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Eda Montani, age 98, passed away at 2:00am on February 1, 2007.
Eda was born in Herrin, IL, on May 28, 1908. Her parents - Cesare and Carolina Rossi Montani - came to the U.S. from Italy. She remained, but for the last few years, at her family's home on North 18th St. in Herrin which she called the "Old Homestead."
Eda started working for Dr. R.J. Hyslopp, a physician and surgeon who served several local mines, in 1929. In 1931, Dr. Willis I. Lewis assumed control of the practice and Eda served as his trusted office manager and secretary for 32 years.
Eda possessed a keen nose for business. This aptitude, when combined with her stylish tastes and love of good conversation, led her to invest in a beauty shop. She owned The Beauty Box until 1976.
After her retirement, Eda, from her comfortable perch on North 18th St., became the central exchange for family news and history. With a visit to her living room one could learn all the goings-on and know who was where.
A century of life brought Eda into close contact with her friends and neighbors. She was a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, the Daughters of Isabella, and the Herrin Business and Professional Women’s Club. In 1952, Eda became the Secretary-Treasurer to the Board of Directors for the Bethesda Children's Home in Marion and continued to serve for five years. That same year Eda enjoyed a bit of local fame. The Bel-Air subdivision, then a new development, received its name when Eda won a competition, receiving ten silver dollars as the prize.
Eda is survived by nieces Lena Rose Tapella of Kernersville, NC; Catherine Hoffman of Naperville, IL; Carla Grieve of Naples, FL; and Linda Fikes of Naples, FL; nephews John Montani of Naples, FL. and Charles Montani Jr. of St. Louis, MO.; and several generations of great and great great nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents Cesare and Carolina Rossi Montani; step-mother Catherine; three brothers; two sisters; and two half sisters.
The funeral mass will be held at 10:00 AM, Tuesday, February 6, 2007 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Herrin. Monsignor Ken Schaefer will officiate. Burial will follow at San Carlo Cemetery in Herrin. Visitation will be from 5-8:00 PM, Monday, February 5, 2007 at Johnson-Hughes Funeral Home in Herrin. A prayer service will be held at 6:00 PM, Monday at the funeral home.
Memorial donations are suggested to San Carlo Cemetery and will be accepted at Johnson-Hughes/ Post Office Box 429/ Herrin, IL 62948.