Village Voices - We don't write papers, we build scrapbooks



January 8, 2020


Ronald M. Buchenau, 68

Ronald M. Buchenau, a big man in stature and heart, went home to heaven to celebrate Christmas on December 24, 2019.

He was born on September 6, 1951 in Freeport, IL to Melvin and Lavonia (Bicker) Buchenau of rural Lena, IL. He was a 1969 graduate of Lena-Winslow High School. HE served in the armed forces from 1970-1972, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. On November 4, 1973, he married Sally Schubert-Robinson at the Lena United Methodist Church in Lena, IL. Ron was employed by the State of Illinois in the Department of Agricultural in the meat inspection sector. Ron enjoyed serving others in multiple capacities. He was involved in a myriad of activities serving the Lena community. He was a faithful member of the Lena United Methodist Church, where he enjoyed giving rides to the elderly and helping out around the church. He was an active member of the American Legion, Lena Lions, and Masonic Lodge. He served as a fireman for the Lena Fire Department for 25 years. Additionally, he served as a Board Trustee for the Village of Lena for 22 years. Most of all Ron enjoyed spending time with his family.

Ron is survived by Sally his wife of 46 years, sons Christopher Robinson (Kristine) of Lena, and James (Judy) Robinson of Pearl City; four grandchildren Laura (Jordan Kaiser) Robinson of Brodhead, WI, Joseph (Mackenzie Doubler) Robinson of Lena, Jenna and Jaden Robinson of Pearl City; one great-grandchild Mitchell Robinson of Freeport; brother Larry (Judy) Buchenau, sisters Patricia (Ron) Fuchs, and Marcia (Mark) Lobdell of Lena; many nieces and nephews; as well as his dog, Teddy. Ron is preceded in death by his parents.

Visitation was held at the Lena Leamon’s Funeral Home from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, December 27, 2019. Funeral services were at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 28, 2019 at the Lena United Methodist Church followed by a graveside service at the Lena Burial Park. Pastor Keri Rainsburger officiated the services.

A memorial has been established in his memory. Condolences may be sent to the family at

Jewell Keith, 93

Jewell Keith, age 93, of Lena formerly of McConnell passed away peacefully surrounded by her family January 1, 2020.

She was born on March 25, 1926 at home to Lester and Sara (Stabenow) Cross. She graduated from Winslow High School. Jewell married Royal Smith and he preceded her in death, then she married Leo “Tubby” Kleckler and he preceded her in death, she then married Howard Keith Jr. and he also preceded her in death. Jewell worked at W.T Rawleigh, Buena Vista Cheese Factory, and then retired from McNess in 1991. She enjoyed cooking, baking, and in her younger years she enjoyed bowling, euchre, and roller skating. Howard and Jewell built a cabin on Lake Red Stone that she enjoyed visiting.

She is survived by Sandy Sciutto, Cedarville, IL, daughter- Pam (Ron) Schrader of Lena, IL, grandchildren; Macey Koehn of Madison, WI, and Shelley Koehn of Denver, CO.

She is preceded in death by Mike and Tony Sciutto, her parents, husbands- Royal, “Tubby”, and Howard, Brother and sister-in-law Roger and Myrna Cross. The River Queens are now reunited.

Visitation was held at Leamon Funeral Home in Lena, IL on Sunday January 5, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. Funeral Service was held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, January 6, 2020 at the McConnell United Methodist in McConnell, IL. Graveside was held following the service at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Freeport, IL. A luncheon followed at the McConnell American Legion Hall. Ernie Stabenow officiated the services.

A memorial has been established in her memory.


Betty Jane McNutt, 86

Betty Jane McNutt, age 86, of Warren, IL passed away on December 25, 2019.

She was born November 20, 1933 in Oxford, Wi to George and Marion Nelson. She was a graduate of Oxford High School. On August 20, 1955 she married her high school sweetheart Eli McNutt in Oxford. They celebrated 64 years of marriage. During high school she worked in the dells. After marriage she worked as a waitress in Oxford. They moved to Warren, IL in 1963. She worked at Janlin Plastics, Swiss Colony, Warren Corn Plant, later in life, helping the disabled at the Jo Daviess County Workshop, and Warren Park District. Betty attended the Warren United Methodist Church.

Betty enjoyed gardening, flowers, going to the casino, traveling, she always said: “If the cars going, I’m going”, baking her famous pies and cookies, helping anyone that needed and anything but her favorite thing to do had to do with family. Attending ball games of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Family was the most important thing in her life.

Betty is survived by her husband, Eli, children: Tim (Tina) McNutt of Mt. Carroll, Colleen (Tony) Dunlap of Lanark, Allan (Deneen) McNutt of Warren, and Beth (Darin) Toay of Warren; 12 grandchildren: Dayna (Nate) Mullen, Amanda (Brian) Travis, Mitchell (Samantha) Toay, Tony (Maggie Curry) Dunlap, Brad (Ashley) Dunlap, Jared (Kaitlyn) McNutt, Brandon McNutt, Reed McNutt, Sam (Sally) McNutt, Allison (Peter) Barth, Ben McNutt, Mindy McNutt; 14 great-grandchildren: Ellaina Kostenbader, Viviana Travis, Mayci, Maya, Malerie Mullen, Blaine, Tillie Toay, Gabi Brinkmeier, Natalie and Hayden McNutt, Ruby, Eliza Barth, Adalee Dunlap, and baby girl McNutt in February; one sister, Judy (Bill) Gifford, CA, one brother Stanley (Nancy) Nelson of Westfield, WI; sister-in-law Mary (Owen) Demo of Belmont, WI and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, mother and father-in-law, grandsons Jamie in 2007, Jeremy McNutt in 2015, great-granddaughter, Brynlie Rose Travis 2016; Brother Hubert Nelson and brother-in-law, Norman McNutt.

Funeral services were held at 2:00 PM on Sunday, December 29, 2019 at the Bartell-Leamon Funeral Home in Warren, IL. Visitation was from 11am -2pm on Sunday, December 29, 2019 at the Bartell-Leamon Funeral Home in Warren, IL. Pastor Roger Bronkema officiated the services. Cremation rites have been accorded.

The family wishes to extend a special thanks to Dr. Cleary and the staff at Lafayette County Memorial Hospital for all their care they gave Betty. Condolences may be sent to the family at


Larry J. Redington, 71

Larry J. Redington, 71, of Freeport, IL, passed away on December 14, 2019 at home. He was born on August 12, 1948 at St. Francis Hospital in Freeport to John and Lil (Heidenreich) Redington. He was a 1966 graduate of Warren High School and on November 18, 1988, would marry Hilde (Mueller) Wagner. He worked from 1967 to 2004 at Honeywell as an Inspector.

He enjoyed bowling and golfing, and loved traveling to the Smokey Mountains.

Survivors include his Wife Hilde Redington; Son David (Pam) Wagner; Daughters Marilyn (Harold Rials) Wagner and Tina (Joel) Pontnack; Sister Diane (Jim) Wills; Grandson Daniel Rials; Granddaughters Zoe and Alexis Wagner; Nieces Michelle (Kip) Raab and family and Kim (Shawn) Saunders and family; Nephew Ryan (Ashley) Wills and family; cousins and his beloved canine Bob.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and beloved Maggie and Annie. At his request no services are planned. Online condolences may be shared at

Harriett F. O’Neill, 93

Harriett F. O’Neill, age 93 of Freeport, IL, passed away on Saturday, December 21, 2019 at Walnut Acres in Freeport.

She was born April 26, 1926 in Morgan, IA; the daughter of the late Ira and Susan (Bloom) Knight. She married Arnold O’Neill on June 20, 1945; he passed on November 5, 1986.

Harriett farmed alongside her husband in the Stockton area before moving to Freeport. She was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Freeport. She loved baking, crocheting, working puzzle books, yardwork and gardening.

She is survived by her son, Larry (Trudi) O’Neill of Freeport; daughters, Connie Rhea of Freeport and Linda (Dale) Feltmeyer of AR; 7 grandchildren; 20 great grandchildren; brother, Bernard (Chris) Knight of Shannon, IL; and sisters, Larraine Campbell of Freeport and Delores (Jake) Neuschwander of Lena, IL.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Arnold; father and mother-in-law, Frank & Emma O’Neill; daughter, Karen Thompson; granddaughter, Melissa Rhea; brothers, Ira Jr., Rodney, Kenny, Frank, and Arly; and sisters, Darlene Drye, Margie Hooper, and Evelyn Zonzolia.

The funeral service was held on Saturday, December 28th at 11:00 a.m. at Walker Mortuary in Freeport with a visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. Interment took place at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Freeport. A memorial fund has been established for the American Cancer Society. Condolence may be shared at


Walter Christian Schaefer, 90

Walter Christian Schaefer, 90 years old, passed away peacefully on the early morning of December 17, 2019

He was born on October 30, 1929 to German immigrants Christian and Marie Katherine (Randecker) Schaefer in Lennox, Iowa. He graduated from Stockton High School in the spring of 1947. He was a long time member of Christ Lutheran Church in Stockton, Illinois. He also enjoyed attending church at St. John’s Lutheran in Pearl City, Illinois where he made many friends.

He married Barbara Guy on July 23, 1953 at Christ Lutheran Church and they started their family. He was employed at National Lock as a Die maker from 1947 to 1950 until he was called home to help with the family farm due to the death of his father. Walter started his agricultural business in 1956 and continued in the agricultural business until 1985. During this time he was employed at Atwood Automotive for three decades. After this he ventured into the carwash and storage shed business with his friend James Hass and S & H Enterprises was formed. This business continued until he sold out in 2014.

Walter enjoyed giving of himself to his family and to the community. He was an EMT for the Stockton community for several years. He was involved with Mission America thru Christ Lutheran Church which assisted with the rebuild of the Gulf coast after hurricane Katrina. Walter also worked with the Red Cross of Northwestern Illinois for several years.

Walter is survived by his Son in Law Don Blomberg of Freeport, Illinois, daughters Susan (Steven) Heller of Stockton, Illinois, Sandra Schaefer of Pecatonica, Illinois and Laura (Harley) Melbye of Occonomowoc, Wisconsin. He is survived by 20 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, and 1 great great grandchild. He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, one brother, his wife Barbara and his daughter Kathleen.

Services were held at Christ Lutheran Church on Saturday December 21,2019 with visitation from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Services were at 11:00 a.m. with a graveside service at Ladies Union Cemetery in Stockton, Illinois.

A memorial fund has been established. Condolences can be shared with Walter’s family at

Sandra Sue Zink, 51

Sandra Sue Zink, age 51, of Stockton, Illinois passed away Friday, December 20, 2019 at the University of Iowa Hospitals, Iowa City, Iowa. A Celebration of Life Gathering was held 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. Friday, December 27, 2019 at the Law-Jones Funeral Home, Elizabeth, Illinois. Friends and family are invited to share in Sandra’s life at

Sandra was born September 17, 1968, the daughter of Eugene and Dianne (Diehl) Zink. She is a 1986 graduate of the River Ridge High School. She attended Highland Community College and received a degree in science and education from the University of Wisconsin at Steven’s Point, Wisconsin.

Sandra has taught Sciences at the Galena High School for many years helping her students not only in the Sciences but also in their everyday life to provide them a path for their future. She loved and helped her students in and out of the classroom. She also taught one year at Aquin High School in Freeport.

Sandra loved baking—she would deliver her baked goods as she had a route on the way to school. She also loved nature, understanding it, and caring for it. She was raising several animals that she rescued. Her animals included dogs, chickens, goats, llamas, guineas, and more... She was very independent and even built her own sunroom and installed flooring in her home, along with tending an apple orchard on her property. Most of all, Sandra believed in education, and the strength of educating our youth in the sciences.

Sandra will be dearly missed by her mother and father, Gene and Dianne Zink of Elizabeth; three brothers, Lee Zink of Elizabeth, Dale (Paula) Zink of Smithton, Illinois and Donald (Sissy) Zink of Stockton; her grandmother, Katherine (Diehl) Carroll of Elizabeth; two nephews, Ryan and Andrew Zink; one niece, Jessica Zink; and several aunts and uncles.

Sandra is preceded in death by her maternal grandfather, Vernon Diehl and her paternal grandparents, William and Alvena Zink.

Sharon Kay Underwood, 73

Sharon Kay Underwood, age 73 of Stockton, IL went home to be with the Lord on Friday December 27, 2019 at Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County in Darlington, WI.

She was born February 1, 1946 in Peoria, IL, the daughter of the late John and Clarinda (Walker) Huston. She was a 1965 Graduate of Reed Custer High School. Sharon married Gary Underwood on November 19, 1966. Together they celebrated 53 years of marriage.

She spent the first several years of marriage as a dedicated, loving, caring, generous and compassionate wife and mother. Later on, she shared her talents with other business in the community, including managing the local Casey’s store, working for Sullivan’s Foods, and spending the last 23 years of her professional career in the banking industry. After retirement, she cherished spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren.

She always enjoyed being in church on Sunday and was most recently a member of the Nora Community Baptist Church in Nora, IL. She enjoyed flowers, butterflies, hummingbirds and playing cards with friends. Cooking was her specialty. She delighted in the opportunity to prepare delicious meals for family and friends on any occasion. Most of all she loved spending time with her family.

She will be dearly missed by her husband Gary Underwood of Stockton, IL; sons Greg (Michelle) of Elizabeth, IL, Grant (Aimee) of Jewell, IA, and Garth (Sarah) of Williams Bay, WI; Grandchildren Jacob, Katie, Emily, Jared, Garrett (Jessica), Gillian (James Gasaway), Nathan and Brayden; great-granddaughter Violet; Brother David (Bonnie) Huston of Wilmington, IL; sister Suzanne (Jim) Johnston of Wilmington, IL; and sister-in-law Vivian (Tom) Lay of Fort Myers, FL. She was preceded in death by her parents, 3 sisters and a brother.

A visitation was held on Wednesday, January 1st from 4:00 – 7:00 pm at the Hermann Funeral Home in Stockton. The funeral service was on Thursday January 2nd at 10:00am at Nora Community Baptist Church in Nora, IL with a visitation beginning at 9:00am. Interment took place at the Morseville Cemetery in rural Stockton, IL. A luncheon followed at the Stockton Park House in Stockton. A memorial fund has been established in her name. Condolences may be shared at


Lawrence “Larry” R. Bell Jr. 65

Lawrence “Larry” R. Bell, Jr., age 65, of Hanover, Illinois, passed away suddenly while working at Chestnut Mountain Resort in Hanover, Friday, December 20, 2019. A funeral service was held at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, December 22, 2019 at Law-Jones Funeral Home, Hanover. Visitation took place from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., prior to the service at the funeral home. Inurnment took place in Evergreen Cemetery, Sabula, at a later date. Online condolences may be left for the family at

Larry was born July 6, 1954, the son of Lawrence, Sr. and Glennetta (Thompson) Bell in Savanna, Illinois. He attended Hanover High School, graduating with the Class of 1972.

Larry worked for Drives in Fulton for 30 years. He also worked at Great Plaines Supply in Hanover, and was recently employed at Chestnut Mountain Lodge as a security guard for the past 10 years. Larry enjoyed spending time outdoors fishing, golfing, arrowhead hunting, and rock hunting. He was an avid Cubs, Bears and Hawkeyes fan.

Larry will be dearly missed by his three children, Eric Bell of Savanna, Brad Bell of Hanover, and Krista (Todd Williams) Greene, of Hanover; four grandsons, Jordan, Dayan, Kyler, and Bryson; three sisters, Barbara (Don) Schaible of Hanover, Beth (Mike) Zadrazill of Avoca, Illinois, and Robin Bell of Monroe, Wisconsin.

Larry is preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Glennetta.

Alameda, CA

Roy Lee Stark, 75

Roy Lee Stark, age 75, a long-time Alameda, CA resident, passed away peacefully December 24, 2019 in Warren, IL.

He was born on October 22, 1944 in Twin Falls, ID to Neal and Judy (Forrester) Stark. Roy and his wife have resided in Lakewood Ranch, Florida since retirement.

An avid sailor, Roy and family were often seen sailing the waters of San Francisco Bay in his beloved boat, the Jenny Wren. His passion for cooking is legendary along with his famous lamb dinners at the Ballena Bay Yacht Club and for family events. He was later a member of the Oakland Yacht Club. With a twinkle in his eye, he loved to tease the girls and enjoy cigars with the guys. He was loved by all who knew him.

He graduated from Paola High School, Paola, KS and held an MBA Degree from Emporia State University, Emporia, KS where he was president of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He had a long and distinguished sales career in the tech industry with customers that brought him all over the world.

Roy is survived by his wife of 40 years, Marsha (Balbach); his beloved daughter, Jennifer (Chicago, IL); sister, Nolene (Afton, OK); mother-in-law Jane Balbach (Warren, IL); sisters-in-law, Mary Stark (Clifton, MO); Sandra (Tom) Shea (Janesville, WI); Jean (Chris) Beeler (Freeport, IL); nieces and nephews, and great nieces.

He was preceded in death by his son Richard, his brother Wesley and his parents, Neal and Judy Stark and his father-in-law John Balbach (Warren, IL).

Graveside services will be private. Please share a memory or condolence with the family at http://[email protected]. A celebration of life is being scheduled in California later this year.


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