Vera A. Klitzing

Vera A. Klitzing, 85, of Altamont died peacefully at 3 a.m. Saturday, July 22, 2017, at the Lutheran Care Center, Altamont.

She was born Vera Almeda Rickett on Thursday, Sept. 3, 1931, in rural Holland Township, Shelby County, to Edward M. Rickett and Mary Alice Bates. Vera spent her early childhood living with her family at the intersection of rural Fayette, Effingham, and Shelby counties. The Rickett family moved to Hardee County, Florida, where Vera spent her adolescent years raised by her beloved step-mother Loretta.

Vera met the love of her life, Belford William Klitzing, in August 1953 after his discharge from the United States Army. Belford and Vera married three months later on Oct. 1, 1953, at St. Paul (Blue Point) Lutheran Church in rural Altamont. Their love story lasted 56 years until Belford died in March 2009 with Vera by his side.

In spring 1954, Belford and Vera moved to rural Moweaqua, where Belford began his lifelong career as a farmer and Vera supported the family primarily as a homemaker. The couple was blessed with five wonderful children: Douglas Dean in June 1955, Debra Diane in May 1957, David Duane in August 1958, Delbert Dean in April 1961, and Donald Dennis in February 1963.

In 1970, the young family moved to rural Effingham County north of Altamont, where Belford and Vera raised their children close to beloved grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and countless friends. Vera was an active member at St. Paul (Blue Point) Lutheran Church. A homemaker when her children were young, Vera also worked tirelessly for various small businesses in Altamont, including Handy Dan’s, IGA Supermarket, S&W Supermarket, and even operating a Klitzing family-owned five and dime store, Ben Franklin. Vera’s infectious smile and kind demeanor made her a popular friendly face in the Altamont community. Vera did not fully retire until 2011 at the age of 80 because she did not want to miss seeing her many friends every day. In retirement, Vera enjoyed nothing more than spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Vera is survived by her: son, Douglas Dean of Centralia; daughter-in-law, LuAnn Drone of Altamont; grandson, Nathaniel William (wife, Annie) Klitzing of Shiloh and their daughters, Adelynn Jolene, Sophia Ann, and Violet Emily; grandson, Nicholas Wayne (wife, Brittany) Klitzing of Chicago; granddaughter, Cassidy Jolene (husband, Zachary) Lowry of Altamont and their daughter, Abigail Ann; grandsons, Cody Joseph Drone and Shawn Jeffery Drone, both of Altamont; beloved siblings, brothers-in-law, and sisters-in-law; and countless extended family members and friends.

She was preceded in death by her: parents; husband, Belford; and children, Debra, David, Delbert, and Donald.

A celebration of life gathering was held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, July 26, at St. Paul (Blue Point) Lutheran Church, rural Altamont with Rev. David Speers officiating. Burial followed at the church cemetery. Visitation was held from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25, at Gieseking Funeral Home, Altamont, and one hour prior to the funeral service at the church. Memorials may be made to St. Paul (Blue Point) Lutheran Church, Lutheran Care Center, or the donor’s choice.

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