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Obituaries are so much more than a public notice that a friend or loved one has passed away.

Helen Oltman

1/7/1926 - 2/21/2020

PEKIN ~ Helen Jane Oltman, dear wife, loving mother, beloved daughter and sister, and dedicated friend to many, passed away on 21 February 2020 at age 94.

Helen was a life-long resident of the Pekin, IL area.  Born on 7 January, 1926 to John Condis of Perachora, Greece and Katherine Ingolia, of Sicilia, Italy, Helen was raised in South Pekin with her brother, Jim, and graduated with honors from Pekin High School.  Helen applied her intelligence to a clerical career with Standard Brands in Pekin, where she was introduced by a coworker to the love of her life, Bernard Louis Oltman, on a blind date.  The couple was married on Christmas Day 1954.

Their first son, Timothy Kris, arrived in May 1956, as Bernard was graduating from Drake Law School in Iowa.  Stephen Thomas joined the family in December 1957, as Bernard was establishing a practice in Pekin.  Jonathan Wayne completed the family in August 1963 - born just days after the family moved to 1013 Broadway Street which would be “Home” for more than 50 years.

Helen was a dynamo.  In addition to commanding her household, she was a civic volunteer, active with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and the Pekin YWCA, and a formidable campaign organizer for Bernard’s two terms as Tazewell County State’s Attorney.  She was an artist – she painted, planted an annual garden, decorated an exquisitely comfortable home, and dressed like a Contessa.  Helen had a passion for hospitality.  She was a tremendous cook and her kitchen was always filled with visitors.

Helen’s charm, grace, generosity and compassion were her hallmark.  She was as warm as the Mediterranean homelands of her parents.  She forever reminded us to, “Love and be kind to one another.”

Helen was preceded in death by Tim, Bernard, Jon, her parents, and her brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Pearletta Condis.  She is survived by Steve, his wife, Cindy, her grandsons, Christopher Thomas Oltman and Michael Louis Oltman, of Edwardsville, IL, and special extended family member, Renee Meletti of Alton, IL, who assisted Helen in her later years to live comfortably and with dignity.

Her memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, February 29, 2020 at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin. Helen’s great-niece, Pastor Laura Wilson-Underwood will officiate.

Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at Glendale Memorial Gardens in Pekin at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the donor’s choice.

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