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JoElla Mary Alderson


JoElla Mary Alderson, 86, of Gillespie, passed away at her residence on Saturday, March 11, 2023.

She was born June 14, 1936, in Litchfield, to Thomas Edward Madden Sr. and Charlotte Thomas Madden.

JoElla attended SS Simon and Jude School, graduated in 1954 from Gillespie High School and attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

She married James R. Alderson on Dec. 29, 1956 in Gillespie. JoElla and Jim had their first date at the Sweetheart Dance when they were 16.

JoElla worked, and at one point, co owned Lesum’s Store in Gillespie.  She worked many years at People’s State Bank and Tetzlaff Farm Supply.

She enjoyed collecting antiques, mostly at local auction sales and dancing.

She is survived by her husband of 65 years, James Alderson; sons, Kent Alderson (Kim Swan), Sean Alderson (Tammy); daughter, Kris Lytton (Mike); grandchildren, Ryan Alderson, Nathan Alderson, Alex Lytton, Alan Lytton, Deana Hampton, many great grandchildren and brother, Eugene Madden.

JoElla was preceded in death by her parents, brothers, Thomas Madden, James Madden and Jerry Madden.

Private family services will be held.

Memorials are suggested to Illinois Coal Museum 121 S. Macoupin, Gillespie, IL 62033.

Anyone wishing to send an online condolence may do so at

Kravanya Funeral Home, Gillespie, is in charge of the arrangements.