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Jeannie Spalding

June 9, 1951 November 6, 2020
Jeannie Spalding
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Obituary for Jeannie Spalding

Regina Therese Spalding CNM, MS

Jeannie Spalding of Chicago, Illinois passed away peacefully at home with family by her side on Friday, November 6th, 2020.

Jeannie was born to Franklin and MaryRose Spalding in Peoria, IL on June 9th, 1951 and attended St. Mark’s grade school and Bergan High School in Peoria before graduating as a RN from Illinois Central College in 1972.

Jeannie’s true passion was for nursing. She received her certification as a Registered Professional Nurse in 1973 and began her career in the labor and delivery department of OSF Hospital in Peoria, Illinois where she worked for many years before moving on to a private practice, whose business then grew tremendously. With three teenage children, she kept her full-time nursing job, went back to school to first finish her Bachelor’s Degree at Bradley University, then earned her graduate degree from the University of Illinois with a Master of Science in Midwifery after writing her thesis on the topic of birth-order. Alongside her predecessor and mentor, Bonnie Cox, she helped pioneer Midwifery in the Peoria area, transforming OB/GYN care.

In 2008 Jeannie moved to Chicago, where she quickly embraced the diversity of city life.
She expanded her circle of friends by helping to create a group who would meet to play canasta and mahjong, even as she learned it for the first time.

She never wanted to live far from the tranquility of Lake Michigan in her retirement years. She would traverse its shores on her vintage-style Schwinn bicycle, for which she received an endless stream of “Hey! Cool bike!” compliments from passers-by. Always a lover of animals in general and dogs in particular she first took her “such good puppies” Ruby and Archie to the beaches and Lakeside parks and later her “grand-dog” Wilbur whenever he would come over for a visit with Charlie.

Jeannie contained her own creative combination of personality traits. For her family and friends, she will be remembered for her special mixture of open-hearted generosity next to a preternatural frugality, an immoveable strong-will and driven determination existing along with a fun-loving readiness to laugh, and insatiable inquisitiveness to know what was going on in the lives of everyone she was close to as well as the world around her.

She was diagnosed with the rare form of cancer known as leiomyosarcoma in 2011. With love for her family in her heart and mind, she fought with as much resiliency as humanly possible, outliving the initial prognosis by many years. She fought until there was simply nothing left to give. Many thanks go to her wonderful Sarcoma team at Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern, who not only provided exceptional care, but was there to support her until her final days.

Cancer robbed Jeannie of her physical and mental vitality in the end. Much of what made her so unique and lively was slowly taken from her over the final months of her life. But as she labored through her final breaths with her children and sister Sheila at her side (as always), what remained was what the disease could never touch, that which mattered most to her: a lifetime of memories and stories filled with both tears and laughter; an impressive list of determined accomplishments; and an enduring love for Heidi, Aaron, and Adam that will continually live on within them.

Jeannie is survived by her “equally-favored” children; her “assistant” Heidi Kipfer-Cali (favorite son-in-law Scott Cali) of Chicago, IL, two sons Aaron Kipfer of Dongguan, China and Adam Kipfer of Chicago, IL and her beloved grandson and “favorite boy” Charlie Cali, who was a continual source of pride, light and joy in the final eleven-plus years of her life. Also surviving is the father of her children and husband from 1971-1990 R. Steven (Cindy) Kipfer, her siblings Dr. Franklin “Skip” (Sandy) Spalding of Peoria, Valerie Spalding of Prescott, AZ, Gregory Spalding of Elmwood, Sheila (Fred Gordon) Spalding of Peoria and Mark Spalding of Peoria, niece Holly Smith of Milwaukee, WI, nephew Jacob Smith of Prescott, AZ and many relatives, friends and fellow nurses.

Jeannie was preceded in death by her father and mother Franklin and MaryRose Spalding, her sister Kathleen Spalding, and nephew Brendan Winne.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, her children are planning a celebration of life in the summer of 2021 for family and friends. A private family burial is planned at St. Joseph cemetery in West Peoria. Arrangements will be made by Wright and Salmon.

In memoriam to the life and legacy of Regina T. Spalding donations can be made to the Sarcoma Foundation of America.

Friends and family may sign the online guestbook or leave their private condolences by logging on www.wrightandsalmon.com

Cemetery Details

Location

St. Joseph Cemetery Final Resting Place

2105 W. Heading Ave.
West Peoria, IL 61604

2105 W. Heading Ave. West Peoria 61604 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

Sarcoma Foundation of America

PO Box 98160
Washington DC
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