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Obituaries

 

March 25, 2020



Savanna

Elizabeth Marie Rath, 21

Elizabeth Marie Rath believed there is hope in our world. With a positive attitude, strong work ethic, the ability to persevere through tough circumstances, and caring for others, Elizabeth has left her mark! She has been a role-model for the rest of us to follow. At the age of 21, on Friday, March 13, 2020, Elizabeth joined her Lord. She won a courageous three-year battle with Leukemia which was in remission, but she succumbed to Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome and other challenges with infections. Elizabeth would say, “Leukemia has not brought me down, but it has inspired me.”

Elizabeth was born September 6, 1998, the daughter of Keith and Dawn (Behrens) Rath. She grew up in the midst of the northwest Illinois farmland and countryside, learning the value of faith, honesty and hard-work, with her family as a guide. She enjoyed being a guide for her younger brother Adam.

Elizabeth was pursuing a medical career path at Augustana College, which would allow her to “give back” to the world through her many gifts and talents. She wanted to go into nursing so that she could care for others and make a difference.

Elizabeth was a 2017 graduate of West Carroll High School, where she participated in Cheerleading, Softball, Spanish Club, FFA and several other activities. In FFA she received her State Degree, following in her father’s footsteps and leading her brother into the same accomplishment. In high school she was known as a great role-model and always found herself in a leadership position.

Elizabeth received an achievement scholarship to attend Augustana College, where she excelled at her studies, took leadership roles, and participated in two sororities that formed friendships and helped the local community. Elizabeth was majoring in Biology with a minor in Psychology.

As a young girl, Elizabeth participated in T-ball, softball and soccer. As she grew she became involved in 4-H and received State recognition in several projects, including child development, woodworking and clothing design. At the age of 14, Elizabeth became interested in hunting, spending quality time with her father and even earning bragging rights by shooting a bigger deer. Later, between treatments while in remission, she was able to take an 8-point buck.

Elizabeth found strength from family and her faith. She counted on her parents when life got tough, and stuck by the lesson, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” As she grew older, Elizabeth realized that her mom was her best friend.

She will be dearly missed by her parents, Keith and Dawn Rath of rural Savanna; her younger brother Adam; her grandmother, Sharon Behrens of rural Savanna; several aunts, uncles and cousins; and many close friends. She is preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Fred and Joyce Rath; her maternal grandfather, Donald Behrens; and her uncle, Randy Behrens.

A visitation and celebration of life was held from 4:00 – 9:00 p.m. Thursday, March 19, 2020 at the Law-Jones Funeral Home, Mt. Carroll. A private (family and close friends) funeral service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church with burial in the Zion Cemetery, rural Savanna. Elizabeth’s wish is that memorials may be given for the Nikolas Ritschel Foundation and the Anna Miller Foundation to assist with fulfilling wishes for young adults with cancer.

Lena

Marion E. Fahr, 97

Marion E. Fahr passed away on Friday March 13, 2020 at the Lena Living Center.

She was born on June 5, 1922, at home on Chelsea Road in Jo Daviess County to Benjamin and Olga (Stadel) Wenzel. She married Edgar Warren Fahr on January 15, 1944 at Amity Lutheran Church.

After graduating from Winslow High School in 1940, Marion continued her education at Brown’s Business College in Freeport. She worked at Freeport Motor Casualty and later for West Point Mutual Insurance Company. She was a life-long member of Amity Lutheran Church, now Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. She served as the first church secretary/bookkeeper and later served as treasurer for nearly 30 years. Marion accompanied church choirs and singers and taught Sunday school.

Marion and Edgar organized the Le-Aqua-Na Workers 4-H Club and served as leaders for seven years. Marion played at the Hymn sings and sing-a-longs at the Lena Nursing Home and was a leader of the Parkinson’s Support Group. She loved flowers, collecting angels, researching family history and visiting cemeteries in the area.

She is survived by her son; Paul (Bethany) of Winslow, daughter-in-law; Lucinda Fahr of Winslow, granddaughters; Marcelle (Nathan) Schwartz and Sarah (Nicholas) Baker, grandsons; Andrew (Sherry) Fahr and Christopher (Lorilee Schultz) Fahr, great grandchildren; Samuel Schwartz, Logan and Addyson Fahr, Nathanial and Cameron Baker.

Marion is preceded in death by her husband Edgar, son Stephen, parents Ben & Olga Wenzel, brothers; Walter and wife Alice May Wenzel, Leland and wife Marjorie Wenzel and Edwin and wife Jean Wenzel.

Funeral services were held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lena, IL. A visitation was from 9:00 AM until time of services on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at the church. Pastor Miho Yasukawa officiated the services. Burial will be at Lena Burial Park in Lena, IL.

A memorial has been established in her memory. Condolences may be sent to the family at http://www.leamonfh.com.

David L. Schlafer, 78

David L. Schlafer age 78, passed away on Friday, March 13, 2020 at the Lena Living Center.

He was born on September 17, 1941 in Freeport, IL to Ralph and Charolette (Binninger) Schlafer. David was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, College of Agriculture. He farmed on the family farm all of his life. He was a member of Jo Daviess County Farm Bureau, Stockton Masonic Lodge, John Deere two cylinder club and the Wesley Methodist Church in Stockton. He enjoyed his two cylinder tractor and spending time with his family.

He is survived by his brother; John (Judy) Schlafer of Dow, IL, nephew; Michael (Kristine) of Hampton, VA and J. Gregory (Dianne) of Eagle, ID. Great niece and nephew; Jack Schlafer and Grace Isabelle Schlafer.

Funeral services were held at 1:00 PM on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at the Leamon Funeral Home in Lena with a one hour visitation prior to the service. Burial will be in West Chelsea Cemetery.

Memorials may be given to your preferred charity. Condolences may be sent to the family at http://www.leamonfh.com.

Lanark

Norma Jean McColley, 55

Norma Jean McColley was one person that a friend, or family could always count-on to be there. On March 14, 2020, at the age of 55, Norma passed away at the Lena Living Center after a courageous battle with breast cancer. Her loving family was there, by her side. She will be missed.

Norma was born February 25, 1965 in Morrison, Illinois, the daughter of Frank and Grace (Gums) Zahn, Sr. She attended grade school in Mt. Carroll, then after the family moved, she graduated from the Lanark High School with the Class of 1984. She married Richard McColley, Jr. Throughout life, Norma had a lot of adversity with health and marriage. Through it all she continued to love, even helping others who needed basic necessities.

Norma enjoyed being a Mom, and Grandma. She wasn’t only a Mom, but became a great friend to her son, Brandon and her daughter, Haley. She often treated his friends just like she was their mom too. Most of all, she loved being a Grandma to Carter. Her grandson Carter was always at the top of her list.

Norma had a great work ethic. She followed in her parent’s footsteps as hard-working and compassionate. Right out of high school she went to work at Quebecor Printing in Mt. Morris. She then worked at Elkay until its closure, then worked for Medallion. She enjoyed working at Willowglen Academy in Freeport with the disabled for a few years, and finally worked with her son, Brandon, at Groeling Salvage of Freeport.

Norma will be dearly missed by her son, Brandon McColley of Pearl City; her daughter, Haley McColley of Dixon; three brothers, Frank Zahn, Jr of Lanark, David (Diane) Gums of Atwater, Minnesota and Samuel (Tao) Gums of Chadwick; three sisters, Brenda (Ron) Messenger of Lanark, Christine Zahn of Lanark and Ida (Steve) Merkel of Chadwick. Norma is preceded in death by both of her parents.

A funeral service was held 11:00 a.m. Monday, March 23, 2020 at the Trinity Lutheran Church, rural Mt. Carroll with burial in the Church Cemetery. Visitation was held 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., just prior to the service. If you do not attend due to concerns about health, the family will understand, please leave a condolence on the website at lawjonesfuneralhome.com.

Stockton

Inez June Pierce, 97

Inez June Pierce, age 97 of Stockton, IL, passed away on Monday, March 16, 2020 at the Lena Living Center in Lena, IL.

She was born June 23, 1922; the daughter of the late Guy and Corlyn (Stees) Keltner. She married Melvin Pierce on February 16, 1946; he died on January 28, 2013.

Inez graduated from Pearl City High School in 1940, she then attended a year at Manchester College North Manchester. Before her marriage, she had been employed as a secretary for WJ Rawleigh Co. in Freeport, IL. She farmed with her husband until 1977 when they moved to Stockton.

Inez was a member of the Yellow Creek Church of the Brethren of Pearl City and of the Stockton Women’s Club. She enjoyed typing, crocheting, knitting and taking trips. Most of all she loved her family especially attending her grandchildren’s birthdays and sporting events.

She is survived by her daughters, Marcia Blair of Pearl City, Julene (Matthew Grill) Brubaker of Tangent, OR, and Marilyn Smital of Pearl City; son, Kenneth (Brenda) Pierce of Stockton; 23 grandchildren; 47 great grandchildren; and 4 great great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Melvin; brothers, Wayne and Lloyd; sister, Erma Flack; infant brother, Harlan; grandson, Robert Blair; and great grandson, Channing Blair.

The funeral Service took place on Saturday, March 21st at 11:00 a.m. at the Yellow Creek Church of the Brethren, 12602 W. Dublin Rd, Pearl City, IL with a visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. Interment took place at the Yellow Creek Cemetery.

A memorial fund has been established. Condolences may be shared at http://www.hermannfuneralhome.com.

Elizabeth

Verena Helen “Pat” Uhl, 101

Verena Helen “Pat” Uhl, age 101, the loving Matriarch of her family, passed away peacefully at the Elizabeth Nursing Home on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

A private service will be held with burial in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Elizabeth. A public Memorial Mass will be held later in the summer at St. Mary’s Church in Elizabeth to honor Pat’s life. You may leave a condolence for the family at http://www.lawjonesfuneralhome.com.

It all started when a baby grand piano was left in a house Pat and her family moved into, she learned how to play at a young age. Pat teamed-up with her father who played the fiddle, to entertain and earn a few bucks for their family during the Great Depression. Pat found that the constant in her life was music, and it made all the difference.

She was born January 11, 1919 in Centralia, Iowa, the daughter of Peter and Caroline (Schwendinger) George. The family relocated to Farley, Iowa where Pat attended St. Joseph Catholic Grade and High School, graduating in 1936. Soon after, Pat responded to an ad in the paper, for a housekeeper in Scales Mound, Illinois, earning 50 ¢/week. It was there that Pat met and married Edward “Eddie” Uhl on January 22, 1938 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Apple River, Illinois. They eventually moved to a farm near Elizabeth. It is there that they raised five children and celebrated thirty-seven years of marriage until Edward’s death on May 10, 1975. During their marriage, She and Eddie played for many local dances and weddings in their band, Eddie and the Ranch Hands, and later, Eddie Uhl and the Country Girls. They did this for so many years that they would often play for weddings of the children of couples that they played for in the past.

Pat was a devout Catholic her entire life, and was active in many activities, including the Altar and Rosary Society, teaching Sunday school at St. John Parish in Savanna, and visiting and taking Holy Communion to residents of the Elizabeth Nursing Home. Pat volunteered at the fair and many blood drives in Elizabeth and was a member of the Livestock Club.

Pat will be dearly missed by a son, William (Gayle) Uhl of Lewis Center, Ohio; daughters, Marilyn Berlage of Elizabeth, Patricia (Randy) Krohmer of Evergreen Park, Illinois, and Mary (Scott) Lafferty of Village of Golf, Florida; a son-in-law, Tony Chunes of Springfield, Illinois; 12 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; 8 great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Pat is preceded in death by her husband, her parents, three brothers, Francis Edwin and Alvin; two sisters, Louise Milzarek and Rita Jobgen, a daughter, Marlene Chunes; a son-in-law, Kenneth Berlage; two infant sons, Thomas and Robert; and great-grandson, Zachary Uhl.

 

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