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Leatrice B. Hobbs

October 28, 1925 — February 24, 2014

Leatrice B. Hobbs

Leatrice Hobbs, 88, of Cincinnati, formerly of Champaign, Ill., died February 24 at the Twin Towers Senior Living Community, Cincinnati, where she had lived since 2012.

Leatrice Arlene Burket was born Oct. 28, 1925, at home in Marysville, Kan., to Frank Charles Burket and Minnie Rebecca Burket. Before her third birthday, the family moved to Topeka, Kan., where she attended Clay and Lincoln grade schools and East Topeka Junior High. She graduated from Topeka High School in May 1944.

She worked for the 832nd Air Force Supply Depot in Topeka from May 1944 to May 1946 and the Christian Science Benevolent Home in San Francisco, Calif., from May to August 1946. She returned to Kansas and entered Kansas State College, Manhattan, Kan., in September 1946, majoring in architecture.

She worked summers, spending her junior year at the Kansas City Art College for the fall semester and the Kansas City Junior College for the spring semester. By fall 1949, she returned to Kansas State College, leaving in May 1950 without a degree. She moved to Wichita, Kan., to work as a secretary for Beech Aircraft Company, becoming the office manager of the Handbooks Department.

She married Everett Richard Hobbs on June 17, 1951, and in the next 30 years, they became parents of Bruce Darrow Hobbs, Brian Burke Hobbs and Brenda Hobbs, living in Minneapolis, Minn.; Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio; and Morton and Galesburg, Ill. They divorced in December 1981.

In January 1982, Leatrice moved to Champaign, Ill., and entered the University of Illinois as a senior, graduating with honors on May 13, 1984, with bachelor of arts degrees in English literature and rhetoric.

In May 1984, she moved to Portland, Ore., living and working there until September 1985, when she returned to Champaign, Ill. She worked several jobs there until March 1987, when she began working for the University of Illinois as a word processor. She became a secretary IV and worked at the Beckman Institute at the university until her retirement on Oct. 31, 2003.

She is survived by two sons, Bruce (wife Laura) Hobbs and Brian Hobbs of Norwood, Ohio; one daughter, Brenda Hobbs Petersen of Indianola, Iowa; two grandsons, Thomas Hobbs of Norwood and Cody Petersen of Indianola; one granddaughter, Katelyn Petersen of Indianola; and one great-grandson, Kadence Bough of Indianola.

She was preceded in death by five siblings: James Clayton Burket, Dora Blanche Burket Sams, Elmer Louis Burket, John Ivan Burket and Warren Wise Burket.

She had been a member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, Mass., from the age of 12 and was an active member of Christian Science congregations in each of the cities where she lived.

She enjoyed reading, singing, sewing, gardening, photography and genealogy. She enjoyed discussing politics and history, wrote letters to the editor of the Champaign, Ill., newspaper and was a frequent contributor to a radio call-in show. She wrote short stories, poetry, letters to her many cousins and friends and contributed to her beloved Topeka High School.

There will be no funeral services. She was cremated and will be buried in the Marysville Cemetery at a later date.

Leatrice designated memorials to the Mulvane Chimes Fund c/o Topeka High School Historical Society, 800 S.W. 10th St., Topeka, KS 66612; The First Church of Christ, Scientist, 602 W. Church St., Champaign, IL 61820; or the Nadine Barry Smith Memorial Fund, c/o The University of Illinois Foundation, Harker Hall, 1305 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801.

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