Ms. Roleen June (Ernst) Stierwalt, 84 of Gillespie, passed away Sunday, December 27, 2020, at 2:45 a.m. in Heritage Health Therapy and Senior Care in Gillespie. She was one of four daughters born to Milo and Clara (Meyer) Ernst on June 18, 1936, in Litchfield.
She is survived by her three children, Mitch Stierwalt of Chelsea, Alabama, Jean Stierwalt Hannig and Rich Stierwalt, both of Chatham, Illinois; four grandchildren, Tyler Stierwalt of Atlanta, Georgia, Cal Stierwalt of Denver, Colorado, Elliott Hannig of Springfield, and Olivia Hannig of Chatham; and one great-grandchild, Max Hannig of Springfield. Also surviving is one sister, Orva Niehaus of Mount Olive in addition to many loving nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, other relatives, friends, and neighbors.
She married Jerry Stierwalt in 1959 and he preceded her in death on July 4, 2002. Also preceding her in death were sisters, Marian Ernst in 1942 and Janet Ernst Stobart in 2014, and brother-in-law, Arthur Niehaus, Jr. in 2006.
Roleen graduated from Mount Olive High School with the class of 1954. She graduated from Capital University in Bexley, Ohio in 1959 with a degree in Physical Education. Upon graduation, she began her teaching career in Alton followed by stints in Litchfield, Gillespie, and Mount Olive. Upon retirement from teaching, she continued working as an agent at Country Companies Insurance in Gillespie and later as an associate with Famous-Barr in Springfield.
Roleen was a member of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gillespie, lifetime member of American Association of University Women (AAUW), and previous board member of Macoupin County Health Department mental health services. In her spare time, Roleen enjoyed playing the piano, playing tennis, playing cards, traveling, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
Energetic, enthusiastic, and with a zest for life describe Roleen’s passion for living, learning, and the Lord. To memorialize Roleen, a private celebration of life will be held with immediate family members. In Roleen’s memory, please consider a donation to The Partnership for Educational Excellence in Gillespie. Kravanya Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.