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Patrick Joseph Bruner, 53

Patrick Joseph Brunner, 53, died suddenly at home in Lena on March 31, 2020.

He was born March 2, 1967 to Freeman Gerald and Mary Suzanne (Sue) Niemeyer Brunner at Freeport Memorial Hospital.

Patrick was their youngest son, 10th child of 11. He graduated from Stockton High School in 1985 and attended Highland Community College.

As a youth his "education" was augmented by working on Harry Koepp's fence building crew.

One memorable summer he worked with his brother Michael in the business office of an outdoor amusement company as it traveled throughout Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. Later he worked as a journeyman electrician at Highland Electric, Freeport, as maintenance supervisor at Modern Plating, Freeport, and then as maintenance supervisor at KJ Finishing, Rockford.

He married Donna Lee Mauer Davis on October 3, 1998 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Lena. He is survived by his wife and their children Timothy Davis, Joshua (Kiley Kampmeier) Brunner, and Elizabeth Brunner as well as by their grandchildren Aubree Eva Knoup, Liam Tyler Patrick Davis, Oaklynn Jolyse Brunner, Kaylee May Davis, and Brexlynn Grayce Brunner.

His surviving brothers and sisters are Norman (Joanne Knutson) Brunner, Ingleside; Michael (Sandi Tyndal) Brunner, Crossville, TN; Constance (Don) Hill, Lena; Gerald (Amy Schlichting) Brunner, Stockton; Thomas (Darcy Connolly) Brunner, Freeport; William (Darlene Wampfler) Brunner, O'Fallon, IL; Barbara (Jon) Kerns, Oelwein, IA; Theresa (Randy) Risser, Davis; Deborah (James) Nobis, Hanover as well as brother-in-law Norman Kunz, Stockton. Also surviving are 36 nieces and nephews, 51 great-nieces and great-nephews, and 16 great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews.

Also surviving are his father-in-law Daniel (Mary) Mauer, Bellevue, IA and his brothers-in-law Daniel Mauer,Jr., Dubuque, IA; Roy Mauer, Freeport, and Troy Mauer, Freeport.

Patrick is preceded in death by his parents, his sister Sylvia (Norman) Kunz, his niece Cindy Sue Aurand, and his mother-in-law Sandy Mauer.

Patrick was incredibly hard-working and always strove to put his family first. He and Donna bought a house boat/cabin cruiser several years ago as a pleasant home away from home. His greatest joy was attending his children's musical, theatrical, and sports activities. His children's talents and abilities always amazed him, and he was very proud of their achievements and the caring adults they became. Each will miss his advice, guidance, and support but will forever cherish their memories of him as a caring, humorous, and practical parent.

Patrick was happiest when he was able to dote on his grandchildren as he had had so much practice after raising three children and spending quality time with his 30+ nieces and nephews throughout his life.

His laugh was infectious, especially when one of his siblings was telling a "true" story from their youth.

Growing up in Stockton as the youngest boy in a large family, he collected Matchbox toys and rode his bike all over town. With the advent of social media, he loved to send random "Remember When?" texts.

His nieces and nephews often referred to him as the "favorite uncle" for his ability to be a kid at heart. Whether it be lifting them high enough to touch the ceiling, showing them how to throw or hit a ball, displaying "proper" golfing technique, forcing them to pick wild black raspberries, or teaching them the finer points of driving, Patrick loved to horse around with his kids and his multitude of nieces and nephews.

Each looked up to him as a role model and a friend. The sparkle in his eye and the smile on his face that he exuded while interacting with them will live in their memories forever.

He never missed a birthday party, a graduation party, a senior night sporting event, or any other “big game”. He would always stop over after the game to offer his opinion on the play, the coaching, and even the officiating. As a natural athlete (He holds at least one track record that still stands at Stockton High school and tried out for the Cincinnati Reds in the early 1990's), he had a competitive, yet jovial spirit.

Patrick had a beautiful baritone voice and was known for singing at wedding ceremonies of his family and friends. He and daughter Elizabeth had been practicing duets for later events.

Patrick continues to assist the wider community because he signed as an organ donor.

He was known to help anyone at a moment's notice, and his family, friends, and community will miss him deeply. As TJ put it, Patrick was the best dad anyone could have ever asked for.

Final arrangements are in the care of Walker Mortuary, Freeport. Condolences may be shared at


Alta R. Wuthrich, 87

Alta R. Wuthrich, 87, of Orangeville, IL passed away at Monroe Clinic Hospice Home with family by her side on March 27, 2020.

She was born on November 14, 1932 to Earl and Ruth (Kneller) Kubatzke in Ridott, IL. She graduated from Orangeville High School. Alta married Gene Wuthrich on November 22, 1951 at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Freeport, IL. They were married just one day shy of 64 years after Gene’s passing on November 21, 2015. For the majority of those years, Alta worked alongside of Gene on their second generation farm and raising five children. Alta was a very active member of the Orangeville United Methodist Church.

Alta loved the beauty of the outdoors and was known for her beautiful flower beds and her bountiful vegetable gardens. As a busy farmwife and mother, she did find time to enjoy her hobby of collecting items for all of her numerous collections. Alta was an animal lover and cats were at the top of her list. Every night there was a large group of neighborhood cats waiting for her specially prepared gourmet meals. Alta loved the holidays and she always made each one a big production. One of her most noted productions was her exciting Easter Egg hunts for all her grandchildren and then great-grandchildren.

Alta is survived by her five children Cindy Phillips of Winslow, IL, Sandy (Michael) Kint of Vero Beach, FL, Candy (Mark) Keltner of Brodhead, WI, Andy (Tana) Wuthrich of Orangeville, IL, and Aaron (Tracie) Wuthrich of Brodhead, WI, 12 grandchildren, 2 step-grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, 3 step-great-grandchildren, and 1 step great-great-granddaughter, sister Marjorie Damon of Freeport, IL, brother-in-law Glen (JoAnn) Wuthrich of Berlin, WI, and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Jane Cummins, Doris Last, brother Bill Kubatzke, and her husband Gene.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Burial will take place at Oneco Cemetery. Cremation rites have been accorded.

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


Donald “Butch” Mantzke, 88

Donald “Butch” Mantzke just hit a fairway wood to the green, for a birdie putt, after a long straight drive. At the age of 88, and after a courageous battle with Parkinson’s, Don passed into the arms of his Lord, with his loving family by his side on Sunday, March 29, 2020. He was a genuine, loving and dedicated Grandfather, Father, and Husband, who enjoyed sharing his sense of humor and passion for life.

Don was born in a farm house near Winslow on September 30, 1931, the son of John and Gladys (Meacham) Mantzke. He grew up knowing the value of a penny and lived an idyllic childhood in Lena, playing baseball with his friends and helping his dad as he operated a local tavern called the Lena Tavern.

Don is a 1951 graduate of the Lena High School. Don served his country in the US Army during the Korean War with the 398th Engineering Battalion based out of Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He went on to graduate from Carthage College in 1957. On April 1, 1961, Donald married the love of his life, Judith Kunkle in Rockford. They raised two children and celebrated almost 60 years of marriage.

Don was a dedicated school teacher and administrator for 39 years in the Shannon/Eastland School District. He was a member of the Shannon American Legion for over 50 years and served as Commander several times. He served on the Shannon Volunteer Fire Department for 13 years. Don was a member of Bethel Methodist Church in Shannon most of his life, serving on many committees. He also served on the Carroll County Board for many years, and the Cherry Grove Shannon Township Board and was Township Clerk for over 25 years.

Don loved, and was loved, by his family, friends and thousands of students whose lives he helped develop over the years. He had a huge heart and would often share his wisdom through songs or sayings that were memorable. He was a sports enthusiast, both as a participant and coach, winning the first Eastland Basketball Girls Regional in 1990. He never missed his children’s and grandchildren’s sporting events, including baseball, football, basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball, and was proudest to watch as Eastland, and his grandkids participated on several winning teams. In his younger years he enjoyed bowling.

When he wasn’t coaching, teaching, or rooting on a sports team, Don could be found teaching his grandchildren how to golf, fish, or just mowing the lawn. He loved golfing with friends and enjoyed shooting a 69 on his 69th birthday, and has since golfed his age many times. Don would say, “There is always time for a game of Euchre.” He loved playing cards with family and his men’s poker group.

Don will be dearly missed by his wife, Judith of Lake Carroll; his son, David (Julie) Mantzke of Somonauk, Illinois; his daughter, Amy (Matthew) Jones of Lake Carroll; six grandchildren, Doris, Nelson and Grant Mantzke, Adam (Elizabeth) Young, Austin Young and Gabrielle Snyder; his first great-grandchild on-the-way; and his sister, Kathryne “Kate” Warthen of Lena. Don is preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Jeanne.

A private family service was held Friday, April 3, 2020 at Bethel Methodist Church in Shannon. Burial was at Chapel Hill Cemetery, Freeport with Military Rites. You may also visit Don’s page online at to leave a message and condolence for the family. In Don’s memory, a memorial fund has been established.


Valda Marie Groezinger, 89

Valda Marie (Slonecker) Groezinger, age 89, of Stockton. Valda passed away at home on Monday, March 23, 2020 in her families loving care.

She was born February 18, 1931 in MO the daughter of the late Harold & Marie (Mapes) Slonecker. She was raised in Stockton, IL by her grandparents, Myron & Luella Mapes.

As a young women she worked in the bakery and Guernsey Dairy. She graduated from Stockton High School with the class of 1949. On January 20, 1952 she married Delmar Groezinger in Stockton, together they had farmed until his death in 1986. Following his death she still helped on the farm when needed. She also had worked as a waitress and sometimes as a cook in Stockton.

Surviving her are her 4 children Roger (Sandy) Groezinger of Stockton, Lorraine Buss of Northglenn, CO, Arlene Groezinger of Stockton and Donald Groezinger of Sulfer Springs, TX. Also surviving are 9 Grandchildren, 11 Great Grandchildren, 5 Step Grandchildren, 6 Step Great Grandchildren and several nieces & nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and great grandparents, brother Ralph, sisters Ruth Whittaker & Leona Ibsen.

A special thanks to Dr Cleary & Dr Jaya and the Monroe Hospice Team. Graveside services was held at 1:00 PM Saturday at the Edwards Cemetery in Stockton, a memorial service will be held at a later date. A memorial fund has been established in her memory.

Condolences and Remembrances can be shared with the family at

Eileen Elizabeth Hubb, 77

Eileen Elizabeth Hubb, age 77, of Stockton, IL passed away Thursday, April 2, 2020 at Lena Living Center.

She was born August 17, 1942 in Freeport to the late Orville and Blanche (Krise) Croffoot. Eileen married Roger Hubb in Pearl City on June 12, 1960. Roger passed away August 18, 2016.

She was a 1960 graduate of Pearl City High School. She was a previous member of the Stockton Chamber of Commerce. Eileen farmed with her husband and had worked as a secretary at Heartbuilt Homes, a bank teller at Citizen State Bank, and a Realtor for Rausch Realty and Bauer Insurance. She enjoyed polka dancing with her husband, bowling, quilting, crocheting and sewing. Eileen loved attending her grandchildren’s musical, theatrical and musical events and her grandchildren loved her potato salad, pretzel salad and oatmeal raisin cookies.

She is survived by her sons, Alan (Debra) Hubb of South Beloit and Larry (Leisa) Hubb of Stockton; her sister, Marian (Ed Hawley) Taber; her brother-in-law, T. Dale (Margaret) Hubb and her grandsons, Adam, Kyle, and Karl. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; grandson, Tyler; sister, Thelma; and three brothers, Merle, Gerald and Wayne.

Private family services will be held. A memorial fund has been established. Condolences may be shared at


Lucille M. Dickman, 99

Lucille M. Dickman, age 99, of Savanna, IL, passed away Sunday, March 29, 2020, at Allure Nursing Home, in Mt. Carroll, IL. A private family service was held Friday, April 3, 2020. Burial took place at Savanna Township Cemetery. Family and friends are encouraged to share in Lucille’s life at

Lucille was born March 12, 1921, in Shannon, IL, the daughter of Charles and Ethel (Rahn) Moll. She attended Shannon schools, graduating from Shannon High School with the Class of 1938. After high school, she went on to graduate from Brown Business School in Freeport, IL. On December 16, 1941, Lucille married Russell L. Dickman. In her professional life, Lucille committed 28 years to the Railroad in Savanna.

Lucille enjoyed the simple things in life. She cherished her time spent working on her yard, valued lunches with friends, and enjoyed all the aspects of small-town living. She was a lifelong member of Bethel United Methodist Church, in Shannon, and put her faith and family first throughout her life. As the matriarch of her family, she shined proudly. She treasured every opportunity to support her daughter, Connie, and her grandchildren. She was like a second mother to her grandchildren, attending every event she could and making sure she was always a loving presence.

Lucille is survived by her grandsons, Brian (Linda) Knop, of Spotsylvania, VA and Brady Knop, of Savanna, IL; great-grandchildren, Mariah Knop, Matthew, Audrey and Braden Knop, and Connor and Courtney Knop; and other extended family and friends. Lucille is preceded in death by her daughter, Connie Knop, and grandsons, Brandon Knop and Brad Knop.


Eston Morton Preston, 71

Eston Morton Preston, age 71, of Lanark, IL, died tragically in an automobile accident the morning of March 30, 2020, in Rockford, IL. A memorial gathering, and inurnment, will be held on a later date. Family and friends are invited to share in Eston’s life at

Eston was born May 24, 1948, in Morrison, IL, the son of Richard and Phyllis (Nelson) Preston. He attended Mt. Carroll schools, until he was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War. Rightfully so, Eston was extremely proud to be a Vietnam Veteran. In light of the current events, we cannot come together as a community to memorialize Eston at the present time. However, we can all honor Eston’s life and military service by thanking a veteran, today, for his or her service to our nation.

Following his service to his country, he farmed as a young man, before finding his true calling, driving semi. He also owned and operated a tree service for a few number of years, with his brother. A little later in life, Eston married Elsie Sherman, on August 10, 1990. With their combined eight children, they created a family of ten. At the time of his passing, he worked for TR Transfer, based in Stockton, IL, and loved his exceptional working relationship with Greg.

As evident by his career choice, Eston had a passion for driving. One of his favorite ventures was traveling with Elsie and friends. He enjoyed the great outdoors, spending many hours camping and fishing with his family. Even when he was home, he could often be found tending to, and mowing, the lawn, whether it needed it or not.

Eston will be dearly missed by his wife, Elsie; sons, Samuel (Louanne) Preston, of Lanark, IL, Kenneth (Crystal) Preston, of Shannon, IL, Richard (Christina) Preston, of Shorewood, IL; daughters, Melinda (Steven Hays) Near, of Janesville, WI, Tanya (Michael) Mitchell, of Rockford, IL, Misty (Tanner) Lindstrom, of Ottawa, IL, and Joni (Eric) Beyer, of Lanark, IL; 16 grandchildren, NaTasha Belander, Kirk Preston, Samantha Stephenson, Dylan Preston, Amanda Near, Travis Near, Marie Preston, Jenna Preston, Hailey Preston, Abbie James, Konnor Kosier, Tycen Lindstrom, Talyn Beyer, Gavyn Beyer, Declyn Beyer, and Emberly Beyer; 11 great grandchildren; two brothers, Ethan (Janet) Preston, of Englewood, FL and Ellza “Dent” Preston, of Kirkland, IL; and numerous extended family members and friends.

Eston is preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Phyllis; brother, Eldon Preston; daughter, Pamela McPhillips; sister-in-law, Marietta Preston; granddaughters, Breya Lindstrom and Hallie Lindstrom, great granddaughter, Riah Roper; and nephew, Mathew Preston.


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