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January 13, 2021


Gerald V. Kerr, 77

Gerald V. Kerr, age 77 of rural Orangeville, IL, passed away after a long battle with cancer on Friday January 1, 2021 at his home surrounded by his family.

He was born on November 20, 1943 in Freeport, IL, the son of Norman and Marie (Voss) Kerr. Gerald married Connie Burkholder on December 30, 1962 at the Church of the Brethren in Lanark, IL. He farmed alongside Connie for more than 40 years. In April of 2008, Gerald started working for Studer Super Service, which is now known as Hennessey Implement, in Monroe, WI, and he retired in April of 2018.

Gerald was a member of the Orangeville School Board, Midwest Dairymen Board, and the Orangeville Country Swinger Square Dance Club. He liked antique tractors, and anything antique. He was a jokester who enjoyed woodworking, golfing in his younger years, and attending steam engine shows. For 47 years Gerald and Connie played cards with the Farmer 500 Card Club.

Gerald is survived by his wife of 58 years, Connie; children- Diane (Ron Kruse) Watson, Cindy Wells, Denise (Scott) Robieson, Jeffrey (Kathleen) Kerr all of Orangeville, and Tammy (Dennis) Rakowska of McConnell; 11 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren and two more on the way; his mother Marie Kerr of Freeport, IL; brother and sisters Eugene (Kay) Kerr, Barbara (Clark) Smith, and Juleen (Steven) Fellows, sister-in-law Betty Carroll, brothers-in-law Keith (Lillian) Burkholder, and Ray Burkholder; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father Norman, his maternal and paternal grandparents, and his mother and father-in-law Helen and Ralph Burkholder.

Private family services will be held at the Cramer-Leamon Funeral Home in Orangeville. Burial will be at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Freeport. A memorial has been established in his memory.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

Apple River

Scott Thomas Schaible, 41

Scott Thomas Schaible, 41, of rural Apple River passed away unexpectedly December 26, 2020 at FHN Memorial Hospital, Freeport, IL.

He was born October 5, 1979, son of Roger and Linda (Drigot) Schaible. During his early years, Scott enjoyed youth sports, scouting, and helping on the family farm. He became a proud member of the Warren Warriors basketball teams and found joy being a part of band and chorus. After graduating from Warren High School in 1998, he joined his family as a 4th generation family farmer.

Scott always said that all he ever wanted to do was farm. He took pride in keeping up with maintenance and repair of anything mechanical. Reading and doing research to enrich his understanding of how farm machinery worked helped him achieve his goals. His stewardship and love of this farm will be carried on.

Scott was an animal lover, big and small. He made time every day to pamper barn cats that would pile onto his shoulders and lap. Cutting forage and rolling up bales of hay and cereal rye to feed cattle was something he looked forward to.

He loved eating fresh vegetables from the garden and made a habit of snitching ripe tomatoes off the vine before they reached the kitchen. Watching college basketball and football with a good cup of coffee in hand was a favorite too.

Scott took great pleasure in spending time in the woods, clearing brush, hunting morels, and finding downed cedar trees that could be used for fence posts. He would always be the first one out searching for a new baby calf.

He is survived by his Dad and Mom, Roger and Linda Schaible, brothers, Christopher (C.J.) and Ryan, all of Apple River, Aunt Susan (Steven) Shipman of Houston, Texas, along with numerous cousins.

He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Glenn and Helen Schaible, John and Florence Drigot, and uncle, Rodney Schaible.

Cremation rites have been accorded. A private family celebration of life will be held at a later date. Leamon Funeral Homes is assisting the family.

To honor Scott's memory, a memorial may be made to Safe Haven Humane Society, Elizabeth, IL, or, Bread of Life Food Pantry, Apple River, or to Caring Neighbors Food Pantry, Warren, IL.

Your family loves and misses you... we know we will meet again.

"To love someone means to see him as God intended him." Fyodor Dostoevsky

Condolences may be sent to the family at


Myron L. Coaty, 71

Myron L. Coaty, 71, of Lena, Illinois passed away on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at the Lena Living Center in Lena, Illinois. Myron was born on August 4, 1949 to Clayton and Reva Coaty in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Myron married Judy Elsasser in 1975.

Myron is survived by his wife Judy and his son Nicholas, both of Lena, Illinois, a brother; Marvin Coaty, and a sister; Amy Coaty.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and his son Nathan.

A visitation was on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at the Leamon Funeral Home in Lena, Illinois.

Cremation rites have been accorded. Condolences may be sent to the family at

Martha J. Kempel, 61

Martha J. Kempel, age 61 of Lena, Illinois passed away on Sunday January 3, 2021 at FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport, IL.

She was born on January 11, 1959 in Springfield, IL to Francis and Mary (Koch) Bangasser. She married Donald Kempel on November 13, 1987 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Freeport. Martha was a graduate of Aquin High School and Maycrest College. Martha’s faith and her family were the two things that mattered most to her. Her three sons, Matthew, Phillip, and William were her world. Don and Martha were married for 33 years, working alongside each other during the challenging farming seasons, and while raising their boys. Martha took her responsibility as a farmer’s wife and a mother whole heartedly. At an early age, Martha’s life was enriched with lots of cousins as they shared carefree days on the farm as well as working together on the farm, which carried forward in her life on the farm with Don and the boys.

Martha is survived by her husband Donald; three sons- Matthew (Emiley Engle) Kempel, Phillip Kempel, and William (Codi Sandell) Kempel, all of Lena; mother and father-in-law Margaret and Dean Kempel of Lena; brothers-in-law Gary (Amy) Kempel of Lena, and their children, Samantha and Andrew; Keith (Christy) Kempel of Lena, and their daughter Emily; Sister-in-law Anne (Jon) Daws of Lena, and their children, Nick and Ariel; and numerous cousins.

Martha was preceded in death by her parents, and her brother Mark Bangasser.

Funeral services were held at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Stockton, Illinois. A visitation was from 5:00 PM-8:00 PM on Monday, January 11, 2021 at the Leamon Funeral Home in Lena, Illinois. Burial will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Lena, Illinois. Father Michael Morrissey officiated the services.

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

Verla P. Lobdell, 86

Verla P. Lobdell, 86, of Lena, passed away at her home on January 4, 2021 after an extended illness. She is survived by her beloved husband of 67 years, Mervin “Johnny” Lobdell. She was born in rural Pearl City on May 1, 1934 to William and Luella (Edler) Liebergesell. Some of her earliest memories were helping her father on their farm, riding her horses, and playing with her dogs. Verla graduated from Lena High School in 1952 and she and Johnny were married in March of 1953.

Verla had many talents, but she was most passionate about her family, her faith, and the Lobdell family farm. She loved hosting large family get-togethers, hiking with her grandchildren, reading and singing to them, and finding all sorts of interesting projects for them to do with her. She loved her garden and yard and always worked very hard to make everything at the farm and later at their house look nice. She was a life-long member of the Lena United Methodist Church where her greatest love was teaching Sunday School and Bible School. She was a natural teacher and taught Sunday School for over 50 years. Verla was always singing and for several years she was the Children’s Choir Director at church and a member of United Methodist Women. She enjoyed making pies and loved to help with the annual bazaar and roast beef supper. In her early career, she was a secretary at Freeport Junior High School for one year working with Mr. Byron Cully, whom she always admired as an excellent educator. The rest of her life she was a dedicated dairy farmer with her husband and family. She loved her cows and calves and lived the motto “If you take care of your cows, they will take care of you.” She worked very hard as was so very particular about everything to do with the dairy operation, in turn passing on those lessons to her children and grandchildren.

She is survived by her husband, Mervin “Johnny” Lobdell, her four children, thirteen grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren; Murry and Julie Lobdell and their family; Andrew, Amy, Aubrey, Avery, and Adrienne Lobell; Joe Lobdell; Tom Heidi Levi and Rylee Lobdell; and Cody, Lana Adelyn, and Camden Haas. Kayla Lobdell and her family; Wes, Jenn, Louis, and Bobby Morovic; Matt Morovic and his children; Izaiah, Marley, and Emerson; Aaron, Kelsey, and Reid McFarlane; and Haley Pentecost. Jay and Karlyn Kempel and their family; Jared and his fiancé Sara, Jason, and Justin Kempel. Kelly and Janet Lobdell and their family; Kade and Kendall Lobdell. Nephew Chris Liebergesell of Camden, TN and son Colt and great niece Kaitlyn Liebergesell. Her family will miss her very much. Verla was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Harold Liebergesell, a niece Lara Liebergesell, and her special cousin Vietta Scheider.

Verla had wonderful caretakers that our family appreciated so much. Heather S., Lisa, Heather C., and Sue enabled Verla to stay in her home. They all brought her so much joy by singing with her, listening to her stories, reading to her, taking her for walks, fixing her hair, and painting her nails, all if which she loved.

The family would like to express our sincere thanks to the members of FHN Hospice for their excellent, loving care they gave to Verla.

A private family service will be held at the Lena United Methodist Church with a celebration of life later this year. Cremation rites have been accorded and burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery. A memorial has been established in her memory for the Lena United Methodist Sunday School Program.

Condolences may be sent to the family at


Michael G. Schwitz, 64

Michael G. Schwitz, longtime resident of Stockton, died on Christmas Day at FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport. He was 64.

Born in Freeport on May 26, 1956, he is one of six children of Kathryn L. (Francis) Schwitz and the late Lyle R. Schwitz. Mike grew up in Stockton, graduating from Stockton High School. As a boy he developed a love for working with his hands, which stayed with him throughout his life. He liked to use his erector set and even once used the wires from his model train on the metal air register so he could create sparks and “weld”.

While in high school, Mike went to work for Atwood Automotive, and continued to work there for over 40 years. He was a talented Tool and Die Maker, and really enjoyed his work. Mike also served on the town council and was an EMT for Stockton Ambulance for a number of years.

At home, Mike enjoyed tinkering around the house with any number of repair projects he had going. He would go over to his folk’s house and help out with anything they needed done. He also assisted with the construction of the Stockton Veterans Memorial.

Outside of his work and home, Mike enjoyed traveling. He especially enjoyed trips to Florida in his younger years to visit his sister and brother-in-law. Maine was another place near to Mike’s heart. He enjoyed sitting on the rocky coast watching the waves of the Atlantic crashing on the shore or sitting at the top of Cadillac Mountain watching the clouds float by.

Mike had a love of aviation, and space exploration. He was fascinated with both and was very excited when he got a satellite dish and could finally get the Nasa Channel. He never missed calling his family letting them know about a shuttle launch or something interesting happening in space. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, and playing a round of golf or two.

He will be deeply missed by those who loved him.

Mike was the beloved son of Kathryn Schwitz and the late Lyle Schwitz. Husband of Cathleen (Scholbrock) Schwitz. Loving brother of Marybeth (Tom) Linden of The Villages, FL, Marsha Schwitz of Stockton, Mark (Soukheng) Schwitz of Cumming, GA, and the late Vicky and Robert Schwitz. Proud uncle of Eric (Regina) Schwitz and daughter Olivia of Melrose, MA, Megan Schwitz of Stockton, Nicole Linden (Paul DiPalma) of Sarasota, FL, Daniel (Aline) Linden of St. Petersburg, FL, Nathan, Nolan, and Chloe Schwitz of Cumming, GA.

The Funeral Mass for Mike will be private. Arrangements are under the care of Hermann Funeral Home, Stockton. To leave a message of love and support for the family, please visit

Lavonne Lucille Feltmeyer, 94

Lavonne Lucille Feltmeyer, 94 of Stockton Illinois, passed away on January 8th, 2021, at her home.

She was born on March 4th, 1926 in Massbach, Illinois the daughter of Josephine and William Teichler.

Lavonne attended Stockton schools and was employed at Burgess Battery. She married Allen Feltmeyer on April 17th 1948. During their courtship they enjoyed attending dances and traveling. They farmed in the Stockton area and raised a family of three children – Tenny (Pat Cook) of Mill City, OR, Becky (Cory Banket) of Milwaukee, WI, and Terry (Paula) Feltmeyer of Stockton IL.

Lavonne was a lifelong member of Stockton Eastern Star and Christ Lutheran Church. She treasured her family and friends first and foremost.

Lavonne enjoyed gardening, canning, needlepoint, decorating for the holidays (especially Christmas), and cooking/baking. She was known for her fried chicken, chocolate cake, and pies. She was an equal partner in farming with Allen for 41 years.

She is survived by her three children, four grandchildren – Malisa, Charles, Caley, Troy, 10 great grandchildren, a very special niece Kathy Durham, her good friend Barb Randecker and 3 sisters-in-law.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Joyce Fosler, her husband Allen, 5 brothers-in-law, one sister-in-law, and good friend Bess Vanderheyden.

A private family service will be held. A memorial fund has been established in her name. The family would like to thank FHN Hospice for their care.

Condolences may be shared at


Charles “Charlie” D. Fosler, 77

Charles “Charlie” D. Fosler, 77, of Warren, IL passed away on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at Meriter Hospital in Madison, WI with his family by his side.

He was born on April 3, 1943 to Charles and Margaret (Walters) Fosler in Freeport, IL. Charlie married Ardith Drew on March 24, 1962 at the Nora Community Church in Nora, IL. Charlie managed Spahn and Rose in Warren for 17 years. In 1979 Charlie along with his partner, Brother-in-law, and friend, Jeff Fry established Town and Country Builders. Charlie retired in 2013. Ardith and Charlie enjoyed their Sunday drives to cheese factories. He also served on the JoDaviess County Fair Board for over 35 years. Charlie enjoyed woodworking; making cabinets, picture frames, coat hangers, and many other things. He also liked watching This Old House and Yankee Workshop.

Charlie is survived by his children Charles (Patti) Fosler of Gratiot, WI, David (Kim) Fosler of Scales Mound, IL, grandchildren; Hannah (Mike Sauer) Mulcahy, Brad (Alyson) Fosler, Kevin Fosler, Savannah Babler, Dylan (Mary Lou) Fosler, Connor Fosler, and Collin Fosler, eight great-grandchildren; brother and sisters Tommy (Sally) Fosler, Anita (Jeff) Fry, Roxanne (Dave) Leahy, a brother-in-law Allen (Diane) Drew, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his mother and father-in-law, and his wife Ardith in 2007.

A visitation was from 3:00 PM-6:00 PM on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at the Bartell-Leamon Funeral Home in Warren, IL. Cremation rites will be accorded. Burial and services will be held at a later date. Burial will be at Elmwood Cemetery in Warren, IL. A memorial has been established in his memory.

The family wishes to extend a special Thank You to Dr. Martin Cleary of the Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County for not only being Charlie’s physician, but also for being his friend.

Condolences may be sent to the family at


Heath R. Eveland, 47

Heath R. Eveland, 47 of Freeport, IL passed away unexpectedly at his home on Wednesday, December 30, 2020. Heath was born on July 3, 1973 in Freeport, IL to Richard and Darlene (Schrock) Eveland. He was currently employed by Snak-King as a first shift lead.

Heath enjoyed painting pictures, especially nature scenes. He loved his friends and family more than anything, he was the light to everyone that knew him, and the life of the party. He enjoyed a good barbeque, listening to music, and playing the drums. Heath had a fantastic sense of humor.

Heath is survived by his son Forrest (Kasie) Eveland of Orangeville, IL; parents Richard and Darlene Eveland of Scioto Mills, IL; sister Cheyenne (fiancé Seth Shelly) Eveland of Lena, IL; niece Aspen (Kyle Hubby) Sandy; nephews Eli Sandy, and Isaac Shelly; a great-nephew Fletcher Hubb; and his beloved dog, Brittany.

He was preceded in death by his maternal and paternal grandparents.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Cremation rites have been accorded. A memorial has been established in his name.

Condolences may be sent to the family at


Diane M. Nelson, 68

Diane M. Nelson, age 68, of Shannon, IL passed away Saturday, December 26, 2020.

She was born August 25, 1952 in Story City, IA to Allan J. and Phyllis J. (Jacobson) Osmundson. Diane married William “Bill” Nelson on May 25, 1974 in Randall, IA. He passed away October 23, 2019.

Diane was a 1970 graduate of South Hamilton High School in Jewell, IA. She was an active member of Bethel United Methodist Church where she enjoyed her New Beginnings Sunday School Class and volunteering on the funeral committee. She had worked as a cook for the Shannon Nursing Home, Parkview Nursing Home and Eastland High School. Diane enjoyed journaling, volunteering at the food pantry, and spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.

She is survived by her mother, Phyllis Osmundson of Story City, IA; her son, Shawn (Jennifer) Nelson of Monroe, NC; her daughter, Nicole (Kyle) Ruter of Shannon, IL; her brother, Steve (Ange) Osmundson of Fort Worth, TX; her grandchildren, Kylee and Kamdyn Ruter and Olivia and James Nelson. She was preceded in death by her husband; her father; and her brother, Keith Osmundson.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at Bethel United Methodist Church in Shannon at 11:00 a.m. with a visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. Interment for Diane and Bill will take place at Brethren Cemetery. A memorial fund has been established. Condolences may be shared at

James Curtis Scharman, 60

James Curtis Scharman, age 60, of Shannon, passed away unexpectedly at home Tuesday, December 22, 2020.

Visitation was held Saturday, December 26th from 12 noon until the time of the funeral service at 2 p.m. at the Simply Free Church, 25460 Locust Road, Lanark, with burial in the Brethren Cemetery, Shannon.

Memorials may be given in Jim’s memory for the Shannon Fire and Ambulance Departments, PO Box 549, Shannon, IL 61078. Online condolences may be left for the family at

Jim was born May 9, 1960 in Freeport, the son of James Henry and Maurita Jean (Manworren) Scharman. He was a 1978 graduate of the Shannon High School. After high school, Jim attended Highland Community College, 1978-1979, studying digital logics and circuits. In the fall of 1979, he transferred to Purdue University to pursue a degree in electrical engineering technology. During the spring of 1981, Jim moved to Center City, MN, where he lived until moving to River Falls, WI in 1982. Jim went on to study and receive his degrees majoring in Computer Science and minors in Liberal Arts and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, graduating with the Class of 1985.

Jim worked 18 years for the Westlaw Division of the West Publishing Company in St. Paul, MN. At Westlaw, he began his career in computer programming, after several years he transitioned to work in Customer Service, helping law firms to integrate the Westlaw software enabling attorneys’ quick reference in their legal research. In 2003, after the passing of his father, Jim moved back to Shannon to live close to his mother, Maurita.

Jim struggled with mental illness and addictions in his adult life, but always tried to make the best of it. In the last several years he had maintained a level of stability that provided him with a better quality of life. He appreciated the caring assistance given by his friend and care-taker, Marty Niesman.

Some of his most cherished moments were with his family, taking trips with parents, spending time with Mom, and caring for “Cat” his cat of many years.

Jim will be dearly missed by his mother, Maurita Scharman of Freeport; his brother, Karl (Donna) Scharman of Rolling Meadows; two nephews, Austin and Kaleb; and his “adopted” siblings, Patrick Fortune and Debbie (Bruce) Anderson. He was preceded in death by his father, Jim in 2003.

Please remember and pray for those who struggle with mental illness and addiction. It’s a hard life.

William “Bill” Miller, 89

William “Bill” E. Miller, age 89, of Shannon, IL, passed away Tuesday, January 5, 2021, at FHN Hospital, in Freeport, IL. A funeral service will be planned for the spring. A memorial fund has been established in Bill’s name, and family and friends are invited to share in his life at

Bill was born October 23, 1931, in Macomb, IL, the son of John and Helen (Mowery) Miller. Growing up in Bushnell, IL, Bill attended Bushnell schools, ultimately graduating from Bushnell High School. Shortly thereafter, he enlisted in the National Guard, ready to do his part in serving his country. On April 11, 1954, Bill married Pauline Hultgren at Bethany Lutheran Church, in Burlington, IA. The couple went on to raise three children, and celebrated many decades of marriage before Pauline’s passing in 2012.

In his younger years, while still in Bushnell, Bill worked as a mechanic for the local Ford garage, before opening an upholstery shop, and later Miller’s Laundry and Dry Cleaning. In 1973, he and Pauline moved to the Lake Carroll area. Here, they worked together for 20 years in the construction and real estate businesses. It was here that Bill also started Miller Sales and Service, which later become Miller Sport Center.

In his free time, Bill enjoyed fishing, and even flew as a pilot in his late teens. He especially loved to snowmobile. He, Pauline, and their kids logged many hours on those snowmobiles. They were active in the local snowmobile club, and often planned and organized trips up north, and out to Yellowstone National Park.

Bill will be dearly missed by his son, BJ (Debbie) Miller, of Lake Carroll, IL; daughters, Deb (Dick) Lavender, of Cadillac, MI, and Linda (Fiance, John Becker) Lawfer, of Shannon, IL; five grandchildren, Matt (Tracey) Miller, of Shannon, IL, Ronni Miller, of Davenport, IA, Patrick (Erin) Lavender, of McBain, MI, Nicole (Cory ) Haas, of Elizabeth, IL, and Jenna (Mike) Piche, of New Glarus, WI; and eight great-grandchildren, Ava and Sienna, Bella and Kenzie, Eli and Weston, and Owen and Callen; a brother, Jim (Roberta) Miller. Bill


William “Bill” H. Blomberg, 88

William “Bill” H. Blomberg, age 88 of Cedarville, IL, passed away at home on Wednesday, December 23, 2020.

He was born November 27, 1932 in Evanston, IL; the son of the late Howard and Grace (Williams) Blomberg. He graduated from East Rockford High School and received his Bachelor’s Degree in History and Political Science. He later received his Master’s Degree in Theology from Garrett Theological Institute.

Bill married Diane “Dee” Horton on June 29, 1957. He served as a Chaplain in the Army Reserves, stateside from 1964-1972. He attended Army Chaplain School at Ft. Hamilton, NY in 1966. From the time he was a young man, Bill was called to the Ministry and served as a Pastor for several area churches for over 50 years. He spent 11 of those years at Embury UMC of Freeport and 8 years in Mendota, IL. He was currently serving as Staff Caller at First Lutheran Church of Freeport. He also drove the VFW van to the Veteran’s Hospital in Madison, WI.

He was a member of the Cedarville United Methodist Church in Cedarville, IL. His memberships also included AmVets, American Legion, Golden Kiwanis, and Elks Club. Bill also served on the board for the Masonic Lodge Learning Center. He loved spending time at his cabin and working on the farm. He had a love for animals, especially dogs. Bill’s passion was for serving people. He was able to find a friend in anybody and dedicated his life to helping those in need.

He is survived by his wife, Dee Blomberg of Cedarville, IL; sons, Don Blomberg and Rex (Kathy) Blomberg both of Freeport; daughter, Beth (Scott) Wise of Mendota, IL; grandchildren, Erick Blomberg, Ben Blomberg, Mark (Brittany) Blomberg, Garrett Wise, Cale Wise, and Maren Wise; great granddaughter, Winry Blomberg; and sister, Mary Sannwald of San Diego, CA. He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter-in-law, Kathleen Schafer Blomberg; and brother-in-law, Robert “Bob” Horton.

Private family services will be held and burial will take place at the Cedarville Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. A memorial fund has been established for the Dyslexia Foundation and for the Cedarville UMC. Condolences may be shared at


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