CHILLICOTHE, Ill. — Hester Elizabeth Meadows McCosh, “Gramma Hester,” of Chillicothe, Ill., born July 18, 1944 to Phillip Eugene Meadows and Dorothy Hester May at the United States Air Force Base in Marfa, Texas, died at home at 7:45 p.m. on Monday, October 7, 2013, leaving behind her wife and life partner, Jamie Johnson Ziegler.
The Meadows, a military family, moved to Evansville, Ind. shortly after her birth and then to Clinton, Ill. before settling in Peoria in 1950. Hester married Joe Lee McCosh from Peoria in November of 1962 and later divorced. The couple had two children, Terri Lynn, of Chillicothe, and Phillip Elton, of Dunlap. She spent her last years with her life-partner, Jamie at their home in Chillicothe. Hester also leaves one grandchild David Joseph, of Chillicothe, and a sister Sue (John) Sprinkle as well as a niece, nephew, great-niece and one aunt Clarice May.
A 1962 graduate of Woodruff High School, in Peoria, she also attended ICC, in Peoria and Western Illinois University, in Macomb. A friend of Bill W. since November 1980, Hester was a founding member of the Riverside Group, in Chillicothe, and will be missed by many friends throughout the Peoria and Galesburg regions of Alcoholics Anonymous. Hester was best known for her no nonsense approach to sobriety, telling newcomers “If you want to get sober, quit drinking,” and “Nothing changes if nothing changes!” She credited her own long-term success to coming into the 12-step world with a series of sponsors, all graduates of the Attila the Hun School of Sponsorship.
She retired from Caterpillar after over 30 years of service as a product assembler at the Mossville, Ill. plant. The past 15 years, Gramma Hester loved her neighbor kids, reading and spending time with her pets, especially her Chihuahua, CoCoa. She will be missed.
A graveside service is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday, November 2, 2013 at Chillicothe City Cemetery. Arrangements have been entrusted to Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin. There will be a celebration of life in honor of Gramma Hester McCosh at Hester’s home on Santa Fe Avenue, in Chillicothe, for all of her family and friends on Saturday, October 12, 2013 from 2 p.m. to on with dinner served at 5 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be given to Santa Fe Park in care of Shore Acres at 100 Park Blvd. Chillicothe, IL 61523 or to The Animal Recycling Kennel at 477 State Route 26, Lacon, IL 61540.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.preston-hanley.com.