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Christal E. Dagit

4/10/1943 - 9/5/2019

PEKIN ~ Christal Elaine Dagit, 76, of Pekin, passed away at 7:36 p.m. Thursday, September 5, 2019 at Unity Point Health-Methodist in Peoria.

Born April 10, 1943 in Peoria to Merle Robert and Charlotte Elizabeth Kay (Allwardt) Miller, she married Russel Roy Dagit on September 4, 1966 in Peoria.  He died December 31, 2010 in Peoria.  She also was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Marilyn Siepert and Sally Spring; one brother, Daniel John Miller and one niece.

Surviving are five nieces and nephews.  Also surviving are two step-sons, Roy (Debbie) Dagit of Pekin and Everett (Sheila) Dagit of Spring Hill, Florida; one step-daughter, Marnie Linda (Tommy) Lively of Lawrenceville, Georgia; eleven step-grandchildren and sixteen step-great-grandchildren.

She attended Illinois Central College, Midstate Business College, Bradley University and the National Genealogical Society Continuing Education School.  She worked as a licensed real estate sales agent for many years, retiring in 2005. 

Christal was a historical researcher and consultant since the 1980s and was honored with many recognitions for her passionate work by Tazewell County and the State of Illinois.  She was the founding member and first president of Tazewell County Historic Places Society in 1997 and was the first director of the Tazewell County Museum and Educational Center, which officially opened in 2003 in Pekin.  She also was a president of the French Heritage Corridor, President of the Historic Fagotte Cemetery Association, a regional director with the Illinois War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, Tazewell County Commissioner for the Abraham Lincoln Commission and Tazewell County Commissioner of the Illinois River Heritage Commission from 2001 to 2004.  She was a member and past president of the Pekin Woman’s Club and held memberships in the William Schaefer American Legion Post 44 Ladies Auxiliary, Peoria Woman’s Club, Midwest Soarring Foundation and the Red Hat Society.  She also had served on the Save James Field Committee.

She was the author of three books, two of which are in the Library of Congress and have been donated to the Tazewell County Genealogical & Historical Society.  She also enjoyed researching and writing the Dagit Family History.

Christal enjoyed art, especially oil painting and had won numerous ribbons for her artwork.  She also enjoyed embroidery, crocheting and reading in her leisure time.  Christal loved traveling the United States, especially seeing the western mountains and our historic sites.

She was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pekin and the Bethlehem Society at the church.

Her funeral will be 2 p.m. Saturday, September 14, 2019 at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin.  The Rev. Daniel J. Bishop will officiate.  Visitation will be held one hour before the funeral.  Burial will be in Glendale Memorial Gardens in Pekin.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Tazewell County Museum and Educational Center, 15 South Capitol Street, Suite 101, Pekin, IL 61554.

To express condolences online, visit www.preston-hanley.com

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