Kathryn Ann Balding Hanneken, age 70, of Melbourne, Florida passed away suddenly Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at Memorial Hospital in Carbondale, Illinois.

Services for Kathy will be held in Newton, IL on Saturday, December 21, 2019.  The funeral will be held at the Grace United Methodist Church, 203 S. Lafayette St., Newton, Illinois at 2:00 p.m.  It will be preceded by a visitation in the church starting at 12 noon until time of service.  It will be followed by burial in the West Memorial Park Cemetery. A party celebrating her life will be held at Jasper Post 20 American Legion at 108 E. Jourdan St., Newton, Illinois starting at 4:30 pm.

Kathy was born to Neil R. and Nelda Jean (Wharton) Balding on January 19, 1949 in Shelbyville, Illinois.  On November 28, 1970, Kathy married the love of her life Gilbert Dale “Hank” Hanneken in Newton, Illinois.  After graduating from Newton Community High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education and a master’s degree in administration at Eastern Illinois University.

As an educator for over fifty years, Kathy touched and influenced the lives of countless children.  She started her career in Mattoon, Illinois as a teacher, and later, administrator. She spent 15 years as Superintendent of Jasper Schools in Wayne County, Illinois.  She continued her career as Superintendent of Princeville School CUSD #326 in North Central Illinois, serving there until her retirement in 2008.  

Kathy enjoyed traveling abroad, dining out, theatre, fishing, and card games - basically sharing the passions of her family and friends.  As the eldest daughter, she was the glue that held the family together. She was always planning events, cooking, and entertaining. She excelled in the small details, was the life of every party, and the most thoughtful of hosts.  She loved spending time with her girlfriends and maintained close friendships from every stage of her life. However, her greatest joy came from being a Grandma to her three grandchildren. She told them stories of her time as a teacher, hosted sleepovers, played games on the floor, and had two-hour FaceTime play dates.  Kathy dedicated herself to making the lives of those around her better, putting their needs and desires before her own. Her generosity and love for others extends beyond her death as she gave the gift of life to three people through organ donation. Kathy leaves a hole in the hearts of so many that cannot be filled.

Kathy will be loved and remembered by her large extended family and many, many friends.   She is survived by her husband Gilbert Dale “Hank” Hanneken of Melbourne, FL, daughter Alexis (Alex) Rogers of Boston, MA; mother Nelda J. Balding of Newton; three grandchildren Isabelle, Charlotte, and Theodore Rogers of Boston, MA; siblings Deb (Henry) Minton of Peoria, Bruce Balding of Newton, Beth (John) Rogers of Murphysboro and Brett (Pam) Balding of Whitehouse, TN; brothers –in-law and sisters-in-law Merle (Rissa) Hanneken, Harvey (Jackie) Hanneken, Wayne (Eddie) Hanneken, Allen (Vickie) Hanneken, Marsha (Doug) Hockman, Trudy Hart, and Tom (Julie) Hanneken; many nieces and nephews, and dearest friend Sherry Michl Dold.  Her father Neil and brother-in-law Ron Hart preceded her in death.

A celebration of this wonderful woman will be held at 4:30 p.m., Saturday, December 21, 2019 at the Jasper Post 20 American Legion.  We invite all those whose lives she touched to come, share stories and raise a toast to her. If you are unable to attend, please share a memory or story for the celebration at khmemorials@gmail.com.  It would be a special gift to the family. 

Condolences can be sent to 2940 Anza St., Melbourne, FL 32940.  Memorial gifts in honor of Kathy may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Arrangements are in the care of the Crain Funeral Home, Newton, Illinois.  Online condolences may be offered at www.crainfuneral.com.