Rose Ann Luna passed away with courage and faith on Sunday, September 12, 2020.
She was born on October 19, 1944 in Rantoul, Illinois. She was the daughter of Sgt. Helmuth (Tom) and Ruth Merkel and the oldest of their two children. After graduating from Central High School in Champaign, the lure of the big city drew her to Chicago where she met her husband Gus Tsebelis who passed at mid age from a heart attack. They have two sons, George of Pochatello, Idaho and Alex who lives in Chicago. Both survive her. She was also married for a few years Ben Luna.
She was preceded in death by her brother Walter Mathews and her parents. She is survived by her brother Helmuth “Steve” Merkel II of Tolono and many others by marriage that we considered our brothers and sisters: Phyliss Costa of Rantoul, Ray Eckel of Columbus, Georgia, Glen Eckel, and Betty Hines.
Rose lived her life with a great spirit though polio at an early age started her on a life of many health challenges. Occasionally living back in Champaign, she was well known for good heart and personality while waitressing at many restaurants in the area. Her best memories were of the Homestretch restaurant on North Prospect.
Her passing was by her own choice to leave the body that had failed her by stopping all the medications and equipment that was only giving her longevity and because we liked having her around.
Those of you who know her will not be surprised to know that in our last phone conversation, in a clear voice she said, “I’m not sure if there’s something I should be doing; I’ve never died before.”
A celebration of life will be held in a visitation at Renner-Wikoff Chapel in Urbana on September 27th from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm.
Online condolences may be offered at www.renner-wikoffchapel.com
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