CARBONDALE — Julee Ann Illner, 72, passed away on Palm Sunday, April 13, 2014, in Carbondale, after a 15-year battle with cancer.
She was born on Oct. 25, 1941, in Hamilton, Ohio to Paul and Elizabeth Yordy Illner.
Julee grew up in Hamilton, Ohio, where she graduated from Hamilton High School in 1959. She attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education in 1963. Julee served as camp counselor/director from 1964-1974 at various summer camps in Wisconsin, Colorado and Missouri. After teaching three years at Bethel School in Tipp City, Ohio, she moved to SIU Carbondale as a graduate assistant in the Department of Physical Education. She received her Master of Science Degree in 1968 and was appointed to the faculty in the Department of Physical Education for Women. She was later promoted to assistant professor. Julee also served as the head SIU Field Hockey Coach for 20 years. She retired in 2001 after 34 years of service to SIU. Upon retirement from SIU, Julee served 13 years as the aquatics director for the Life Center at the Carbondale Park District, retiring In October 2013.
Julee was an active member of the Newman Center in Carbondale. She also enjoyed playing golf as a member of the Southern Illinois Ladies Golf Association, also serving as president. Julee was very active in the American Red Cross serving as instructor/trainer. Julee enjoyed swimming, camping, canoeing, dog training and get togethers with her former SIU athletes and friends.
Julee received numerous awards throughout her career, including 1990-91 SIU Teacher of the Year for the College of Education. Julee was inducted into SIU Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 and is an honorary member of United States Field Hockey Association. Serving as SIU Field Hockey coach from 1969-1988, Coach Illner accomplished the distinction of being named the fifth winningest SIU women’s coach. Her teams posted a 0.632 winning percentage and won several state championships and three appearances at the national tournament. Most recently she received the 2014 Mentor award presented by the Southern Illinois Women’s Intersport Network.
Julee was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Elizabeth Illner. She is survived by her brother, Paul Illner Jr. of Moore, S.C.; sister-in-law, De Illner of Spartanburg, S.C.; niece, Christie Illner Hayes; nephews, Brian and Jeff Illner; great-niece, Kylee Hayes; and goddaughter, Ann Marie Verderber. She is also survived by cousins, Steve, Michael and David Yordy; and special friends and caregivers, Vicki LeFevers, Mary Samuel and Jodi Flynn; as well many admiring, indebted friends and athletes.
In lieu of flowers, Julie wished memorials be made to the charity of your choice. Suggestions include St. Francis Care Animal Shelter, Murphysboro, Carbondale Park District Aquatic Programs and Hospice of Southern Illinois.
Special thanks go to Susan Cauthen and the Newman Center for their dedicated assistance and friendship during Julee’s illness. Additional thanks to all Julee’s medical providers, Doctors Kao and Picus and the staff at Helia Healthcare of Carbondale.
A visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, April 25, in the Newman Center at 715 S. Washington St., in Carbondale. The memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Hamilton, Ohio at a later date.
Condolences may be left on The Southern Illinoisan newspaper obituary online guest book.
Walker Funeral Home of Carbondale is in charge of arrangements.