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August 5, 2020


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 graveside memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 8, 2020 at 10:30 am at the Lanark City Cemetery in Lanark. 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. 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 year, with his brother. A little later in life, Eston married Elsie Sherman, on August 10, 2020. 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.


Sheri Ann Barr, 60

Sheri Ann Barr, age 60 of Freeport, IL passed away Friday, July 17, 2020 at FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport.

She was born November 8, 1959 in Freeport; the daughter of David and Barbara (Beyer) Kaufman.

Sheri always saw the positive in life and always had a smile on her face. She enjoyed reading, cooking, and visiting with people. She also loved her cat.

She is survived by her mother, Barbara Jansen; her brother, Steve Kaufman; her sister, Diane (Kent) Willett; and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her father and her grandparents.

A graveside service was held on August 1, 2020 at Morseville Cemetery at 11:00 a.m. A memorial fund has been established for Pleasant Valley Church of God. Condolences may be shared at


Georgia M Hess, 94

Georgia M. Hess peacefully passed away July 11, in her apartment at The Grand Victorian in Rockford, with her daughter, Janet Schiro, at her bedside. She was born on September 19, 1925 to George (Galileo) and Ida Vannie in Beloit Wisconsin. She graduated from Beloit High School, and from University of Wisconsin Whitewater, with a degree in Education.

Miss Vannie’s first full-time Teaching position was as Business Education Teacher at Stockton High School. While working there she fell in love with and married Eugene Hess, a local young man just back from Military Service. Together they had and raised four children. Georgia was the Bookkeeper and Business Manager for Eugene’s Hess Construction Company. She returned to teaching with positions at Holy Cross Elementary School, Hanover High School, and as instructor for a variety of Continuing Education and GED classes at Highland Community College.

Georgia was a cherished Mom, a beloved Grandmother, and was devout in her Roman Catholic Faith. She was a life-long educator, and a loyal friend to those many whose lives she was of a part.

She is preceded in death by her husband Eugene, her sister and Brother-in-law Vanna (Sam) Schriner, and her parents Galileo and Ida Vannie. She is survived by her four children; Joseph (Jan) Benson (Hess) of La Crescenta CA, Janet V. (Jack) Schiro of Machesney Park IL, Gerard (Debbie) Hess of Kalamazoo MI, and Jonathan (Linda) Hess of Argyle WI, and six Grandchildren, Marissa (Daniel) Feuster, Jillian Sorn, Nick Hess, Alex Hess, Jenna Benson, and Jeremy Benson.

Accomplishments from her early life (that her children never tired of teasing her about) included; being crowned Junior High Girl’s Tennis Champion, being a participant in the High School Water Ballet in 1941, and having her first Secretarial job (as a college student) at The Brown Swiss Dairy Association.

Accomplishments from late in her life, which give testament to her spirit, include; her joy at having her family gather for her September Birthday celebrations, her persistent intercession with the Catholic Diocese of Rockford, making possible the establishment of a regular schedule of Mass being celebrated at the Grand Victorian, and her embrace of the volunteer role of Librarian for The Grand Victorian, from which she shared her love of reading with many others.

Georgia’s remains have been cremated, and her family will hold a Memorial Celebration of her life at a future date.


Mark Dana Ozburn, 48

Mark Dana Ozburn, 48 of Pleasant Prairie, WI formerly of Lena, IL, passed away on July 29, 2020 at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, WI.

Mark was born June 20, 1972 in Clinton, Iowa to his parents, Thomas and Mary Ozburn. He was a 1990 graduate of Le-Win High School, where his proudest accomplishment was being the drum major all four years of high school. He attended Highland Community College where he enjoyed participating in the Royal Scots. Scott Stich, a retired band/music teacher at Le-Win High School was a good friend and musical mentor throughout Mark’s life. Mark loved country music; enjoyed singing, playing his guitar, entertaining and composed songs. He also had a karaoke business for a while.

Throughout his life, he lived in Nashville, TN and Atlanta, GA to be near his passion of music. Mark was a member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International. His other passions were German Shepherds, driving fast (anything cars), hunting and fishing and he could tell a good story with the best of them. Mark attended Crossroads Community Church Freeport Campus for a time and was involved in their leadership program.

At the time of his death, Mark was working as a glazier out of the PDC14-Glaziers Union in Chicago. During his employ as a union glazier, the projects Mark were most proud of was working on the John Hancock Tower in Chicago, and the installation of the tilt windows, 1,030 feet off the ground offering views of Chicago’s famous skyline and at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Iowa City, IA, in which he worked on the “Press Box” project located on the 11th floor where kids and their families are able to watch the Hawkeyes football games at Kinnick Stadium. The windows installed at the hospital were specially made to withstand an EF3 tornado.

He is preceded in death by his paternal and maternal grandparents and his mother, Mary Ozburn who passed away March 11, 2014.

He is survived by his father, Tom (Desi) Ozburn of Lena, his brother Scott Ozburn of Lena, his former wife Becky Ozburn and step-son Tyler Dennis Oakley both of Lena , step-daughter, Tawni Brooks Riepe of Fort Collins, CO, his step-brothers; Josh (Renea) Noordhoff of Shannon, IL, Zach (Boramie) Noordhoff of Sparks, MD and his fiancée Kendra Hackers of Pleasant Prairie, WI.

He will be greatly missed by his family and friends. His stories and jokes will live on through his friends and family as they remember him.

There will be no visitation. A private graveside service will be held at the Lena Cemetery at a date to be determined. Condolences may be sent to the family at


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