90 year old former Albion resident, Jewel Nadine Wolfe, passed away Friday afternoon, January 24th, 2020 at Lavender Ridge Memory Care in Mt. Vernon, Illinois.
Nadine was born July 5, 1929 in rural Mt. Erie, Illinois to Irvin and Pauline (Crews) Wolfe. She attended number 4 school until reaching high school and then moved to Albion to live with her Aunt Ruby and Uncle Cash Hedrick. She graduated from Albion Community High School in 1946. Upon graduation Nadine worked as a telephone operator. She thoroughly enjoyed telling stories about the party lines of days gone by. Later she began working as a secretary for SD Jarvis Oil Company and in 1955 Nadine, Jim France and Tom Smith formed Saber Construction and Operating Company in Albion. The men had the knowledge of the business but Nadine had saved her money and was able to supply the capital necessary to begin this exciting business venture. Tom left the business shortly after it was started and when Jim France passed away in 1974, Nadine bought out his share. She became the sole owner of the Company in an era when there were very few women running businesses much less owning an oilfield related business.
In 1977 Nadine took a gamble and took guardianship of a three year old little boy to hopefully provide him with a better life. Rick and Nadine moved in to the old Albion brickyard office which she had renovated in to a home in April of that year. Nadine officially adopted Rick in March of 1978. He was the apple of her eye and her primary focus until the arrival of Rick and Kelly's two children, Allison and Andrew “Drew”, then of course, the role of a doting grandmother was her number one job.
Nadine was a member of the First Christian Church in Albion and served a short stint on the Edwards County School Board where she was involved in the decision to build the new school. She was not an official member of many local boards or organizations but you could always find her swirling behind the scenes at every community event from the fair, Albion Chowder, the Christmas parade and the dinner theaters. Her favorite task was that of a fundraiser, because it was very hard to tell Nadine “no” when she asked for funds for community events and she knew it!
Nadine dearly loved the people of Edwards County. She spent countless hours cooking, baking and making candy to give to those in need as well as those that she just wanted to feel loved. For her benevolence and community involvement she was given the 1990 Citizen of the Year award which she greatly appreciated. She was a trailblazer for women and a great role model for anyone that wanted to make their own way. Independent, strong and maybe even a little stubborn, she never gave up and always tried to make a difference. She will be missed but the work she has done and the path she traveled will not soon be forgotten.
Nadine is survived by her son Richard Wolfe and his wife, Kelly of Albion and her precious grandchildren, Allison Jewel (age 19) and Andrew “Drew” (age 14) Wolfe of Albion. Preceding Nadine in death were her parents and her sister, Marilyn Wolfe.
Private family graveside services were held Sunday, January 26, 2020 at Graceland Cemetery in Albion. Memorials may be made in memory of Nadine to the Albion Public Library and will be accepted at Nale’s Funeral Home in Albion who are assisting the family. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.nalesfuneralhome.com.
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