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Devea "Dee"'s Story

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Devea "Dee" Strickland Mestel, 86, passed away peacefully Friday, September 16, 2016, at her residence in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. She was born in Friday, August 29, 1930 in Ada, Oklahoma, to Augustus and Donna Vea (Foreman) Strickland. When she was 12, the family moved to Vandalia, Illinois, where she later met and married Billy Robert Mestel on January 29, 1949 and he preceded her in death on February 5, 2004. In 1956, she and Billy moved to Mt. Vernon.
Dee was an active member of the community for the next 60 years, becoming a 4-H leader, a volunteer with the King City Flippers summer swim program, ran the Special Needs Summer Camp and was inducted into the Senior Saints Hall of Fame in 2007.
Dee owned and operated the Old Union Recreation Academy for over 25 years where she taught hundreds of children with her no-nonsense manner while being quick with a hug and a pat when needed. One of her grandchildren called her a "wonderful, cantankerous, kind, and exacting woman." She was especially proud of her Chickasaw Indian heritage and made sure that all of her children were registered with the Chickasaw Indian Nation.
She is survived by her sister, Mignon Adams of Philadelphia, PA, children, Frank Mestel of Hollywood, FL, Nicky "Nick" Mestel and wife, Karen Book, of Eastover, SC, David Mestel and wife, Laurie, of Mt Vernon, Jody Long and husband, Jim, of Nevada, MO, Ray Mestel and wife, Angie Randolph, of Elkville, IL, Garry Mestel and wife, Jennie, of New Albany, IN, and Larry Mestel of Lebanon, OH; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
A Funeral Service will be held immediately following the visitation after a procession to the Chapel at Mount Vernon Memorial Gardens in Woodlawn, Illinois with Pastor Josepha Lecke officiating. Interment will follow at Mount Vernon Memorial Gardens in Woodlawn, Illinois.
A Visitation will be from 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. Monday, September 26, 2016 at Hughey Funeral Home in Mount Vernon, Illinois. A procession to the Funeral Service at Mount Vernon Memorial Gardens will follow.
Additionally, a Celebration of Life Meal will be held for all family and friends that evening from 4:00 to 8:00 P.M. Monday, September 26, 2016 at the Rolland W. Lewis Community Building at Veteran's Memorial Park in Mount Vernon, Illinois
For those who wish, memorials may be given to the Jefferson County 4-H or Mount Vernon Mavericks Special Needs Team and will be accepted at the funeral home or mailed to Hughey Funeral Home, P.O. Box 721, Mount Vernon, Illinois 62864.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Hughey Funeral Home where you may call (618) 242-3348 or visit www.hugheyfh.com for further information and to send condolences.
Published on September 19, 2016
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