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November 4, 2020


Clifford H. Mackeben, 90

Clifford H. Mackeben, age 90, and life-long resident of Stockton, IL passed away at home surrounded by family on October 27, 2020.

He was born June 20, 1930; the son of the late Alwin and Eloise Mackeben. Clifford married his high school sweetheart, Betty Jones, on February 10, 1952. They were graduates of the Stockton High School Class of 1948.

Clifford loved family, community, and travel. His love for “Betty Ann” never wavered over 68 years of marriage, raising four children. He enjoyed time with family and was always pleased to have his children and their families take new adventures. He was active and well respected in the community, enjoying daily coffee at McDonalds with friends and serving on the Lions Club for more than 55 years, often in leadership positions, and working well over fifty Fourth of July celebrations. Clifford set a goal early in life to visit all fifty United States and tour many national parks. He and Betty achieved this goal, and in doing so took their family on annual summer vacations, always by car and often with camper trailer, to include trips to his favorite locations of Washington DC, Rocky Mountain National Park, Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, and Yosemite. He and Betty also took several international trips after his retirement and established a second community of friends in Myrtle Beach, SC, spending 25 seasons there as “snowbirds.”

He was one of the original employees of Atwood Manufacturing starting when the company opened a production facility in Stockton during the early 1950’s. “Mack” worked his way up from assembly line production, to foreman of many departments, and later as a member of the management team. He was a well-respected leader in the company during his 40-year tenure, retiring in 1992.

Clifford is survived by his wife, Betty, children, Joan Lee Mackeben of Franklin, TN, David Mackeben of Sycamore, IL, Dan (Karen) Mackeben of Lodi, CA, Cathy (Butch) Magee of Stockton. Grandchildren, Mark Mackeben, Melanie (Chris) Stearns, Ben (Cora) Magee, Anna (Alex) Goulart, Dylan Mackeben, and great-grandchild Audrey. Brothers, Don (LaDelle) Mackeben of Mounds View, MN and Wayne (Mary) Mackeben of Kildeer, IL.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 3:00pm at Hermann Funeral Home in Stockton with a visitation before the service beginning at 2:00pm. Social distancing will be practiced. A memorial fund has been established. Condolences may be shared with his family at

Diane L (Kirk) Kaufman, 76

Diane L. (Kirk) Kaufman, 76, of Stockton, IL passed away on Friday, October 23, 2020 after a brief illness at Waverly Place, Stockton.

Diane, a twin, was born April 18, 1944 to the late Rush (Peco) Kirk and Alice (Donahue) Kirk Leverington. She was a 1962 graduate of Stockton High School. Diane married Jon Kaufman on June 29, 1963 at Holy Cross Catholic Church by Father C.J. Thennes.

While raising her family, she completed her Illinois Board of Education Certification as a Teacher’s Aide in July 1979. She worked for the Stockton School District 206 for 21 years working with many teachers who appreciated her hard work. Many students she mentored remembered her as they themselves were working on their education. She retired in 2000.

Diane loved spending time with her family and friends, camping, boating and traveling. She also enjoyed the yearly birthday meet ups with the Bethkes and Rechsteiners. Most importantly, she loved spending time with her grandchildren.

Diane is survived by her husband of 57 years, Jon, daughter, Lynn (Gary) Richardson of Flower Mound, TX and Stefanie (Steve) Vanderheyden of Stockton, IL, grandchildren, Nicholas and Kristin Richardson of Flower Mound, TX, Shayna and Reese Vanderheyden of Stockton, IL. Diane is also survived by her brother, Tim (Linda) Kirk, Mt. Carroll, IL and sister, Christine (Jim) Eastwood, Modesto, CA, sister-in-law, Maralee Kaufman, Forreston, IL, stepbrothers, Art (Jan) Leverington, Cedarville, IL and Jim (Mary) Leverington, Pearl City, IL along with several nephews and a niece.

Diane is pre-deceased by her parents, Rush and Alice, her stepfather, Marion, infant twin brother, Terry Lee, infant son, Steven Jon, sister Karen Paul, brother, Rick Kirk, brother-in-law, Joel Kaufman, nephew Thomas Kaufman, and stepbrother Edward Leverington.

The funeral service was held on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Stockton. There was a visitation on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at Hermann Funeral Home in Stockton from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Interment took place at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Stockton.

A memorial fund has been established. Condolences may be shared at

Edith Bauer, 88

Edith Bauer, age 88 of Stockton, IL passed away Sunday, October 25, 2020 at FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport.

She was born January 24, 1932 in Stockton to the late Leland and Florence (Parker) Pierce. Edith married Lendelle Bauer on December 9, 1950 in Stockton. Lendelle passed away February 10, 2002.

She was a member of Unitarian Universalist Church in Stockton where she was very active throughout the years and would often play the piano and organ. She was also a member of the Eastern Star. Edith was a 1948 graduate of Stockton High School and received her teacher’s license from Dekalb Teachers College. She had taught at the Willow Country School House before getting married and teaching at the Missouri Military Base. She was a lab technician at the Whey Plant for Kraft Foods and had helped her husband on the farm. She enjoyed wintering in Magnolia Park in Donna, TX, listening and playing music, helping her husband on the farm, and most importantly, spending time with her family.

She is survived by her daughters, Coral (Paul) Loebel of Beaver Dam, WI and Carmen (Tom) Calderon of Stockton; her sons, Kevin (Anki) Bauer of Stockton and Wade Bauer of Stockton; her brothers, Leland Jr. (Bud) Pierce of Stockton and Max (Mary) Pierce of Stockton; her sister, Mariam Blair of Stockton; her grandchildren, Klinton Bauer, Taylor Westaby, Allie Gagnon, Kirsten Bushek, Nicole Williams, Zachary David, Kailyn Bauer and Dawson Bauer; her great grandchildren, Casey, Tyler, Abigail, Aadilynn, Anestyn and Sebastian. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; two sisters, Elizabeth Herring and Linda Lloyd; and her special friend, Don Mueller.

The memorial service was held on Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. at the Hermann Funeral Home in Stockton. There was a visitation before the service beginning at 1:00 p.m. Interment will take place at Ladies Union Cemetery in Stockton. Condolences may be shared at


Ronald “Ron” E. Fuchs, 78

Ronald “Ron” E. Fuchs, 78, of Lena, IL passed away from complications of Co-Vid with his wife Patricia by his side at FHN Memorial Hospital on Saturday October 24, 2020. He was born on October 9, 1942 to Albert and Mabel (Bower) Fuchs in Freeport, IL. Ron married Patricia “Pat” Buchenau on March 23, 1963 at the Nora Community Church. He was a lifelong farmer in the rural Lena area.

Ron was a member of St John’s Lutheran Church in Lena. He loved God, his family, and farming. He loved to play cards and dominos. He enjoyed watching the grandchildren’s sporting events. Ron also loved going out to eat, especially to Beach’s and Culvers.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Pat, son Craig Fuchs, and daughter Anita (Mike) Parkinson, all of Lena. Grandchildren; Andrew and Brandon Fuchs, both of Lena, Adam Smith Fuchs of Pearl City, Lauren (Mitchell) Ganzer of Platteville, WI, Lindsey (Kyler) Calow, and Lana Parkinson, all of Lena. A great-granddaughter Josefine Ann Ganzer of Plattelle, WI. Brother Richard Fuchs of Warren, a sister Marcia Fuchs of Orangeville, and a niece Michelle (Allen) Swift of Warren, along with a host of close family and friends whom he adored.

Ron was preceded in death by his parents, his in-laws Melvin and LaVonia Buchenau, and a brother-in-law Ron Buchenau.

Funeral services were held at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lena. A visitation was from 4:00 PM-7:00 PM on Monday, October 26, 2020 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lena. Rev. Rick Bader officiated the services. Burial will be at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Freeport, IL.

A memorial has been established in Ron’s name. Condolences may be sent to the family at

LaVone H. Gabel, 86

LaVone H. Gabel, 86, of Lena, IL passed away on Thursday, October 22, 2020 at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, IL.

She was born on July 28, 1934 to Leo and M. Claribell (Roper) Haeft in Shullsburg, WI. She married Arthur Gabel on June 2, 1952 in Warren, IL. In her younger years, she was employed at Burgess Battery in Freeport, she then took a break to raise her family and then worked as a cook for Lena-Winslow High School until retiring in 2006. She was a member of the Lena United Methodist Church. She was active in every aspect of the church: UMW, bazaar, roast beef suppers, the Thursday night food and fun nights, and she loved having a leadership role in the church kitchen and did not mind taking charge. She volunteered for 25 years as a Girl Scout Leader in Lena, and was also a member of the Green Hills Council. LaVone’s passion for crocheting and quilting was unsurpassed. She especially enjoyed spending time with her family, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

LaVone is survived by her children; Karen (Jerry) White of Little Rock, AR, Randy (Mary) Gabel of Montello, WI, Sandy (Michael) Taylor of Freeport, IL, Marilyn (Chuck) Shick of Freeport, IL, Bryan (Katherine) Gabel of Menominee, WI, grandchildren; Jeremy (Misty) Ray of Alexander, AR, Ryan Gabel of Hazel Green, WI, Kyle (Heather) Shick of Rockton, IL, Jamie (Annie) Shick of Rochelle, IL, Clayton (Adrienne) Shick of Rockton, IL, Natalie Taylor of Freeport, IL. Step-grandchild; Kim (Travis) Kraabel of Evansville, WI, 11 great grandchildren, and two step-great grandchildren, one sister Lila (Bud) Heath of Stockton, IL, and very best friend Beulah Haeft.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Arthur in 2018, and brother Lloyd Haeft.

A Private family funeral service was held on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Burial will be at the Lena Burial Park. Pastor Keri Rainsburger officiated.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in her memory for the Lena United Methodist Church. Condolences may be sent to the family at


Mildred “Millie” Arline Eastman, 98

Mildred "Millie" Arline Eastman, 98, passed away October 24, 2020, in Galena, IL.

A private family visitation was held at 10 A.M. on Thursday, October 29 at the Law-Jones funeral home in Hanover, IL. A private funeral Mass was held at 11 A.M. at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Hanover. Burial followed in Evergreen Cemetery, Hanover.

Millie was born March 22, 1922 in Savanna, IL, the daughter of Emil and Mary (Schmidt) Veme. She graduated as the Salutatorian of the Savanna High School class of 1940. Following graduation, she worked one year in the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s office, and then worked at the Savanna Army Depot for 35 years. At the time of her retirement, she had served many years as the assistant to the Adjutant of the base.

Following retirement, she was a Rules of the Road instructor for a number of years, teaching a refresher course for retired people. She also served as a member of the Hanover, IL Township Library Board for several years, was active in the local retired government employees organization, and was a longtime member of the St. Anne’s Society of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Hanover and the Hanover VFW Auxiliary.

Millie married Lawrence “Larry” Eastman on Oct. 16, 1948, in Savanna. They enjoyed more than 57 years together in Hanover, IL, and raised three children, Judy (Paul) Jackson of Galena, IL, Jeff (Corrinne) Eastman of Naperville, IL, and Joann (Brian) Gillogly of Madison, WI. Millie loved to travel, play cards, be with friends, and, most of all, enjoy time with her family. In addition to her children, Millie is survived by six grandchildren, Erica (Greg) Thayer, Justin (Kirstie Brenson) Eastman, Kevin Eastman, Alex Eastman, Hannah Ralson, and Bridget Ralson, as well as by numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, her brother, Lester Veme, and her sister, Helen White.

Memorials may be given to the Hanover VFW Auxiliary or to St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. The family thanks the staff of the Galena Stauss Nursing home and Dr. Greg Vandigo for their kind and compassionate care.

Apple River

Thomas A. Lauraitis, 83

Thomas A. Lauraitis, age 83 of Apple River, IL, passed away at his home on Tuesday, October 20,2020.

He was born on July 20, 1937 in Chicago, IL, the son of Charles and Pauline (Paski) Lauraitis. Tom served his country in the United States Navy for 4 years and continued his service as a member of the Navy Reserve for 30 years, retiring as an E7 Chief Petty Officer. Tom worked for Motorola as an electronic technician for 26 years, retiring in 1994. He was a member of the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Apple River, Knights of Columbus, American Legion Post #298, finance manager for the Apple River Fire Department, secretary for Fleet Reserve Association in Arlington, VA, and Ham Radio Hidden Valley Amateur Radio (call #KB9SJC) in Platteville, WI. Tom was active almost every single day with various charitable organizations including St. Vincent De Paul.

He is survived by his daughter Laura (Robert) Peska of Walworth, WI; very special friend Peg Sichak of Mt. Prospect, IL and her children; nieces and nephews- Claire Lauraitis-Smith, John Gunia, Linda Whitman, Dennis Gunia, and Charlene Flores; cousin John (Lori) Lauraitis of Palos Hills, IL and 2nd cousin Fred (Joann) Vaisvil of Hampshire, IL .

Tom was preceded in death by his parents, daughter Patricia Lauraitis, sisters Patricia Gunia and Sylvia Ernst, and brother Edward Lauraitis.

A visitation was held from 9:00-11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at the Bartell-Leamon Funeral Home in Warren, IL. A Catholic Mass followed at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Apple River, IL. Officiating was Father Skorbutt. Cremation rites to be accorded.

A memorial has been established in his name. Condolences can be sent to the family at


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