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    Obits 6.20.18

    Posted by: Editor June 17, 2018



    Augie Nelson, 95

    Augie Nielsen, 95, of Lena, Illinois passed away at his home in Rockford on Monday, June 11, 2018.  

    He was born on November 12, 1922 to Borgaard and Margrethe (Madsen) Nielsen in Saarup Denmark.  He married Marie Kirkegaard on May 16, 1948 in Vindum, Denmark.  Augie and Marie immigrated to the United States in 1950 and proudly became naturalized citizen in May of 1956.  They farmed in the Freeport area, Pearl City, and north of Lena until designing and building a home in Lena in 1980.  

    Augie was a pioneer in farming, both in crop methods and in hog production.  His use of organic and natural products was recognized by receiving the Steward of the Soil award.  His interest in natural products led to beekeeping and processing his own honey.  As he left farming in his 60’s, he used his mechanical skills as Maintenance Supervisor at the Lena Continental Manor in Lena, retiring from there at the age of 80.  He took wood working classes and produced many fine pieces of furniture for his extended family. Augie’s interests included Lions Club, church council and committees, choir, ushering, and grounds committee. He was also involved in construction and maintenance of My Friend’s Closet and Friendship Center.  He enjoyed square dancing, bowling, playing cards, writing his life story, keeping a journal of weather conditions, and in making new friends.

    Augie and Marie loved traveling in the US to visit their children and grandchildren’s activities, as well as historical and nature sites. They always maintained close contact with their Danish family, making many trips back to Denmark, and often hosting Danish relatives.  Their home was always welcoming to friends and neighbors.

    Augie is survived by his three children-Kris (Don) Allen of Rockford, Jon Nielsen of Belvidere, IL, and Alice Whalen of Colorado Springs, CO; grandchildren- Steven (Amy) Allen of Batavia, IL, Katrina (Michael) McSweeney of North Wales, PA, David (Holly) Allen of Grandville, MI, Michael (Ann Mooney) Whalen of Colorado Springs, CO, April (Kevin) Breeden of Lancaster, PA, Nichelle (Matt Dix) Whalen of Beverly, MA; great-grandchildren- Rebecca Allen, Anna Allen, Elizabeth McSweeney, Jaden Allen, Andreas Allen, John Breeden, Kelsey Breeden; brothers- George Nielsen of Denmark, Borge (Kirsten) Nielsen of Denmark; sisters- Margrethe Aas-Jensen of Denmark, Inge-Lisse (Christen) Harbo of Denmark.

    He was preceded in death by his wife Marie on March 30, 2017, parents Borgaard and Margrethe Nielsen, step mother Mary Nielsen, sister Doris Jespersen, brother Finn Nielsen, son-in-law Tom Whalen, granddaughter-in-law Jennifer Whalen.

    A visitation was from 3-7:00 PM on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lena, IL. Funeral services were at 10:00 AM on Friday, June 15, 2018 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lena, IL. Rev. Rick Bader officiated the services.

    Burial will be at Lena Burial Park in Lena.

    Memorial contributions can be made to the Lena Friendship Center.

    The family wishes to express appreciation to Northern Illinois Hospice for their kind and compassionate care. Condolences may be sent to the family at ww.leamonfh.com.



    William J. Bonnet, 95

    William J. Bonnet age 95, passed away on Tuesday June 12, 2018 at the Lena Living Center. 

    He was born on May 28, 1923 in E. Dubuque, IL to Bernard and Sophia (Greenwald) Bonnet. He married Lois Graves on August 9, 1945 at St. Ann Catholic Church in Warren. He served in the United States Navy in the Pacific from 1944-1946. He sold feed and fertilizer for FS for 12 years and then he and his wife farmed in Kent Township until retirement. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and a former member of the Knight of Columbus. He served on the board of the Farm Bureau for 8 years and as a board member for the Stephenson County Pork Producers for 4 years. He enjoyed playing golf and cards. He also enjoyed watching baseball.

    He is survived by three sons, Terry (Diane) Bonnet of Lena, Steve (Susan) Bonnet of Freeport and Dennis (Joyce) Bonnet of Pearl City; daughter Barb (Mike) Daughenbaugh of McConnell; 11 grandchildren, Scott Bonnet, Tony Bonnet, Stephanie Hintz, Jeremy Bonnet, Jennifer Nall, Casey Gerbode, Jake Bonnet, Matt Bonnet, Joe Daughenbaugh, Joan Strong and Eric Switz. 9 great-grandchildren. Sisters; Evelyn Orzechowski of Winona, MN, Helen Toelle of Freeport and Pat Proctor of Dyrersville, IA. Brother; Robert Bonnet of Lena.   

    He was preceded in death by his wife Lois on April 19, 2003, parents, 1 brother and 1 sister.

    Funeral services will take place at 11:00 AM on Monday June 18, 2018 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lena. Visitation will be from 9:30 till time of service at the church. Officiating will be Father Andrew Skrobutt. Burial will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. 

    A memorial has been established in his name. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.leamonfh.com.





    Harry “Bill” Vwerdon Jr., 69

    Harry “Bill” Verdon Jr., age 69 of Stockton, IL passed away Thursday, June 14, 2018 at home. He was born in Toledo, OH to the late Harry and Laura (Meinhart) Verdon. Bill married Sharon Sharp on January 26, 1985 in Farwell, MI. 

    He graduated from Farwell High School and later attended Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, WI.  Bill retired from Stockton Cheese and went to work for NSF International doing food and Safety Audits. Bill loved to cook and was often referred to as a food critic. He enjoyed  golfing, fishing, traveling and most of all, spending time with his grandchildren. He also adored his three dogs. 

    Bill is survived by his wife, Sharon of Stockton; sons, Corey (Michelle) Verdon of Farwell, MI and Darrin (Lisa) Glass of Stockton; his daughter, Chris Glass (Jaime) of Farwell, MI; his grandchildren, Devon, Maykala, D.J., Morgan, Hunter, Keegan (Liz), Tony, Madison, Mauricio, Isaha, Noah, and Romel; his great granddaughter, Grace; his sisters, Laura (Milan) Grossett, Barb (Will) Tipton, and Mary (Robert) Armstrong, all of MI; his brother-in-law, Jeff (Rose) Sharp; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Chuck;  sister, Sara and his beloved dog Rocky.

    A celebration of life will be held at a later date in Farwell, MI. A memorial fund has been established. Condolences may be shared will Bill’s family at www.hermannfuneralhome.com





    James Deneen Brossard, 57

    James Deneen Brossard, age 57, died at St. Anthony’s Medical Center in Rockford, Illinois on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. The cause of death was a stroke.

    James was born June 21, 1960 in Savanna, Illinois and lived in Hanover the past few years. Survivors include three sisters, Connie (Robert) Nolte of Savanna, Carol (Dave) Miller of Preston, Iowa, Anna Schriener of Morrison, Illinois and one brother, Tom (Marilyn) Brossard of Savanna, and many nieces and nephews.

    James is preceded in death by his parents, William and Jeannine; one sister, Linda F. Mitchell and a brother-in-law, Keith Scriener. Law-Jones Funeral Home is in charge of the cremation. A family gathering will be held at a later date.

    “You will always be in our heart… because in there you’re still alive.”

    Obits 6.13.18

    Posted by: Editor June 9, 2018

    Pearl City


    George M. Visel, 86

    George M. Visel, 86 of Pearl City went to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 at his home.  

    He was born August 11, 1931 in Evanston, IL to George and Maybelle Visel.  He graduated from Evanston High School.  After graduation he attended Bethel College in Minnesota where he met Marilyn. They were married December 27, 1952 in Freeport IL at First Baptist Church.  Eventually they made their home in Pearl City.  George was a member of the Evangelical Free Church of Lena.

    George served in the Korean War for 2 years as a radio dispatcher with the US Army.  His love of golf gave him the opportunity to be a “Pro” at a golf course.  George knew he wanted to work with young people so he turned down this opportunity to teach school.  In 1958, George took a teaching position at the Pearl City High School, as a junior high science teacher,  teaching until his retirement in 2005, giving 47 years to the same school district; something virtually unheard of today.  

    George returned to college in 2002 and obtained his Master’s Degree in 2004. During his time at Pearl City High School he was instrumental in developing the golf team and coaching for 34 years.  He served as a Boy Scout leader, was a Pro-Marksman and a Sharpshooter, receiving a medal for this while in the army.  He was a church youth leader, a Deacon and served as a Sunday school teacher.  At school he also coordinated a stamp club, a coin club and a bowling league.  In 2004 he was inducted into the Shoot the Bull, Northwest IL Hall of Fame and was runner-up in 1979 for Illinois teacher of the year.  

    George co-founded the Pearl City Park District and served as Mayor of Pearl City for 24 years. Together George and Marilyn founded “Floral-Feather-Fin” and ran that business for 42 years.  They had greenhouses that contained tropical plants, fruit trees and 1500 varieties of cactus.  They also raised and sold birds and fish.  Weddings and floral arrangements for many events were part of the business as well.

    George is survived by his 5 children: Daniel (Ellen), Terilyn (Jim) Kennedy, Douglas (Kris), David (Barb), Donovan (Amy), daughter in-law Connie Visel, 20 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, sister-in-law Sylvia Cotten, a niece and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his wife Marilyn, his parents, his mother and father in-law and sister-in-law Carolyn Delzell. 

    The family would also like to thank George’s caregiver, Uolianna Kravets, for her care and dedication to him over the last 9 months.

    Visitation was from 2pm- 6pm on Sunday, June 10th, 2018 at the Pearl City High School Gymnasium in Pearl City, IL.  A celebration of life was held at the Lena Evangelical Free Church in Lena, IL., at 10:00 am on Monday, June 11th, with Pastor Jim Erb and Pastor Wayne Fischer officiating.  A luncheon was served after the service.  Private family services will be held at Highland Cemetery in Pearl City, IL.  

    A memorial has been established in George’s name.  Online condolences and memories can be shared with the family at www.hermannfuneralhome.com.




    Richard “Dick: Stevens, 90

    Richard “Dick” Stevens, 90, of Sun City, Arizona, formerly of Shannon Illinois, passed on March 17, 2018 after battling cancer for over a year.

    He was born March 22nd, 1927 at home in Shannon to parents Walter and Helen (Beebe) Stevens.  Dick enlisted in the US Naval Reserves shortly before graduating from Shannon High School in 1945.  He served as a Legal Yeoman in the Philippines during and after World War II.  He was a member of the American Legion for over 70 years.  Dick was privileged to participate in an honor flight to Washington DC for WWII veterans in the spring of 2015.

    After his service discharge he graduated from Brown’s Business College of Commerce in Freeport and was a bookkeeper for several area businesses.  Dick later served as the Shannon rural mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service for 36 years, retiring in 1985.  He was a volunteer fireman for many years.  Dick also engaged in real estate sales and development, both in Illinois and Arizona where he moved upon retirement.

    Dick married Lois J. Wittberger on June 9, 1951.  Lois and Dick had three children.  They divorced in 1977.

    Music was a very important part of Dick’s life.  For over 80 years he played the clarinet in various bands including town bands, Dixieland bands, German bands, dance bands, pops bands and concert bands, both in Northwest Illinois and Arizona. He loved playing the clarinet and being part of a bigger musical expression.  Dick also enjoyed playing the piano, growing flowers, boating, playing cards, ballroom dancing and petting and walking his dog Buddy.

    Survivors include his long-time companion Jean Beyer, daughters Diane Stevens of Bedford, TX, Mary Blackmore of Forreston, IL, son Frank Stevens (Marina Ovrutsky) of Saint Johns, FL, grandsons Mitchell and Christopher Stevens of Fairfield, NJ, brother Tom Stevens (Linda Maddox Graham) of Sun City West, AZ, sister-in-law Mary Stevens Laesch (Richard) of Shannon, IL, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.  Dick was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Joseph and Charles, and sister Cecelia.

    Cremation rites have been accorded.  A funeral service was held at the Congregational Church of Sun City on Saturday, March 24th.  A visitation will be held on June 16th at Hermann Funeral Home in Shannon from 9:30 – 11:00 am.  Following the visitation, a grave-site service will be held at St. Wendelin Catholic cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in his name for the Congregational Church of Sun City and the Arizona Humane Society. Condolences may be shared at www.hermannfuneralhome.com

    Obits 6.6.18

    Posted by: Editor June 3, 2018



    Louise Shepherd, 85

    Louise Shepherd, age 85, of Savanna, Illinois passed away Thursday, May 24, 2018 surrounded by her loving family. 

    A funeral service was held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, June 2, 2018 at Law-Jones Funeral Home, Savanna. Visitation was held from 11:00 to 3:00 p.m., prior to the service at the funeral home. Cremation Rites will be accorded following the service. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established.  Family and friends are invited to share in Louise’s life at www.lawjonesfuneralhome.com.

                Louise was born August 9, 1932 in Hindman, Kentucky the daughter of Harm and Martha Patrick. Louise married Charlie Shepherd on August 14, 1954 in Hazard, Kentucky. They celebrated 57 years of marriage until Charlie’s death in 2012.

                Louise and Charlie moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1954.  Louise was a homemaker who cherished taking care of her family. Louise and Charlie enjoyed spending time in Savanna and officially retired to Savanna in 1995. She enjoyed gardening, cooking, and going on walks. She enjoyed spending time with family and friends, but she especially cherished spending time with her grandchildren.

                Louise will be dearly missed by four children, Janice (Chester) Pasciewicz of Chicago, Illinois, Gale (Renee) Shepherd of Chicago, Jimmie (Bonnie) Shepherd of Chicago, and Charlie (Dee) Shepherd of Savanna; 10 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; one brother, and one sister.

    Obits 5.30

    Posted by: Editor May 28, 2018



    Carol Wybourn, 88

    Carol Wybourn, 88, of Lena, passed away surrounded by her family on Monday, May 21, 2018 at Big Meadows Nursing Home in Savanna, IL.  

    She was born on March 30, 1930 in Pearl City to Warren and Maude (Garner) Woker.  She married William “Bill” Wybourn Jr. on June 18, 1949. Carol was a farmwife prior to working at Structo King Seeley.  She worked for Structo King Seeley for 35 years, and she was also a door greeter for Leamon Funeral Home.  Carol was a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lena.  She enjoyed camping and cooking.  She loved her church, grandchildren and her great-grandchildren.  

    Carol is survived by her children; Stephen (Jan) Wybourn of Lena, Molly (Charlie) Thrasher of Ladd, Diane (Glen) Frerichs of Sheboygan, WI, Doug (Michelle) Wybourn of Lena, nine grandchildren; Tara (Doug), Heather (Michael), Chad(Carianne), Nicole (Shawn), Corey (Jennifer), Lindsay, Michael (Holly), Ryan (Kaitlyn), Rachael, ten great-grandchildren; Cameron, Heidi, Ella, Raeger, Cadie, Garrett, Chaz, Jace, Gianna, and, Hattie, sister; Judy Bryan of Freeport.

    She was preceded in death by her parents, and her husband Bill in 1999.  

    Funeral services were held at 10:00 AM on Friday, May 25, 2018 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lena. A visitation was from 4-7:00 PM on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at Leamon Funeral Home in Lena. Pastor Miho Yasukawa officiated the services.

    In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in her name for Alzheimer’s Dementia, FHN Hospice, and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.leamonfh.com.

    Obituaries 5.23.18

    Posted by: Editor May 20, 2018



    Mary Lois Werkheiser, 82

    Mary Lois Werkheiser, age 82 of rural Lena, passed away Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at the Lena Living Center. 

    She was born July 29, 1935 in Murphysboro to the late William H. and Anabel (Wolfe) Sauer. Mary graduated from Murphysboro High School and McKendree College in Lebanon where she was a charter member of the Alpha Omega Society. 

    She married James “Jim” Werkheiser on March 26, 1959 at Wesley United Methodist Church in Stockton. 

    Mary began her teaching career in Granite City, then moved to Stockton where she taught until retiring in1991, after 25 years. She later worked part-time at the Stockton Greenhouses and Torkelson’s Cheese Factory in Lena while all that time working with her husband on their family farm until their retirement from farming in 1994. They moved to Lakeview, Arkansas, in 2002 and moved back to Illinois in 2014. 

    She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends and had a talent for sewing, knitting and quilting. She knitted dozens of caps for Red Cross Preemie Program, along with quilting lap robes for the elderly. Mary also like to bake and deliver those goodies to friends and family. She really enjoyed a spirited board or card game and loved to win. 

    She was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church, a lifetime member of the National Education Association, Illinois Education Association and the Retired Teachers Association. One of her proudest moments was when she was nominated by a former student as “one who made a difference” as a distinguished educator and is listed in Who’s Who of American Teachers.

    Mary is survived by her husband, James; children, Robert (Gail) Werkheiser of Lena and Jean (Jeffrey) Zieber of Seligman, Missouri; brothers, Robert (Pat) Sauer and George (Carolyn) Sauer of Murphysboro; sister, Margaret (Richard) Keller of Murphysboro; grandchildren, Michael Werkheiser, Morgan Werkheiser, Casey Coleman, Benjamin Coleman, Zachary Zieber, Tyler Zieber, Sara Werkheiser, Sandra Werkheiser and David Werkheiser; and great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; son, Gerald “Jerry”; daughter, Carol; granddaughter, Mellissa Shumaker; and brother, John.

    There was a visitation on Friday, May 18, 2018 at the Hermann Funeral Home in Stockton from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Burial will take place at a later date in Kent Lutheran Cemetery. In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established. Mary’s family would like to thank FHN Hospice, Lena Living Center and Grandview Estates Assisted Living in Elizabeth. Condolences may be shared at www.hermannfuneralhome.com




    Dave E. Hoge, 74

    Dave E. Hoge, age 74, of Thomson, Illinois, died on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at the Rock River Hospice House in Sterling, Illinois.  Cremation Rites have been accorded.  Friends and family are invited to share in Dave’s life at www.lawjonesfuneralhome.com

    Dave was born on July 13, 1943, the son of Elmer and Edna Hoge in Walnut, Illinois.  He proudly served his country in the United States Army and the United States Marine Corp for thirty years.  While enlisted, Dave served in the Vietnam War and was held captive as a Prisoner of War for thirty days.  Dave married Nina Audrey Albright and later married Carol Ann Isenhart. Carol Ann died on August 14, 2015.

    Dave was an amazing man and was always willing to help others.  He loved the outdoors, especially gardening and fishing.  Dave also enjoyed watching westerns and listening to Johnny and June Cash.  Most of all, Dave cherished spending time with his family and close friends.

    Dave will be dearly missed by two daughters, Angelina (Douglas) Matthews, and Patsy (James) Searcy; one granddaughter, Amber Matthews; five great grandchildren, Connor and Natalya Searcy and Reilly, Eliette, and Adelaide Matthews; and two brothers, Don and Danny Hoge.  Dave is preceded in death by his parents; and his wife, Carol Ann Hoge.

    Obits 5.9

    Posted by: Editor May 6, 2018



    Terry L. Price, 64

    Terry L. Price age 64, passed away on Thursday May 3, 2018 at FHN Memorial Hospital. 

    He was born on March 18, 1954 in Freeport, IL. He was the son of Elwyn and Mildred (Mayer) Price. Terry graduated from Lena-Winslow High School the Class of 1972.  He married Dianne Elmer in Browntown, WI in 1978 and then married Deborah K. Martin on August 13, 1993 in Freeport, IL. She died on March 27, 2015. He then met his life partner on farmersonly.com in May of 2016. His occupation was full time storyteller and part time farmer in the 3rd generation family farm.

    He is survived by the mother of his children; Dianne Elmer of Lena, IL, life partner; Laura Anne Mills and her mother Wilma Sarnau both of Lena, IL. Daughters; Sherry (Jimmy) Beaver of Gilbert, AZ, Carrie (Jeremy) Hille of Freeport, IL and Ashley (Andrei) Bara of Morris, IL. 8 grandchildren, Alexis, Hailey, Jacob, Colton, Caitlynn, Kylee, Austin and Kai. Uncle Ben (Gayle) Mayer of Lena.

    He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents and second wife Deborah, and Mrs. Beasley.

    He was a collector of antique tractors Allis Chalmers tractors and a collector of American Flyer model trains. He was a member of the McConnell Area Historical Society and the Depot Stove Gang. He enjoyed 50’s music and 60’s and 70’s TV shows. He enjoyed socializing with the Boco bunch on Route 69 in Orangeville and other fine coffee establishments. In the words of Terry “This was not on my to do list”

    Funeral services were held at 11:00AM on Monday May 7, 2018 at the Leamon Funeral Home in Lena. Visitation was held from 4:00 till 8:00 PM on Sunday May 6, 2018 and from 10:00 till time of service on Monday at the Leamon Funeral Home in Lena. Burial will be at Lena Burial Park. Officiating was Pastor Keri Rainsberger.

    A memorial has been established in his name. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.leamonfh.com




    Richard Lee Berryhill, 35

    Richard Lee Berryhill, age 35, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, passed away on Monday, April 30, 2018 at his home.

    Rich was born August 8, 1982 in Rockford IL. He attended Stockton schools and graduated from Stockton High School in 2001 and received an associates degree in computer programming at a local college. 

    He was a staff sergeant in the Air Force and trained as an Electronic Warfare Specialist, holding government top secret security clearance. During his six & a half years of active duty he served in England, Iraq and Eglin AF Base in Florida where he worked as a civilian since July of 2007. 

    He wrote technical manuals while in the AF to help others with troubleshooting. He was highly respected by all who worked with him. 

    He especially loved coming home from work to be greeted by his two rat terriers—Amma and “Little Big Guy”.  His dogs were his pride and joy. 

    Rich enjoyed playing basketball, walking on the beach, working out, running, cooking for his friends & co-workers (he won the hottest chili contest two years in a row) and was known for his awesome BBQ sauce and salsa he’d make and share with his friends. He enjoyed hosting “game night” at his house and other social events. 

    He attended church in Ft Walton Beach, FL where he lived.  His faith was important to him. 

    A memorial service will be held on Thursday, May 10 at the East Gate Chapel, Eglin Air Force base. A reception will follow.

    A special thank you to Rich’s boss, co-workers and friends who have been very supportive and have gone the “extra mile” for Rich. Your love and kindness will never be forgotten. 

    Rich is survived by his parents, Tim and Mary Berryhill (Stockton IL), brother Derek (Denver CO), sister Rose (Peoria IL), step sister Mandy (Ben) Halgren, nieces Lauryn and Addison, nephews Zachary and Parker (Clayton NC), his grandmother Clare Yackle (Lake Carroll IL), and several aunts, uncles & cousins.

    In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (afsp.org) and Celebrate Recovery (Crossroads Community Church, Freeport IL). Condolences may be shared at www.hermannfuneralhome.com


    Obits 5.2

    Posted by: Editor April 29, 2018



    Richard Maher, 85

    Richard Maher, 85, of Lena, passed away on Sunday, April 22, 2018 at his home surrounded by his family.  

    He was born in Chicago, IL. Tip Off was on May 30, 1932 and he spent his 1st Quarter growing up in an ethnically diverse neighborhood near Wrigley Field. He learned to play basketball on the dirt court at Brands Park and played for Lane Technical High School until graduating in 1951. He joined the Air Force, where he specialized in photolithography, played on several squadron basketball teams, and had his first coaching experience.

    "Dick" started his 2nd quarter earning a bachelor's degree from Western Illinois University in physical education and met the love of his life, Mary Catherine Deraita, in the hallway of Morgan Gym where she practiced playing the organ while he played basketball. They married in 1960 and moved to Arlington Heights and Palatine where Dick taught and coached. After earning his master's degree from Roosevelt University, Dick took the job of junior high principal and varsity boys' basketball coach for Lena-Winslow High School in 1970.

    In his 3rd quarter, Dick transitioned from a coach on the bench to a parent in the bleachers. He enjoyed watching his children quietly during games, or while they shot in the driveway, with the best advice being to "have fun." When his children graduated, he returned to coaching, sharing his love of the game with many grade levels of Lena-Winslow boys and girls.

    As a grandparent in his 4th quarter, Dick relished telling stories to his nine grandchildren about his life experiences, some true, some not -- and entertained them by singing the Lane Tech fight song.

    After heart surgery in 2009, Dick put his game into overtime and his family enjoyed nine more years with him. In 2012 he coached an alumni game at the age of 80. He often said, "Without basketball, I probably wouldn't have graduated from high school or met my wife. I don't know what the hell would've happened to me, and that's why I have a picture of a basketball on my tombstone. The game did so much for me in life."

    We'll shed some tears, cherish our memories, and remember he always told us that the cows will get milked and the sun will come up tomorrow.

    He is survived by his wife Mary and children Christine (Scott) Hawkinson of Dodgeville, WI, Patrick (Victoria) Maher of Highlands Ranch, CO, Daniel Maher of Fayetteville, AR, and Michael (Diane Sandage) of Macomb, IL.

    He is further survived by his grandchildren Lauren and Kylee Hawkinson; Blake (fiancée Sara Carter) and Kassidy Maher; Allyson (Glenn Goodrich lll), Thor (Katey Walsh), Atticus (Kiera Prim and great grandson Atticus Junior) and Jonah Maher; and Aaron Sandage.

    Richard was preceded in death by his parents Frank and Esther Maher.

    Funeral services were held at 10:00 AM on Friday, April 27, 2018 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lena. A visitation was from 4-8:00 PM on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at the Leamon Funeral Home in Lena, and again from 9:00 AM until time of services on Friday, April 27, 2018 at the church. Rev. Father Andrew Skrobutt officiated the services. Burial will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Lena.

    A memorial has been established in his name for the Lena-Winslow Foundation. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.leamonfh.com.


    Darrell Lapp, 82

    Darrell Lapp, 82, of Lena passed away on Friday, April 20, 2018 at the Lena Living Center. 

    He was born on October 31, 1935 in Freeport to Wilbur and Ruth (Otte) Lapp. He graduated from Lena High School. Darrell served his country in the United States Army. He was a lifelong farmer in the rural Lena area.  Darrell enjoyed bowling and gardening, and he was an avid Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears fan.  He was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lena.

    Darrell is survived by his brother-in-law Fred Sr. Tessendorf of Lena; nieces and nephews Dennis (Paula) Tessendorf of Lena, Deb (Doug) Bergman of Flagstaff, Arizona, Sue (Harvey) Blair of Warren, Allen (Mary) Tessendorf of Lena, Tom (Janine) Tessendorf of Kent, Chris (Tim) Wulfekuhle of Winslow, Dave (Kimberly) Tessendorf of Monticello, WI, Fred Jr. (Jessica) Tessendorf of Lena; and many grand, great grand, and great-great grand nieces and nephews.

    He was preceded in death by his parents, twin sister Carol Tessendorf, and special cousin Ethel Baysinger.

    Funeral services were at 2:00 PM on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lena. A visitation was held from 12:00 (Noon) - until time of services on Saturday at the church. Rev. Rick Bader officiated the services. Burial will be at Lena Burial Park.

    A memorial has been established in his name. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.leamonfh.com.


    Virginia E. Saxby, 79

    Virginia E. Saxby, 79 of Lena, Illinois passed away on April 20, 2018 at the Lena Living Center in Lena. 

    Virginia was born on September 7, 1938 in Freeport, IL. She was the daughter of Vernon B, and Margaret L. (Hintz) Saxby. She graduated from Lena High School in 1956. Virginia was employed by Rockford Memorial Hospital and later at Freeport Memorial Hospital as a L.P.N. for a number of years then she was employed for 55 years as a bookkeeper and Dental Assistant to Dr. Cable, Dr. Ziegler, Dr. Dammann and Dr. Wolf. She loved to do canning and Bake in the summer, as well as she loved to clean homes and maintain gardens.  Virginia was a big fan of Elvis Presley.

    She is survived by her two sisters Nancy Farmer and Elaine Wells and she was loved by her numerous nieces and nephews.

    She was preceded in death by her parents and sister Lu Griffin

    Celebration of life Services will be held on Friday, May 18 2018 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM. At the Beloved church in Lena, IL. Pastor Steve Cassel will officiate at the services. Cremation Rites were accorded and no burial will be made at this time.

    A memorial has been established in her name. Friends may send condolences to the family at www.leamonfh.com.

    Obits 4.25

    Posted by: Editor April 22, 2018



    Ileen E. Knapp, 96

    Ileen E. Knapp, age 96 of Stockton, IL passed away Monday, April 16, 2018 at Liberty Village in Freeport, IL. 

    She was born September 25, 1921 in Woodland Township, Carroll County, IL the daughter of the late Howard and Marie (Willson) Derrer. Ileen married Clifford R. Knapp on May 28, 1944 in Lanark. Clifford passed away on September 25, 1988. 

    Ileen graduated from Lanark High School in 1939, Dekalb Teachers College in 1941, and Rockford College in 1973. She was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church, Delta Kappa Gamma Pi Chapter, IL Retired Teachers Association, 50 year member of Order of Eastern Star Stockton Chapter 330, Wa-Tan-Ye and Stockton Historical Society. Ileen worked for Stockton Schools, Slick School, Fitzsimmons School, Massbach School, and Mt. Carroll Center Hill School. She also farmed with her husband for many years. Ileen enjoyed cooking, baking, reading, and community service. 

    She is survived by her daughters, Kay Blair of Freeport, IL and Ann Johnson of Thomson, IL; her grandsons, Jeremy Blair (Patrick VanNordstrand) of Kalamazoo, MI and Christoffer (Haley) Lammer-Heindel of Dubuque, IA; her granddaughter, Emily (Phillip) Behnke of Pecatonica, IL; her great grandchildren, Iris and Sullivan Lammer-Heindel, and Delaney and Quinn Behnke; her two brothers, Wayne and Paul Derrer; her two sisters, Betty Lindstrom and Helen Derrer; and her four sisters-in-law, Betty and Beverly Derrer, Helen Peterson, and Vera Knapp. She was preceded in death by her parents, Howard and Marie; her husband, Clifford; her two brothers, Glenn and Lawrence; and her sister, Dorothy Stoner. 

    There was a memorial service on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at Wesley United Methodist Church in Stockton at 11:00 a.m. There was a visitation before the service beginning at 10:00 a.m. Interment will be in Ladies Union Cemetery in Stockton. A memorial fund has been established. Condolences may be shared with Ileen’s family at www.hermannfuneralhome.com


    Steve W. Evans, 67

    Steven W. Evans, age 67 of Stockton, IL passed away Sunday, April 15, 2018 at FHN Memorial Hospital. 

    Steve was born November 29, 1950 in Freeport to Norman and Oletha (Pulfrey) Evans. 

    Steve graduated from Stockton High School. He farmed all of his life, worked an Atmospheric Testing Station and bartended for many years. Steve was an avid Chicago Cubs fan and enjoyed playing darts, walking in the woods and taking the scenic route home. 

    He is survived by his mother, Oletha Evans of Stockton; his fiancé, Patsy Holland of Stockton; his niece, Emily (Cole) Duvall and their children, Layla and Dorian; his family members, Stacy (Dan) Lieb and Kaige Brown, Bobbie Jo (James) Landrith and Ethan and Emily Stotler and Madeleine Landrith. He was preceded in death by his father, Norman and his brother, Bruce. 

    A memorial service was held Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the Hermann Funeral Home in Stockton at 11:00 a.m. There was a visitation on Friday, April 20, 2018 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. also at the Funeral Home. A memorial fund has been established. Condolences may be shared at www.hermannfuneralhome.com.


    Pearl City


    Dorothy Mae (Ellinor) Eden, 88

    On Monday, April 16th 2018, Dorothy Mae (Ellinor) Eden, loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother passed away at the age of 88.  Dorothy was born on February 8, 1930 in Derinda, IL to Edward and Carrie (Heer) Ellinor.  She was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Derinda. Graduated from Hanover High School in 1947.

    Dorothy worked at the Elizabeth Pharmacy and Schmidts Cafe. On October 22, 1950, she was united in marriage to Myron C. Eden.  He died in 1998. They farmed many years on a dairy and hog farm northwest of Pearl City. In 1995 after retirement, they built a house in Pearl City.  Dorothy was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pearl City and was an active member in the women’s groups and Fellowship Club, often serving as an officer of these organizations.  Dorothy loved vegetable and flower gardening and taking care of her lawn. She was an excellent seamstress and made fourteen quilts last year for her great grandchildren. She loved her family, friends, neighbors and staying involved in the community.

    Those that will mourn her passing and cherish her memory are her four daughters: Kathy (Ken) Hillmer, Pearl City; Karen (Ron) Bremmer, Pearl City; Karla (Rick) Hendee, Freeport; and Kristine (John) Zajicek, Freeport.  Her eight grandchildren: Kayla (Nick) Block, Bettendorf, IA; Kendra (Friend, Tom Peppard) Hillmer, Canton, OH; Kara (Tom) Hofmaster; Chad (Deb) Bremmer; Ross (Melanie) Bremmer; all from Pearl City; Carmen Bremmer, Decatur, IL; Sara (Ryan) Corcoran, St. Charles, IL; Rachel Hendee, Chicago, IL.  Fourteen great-grandchildren: Nyah, Kamdon and Kennah Block, Benjamin, Ethan and Eli Bremmer, Addison, Ava, Lucas and Jayden Bremmer, Eden and James Corcoran, Deaken and Rylen Hofmaster.  Also surviving, sister-in-law, Ruth Corbin and four nieces and two nephews. Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, Edward & Carrie Ellinor, husband, Myron Eden, brother and sister-in-law Melvin and Dorothy Ellinor and two very special aunts Sarah Campbell and Mae Heer.  The family would like to thank the staff at Oakley Courts, Parkview and FHN Hospice. A memorial fund has been established for her church and FHN Hospice.

    Visitation was on Thursday, April 19th from 4-7pm at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 229 S 1st St., Pearl City. Funeral service was Friday, April 20th at 11 a.m. at the church with Pastor Tom Ekstrand officiating.  There was a visitation an hour before the service. Condolences may be shared at www.hermannfuneralhome.com.




    Lillian Rose (Merty) Schumacher, 88

    Lillian Rose (Marty) Schumacher, age 88, passed away on Monday, April 16, 2018 at her home in Lena. 

    She was born to Jacob and Freida (Abley) Marty on April 30, 1929 in Monroe, WI. The farm where she grew up, was homesteaded by her immigrant great grandparents from Switzerland and deeded directly to them by then President James Polk in 1847. She and her sisters attended Eldorado County School thru 8th grade either walking or riding their ponies the 3 miles to school. After graduation from Orangeville High School she moved to an upstairs apartment in Winslow where she lived the next 67 years. During that time she worked at Parriot’s Grocery, Mitek speaker factory, owned and operated Duane and Lil’s Tap and raised 3 boys. She was always very social in many of the Winslow organizations and deeply enjoyed her friends and family. She enjoyed lying in the sun with Gert Mani and Gloria Gruenberg with their “special tanning potion.” Her real passion, which was well-developed, was going to garage sales. She mapped out intricate routes and time schedules with lists of items that people asked her to purchase for them. She often exceeded their needs with things that she thought they needed. There was only one interest of hers that was greater than rummage sales and friends and that was her family.  She always kept up with her 3 sons and their families and never missed an opportunity to tell everyone how proud she was of her family. The most important material items she had were her cherished family photos on a special wall that she constantly looked at.

    Lil is survived by her three sons; Jim (Jan) Hastings of Lena, Jess (Jody) Schumacher both of Lena, and Jeff (Moira) Hastings of Westby, WI; grandchildren, Tim (Kelsey) Hastings, Myles (Jen) Hastings both of Minneapolis, MN, Hannah (Frank) Webber of Westby, WI, Kaitlyn (John) Vasko of Chicago, IL, Dr. Jaclyn Hastings of Waukesha, WI, and Jake Schumacher of Lena; greatgrandchildren, Mazi and Arlo Webber of Westby, WI; sisters Betty (Merlyn) Barker and Barb (Rod) Horstmeier, and many nieces and nephews.

    She was preceded in death by her parents, infant daughter Barbara Ann, and sister Penny Rosa.

    Funeral services were held at 10:30 on Friday, April 20, 2018 at the Leamon Funeral Home in Lena. A visitation was from 4-7:00 PM on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at the Leamon Funeral Home. Dave Offerman officiated the services. Burial will be at Rock Lily Cemetery in Winslow.

    A memorial has been established in her name for the Winslow Historical Society. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.leamonfh.com.

    The family would like to give a special thank you to one of her best friends, Mary James for always being there for her throughout the years.

    4.18.18 Obituaries

    Posted by: Editor April 15, 2018





    Phillip L. Brunner, 84

    Phillip L. Brunner, age 84 of Stockton, IL passed away Tuesday, April 10, 2018 surrounded by his family at FHN Memorial Hospital. He was born in Rural Stockton/Pleasant Valley Township on April 2, 1934 to the late Lloyd and Bessie (Althof) Brunner. Phillip was a 1951 graduate of Stockton High School. He married Mary Kay Bernhardt on June 1, 1961 in Ottawa, IL. Kay passed away on June 30, 2008. 

    Phillip was a proud veteran who served in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict. He was an active member of the Stockton VFW, Shannon American Legion and NRA.  He farmed all his life on the home farm. Phillip served on the Pleasant Valley Township for many years as Supervisor and Road Commissioner. He was a loving father and grandfather who enjoyed spending time with his family. 

    He is survived by special friend, Myrna Handel of Mt. Carroll; his son, Mark (Kim) Brunner of Mt. Carroll; his daughter, Jan (Scott) Langfield of Stockton; his grandchildren, Drew (Bre) Trotter who serves in the United States Navy, Jacob Brunner, Kaylynn Brunner, Shawn (Megan) Langfield, Nick (Denise) Langfield who serves in the United States Army, Ashley (Fiance, Ryan Gadow) Langfield and Emily Langfield; his step great grandchildren, Damiano, Amir and Mason; his sister, Mary (long time family friend Dayle) Nagel. He was preceded in death by his wife, Kay; his parents, Lloyd and Bessie; his brother, James Sr and his brother-in-law, John Bernhardt.  

    There was a visitation at the Hermann Funeral Home in Stockton on Sunday, April 15, 2018 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. There was a graveside service at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Freeport on Monday, April 16, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. where Military Rites will be performed by Stockton VFW and Shannon American Legion.In Lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established. Condolences may be shared at www.hermannfuneralhome.com.




    Lola Jean Dieterle, 90

    Lola Jean Dieterle, 90, of Lena, passed away on Friday, April 13, 2018 at Presence St. Joseph Center in Freeport, surrounded by her family.

    She was born on June 9, 1927 to Alfred and Pearl (Stukenberg) Zumdahl in Mt. Morris, IL.  She married Leo Vincent Dieterle on August 3, 1947, and together they raised five daughters.  Lola enjoyed gardening, playing cards, cooking, doing crafts; especially sewing, dancing, and spending time with her family.  She also enjoyed traveling, especially to Germany, going on Alaskan and Bahamas cruises, and going to the Bahamas for her grandson’s wedding.  Lola was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lena.

    Lola is survived by her daughters Karon (Jack) Fischer of Rolling Meadows, IL, Cynthia Marchant of Glendale, AZ, Charlene Dieterle of Madison, WI, Teresa Stamm of Lena, IL, Mary Lynn (James) Crain of Summerville, SC; nine grandchildren, and seventeen great-grandchildren.

    She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Leo in 1994, and her sister Phyllis Binkley.

    Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lena. A visitation will be from 10:00 AM until time of services on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at the church. Rev. Father Andrew Skorbutt will officiate the services. Cremation rites will be accorded.

    A private family burial will be held at a later date. A memorial has been established in her memory. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.leamonfh.com.

    Region Stunned By Tragic Loss

    Posted by: Dan Stevens October 31, 2010

    By now, everyone knows of the tragic loss that hit the area with the passing of Joe Vondra. We are never ones to question the higher powers, but the struggle to find reason in the sudden taking of the man everyone knew and respected has been difficult.

    "Joe was the George Baily of the Warren/Apple River area," said good friend Bob Lyvers. "People didn’t bank at Apple River, they banked with Joe."

    The avid sports fan who loved life, and went out of his way to serve others and the community he called home, was taken from us without warning, and without any way of preventing the occurrence.

    Over the years, Joe Vondra served as a School Board member, was a past president of the Warren Chamber of Commerce. Many people can list clubs and organizations they are members of, but for Joe – membership meant "active". He was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, the Apple River Fire Department, the Apple River Lions Club, the Knights of Columbus, and was probably best known as the voice of the annual Pumpkinfest Parade.

    To try and portray the impact Joe Vondra had upon the lives he touched would be an impossible task, because Lyvers nailed it – he truly was the George Baily of the area.

    So to get a firm understanding of the magnitude of his impact, it is best to let some of the people he touched say it themselves.

    "The shock upon hearing of Joe's death is still pretty strong. He was such an integral part of this community, and supported so many of the Warren area activities. He was always smiling when he was around folks. He genuinely liked folks and seemed to go out of his way to help in whatever way he could. He will be missed by the Warren Chamber at Pumpkinfest time, as he always was an announcer for our festival's parade. We will pray for his family and ask that God blesses them in the days, weeks and months ahead. We will miss you, Joe."

    Jerry & Barb Hatfield

    "Joe was the President and Treasurer of the Fire Department for the past 15 years. He organized all of our fundraisers and always had a positive attitude. Joe did all of our grant writing and had incredible success with it. We probably would not have all of the state of the art equipment if it was not for him. He will be missed for a long time. He is one guy you just can not replace."

    Richard Huyenga - Apple River Fire Chief

    "He was incredibly smart. We took classes together at Highland College years ago, and I never would have made it through Stats class if it wasn’t for him. And even though we were equally bad on a golf course, he always found a way to win."

    Bob Lyvers - Community Bank

    "He was a great guy and a friend to everyone. He will be missed."

    Tim Story

    "Joe will be greatly missed for all he did. For his involvement in the bank and the community. For his passionate discussions about the Green Bay Packers. For his unique release of a bean bag as well as his use of the 15 wood on the golf course. Joe will be missed by all who knew him."

    Nolan Mullen

    "Joe was a great guy and he will be greatly missed at Pumpkinfest as our parade emcee. He was always there to help. He will be missed by all of the community projects and service organizations he was involved with."

    Harry Hartzell

    "There are good people, and there are great people. Joe was a great one. He will be missed by the entire community."

    Dave Gerber

    "I’ve known Joe since he was a young man – ‘Gordy’ was his nickname. I went to school with his brothers all my life, and he was the youngest and a great Packer fan. He has worked with my wife for over twenty years and we became good friends. He was very active in Village functions and will be dearly missed by everyone."

    Greg Stocks

    On a personal note, I’m not sure I will ever be able to watch the classic Christmas movie "It’s a Wonderful Life" without being reminded of Joe Vondra – the banker - who loved his hometown and community as much as George Baily loved Bedford Falls.

    Thank you ‘Gordy’, for being the living example we can all try to measure up to.

    When Heroes Are Lost

    Posted by: Dan Stevens May 31, 2010

    In what originally seemed to be a routine call, tragedy struck the Scales Mound Fire Protection District with the sudden loss of fireman Kurt Meusel.

    An elderly man with dementia had wandered off, and the call went out for people to join the search. Meusel was one of the first to answer that call.

    "He turned around and said, ‘I’ll be right back. I’ve got to go help.’ And then he drove off," said his mother Susan Meusel.

    Kurt jumped on his ATV and drove off to join the rest of the firemen in the search.

    According to the Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, Meusel’s ATV struck a deer, and the four wheeler veered off into a ditch where it rolled, causing the injuries which lead to his death.

    Although not fighting a fire, Fire Chief Carl Winter said Meusel died in the line of duty. Meusel was the first member of the Scales Mound Fire Protection District to have fallen in the line of duty.

    Black cloth draped across the Fire Station, and the firefighters marched in full uniform in tribute to Kurt at his funeral held last Thursday, May 27th.

    "He was a good kid," Winter said. "It’s going to be really hard these next few days. It’s just going to be really hard."

    The dementia patient was later found, but news about the loss of Meusel stunned the region over such an unavoidable and unexplainable accident.

    At the age of 25, Meusel had been on the fire department since he turned 18, and also worked as a heavy equipment operator. But his life was scheduled to change later this summer when he would have married Kara Homb of Scales Mound.

    The tragedy has understandably rocked the small rural community, but has sent ripples across the state as well. State fire officials asked that flags be flown at half mast until sunset on May 27th in honor of Meusel.

    A Facebook page has been established in his honor where friends can post comments and photos. As of press time, there were over 700 supporters.

    PFC Devin J. Michel

    Posted by: Hermann November 4, 2009

    PFC Devin J. Michel, 19 PFC Devin J. Michel, age 19, of Stockton, Ill., was killed in action Saturday, October 24, 2009, at Zhari District Afghanistan from an IED.

    Born August 3, 1990, he was the son of Terry and Rebecca (Broshous) Michel. A 2008 graduate of Stockton High School where Devin played Football, Basketball, Baseball and was a member of the Band.

    After graduation he enlisted in the Army as an Infantry man at the age 17 and began basic training on June 14, 2008. He was stationed in Fort Benning, GA for Basic Training. After basic he was stationed in Fort Carson, CO in the 4th Infantry.

    On October 3, 2008 he and Anika Entmeier were married and on May 30, 2009 he was deployed on his first tour of duty.

    Devin enjoyed playing sports, his dog Jade and playing drums.

    He is survived by his wife Anika (Entmeier) Michel. Parents, Terry and Rebecca Michel of Stockton, IL. Two Sisters, Holly & Catey Michel of Stockton, IL. Grandparents, Lois & Elmer Miller of Pearl City, IL and Rod & Kathryn Broshous of Stockton, IL. Great Grandparents, Winnifred (Harold Gallagher) Luke of Apple River, IL.

    Arrangements are being handled by Hermann Funeral Home, 247 N. Park, Stockton.

    The family will receive friends from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM Friday, November 6, 2009 at the Stockton High School Gymnasium. Funeral service will be at Stockton High School Gymnasium at 11:00 AM Saturday, November 7, 2009. At his request, cremation rites will be accorded after the services.

    In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established.

    Orin D. Balbach

    Posted by: Hermann November 4, 2009

    Orin D. Balbach, 95, of Lena, peacefully passed from this life on Monday, October 26, 2009 at Monroe Manor in Monroe, Wisconsin.

    Orin Dwight was born to Glenn A. and Josephine F. (Hartsough) Balbach on March 22, 1914 near Winslow. Orin attended country schools in the Warren area and later graduated in 1932 from Warren High School.

    On June 8, 1939 he married Darline Myers at the Little Brown Church in the Vale, Nashua, Iowa. They took over operation of Darline’s parents’ family farm, rural Lena, and continued to farm until 1993, when they turned the day-to-day operation over to their son. Orin continued to help on the farm until he moved off the farm in December 2005.

    Orin was a member of the Wesley United Methodist Church, Stockton. He served on the Nora Township Board of Trustees and was Nora Township Republic Precinct Committeeman for many years. He was an Archer Oil dealer for a period of time and was an insurance agent for Stockton Wards Grove Mutual Ins. Co. and hail claims adjuster for Rockford Mutual Ins. Co.

    Farming was Orin’s way of life from the time he was old enough to help his father do chores until moving off the farm in 2005. Even then, he made frequent visits to the farm until he could no longer drive.

    He was a devoted husband and father. He enjoyed going to church suppers with his wife and attending school functions involving his children and grandchildren.

    He is survived by his two sons, Dwight (Denise) Balbach of Lena, Dean Balbach of Freeport; three grandchildren, Garrett, Danielle and Danica of Lena.

    He was predeceased by his wife Darline, sisters Thelma Hodgson and Dale Haight, brother Clifton Balbach.

    Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, October 29th, at Hermann Funeral Home in Stockton.

    The funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, October 30th, at Wesley United Methodist Church with the Rev. Michael Jones officiating. Internment will be at Ladies Union Cemetery in Stockton. A memorial fund has been established.

    Cyril "Cy" Breit

    Posted by: Leamons August 24, 2009

    Cyril "Cy" Breit of Lena IL, beloved husband, cherished father and grandfather, dear brother-in-law, uncle and good friend, passed away after a courageous battle with esophagus cancer. He was a vibrant 69-year-old who passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family, on August 23, 2009.

    Cy was born in New Holstein, WI on October 23, 1939. He was the son of John and Anita (Schmitz) Breit. He was a graduate of Kaukauna High School in the class of 1958. On September 10, 1960 he married his high school sweetheart Jean Ann Onkels in Kaukauna, WI.

    Cy was employed by Leath Furniture in Wausau and Oshkosh WI, and later at Leath Furniture in Freeport, IL. He also worked for Perdue Marina and Ferrell Gas of Freeport for many years. He returned to furniture sales and was employed by Leamon’s Furniture of Lena and Hartman Furniture in Freeport until its store closing.

    Cy was a founding member of the Blackhawk Trailblazers Snowmobiling Club, the patriarch of the 2008 Illinois Snowmobiling Association’s Family of the Year Award. He enjoyed snowmobiling in the local area including Northern Wisconsin, going to NASCAR races in Michigan with family, traveling, camping with the Vagabonds Camping Club, hunting, fishing, and riding his bicycle.

    Cy’s main passion was spending time with his grandchildren. He was a friend and confidant to many who were lucky to know him and will be dearly missed. He enjoyed life and laughter. All who knew him were touched by his sense of humor and positive spirit.

    Cy was preceded in death by his parents John and Anita Breit, his brother Kenneth Breit and sister Germaine Strong.

    He is survived by his wife of 49 years Jean (Onkels) Breit, daughters Faye (Craig) Heilman, Lynn (Kirk) Polhill all of Lena, son Ken (Christine) Breit of Simpsonville, SC. his grandchildren Kyle, Kory, Kaitlyn Polhill, Ashley, Austin (Michelle Magee), Brock Heilman, Delaney and Kylie Breit. Also, foster children Laurie (Dan) Overesch of Appleton, WI, Michael (Julie) Rabideau of Green Bay, Wi. A brother-in-law Gerald Strong of Pewaukee, WI. as well as many nieces and nephews.

    Visitation will be held from 4:00pm to 8:00pm on Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at Leamon’s Funeral Home in Lena. Services will be held on Friday, August 28th 2009, at 11:00am at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lena, IL. There will be a visitation from 9:30am to 10:30am before the service at the church. Rev. Max J. Striedl will officiate the service. Burial will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Lena.

    In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, CaringBridge.org, or Hospice and would be appreciated by the family.

    Friends many send condolences to the family at www.leamonfh.com

    Mary "Sue" Suzanne (Niemeyer) Brunner

    Posted by: Hermann August 17, 2009

    Mary "Sue" Suzanne (Niemeyer) Brunner, 81, of Stockton, died August 13, 2009 at Lena Living Center in Lena, IL.

    Sue was born October 6, 1927 in Stockton, daughter of Frank C. and Josephine (Bisenius) Niemeyer. She married Freeman Brunner on June 16, 1953 at Holy Cross Church, Stockton, Illinois.

    She is survived by children: Michael (Sandi), Rockford; Constance (Don) Hill, Lena; Jerry (Amy), Stockton; Thomas (Darcy), Freeport; William (Darlene), O’Fallon; Barbara (Jon) Kerns, Oelwein, IA; Theresa (Randy) Risser, Davis; Patrick (Donna), Lena; Debbie (Jim) Nobis, Hanover; Sylvia (Norm) Kunz, Stockton; Norman (Joanne), Ingleside; 29 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; 8 step-grandchildren; 24 step-great-grandchildren; 1 step-great-great-grandchild; brother Norman (Carol) Niemeyer, Stockton; sister-in-law Mariem Niemeyer, Rockford; Kristine Brunner, Stockton; 1 nephew; 2 nieces; numerous nephews- and nieces-in-law.

    She was predeceased by her husband in 1978; her parents; brothers Charles, William, and Donald; granddaughter Cindy Aurand; nephew David Niemeyer.

    Rosary will take place at Holy Cross Church on Sunday, Aug. 16, beginning at 3 p.m. Visitation will continue until 7 p.m. at Holy Cross Parish Center. The funeral Mass will be held Monday at 10 a.m. Cremation rites have been accorded with interment at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery following the Mass.

    A memorial fund has been established.

    Warren L. Parker

    Posted by: Hermann August 10, 2009

    Warren L. Parker, age 90, of Stockton, Ill., died Saturday, August 8, 2009, at Morgan Memorial Home in Stockton, Il.

    He was born to a pioneer family, in Wards Grove Township, on November 23, 1918, he was the son of the late Le Roy and Ruby (Coppernoll) Parker. He grew up on the family farm in Yankee Hollow, where he attended Yankee Hollow and Stockton Schools, graduating from Stockton High School in 1935. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in forestry, and attended school in Paris France, and Weimar, Germany, as part of the Army Education Program.

    He joined the U.S. Army in 1941, and was a decorated officer, serving in the European Campaign, mustering out as a Major. Following the war, he returned to operate the family farm in Yankee Hollow, and married his high school sweetheart, Genevieve (Morgan) Wright, and became a father to her son, Dean. Warren and Genevieve farmed, and together built Morgan Memorial Nursing Home in Stockton.

    A special joy was watching their 7 grandchildren grow up next door.Warren was active in community affairs. He was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church, where he served on the church board and taught Sunday School. He was a 60 year member of the Plum River Masonic Lodge, where he was a Past Master. He was a member of the Stockton V.F.W. and the Northwestern Illinois Forestry Association. A man with a deep knowledge of history, he was an expert on local history. He had published his own military biography, "Bless Them All", and was in the process of writing a history of Yankee Hollow.

    Warren enjoyed everything about life, and lived everyday to the fullest. He especially enjoyed spending time in the timber, and his farm was often visited by school field trips to show the art of making maple syrup. He and Genevieve enjoyed gardening, and producing the homegrown products of Yankee Hollow.

    He is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, Genevieve, sister Martha Kuhns and sister-in-law. Marion Parker, both of Stockton, son Dean (Ruth) Wright of Stockton, and granchildren, Kim (Bill) Heid of Thompson, Tom (Lori) Wright of Stockton, Russell (Kristin) Wright of Columbia S.C., Mark (Marcie) Wright of Stockton, Paula (Jason) Haas of Stockton, and Troy (Amber) Wright of Dubuque, IA, 25 great grandchildren, 9 great great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

    He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Rex, sister Jane Cron, a grandson Jim Wright.

    Visitation will be on Wednesday from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Hermann Funeral Home where there will be a Masonic Service at 7:00 PM. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM on Thursday, August 13, 2009, at the Wesley United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Michael Jones officiating. Burial will be in the Plum River Cemetery in Stockton with military honors by the Stockton V.F.W. A memorial fund has been established for the Stockton V.F.W. and the Northwestern Illinois Forestry Association.

    Vernetta E. Kappes

    Posted by: Hermann August 10, 2009

    Vernetta E. Kappes, age 74, of Stockton, Ill., died Friday, August 7, 2009, at Monroe Clinic Hospital in Monroe, Wis. .

    She was born February 27, 1935 in Cedarville, Il., the daughter of the late Arthur and Della (Bertalot) Ault. Vernetta was a 1954 Graduate of Orangeville High School. She married Robert Kappes on March 10, 1956 in Orangeville. She was a member of the Christ Lutheran Church where she had enjoyed being active in the Rebecca Circle. Vernetta loved her home, cooking, baking, scrapbooking and reading. When she was younger she enjoyed camping.

    She is survived by her husband Robert, One Daughter, Michele (Wyatt) Chenong of German Valley, Ill; Two Sons, Michael Kappes of Stockton, Ill, Mitchell Kappes of Stockton, Ill; Three Grandchildren; Darren & Brett Chenong and Joshua Kappes. One Sister, Edna Ellefson of Freeport, Ill; Two Brothers, Harold Ault of Orangeville, Ill. James (Bruita) Ault of Sterling, Ill. Vernetta always appreciated her extended family through marriage and many nieces & nephews.

    She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Norma Bahl, 2-brothers - Leo and Leland.

    Visitation will be from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM Sunday at the Hermann Funeral Home in Stockton. Funeral services will be at Christ Lutheran Church at 10:30 AM Monday, August 10, 2009, Rev. Art Stees officiating. Interment will be at Ladies Union Cemetery in Stockton, Ill. A memorial fund has been established by her request for the Christ Lutheran Church Building fund.

    Chelsea Lea Toot

    Posted by: Editor August 3, 2009

    Elizabeth – Chelsea Lea Toot, age 17, of Elizabeth, Illinois, died Monday, July 27, 2009, as the result of a car accident.

    Chelsea was born on June 17, 1992 in Charleston, South Carolina the daughter of Scott and Brenda Toot.

    Chelsea was a Senior at River Ridge High School and worked at McDonald’s in Galena, where she truly enjoyed her job and those she worked with.

    Chelsea was a Football Cheerleader for the Warren-River Ridge Warcats and a Basketball Cheerleader for River Ridge high School; she was a member of the Boomerang Club. She helped teach Sunday School at the First United Methodist Church in Elizabeth. Chelsea was preparing for her second year participating in the Jo Daviess County Fair Pageant. Last year, she won the People’s Choice Award and Miss Congeniality.

    She loved sports, especially softball and basketball. Chelsea loved family trips to Northern Wisconsin to go fishing. Chelsea enjoyed everything she did and brought laughter and happiness to everyone around her. Most important to Chelsea was her family and friends.

    Chelsea will be dearly missed by her parents, Scott and Brenda Toot of Elizabeth; two sisters, Britnea Toot and Katelyn Toot of Elizabeth; maternal grandparents, Lois and Charles Petsche of Stockton, and Harold Scace of Woodbine; paternal grandparents, Ronald and Angela Toot of Winnebago, paternal great-grandmother, Vera Hawley of Elizabeth; five uncles, Brian (Char) Scace of Galena, Junior (Kim) Scace of Woodbine, Kenneth Toot of Rockford, Keith Toot of Rockford, and Steven (Tanya) Toot of Erie, Colorado; eight beloved cousins; many great-aunts and uncles, and numerous other family and friends.

    Chelsea was preceded in death by her cousin, Marissa Scace, and her great-grandparents.

    A memorial fund has been established in Chelsea’s name. Online condolences and memorial tributes may be given to the family at www.lawjonesfuneralhome.com


    Posted by: Editor July 27, 2009


    Donald W. Frank, 82, of Freeport, died Sunday, July 26, 2009, at his home in Freeport surrounded by his loving family as a result of Mesolithilioma.
    Born May 1, 1927 in Winslow he was the son of Herman and Rosa (Neseman) Frank. He married Mary Ann Rhodes November 12, 1949.
    He was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II serving in the South Pacific. Donald worked for the Illinois Central Railroad for 43 years.He was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church and the VFW.
    Surviving is his wife, Mary Ann of Freeport; 1 daughter, Pam Forsling of Rockford; 1 sister, Marlene Nesemeyer of Freeport.He was preceded in death by his parents; and 1 brother, Walter.
    Funeral service will be Wednesday 2 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church with Reverend Dr. Willis Schwichtenberg officiating. Burial will be in the Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens.
    Visitation will be Wednesday 12:30 p.m. until time of service at the church.
    A memorial has been established for Immanuel Lutheran Church.
    Donald’s family invites friends to extend condolences, share a memory, light a candle, or share a caring heart in his honor at www.walkermortuary.com

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