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Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017 12:00 am

She held many titles

DREXELLEN “DREX” (BEGGS) ARMSTRONG: Oct. 19, 1945 - Jan. 15, 2017

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My mom had the biggest heart and was a phenomenal woman.

Mom graduated from the U of I and received her master’s from SIUC. She was proud that three generations of women in her family had received SIUC master’s degrees (my mom, her mother and I).

Her first job was teaching in Paxton, Illinois, and she was president of the local teachers’ union. While teaching there, a call came over the PA system, “Miss Beggs, the governor’s office is on the phone” – the governor had appointed her to be the first executive director of the Illinois State Labor Relations Board.

Over her career she held many titles: Madden Mental Health personnel officer, Women’s Political Caucus member and committeewoman, all in Oak Park; associate deputy director for Personnel and Finance at the Department of Mental Health in Springfield; Rochester Library Board member; antique dealer; sports enthusiast for U of I, Rochester Rockets and Chicago Bears; and “First Lady of Rochester” (the mayor’s wife). Her bumper sticker read, “A Woman’s Place is in the House…and Senate.”

She married my dad, David Armstrong, in 1974 and I was born in 1979.

She tickled the ivories and had a beautiful voice. She enjoyed hosting parties and cooking and was good at it. All this while being the most wonderful mother and wife.

–Submitted by Laura Ellen (Armstrong) Mitkos, her daughter

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