ALTON — Family and friends of Betty Jo Kenshalo-Gruen are mourning her loss while coping with the hardship of her final expenses.
A benefit to provide support is set for 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22, at the Alton Moose Lodge 951, 526 E. Delmar.
“She had cirrhosis of the liver, but she wasn’t a drinker,” her sister Donna Stonesifer said. “She was so young and didn’t have any insurance of any kind. Now we are in a position to try to cover her funeral costs. This came on so suddenly. She seemed healthy when you looked at her, but she was sick for a while.”
Cirrhosis is a slowly progressing disease in which healthy liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue, eventually preventing the liver from functioning properly. Kenshalo-Gruen, who lived in Alton, was only 45 when she died Oct. 16 at Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City.
The benefit will feature a $10 beer wristband, door prizes, a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, a spaghetti dinner and a playground for children. A DJ will provide music and the band Rough Cut will perform live. The cost is $7 per couple, $5 per individual and children 12 and younger will be admitted free.
Anyone unable to attend can send donations to Marks Mortuary at 633 E. Lorena Ave. in Wood River or call (618) 254-5544 to make arrangements. For information, contact Donna Stonesifer at (618) 433-1647.