Lelia Massie Cruse Marvin ~ Carbondale January 14, 2021

Lelia Massie Cruse Marvin passed away January 14, 2021. She was born south of Carterville to John C. and Edith (James) Cruse April 5, 1930. John died in 1985; Edith in 1989. She married Charles E. Marvin, December 27, 1953. He preceded her in death September 6, 2007. Also preceding brother Forest Cruse and sister Evva Lou Cox (Bob). Surviving sister Lavida Cruse and caring nieces and nephews Patricia, Chris, Mark; Kathryn and Ann; Bob; Marvin; Charles, Samantha and Jay; Darlene; Lynn; Tony, Heather and Amber.

She was unique for her wide range of knowledge and service in education for over 45 years. She served in education at every level: as a teacher at a one-room rural school and Carbondale Elementary District 95; as an instructor, researcher and administrator at SIUC; as supervisor of innovative ESEA grants for Illinois State Board of Education; as director of grant projects for U.S. Office of Education; as an advisor to Illinois Board of Higher Education; retiring from Herrin Unit District #4, in 1987, as director of Student Services. In her retirement, she served as consultant to Herrin and Crab Orchard Unit Districts and Williamson County Vocational Education programs, keeping current in knowledge and interpretation of federal and state legislation. She developed and taught the first ACT preparation class offered by John A. Logan College. Her professional writings are in educational publications: one on file in the Library of Congress.

She was recruited for every position she held in her 45 years as an educator. As a result of the extensive range of her service in all levels of education, her influence was widespread. Especially noteworthy was her passion for encouraging young women to excel and lead. It was important to her that each student attain the best education for their capability.

She was an Honorary Life Member and past president of AAUW Carbondale Branch; as a life member of IRTA served on various state committees, and was president of the Jackson County Unit, being named Retired Teacher of the Year, 1995; member and past president of Alpha Kappa Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma International Honor Society of Teachers; Life member of the Alumni Association of SIUC from which she earned her degrees. She was presented the Distinguished SIU Alumni Service Award, June 14, 1991. She was honored as a woman who inspired others by SIUC Foundation’s Inspiring Women Program in 2010. She was instrumental in helping a Dongola teacher and her students pass legislation in 2006, designating December 10 as Jane Addams Day, the first annual commemorative day for a woman in Illinois.
She was an active member of First Baptist Church of Carbondale for over 50 years, serving as teacher of Jr. High class early on and later as officer in the American Baptist Women’s Ministries group and as representative to Church Women United. For many years she served on the Advisory Committee to Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois. At the time of her death, she was a member of Boskydell Baptist Church.

A private service is planned with internment at Oakland Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Boskydell Baptist Church, 3518 Boskydell Rd., Carbondale, IL 62903; the Lelia Marvin Scholarship Fund at John A. Logan College, 700 Logan College Rd., Carterville, IL 62918; or to charity of choice.

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