CHATHAM - Junior Lavern Workman, 97, of Chatham, went to be with the Lord, Thursday, February 11, 2016 at Memorial Medical Center. He was born in Assumption, IL, on January 20, 1919, to A. Thurman and R. Grace Neel Workman. Junior married Deloris “Eileen” Shields on July 2, 1962 in Clinton. Eileen passed away May 7, 2011. Preceding him in death were several siblings Byron, Dale, Dean, Arrah Jean Shumaker, Errol.
Mr. and Mrs. Workman were very involved with Chatham United Methodist Church and the Auburn Christian Church, where he served as an Elder. Junior found opportunities for leadership in ministry by helping build churches, quietly reaching out to those in need and encouraging other to do the “right thing”.
His wife had been a choir director, soloist, and Sunday School teacher. They were a faith filled couple, leading their nieces and nephews to the Lord and stepped up to fill in as parents, when their nieces’ and nephews’ mother died.
As part of his faith ministry, he was a Member of the Gideon’s Bible Association and involved with many charitable associations such as the American Center for Law and Justice, Billy Graham Organization, 700 Club and others.
Mr. Workman was involved with agriculture for many years, as a farmer, an insurance producer, and salesman. He volunteered to help set up the Agricultural Program at the University of Illinois.
Junior served as Chatham’s Mayor, coming into office to find a budget deficit and leaving office with a positive fiscal balance for the Village. He served on multiple boards, usually leading it as its chairman. He held several leadership positions and served as President of the Land of Lincoln Soybean Association. Articles found in the archives of the Chatham Clarion featured weekly updates on the importance of farm to table food and education in regards to agriculture, submitted by Junior.
He is survived by brother Gary (Barbara) Workman of Moorhead, MN; sisters-in-law Pauline Workman, of Louisville, KY, Edith Baumhardt of Springfield, IL; several nieces and nephews that were like his children, Eugene Workman, Glenda Hogenson, Larry Workman, Margot Steinhart, Sherry Tallon, Rowena Neumann, Pamela Patton, Paula Kopp, Allyn and Debra Workman, James, Ronald and Donald Baumhardt, Kathie Blakeman, Deborah Richards, many great nieces and nephews and cousins.
Visitation: His family will greet friends from 4-7pm, Sunday, February 14, 2016 at Staab Polk Memorial Home, 8855 State Route 4, Chatham.
Visitation and Funeral: Family will greet friends from 9am until the time of the funeral at 10 am, Monday, February 15, at Chatham United Methodist Church, 104 West Chestnut, with Reverend Sara Isbell and Dr. Walter Zorn officiating. Burial will follow at Chatham Memorial Cemetery.
Memorials: Chatham United Methodist Church, 104 West Chestnut, Chatham, IL, 62629; Auburn Christian Church, 118 Apache Road, Auburn, IL 62615; or The Gideon’s International, PO Box 812, Springfield, IL 62705.
Obituary written by family members.