Leona Gertrude Halleran, 92, of Waterloo died April 20, 2021 at Oak Hill, Waterloo.
She was born to the late William Arthur and Ollie (nee Doren) Hicks on June 6, 1928 in DeSoto. As a young girl, she enjoyed playing softball and working on her family’s farm. Leona was given the nickname “Doodle Bug” by her grandfather, which was later shortened to “Doodle.” Doodle is how she was referred to by family and friends throughout her life.
As a young woman, Leona was baptized and developed a relationship with the Lord that would continue throughout her life. When she moved to Columbia with her husband and found that there was no Baptist church there, she was part of a small group mission for a new church. Leona became one of the founding members of the First Baptist Church of Columbia, Illinois and was chartered in February 1957. Leona spent her life serving the Lord and showing others God’s love through teaching Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, signing in the church choir and being active in the church.
Leona married Vernie Halleran on Oct. 7, 1950 in Piggott, Ark.; he preceded her in death on April 17, 2009.
Leona was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She enjoyed tending to her farm and traveling with her husband. She was well known for her homemade pies.
She is survived by sons Randy (Kandie) Halleran of Waterloo and Terry (Rhonda) Halleran of Strafford, Mo.; brother Isaac “Ike” (Ruth) Hicks of DeSoto; grandchildren Julie (Roger) Felix, James (Amy) Halleran, Jenny (Mike) Wittenauer and Le’Dotta Pind; step-grandchildren: Amanda (Jackson) Foster and Sean (Lindsey) Jackson; great-grandchildren: Jordan (Kelsie) Felix, Abbey Felix (Dakota Holcomb), Erin and Kaleigh Halleran, Gavin, Emma and Allison Wittenauer and Olivia and Isabella Pind; step-great-grandchildren Rose, Claire and Jack Foster and Elise and Erin Jackson
She is also preceded in death by siblings – Laverne Hicks, Authenile (Bud) Hicks, Curtis Hicks and Joseph Hicks
Visitation will be from 3-6 p.m. April 24 at Pechacek Funeral Homes, Red Bud and 1–2 p.m. April 25 at First Baptist Church of Ellis Grove.
The funeral home is limited to 50 people in the funeral home at a time and they ask that everyone wears a mask and please use social distancing guidelines.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. April 25 at First Baptist Church of Ellis Grove, Rev. Paul Hicks and Rev. Roger Reid officiating.
Interment will be in Ellis Grove City Cemetery, Ellis Grove.
Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.