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Janet Elizabeth Yakle, 75, of Elgin, passed away on Thursday, October 26, 2023 at her home surrounded by her family.
Janet was born on November 19, 1947 to Cletus and Eleanor (Geisler) Koch. She was raised in Mt. Sterling, Illinois where she grew up with her 5 siblings on their family farm. Janet loved farm life, particularly horses. She told tales of her horse, Blaze, and how she would give sleigh rides around the farm. Her caring and nurturing spirit showed through her care of all animals.
Janet attended St. Mary Academy in Mt. Sterling. After graduation, Janet attended Quincy University and worked as a nurse’s aide at St. Mary’s Hospital in Quincy. Later, she transferred to the University of Illinois to continue her education.
On June 26, 1971, Janet married Jerry Yakle in Mt. Sterling, Illinois. Together they chose to move to Elgin, Illinois and raise their family.
Janet spent the majority of her career as a high school chemistry teacher. Helping young people discover a passion for learning was a true joy for her. She worked to inspire and motivate students to not only succeed in school but in life. Her claim to fame was her annual Halloween chemistry magic show. She taught with patience and humor. She never hesitated to do what was best for her students.
“The giving of love is an education in itself.” - Eleanor Rosevelt
Janet’s love for education did not stop with her students. She was the go-to tutor for her grandchildren and taught them lessons on science, math, love and life. She loved to talk about the moon with them and take them on nature walks. Her nine grandchildren were such a source of pride and joy for Janet. She made every effort to attend school performances, dance recitals, and sport events. “I love you to the moon and back” was her favorite way to tell her grandchildren the deep love she had for them. She was such a huge presence in their lives.
Janet found much pleasure in spending time with her family. She often looked forward to holidays when everyone was together. She was deeply rooted in her family traditions. Whether it was singing Christmas carols, Easter Egg hunts, or nature scavenger hunts, Janet always found ways to make it so very special and memorable for the entire family.
In her spare time, Janet loved spending time in her yard and gardening. She loved to tend to her hostas, hydrangeas and ferns. Her neighbors often commented on her beautiful yard and would even come to her for plant advice. To Janet, gardening was a source of tranquility. She was always up for projects around their home. She enjoyed hobbies such as sewing, furniture refinishing, and crafts.
Janet was a beacon of light for so many people. She was a big believer in the power of prayer. She would pray for anyone at any time and for any reason. Janet enjoyed going to her weekly bible study meetings and studying the scripture. She loved to send daily inspirational quotes to all her family and friends. She was always trying to be uplifting and find positivity in a world that can be heavy in so many ways.
Janet was a kind and thoughtful soul who will be missed and remembered by the many lives she touched. Her legacy will carry on forever reminding us to choose a life of meaningful acts of love and service like Christ modeled for us.
She is survived by her loving husband of 52 years Floyd “Jerry” Yakle; daughter Kristina (Jason) Zamet and grandchildren Hope and Quinn of Crystal Lake; son William (Sarah) Yakle and grandchildren Wyatt and Cooper of Maple Park; son Andrew (Jenna) Yakle and grandchildren Genevieve “Gigi” and Mariella of Campton Hills; daughter Kari (Johnny) Sengmany and grandchildren Penelope, Thomas and Daisy of Hampshire; siblings Jovita Cozean of Connecticut, Mary Irene (Mark) Hill of Mount Sterling, and Jerry (Cathleen) Koch of Mount Sterling; sister-in-law Patty Koch; and many friends and relatives.
She is preceded in death by her son Mark Yakle, brothers Edward and Ronald Koch, and her parents.
Visitation will be held on Friday, November 3, 2023 at Malone Funeral Home, 324 East State Street (RT 38) Geneva, at 3:30pm until the time of her funeral service at 7:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. https://www.stjude.org/ 262 Danny Thomas Place Memphis, TN 38105
Arrangements handled by Malone Funeral Home, Geneva. For more information, please call 630-232-8233 or visit malonefh.com.