Established in 1875
Waneta Evelyn Mehaffey, 94, of Urbana, died at 3:08 p.m. Thursday, September 27, 2018, at Meadowbrook Healthcare Center, Urbana. Memorial services will be at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, October 27, at Renner Wikoff Chapel & Crematory, 1900 S. Philo Rd., Urbana. Reverend Glenn Corbly will officiate. A reception will follow the services at the funeral home. Interment will be in Mount Hope Mausoleum at a later date.
Waneta was born on November 1, 1923, in Mayview, the daughter of Harley Elmer and Goldie Adeline (Pinaire) Shoup. She married John Stanley Mehaffey on October 14, 1944, in Champaign; he died in 2003. She is survived by two daughters, Adelle J. (Larry) Swanson, of Riverdale IL and Kathleen E. (Ted) Balcom, of Arlington Heights IL; a granddaughter, Lorri B. (Michael) Batsie, of Kalamazoo MI, and two great-grandchildren, Brooke and Caden Batsie.
Waneta was a 1941 graduate of Urbana High School. She started working at the Urbana Free Library in 1964 as a library assistant in the Children’s Department. She moved to the Acquisitions Department in 1975, eventually becoming head of that department. She retired in 1991, but continued to work at the library until 2010 as a substitute and volunteer – a total of 46 years of service. With her encouragement, both of her daughters and her granddaughter attended graduate school and became librarians.
Waneta possessed a kind and loving heart. She was happiest when surrounded by her family, whom she adored. She also loved the family poodles, as well as playing bridge and board games; reading mysteries and thrillers; working crossword puzzles; and watching sports on television, especially tennis and Illini games. Every year, for many years, she baked 10 different kinds of Christmas cookies, so that everyone in the family could enjoy their favorite.
With Linda Barcus, the wife of a cousin, Waneta researched and co-authored a book about her ancestors, the Pinaire family. Also, for many years she volunteered in the Library Archives. She was a former Girl Scout leader for her daughter Adelle’s troop. She was a First Aid instructor and a census taker. She was a member of the First Baptist Church in Urbana, and she was a board member of the Urbana Municipal Credit Union. She was also a long-time member of the Women’s Club (of which she was the secretary from 1992 to 2007); the Champaign-Urbana Welcome Club; the Champaign County Genealogical Society; the Illinois State Genealogical Society (for whom she did research); the Friends of the Urbana Free Library; and the Urbana Park District Senior Citizens.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Urbana Free Library Foundation, 201 W. Green St., Urbana IL 61801; Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation, 10701 Parkridge Blvd., Suite 170, Reston VA 20191; or to the Champaign County Humane Society, 1911 E. Main St., Urbana IL 61802. Condolences may be offered at www.renner-wikoffchapel.com.