DIXON – Gloria Jean Vale Willstead was born May 21, 1931, to Margaret VanFossen and John Vale in Davenport, Iowa. She advanced to eternal life on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, in Dixon, surrounded by the love of her family.
Gloria was employed as a switchboard operator, and later went on to work as a supervisor at the Dixon State School. She was married for more than 25 years to Lester Willstead, residing in Rochelle.
For many years, Gloria took great pleasure in crocheting, listening to music, and dancing. She enjoyed animals, and was a supporter of AA. She loved the staff at Lee County Care and Rehabilitation Center, but most of all, her children.
She is survived by her siblings, Shirley Ogburn, Harriet Faner, and Bill VanFossen; and her children, Fred Sambdman, Deb Sambdman, Lisa Moody, Marvin “Buddy” Josephsen, Lorie Ekberg, and Sharon Castro. She also is survived by her grandchildren, Jason Sambdman, Kasey Sambdman, Blaire Sambdman, Jamie Berg, Derek Sage, Ryan Sage, Jacob Graff, Garret Graff, Christopher Josephsen, Chaz Josephsen, Jeremy Kersten, Mandi Kersten, and Kayla Ekberg; and her great-grandchildren, Kyla Sage, Kayden Sage, Sage Berg, Cole Wells, Ethan Wells, Brayleigh Josephsen, Zayne Josephsen, and Jaylin Josephsen.
She additionally is survived by her stepchildren, Martha LaCoursiere, Linda Potter, Walter “Wally” Willstead, Jimmy Willstead, Everett Willstead, Brenda Swope, and Karen Reynolds; and her many stepgrandchildren.
Gloria was preceded in death by her husband, Lester Willstead; son, David Sambdman; and her parents, Margaret VanFossen and John Vale.
Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m., followed by the funeral at 6 p.m., Monday at Chapel Hill Funeral Home in Dixon. A memorial will be held in the spring.
“Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” – Psalm 23: 1-6.