French Canadian Interview Project

Ardelle (Denault) Ommen and her twin brother Armel were born on May 26, 1933 to Perdella and Eugene Denault, also known as Pat and Gene. She was born in her home in Herscher, Illinois, less than three miles from town. Ardelle has stayed in the Kankakee area all of her life.

Ardelle grew up a devout Roman Catholic and attended a Catholic convent in Irwin. She then went on to attend Herscher High School and graduated in 1952. Shortly after graduating from high school Ardelle was married to Russell (Rusty) Ommen, who also attended Herscher High School. They were married June 21, 1952.

Ardelle keeps herself busy at home with many hobbies. She enjoys sewing clothes, loves to read, and is an avid gardener. Every chance she gets, Ardelle goes out to work on her flower garden and yard. She loves children. Ardelle has worked at Alden's, Snow White's Laundry office, and in a nursing home. But her full time job has always been as a homemaker and concentrating on being a good mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and wife. Ardelle has also done Birth Right volunteering, and hopes to get back to working at the Birth Right office. She was president of the local Right to Life group and has written several letters for Voice of the People (in Kankakee's The Daily Journal) since the 1973 supreme court decision Roe vs. Wade. Ardelle continues to volunteer for the Right to Life. The most important element of her life was to give her family a good Christian background with the values of the Roman Catholic Church.

Russell (Rusty) Ommen, Ardelle's husband, although not of French-Canadian descent, is very knowledgeable on Ardelle's family. He has done a lot of research on their family descent and has found a lot of interesting information. Rusty was born in Pontiac, Illinois on July 18, 1932. Rusty was an only child who was adopted at a very young age to Clarence and Alfield Ommen. As a child he attended Kempton Grade School and then moved on to Herscher High School, where he graduated in 1950. Two years later, in 1952, he was married to Ardelle. He worked for Armour Pharmaceutical as a maintenance mechanic.

In his spare time Rusty searched and found many of his old army buddies. He also enjoys his computer, sending e-mail and doing crossword puzzles. Ardelle and Russell have six children, seven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.