Carol DeMarais, 74

Taught music, dance, and tended her garden

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Carol DeMarais (nee Billhartz), 74, died peacefully in her home, with family, on Nov. 22, 2017. Born on Aug. 27, 1943 in Breese, Illinois, she was the daughter of Edward and Clara (Kniepman) Billhartz. She lived on her parents' farm until, at a young age, she entered the convent of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Ruma, Illinois. She earned her baccalaureate in elementary education and taught for over 30 years in Illinois schools, both private and public. She loved to teach children, sing, play guitar, dance and tend her flower gardens. In the 1960s, she sang and played for civil rights rallies from East St. Louis to Cairo. She married David R. DeMarais in 1971, lived in Oak Park for 42 years, raised three daughters and enjoyed the love of seven grandchildren.

Survivors include David R. DeMarais, her husband of 46 years; her daughters, Alethea (Joshua) Hays of Oak Park, Danielle (Creg) Prude, and Claire Marie (Ryan) Baffa of Oak Park; and seven grandchildren, David, Porter, Melina, Alouette, Owen, Heath and Fisher.

The family is deeply grateful to the relatives, neighbors and friends who have warmly expressed their sympathies. 

A remembrance of Carol's life will be celebrated with her extended family in downstate Illinois. 

In lieu of flowers, donations to JourneyCare are suggested.

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