Marion Rosemary Berkel Crisp, a noted business leader, womens healthcare activist, philanthropist and mother of six children died Saturday, December 1, 2007, surrounded by her loving family, after a 12-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 70 years old.
Mrs. Crisp was recently honored by Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC) with its prestigious Inspiring Women of Achievement Award in October 2007. The honor befitted Mrs. Crisps lifelong devotion to improving the quality of healthcare services across Southern Illinois and beyond. She served on dozens of boards, foundations and committees during her lifetime. At the time of her death, she was a Trustee of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois, Director of the National Institute of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research Washington, D.C.; the Southeast Missouri State University Foundation, Cape Girardeau, MO; the John A. Logan College Foundation, Carterville, IL; The University of Tennessee Womens Philanthropy Alliance; and the Marion Civic Center Foundation in Marion, IL. Past board of director positions include; Director of National League for Nursing New York, NY and Director of Society for Advancement of Womens Health Research, Washington, DC.
Born in Chicago, IL Mrs. Crisp graduated in 1958 from St. Marys Hospital School of Nursing in Evansville, IN, and from the John Robert Powers Model and Finishing School in St. Louis in 1981.
She worked as a nurse from 1958-1960 at Marion Memorial Hospital in Marion, IL. She married Harry L. Crisp II in 1960 and focused her energies on raising a family, community service and growing the family business, Pepsi MidAmerica Company, which she co-owned with her husband.
From 1970-1985, Mrs. Crisp was a volunteer nurse for the American Red Cross, Lions Club and Girl Scouts. Even though she ceased practicing as a nurse in the mid 1980s, she continued to renew her nursing license every two years.
She was co-founder of the Southern Illinois Womens Health Conference and also served on the board of directors for the Hands of Hope clinic, which offers free health care to needy families.
Her charitable work has been recognized with dozens of awards. Mrs. Crisp has been previously honored as Citizen of the Year by the Greater Marion Area Chamber of Commerce and Southeast Missouri State University has named their nursing facility the Rosemary Berkel Crisp Hall of Nursing in recognition of her many accomplishments.
Mrs. Crisp was a member of the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Marion, IL.
Survivors include her husband of 47 years, Harry L. Crisp II, of Marion, IL; one son, H. Lee Crisp III and wife Stacie of Marion; five daughters, Cynthia Crisp Dickens and husband Brian Keith and Cara Crisp Sims and husband Chris, both of Paducah, KY; Catherine Crisp Newbold and fianc Greg Wilson and Carole Crisp Schwarm and husband Mark, both of Marion, IL and Cheryl Crisp Rabbitt and husband Bob of Annapolis, MD; a brother, Jim Berkel and wife Sue of Dahinda, IL; two sisters, Pat Pulley and husband Barney and Delores McCuan and husband LaVerne, both of Marion, IL; 16 grandchildren; Brandee Newbold Cohlmeyer, Justin Tyler Newbold, Cameron Newbold, Ryan Rabbitt, Olivia Rabbitt, Taylor Rabbitt, Alexandra Rabbitt, Hunter Dickens, Harrison Dickens, Hayden Dickens, Hallie Crisp, Harry L. Crisp IV, Christopher Palmer Sims, Luke Sims, Jacob Schwarm and Jeremiah Schwarm and one great-grandchild Elaine Cohlmeyer. She has been preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Rose Berkel both of Marion, IL.
There will be a Scriptural Rosary at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5, 2007 with visitation immediately following to 9:00 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Marion. A funeral mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 6, 2007 with Father Richard Mohr and Monsignor James Morgason officiating. Entombment will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery. Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home in Marion will be handling arrangements.
For those who have a preference, remembrances can be made in Rosemarys name to Women for Health and Wellness, Inc., in care of John A. Logan College, John A. Logan Nursing Scholarship Fund, SEMO Department of Nursing, Hands of Hope Clinic or Marion Civic Center. Envelopes will be available and should be mailed %Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home, 800 North Market, Marion, IL 62959