Jennifer (Lowman) Rhode, 36, of Ottawa, passed away on Wednesday, February 13th, 2020 at her home surrounded by family and close friends.
Funeral Service will be at 4:00 pm Sunday, February 16, at the Ottawa Funeral Home with Rev David Kipfer officiating. Visitation will be from 1:00 to 4:00 pm prior to the service Sunday at the funeral home. A celebration of Jennifer’s life will be held at a later date.
Jennifer was born on December 29, 1983 in Ottawa Illinois where she resided until her death. She attended St. Patrick’s Grade School, graduated from Ottawa Twp. High School in 2002 and continued her education at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Health. Jennifer returned to school for a Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Lewis University. She found her true passion working as a school counselor at Earlville Community Unit School District and later Ottawa Twp. High School. Jennifer’s kindness and compassion connected her with students and staff in a way that made them family. Both Earlville and OTHS supported and rallied around Jen throughout her two-and-a-half-year battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
Jennifer had an immense passion for life and never took a moment for granted. She loved travelling, attending concerts, and summers lounging by the pool. She enjoyed hiking at Starved Rock with her dogs Atley and Sophie and spending time outdoors. Nothing was more important to Jen than her family and friends. She was a loyal and caring wife, daughter, sister, niece, cousin, aunt and friend. Her courageous fight with ALS was an inspiration to many people. She fought with grace and dignity until the very end supported by the Les Turner Foundation ALS Foundation, Joliet Area Community Hospice and the Ottawa community she loved so much. While Jennifer will be missed, her impact on her community will live forever.
Jennifer is survived by her husband, Grant; her parents, Dale and Pamela (Lowman) Margis; grandmother, Irene Margis; sisters Melissa (Brian) Zellers, Jamie Turczyn, Amanda Margis, and Jill Margis; godfather/uncle, Arthur Lowman; godmother/aunt Sandra (William) Zwanzig; aunt Joanne Brown; uncles George (Carolyn) Margis, and David (Carla) Margis; many cousins and her beloved dog Sophie.
One of Jennifer’s greatest joys was being an aunt to her many nieces and nephews including her godson Connor, Emery, Landon and Cooper.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Floyd and Marian Lowman; grandfather, George Margis; uncle, Charles Lowman and her beloved dog Atley.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Foundation for Excellence in Education in honor of the Jennifer Rhode Scholarship at Earlville School, 415 W Union St. Earlville, IL 60518 or the Les Turner ALS Foundation, 5550 W Touhy Ave., Suite 302; Skokie, IL 60077-3254.