Georgiana Ridgway Houser turned down the Sunday service for the offer to sing in the heavenly choir (Methodist section). Jan rejoined her devoted husband of 68 years, Ivan Eugene Houser, Jr., on Sept. 6, 2020. Also there to greet her were brother Jack Ridgway, mother Eunice (Lucas) and father Sherman. Born in Battleground, IN, Aug. 6, 1923, she departed this life from Dunwoody Place Senior Living in Dunwoody, GA.
Jan met Gene during war time at Purdue University where she majored in Home Economics. They graduated, got engaged, then she taught high school in Rossville, IN while Gene served in the Army in Italy. They exchanged daily V-mail, which were delivered in bundles. When a stack arrived, she would assign her class a project so she could read them. When Gene returned they were married in 1946. They settled on the Houser Farm in Farmer City, IL to raise crops, livestock and children. Their personal Baby Boom consisted of David (Alice Coggeshall) of Spruce Pine, NC, Sarah (Charles) Greer of Dunwoody, GA, and John (Cindy Kaliher) of Farmer City, IL. She leaves 7 grandchildren and 10 great- grandchildren located on two continents.
Generations of family gathered “back on the farm.” No matter how many or how little notice, all were welcomed, housed and very well fed. Hospitality extended to foreigners, especially the Houser’s extensive Swiss relations. When Farmer City started a foreign exchange student program, she welcomed a “son” from Norway for the school year. Of course his family eventually visited the farm, and Jan and Gene returned the favor with a visit above the Arctic Circle. Over the years they visited much of Europe, China, Brazil, and Australia.
Jan threw herself into church and service groups, serving on committees, leading 4-H, singing in choir, ringing in the bell choir and keeping the Methodist Church kitchen in line. She volunteered with the local ambulance service. She was a skilled seamstress, chef, and teacher.
Jan’s life embodied the spirit of “unto the least of these.” Her compassion was nurtured by grief of her mother's loss when Jan was 15, followed 5 years later with her cherished brother's war death in the Navy. Care for elderly family members and the deceased landlord's adult special needs son who “came with” the house was a service she bore without complaint.
Our mother kept up her positive attitude and “unconventional” sense of humor in video chats during the pandemic lock-down. She died as she lived, cherishing everyone she met, loving this life and anticipating the next with joy.
Due to the pandemic, service plans must be postponed.
Condolences may be addressed to: Sarah Greer
1724 Kings Down Circle
Dunwoody, GA 30338
“In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in memory of Georgiana Houser to Cunningham Children’s Home, 1301 N. Cunningham Avenue, Urbana, IL 61802 or online at www.cunninghamhome.org/ways-give/give-now.”