Lorethea “Lori” (Amsler) Ockert, 76, of Monmouth, Illinois, passed away Saturday morning, September 16. She died peacefully in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she had lived for the past 6 months with her sons and their families following the death of her husband in February.
Lori loved being a mom and wife. She was fiercely loyal and outwardly affectionate to her family. She was unfailingly present and reliable-she was always there when people needed her the most. She had an effortless way of making people feel special and significant.
Lori was born Lorethea Eileen Amsler on April 28, 1947 in Evansville, Indiana, to Helena Prior and Charles Amsler. Lori lived in Evansville throughout her childhood, and graduated from Benjamin Bosse High School in 1965. She attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, for her first year of college, and then transferred to the University of Evansville, where she graduated in 1970.
After graduating, she moved to the Chicago area to be near her brother and his family. She began working as a legal secretary at Baxter International in 1971 and moved to Long Grove, Illinois. It was there that she met and married her husband, John Ockert, in 1976.
After giving birth to twin sons in 1979, she became a full-time mom. In 1981, she and her family moved to Monmouth, Illinois, into the house on North I Street that she occupied for the next 42 years. In Monmouth, Lori took on a number of part-time jobs and volunteer activities. She managed the Monmouth Country Club pool from 1986 to 1989. She was the president of the PTA at Willits Elementary for several years, and was ever present as a room mother and volunteer for school activities. She also helped with the family farm, driving combines and hauling grain wagons, as well as packing and delivering sweet corn throughout the area.
As her children got older, Lori returned to work full time. She started substitute teaching at area schools in 1991, and was a ubiquitous presence at Monmouth grade schools and Central Junior High School for the next 20 years. From 1993 to 1997, she worked as a local coordinator for the State of Illinois Department of Human Services. She also managed the local art presenter program with the Buchanan Center for the Arts for a decade.
She is survived by her sons Jonathan “Eric” (Cailin) Ockert of Cave Creek, Arizona, and Andrew (Amanda) Ockert of Phoenix, Arizona; five grandchildren Andrew, Emily, Thomas, Olivia, and Aiden; and her brother Marty Amsler of Evansville, Indiana. She was preceded in death by her parents Charles and Helena Amsler of Evansville, Indiana, and by her husband, John, of Monmouth, Illinois.
As were her wishes, cremation is being accorded. The family plans to have a celebration of life at the Monmouth Country Club on Sunday, October 15. 2023 at 1pm. Turnbull Funeral Home in Monmouth is honored to make local arrangements.
A memorial fund is being established for Western Illinois Animal Rescue.