Charlene (Charli) Coon, 64, of Washington, D.C., formally of Chillicothe, Illinois passed away at 4:32 pm on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at her apartment in D.C.
She was born on December 31, 1950 in Peoria, Illinois, the daughter of Francis and Frank Coon of Chillicothe, Illinois. Both parents, Francis and Frank preceded her in death, on March 24, 2008 and March 3, 1995 respectively.
Surviving is her brother, Randall J. Coon, of Highbury, South Australia, and his family - wife Angela and their two daughters, Sharon (Perth, Western Australia) and Amanda (Sydney, NSW Australia).
"Charli", as she was better known, attended St. Edwards Catholic primary school in Chillicothe and graduated from Illinois Valley Central high school in 1969. She then attended Arizona State University in Phoenix and obtained her B.A. in education in 1973. She taught primary school in Rome, Illinois for a few years, but found her passion for politics saw her moving to Springfield, Illinois, where she obtained an M.A. in Public Administration in 1976 and started her state political career. Following several Internship programs in Springfield, Charli fulfilled numerous roles in the Illinois House of Representatives- Republican Committee and was an instrumental part of the Reagan/Bush campaign staff in 1980 and 1984...one of her proudest achievements.
In 1986, she joined "Citizens for Governor Thompson" and assisted his campaign in Chicago, Illinois, where she subsequently obtained her law degree (J.D.) from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law in 1991. With law degree in hand, Charli then moved to Washington D.C. and became heavily involved in US Federal politics. Some of her numerous positions in D.C. include the following:
1. House Government Operations Committee-Counsel (1992-1995)
2. House Energy & Commerce Committee-Counsel (1995-1996)
3. House Oversight & Reform - with John Mica (1997-1998)
4. U.S. House of Representatives-with Robert Ehrich (1998-2000)
5. The Heritage Foundation - Energy & Environment (2001-2004)
6. U.S. Senate Environment/Public Works Committee (2005-2007)
7. U.S. Chamber of Commerce-21st Century Energy (2007-2011)
8. U.S. House of Representatives-Energy Policy Counsel (2011-2012)
9. U.S. House of Representatives-w/Dave Camp (2012-2013)
In addition to her political passions, Charli also attended St. Patrick's Catholic Church in D.C. city daily and assisted Msgr. "Sal", who said she was "fixture" around the church, who assisted with readings and other tasks for the church and parishioners. Charli also exercised almost daily at her Condominium apartment's gym, or jogging around the local community.
Only 5' in height, but 10' in accomplishments - Charli will be missed by all who knew and loved her - family, relatives, friends, political and church colleagues.
A funeral mass was conducted at St. Patrick's Church by Msgr. Sal on Tuesday February 24th in memory of Charli. Another mass is being offered on Sunday May 31st at noon at St. Patrick's Catholic Church by Mgr. Sal, for anyone who might have missed this first mass. Charlene's ashes have been taken to Chillicothe, Illinois and will be placed in the Coon family plot with her mother and father.
Arrangements by Weber-Hurd Funeral Home in Chillicothe. Charlene's online memorial website may be viewed at www.hurdfamilyfunerals.com.
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