who settled in Nelson to raise their family.

Jo was born July 30, 1915, in Chicago. She graduated from Dixon High School and the University of Illinois. Education always of great importance to her. As a popular honor student with a double major in languages and commerce, she served as Pan-Hellenic Council president at the U of I.  After graduation in 1937, Jo taught in Lee Center and Harmon before establishing herself as a fixture in the Dixon school system for many years. She truly enjoyed teaching and left a positive effect on so many of her students. Jo’s warm presence inspired devotion and her extensive friendships reached back to her earliest years. 

Jo married the love of her life, Bill LaFever, on July 4, 1941, at a brilliant event at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Dixon. They enjoyed a wonderful and blessed marriage of 71 years.  Her love of family, along with her strong Catholic faith, made for a special and long-lasting bond. Bill and Jo together enjoyed entertaining their many friends, travel, and as avid bridge players, they made a formidable team, playing (and winning) in tournaments well into their 90s. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She always knew the favorite foods and interests of each child, and gave a gift unique to each on birthdays and holidays.

She is survived by her loving husband, Bill; their children, Bill (Joan) of Prairie Village, Kan., Barbara (Edward) Kinports of Mission Hills, Kan., Jill (George) Reigle of Highland Park and Mike (Jane) of Dixon; daughter-in-law, Vonda LaFever of Dixon; 14 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her son, Bud, in 2006. 

Visitation will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Preston-Schilling Funeral Home in Dixon.  Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. Patrick Catholic Church. Burial will be at Oakwood Cemetery in Dixon.  

The family suggests donations to St. Mary School in Dixon.

Thank you Jesus for the time you gave her to us. We are grateful to have had her as a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was a dear and special present from Jesus.

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