Unsung Hero: Jeannine Baxter


By Ashley Smith
By Josue

DU QUOIN -- The Du Quoin State Fair is a popular attraction each summer for thousands of families both near and far.  The fair wouldn't be possible without the help of many dedicated workers. 

A Du Quoin woman has spent a quarter of a century working at the fair. 

"Jeannine Baxter is the darling of Du Quoin," said Du Quoin State Fair Manager Shannon Woodworth.

Shannon Woodworth says choosing Jeannine Baxter as Grand Marshal of the Parade was an easy decision.

"Jeannine is a work horse not a show horse but in some ways we've made her a show horse Jeannine was humbled to find out the good news," said Shannon.

"I said 'I can't do that' he said 'yes.' I had no clue!" remembers Jeannine, "And I want you to know these people they have really rubbed it in."

Jeannine has been working in the administrative office at the fair for 25 years!

"However, I do realize that the years are creeping up I know that. But to say that I've been here that long I still find that amazing to say 25 years," said Jeannine.

Jeannine retired in the 1980's from Illinois Power. A friend recommended going to the fair for a summer job. She says the people keep her coming back each year.

"Everyone has been just wonderful to me. It brings tears to my eyes really when I think about it and talk about it," says an emotional Jeannine.

Jeannine says she takes it year-by-year and knows there will come a time when she will quit working there.

Until that time comes, Shannon and many others are thankful for her dedication.

"She is as close to perfection as it gets," said Shannon.

"I am blessed, I am truly blessed," said Jeannine.

For a link to the Du Quoin State Fair Schedule, click here

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