Sue Doolen, 80, of Centralia, died Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, at Fireside House.
She was born June 11, 1933, in Centralia, the daughter of Edith (Kell) White Coffey and Orville White. In addition to her parents, her grandparents, Dornton and Mamie (Corners) Kell preceded her in death.
She is survived by her daughter, Cathy Dineen (Brian) of Bowie; son, Kevin Doolen of Charleston; aunt, Wilma Kell of Centralia; granddaughter, Devon McDaniel (Steve) of Oregon City, Ore.; and four great-grandchildren, Kathryn, Joshua, Victoria and Faith.
Mrs. Doolen graduated from Centralia Township High School in 1951. That year, she married Sherm Doolen. They divorced in 1971.
Mrs. Doolen owned and operated the Merle Norman studio in Salem, was the secretary for Marion County’s Farm Advisor for 11 years, worked as an insurance agent in Belleville and was a legal secretary. The job she was most proud of was being hired in Mt. Vernon as the first coordinator for Bright and Beautiful, Inc. (B & B), a Keep America Beautiful (KAB) system. Her programs focused on beautification, recycling and education. A trailblazer, she promoted milk jug, tire, telephone book and oil recycling before recycling was in the public’s conscience. She won numerous awards including many Illinois Clean and Beautiful awards for excellent programming and public relations. In 1989, KAB chose Mrs. Doolen to serve on the original “Council of 100,” a network of coordinators representing over 360 KAB systems nationwide. KAB also honored Mrs. Doolen’s programs in Washington, D.C. She especially enjoyed making many presentations to area schools about recycling and anti-littering. She retired after 13.5 years with Bright and Beautiful, receiving many awards for her accomplishments from local organizations.
Doolen also loved organizational work and was heavily involved with Woman’s Club, where she was Mt. Vernon’s president numerous times. She was active in Desk and Derrick Club of Little Egypt and in earlier years a member of Delta Theta Tau Sorority. She was a member of the Central Christian Church in Mt. Vernon.
Mrs. Doolen was an avid Cardinal’s fan. She enjoyed playing cards and dominos, scrapbooking and decorating her home. Her biggest joy was spending time with her family.
Visitation will be from noon to 2 p.m. followed by a service on Sunday at Irvin Funeral Home in Centralia. Private interment will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association or American Heart Association.