Blanche Hewitt of Sheffield, perhaps oldest Catholic in diocese, dies at 109
SHEFFIELD — Blanche E. Hewitt, who recently was featured in The Catholic Post as possibly the oldest Catholic in the Diocese of Peoria, died Nov. 25, 2017, at her home, surrounded by family and friends. She was 109.
A rosary will be prayed at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3, at Stackhouse-Moore Funeral Services of Sheffield, 339 E. Chestnut St. Visitation will follow from 4 to 7 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, Dec. 4, at 10 a.m. at her longtime parish church, St. Patrick, 231 W. Atkinson St. Father Mark Miller, pastor, will preside. Interment will take place in St. Patrick’s Cemetery.
The daughter of Alphonse and Carolina Vermeulen, Mrs. Hewitt was born Oct. 16, 1908, in Atkinson. She graduated from Sheffield High School in 1927.
She married Kennison W. Hewitt on June 12, 1935. He died on July 16, 1981, and she continued to live in the house they built together.
Mrs. Hewitt worked at Farmer State Bank in Sheffield for more than 50 years, starting as a teller and retiring as the executive vice president. Her accomplishments during those years included helping area farmers keep their land during the Depression by writing notes so they wouldn’t default on their loans.
She enjoyed traveling and walking and followed her own advice, “just keep going,” throughout her long life.
Mrs. Hewitt is survived by her son, Conrad W. (Linda) Hewitt of Napa, California, and her daughter, Helen C. Hewitt of Brea, California, as well as four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her son, Niel; daughter-in-law, Shirley Hewitt; brothers, Joseph Vermeulen and Mike Vermeulen; sister, Helen Willey; and nephews, Bob Willey, Dr. Jerry Vermeulen, and Ron Vermeulen.