STERLING — Sharon Marjorie (Clarkson) McKeown, 92, passed away Saturday morning at Avonlea assisted living in Sterling, with her seven living children at her bedside.
Sharon was born May 22, 1929 in Clinton, Iowa the daughter of Luke V. Clarkson and Vivian (Meader) Clarkson. Many of her years of education were spent in Clinton with some years in Hanover, Illinois.
After her graduation from Clinton High School, Sharon then worked as a secretary for Bender Music in Clinton. On Dec. 17, 1948 she was united in marriage to William Joseph McKeown of Harmon, Illinois at St. John Evangelist Catholic Church in Hanover. After their wedding, the couple lived on the family farm located five miles southwest of Harmon where six of her nine children were born. In 1959, Bill and Sharon purchased a farm three miles north of Sterling where their three remaining children were born. During this time in Sterling, Sharon was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church later serving as president of their altar and rosary society.
After raising her nine children, Sharon attended Sauk Valley Community College attaining a LPN nursing degree and then began a career working for Dixon State School and then for Exceptional Care in Sterling. Her children include: Joe (Karen) McKeown of Eldridge, Iowa; Cathy (Patrick) Karrick of Rochelle; Jeff McKeown of Rodgersville, Alabama; son-in-law Kent Hungerford of Murray, Kentucky; Jean (Tom) Bowser of Dixon; Betsy Considine of Dixon; daughter-in-law Diann McKeown of Oregon; Ann Glaser of Dixon and Dan McKeown of Rockford. Sharon was a caring and nurturing mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and will be greatly missed.
She was preceded in death by her husband William, her daughter Chris (McKeown) Hungerford, her son Patrick “Duffy” McKeown, her sister Patricia “Tudy” Foote, her mother (Vivian) and father (Luke), her half- brother Vernon Clarkson, her half- sister Gertrude Clarkson and her son-in-law Matt Glaser.
Per her wishes, her body will be cremated with no immediate services. Remembrance graveside services for Sharon Mckeown are planned for a later date.
The family would like to thank Julie McCormick and her staff at Avonlea for their compassion and care for Mom especially the past few months and to Gaffey Hospice as well. In addition, a special recognition and gratitude to Amy Cook and Chrissy Henry for their additional personal care they provided mom the past 11 years.