Mrs. Annette “Willowbe” Gustafson, 60, of East Galesburg, Illinois, died unexpectedly in her home on Thursday, September 30, 2021.
Annette’s journey started on May 23, 1961, in Galesburg, as the daughter of Richard “Dick” and Joceile “Jody” (Knutson) Ryden. Along the way, she married Greg Gustafson and brought into this world three beautiful children.
After a lifetime of unconditional love, effortless spirituality, and encouraging wisdom, she leaves behind her son, Chad Gustafson of Galesburg, two daughters, Danielle (Dan) Valdez of Marion, Iowa, and Brandi Gustafson, of Galesburg; her three brothers, Kevin (Tracy) Ryden, Tony Ryden, and Mike Ryden, all from Galesburg, and her sister, Patricia “Patty” (Ron) Baumgardner of Galesburg. She is also survived by her wonderful grandchildren, Gabriela (Robert Patch) Valdez, Zachary Valdez, and Tucker Peters; two nieces, Erica Baumgardner, Randi Ryden, and two nephews, Dustin Ryden and Jake Ryden. She is preceded in death by both parents, two brothers, Dick Ryden, and Jeff Ryden, and one nephew, Joshua Baumgardner.
She received her education at Galesburg High School and went on to become a waitress at Ike and Cheryl’s and eventually starting her own in-home daycare and was a nanny for the Dechow Family, whom she treasured in her heart dearly, for several years. Knowing Annette for even minutes would make it clear that her greatest passion was her role as a loving mother and devoted grandmother. She enjoyed spending time supporting her children and grandchildren at any events they had going on and would always have a home cooked meal for them whenever they came to visit her. There was never a dull moment when family came to visit Annette; from reminiscing about stories and looking at pictures from the past, to singing songs with her family, the feelings of happiness, joy and laughter filled the room. Annette had two cats, that she loved like her own children, “No-No” Noah and Cami, who will now be cherished by her son Chad and granddaughter, Gabriela. She spent her free time caring for her beautiful garden and practicing her dedicated faith in Christianity. The legacy of Annette’s life will forever be remembered by the memories and stories her family and friends share from their hearts; she had a one-of-a-kind soul and will be deeply missed by many.
Cremation will be accorded. Visitation will be on Friday, October 8, 2021, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., with a Memorial Service to follow, at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Galesburg Chapel. Chaplain Jordan Knight will be officiating the service. A Celebration of Life will be held immediately following the Memorial Service at Sidetrax Bar & Grill (441 E Main St, Galesburg, IL 61401). The family welcomes all who are able to come, to join in sharing their remembrance of Annette and the impact she made in our lives. Memorial contributions may be made to Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremations Service to offset funeral expense. Hinchliff-Pearson-West in Galesburg is honored to serve the family. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com.