---- — Clara Eunice (Collins) Karcher, age 90, of Dahlgren, passed away peacefully at 4:10 p.m. on Nov. 4, 2013, at Hamilton Memorial Hospital in McLeansboro. She was a resident of Dahlgren.
Eunice devoted her life to making a home for her family and giving them the finest care possible. She was a valued employee of the East Side Grade School serving as the head cook for many years.
Eunice was born Aug. 7, 1923, to William Patrick and Mary Theresa (Reiling) Collins in Dahlgren. They preceded her in death. She had three siblings. Two brothers, Floyd Collins and William Q. Collins and his wife, Barbara preceded her in death. One sister, Frances Allen of Ada, Okla., and a sister-in-law, Norma Collins of Piopolis survive.
She graduated from Dahlgren High School in 1941. Following graduation, she taught eight grades in Burnt Hill School, a one room school house near her home. Eunice married Cletus Karcher on April 23, 1947, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Piopolis. They were married 66 years and he survives. They had four children, all of whom survive. They are Mary Ann Bax and husband, Matthys of Carmi, Carol Ann Gregory and husband Walter of Dow, Barbara Harmon and husband Richard of Dahlgren and Michael C. Karcher and wife Karen of Dahlgren.
Eunice and her grandchildren were a joy to one another. Seven survive. They are Jake Gregory and wife Michelle of Geneva, Diana Root and husband Ron of Dow, David Gregory and wife Jessica of Alton, Douglas Kraus of New Orleans, Brandon Bax of Carmi, Myra Bax of Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Patrick Karcher of Raleigh, N.C. Her beloved grandson, Aaron Karcher, preceded her in death.
Eunice’s long life allowed her to enjoy 11 great-grandchildren. Nine of them survive her death. They are Elena and Danielle Gregory, Brandon, Gregory and Josephine Root, Amber and Autumn Gregory, Daymon Kirk and Kennedy Bax. Jake Alexander and Martha Ann Gregory preceded her in death.
Eunice’s faith in God was at the forefront of her life. She was an active member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Piopolis, where she was baptized. Prior to that, she was an active member of St. Clement Catholic Church, McLeansboro, for over 35 years. She loved both parishes and considered all their members her friends.
She was a member of the Altar Societies of both parishes and an active participant in the weekly quilting group. Eunice also had an avid interest in genealogy and traced her roots back to Germany. Two trips to Germany to visit relatives there, as well as hosting relatives from there on visits to her home, were some of her fondest memories.
Eunice was active in her community, serving it in many ways. She was a 50-year member of the former Dahlgren American Legion Auxiliary 601. She was a charter member of the Hamilton County Homemaker’s Extension and her group, the Evening Star. She served as a 4-H leader for many years, guiding young women. She was a charter member of the Hamilton County Hospital Auxiliary.
Funeral services will be held 10 a.m. Saturday at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Piopolis, with Monsignor Joseph Lawler officiating. Burial will be at St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery in Piopolis.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Harre Funeral Home, McLeansboro, with a prayer service at 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice or Hospice of Soutthern Illinois.
Harre Funeral Home, McLeansboro, is in charge of all arrangements.