Jacqueline (Bitterman) Empson, age 65, of McHenry, passed away Sunday, November 13, 2016, at her home, with loving family by her side.
She was born August 21, 1951 in Woodstock to Frank J. and Lillias (Thompson) Bitterman. Raised in McHenry as the youngest of eight children, Jackie was a 1969 graduate of McHenry High School. Following high school, Jackie went to work at Kemper Insurance, and continued working there while attending and graduating from cosmetology school. In the mid ’70’s, Jackie relocated to California, where she pursued her cosmetology career. Jackie co-owned a salon in Cardiff-by-the-Sea for several years. Through one of her regular clients, she was introduced to her future husband, with the client later becoming Jackie’s mother-in-law. On September 11, 1990, Jackie married Gregory L. Empson in Las Vegas, and they moved back to southern Illinois, where Greg was raised. In 1995, they relocated from Marion back to McHenry.
To those who knew her, Jackie was a kind soul who befriended everyone. With her positive outlook, she was well-liked, and would always put others needs ahead of her own. She loved the beauty of flowers, and enjoyed tending to her flower garden. Passionate for the sport of horseracing and her love of horses, Jackie always looked forward to the Kentucky Derby. Jackie will be remembered for the unique chemistry she had with the neighborhood children, who would flock to her home for the interesting conversations they could have with her.
Survivors include four sisters and brothers, Lois (the late Donald) Schiavone of Fox Lake, Robert (Barbara) Bittermann of McHenry, Thomas (Annie) Bitterman of McCullom Lake, and Susan (the late Kenneth) Prazak of Mountain Home, AR; two sisters-in-law, Sandy Bitterman of Stuart, FL and Linda Bitterman of Tennessee; many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews. Also surviving is Cody Doris of California, thought of as a daughter by Jackie.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Gregory, on April 3, 2004; and three brothers, Frank, James, and Richard Bitterman.
Friends may visit with her family from 4 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, at Justen Funeral Home & Crematory, 3700 Charles J. Miller Road, McHenry, IL 60050. The memorial service will be at 7:30 p.m. in the funeral home. Inurnment will be in Brushy Creek Cemetery, Galatia.
Her family suggests memorials in Jackie’s honor be directed to the JourneyCare Foundation or to the American Cancer Society.
For further information, please call the funeral home at 815-385-2400, or visit www.justenfh.com, where friends may leave an on-line condolence message for her family.
Justen Funeral Home & Crematory
3700 Charles J Miller Road
United States 60050