Village Voices - We don't write papers, we build scrapbooks



February 3, 2021


Byron J. Smith, 81

Byron J. Smith, 81, of McConnell, IL passed away on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at UW Hospital in Madison, WI in the Covid-19 Unit.

He was born on August 22, 1939 in Monroe, WI to Byron and Mary (Devlin) Smith. Byron married Rosemary Lolling on April 22, 1957 in Monroe. Byron worked for the Illinois Department of Transportation as a foreman, retiring after 31 years.

Byron enjoyed hunting, fishing, going on fishing trips to Canada, and trapping. He enjoyed the outdoors and wildlife, making his own maple syrup, and raising chickens. Family meant everything to Byron, always attending his grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s sporting events.

Byron is survived by his wife of 63 years, Rosemary of McConnell, two children; Brian (Connie) Smith of Winnebago, IL, Brenda “Tootie” (Michael) Fox of Lena, IL, grandchildren; Troy (April) Smith, Nicole (Jarod) Olson, Clay Smith, Erica (Justin Perry) Arnold, Courtney (Adam) Coutlhard, Jena (Cole) Patrick, step-grandchildren; Ethan (Morgan) Bunger, and Elayna Grasley, and 14 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Ralph and a sister in infancy.

A public visitation was from 9:00 AM until 11:00 AM on Saturday, January 30, 2020 at the Leamon Funeral Home in Lena. A private family service will be held. Cremation rites have been accorded. Pastor Roger Bronkema officiated the services.

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


Phyllis A. Kleckler, 86

Phyllis A. Kleckler, 86, of Freeport, IL formerly of Orangeville, IL passed away on Monday, January 25, 2021 at FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport, IL.

Phyllis was born on January 17, 1935 to Joseph and Mabel (Peterson) Lawler in Poplar Grove, IL. She married Jerald Kleckler on June 23, 1957 at the Church of the Brethren in Rockford, IL.

Phyllis and Jerald enjoyed traveling, and spending their winters in Mesa, AZ prior to Jerald’s passing. She was an active member of the Orangeville United Methodist Church for 60 years, member of the United Methodist Women, and the Orangeville Firemen's Ladies Auxiliary. She enjoyed Square Dancing almost every Saturday night, and travelling around the US with Jerald and family. In later years, she travelled to Ireland, Germany and Switzerland, as well as several trips to Branson, MO and other destinations. Phyllis was also a secretary for her husband Jerald’s veterinary business in Orangeville.

Phyllis is survived by her five children; Bruce (Elizabeth) Kleckler of Naperville, IL, Beth (Steve) Flynn of Normal IL, Brad (Marlene) Kleckler of Dakota (Lake Summerset), Barbara (Jim) Hancock of Sycamore, and Barry (Jasmine) Kleckler of Redmond, OR, 18 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren; sisters Joyce Land, Bonnie Speers, and Dixie (Mike) Magee; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Jerald in 2003, two brothers; Milton Lawler and his wife Fern and Merrill Lawler, two sisters; Beverly Anderson and her husband Allen, sister Shirley Peters and her husband Robert, Brothers-in-law Richard Land and Sheldon Speers, and twin grandchildren (children of Brad and Marlene) at birth.

A public visitation was held from 3:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Friday, January 29, 2021 at the Orangeville United Methodist Church in Orangeville, IL. Private family services will be held at the church. Burial will be at Sunset Acres in Orangeville, IL. Pastor Siegfried Schwirblat officiated the services.

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


Kathleen MaryJane Baldauf, 74

Kathleen MaryJane (Goethe) Baldauf, 74, of Lena passed away unexpectedly on Monday January 25, 2021, at her home in Lena. Kathy was the daughter of Lester Goethe and Mildred (Koppein). She was born on February 16, 1946, in Freeport, IL.

Kathy began her education at the Rees rural one room schoolhouse. She progressed to Lena schools and graduated from Lena-Winslow High School in 1964. She attended North Central College in Naperville, but starting a family paused her original plan. Eugene Baldauf and Kathy were married on September 4, 1965. A short time later, with one-year old Scott in tow, a stay in West Germany was in store. Kathy would be joining Eugene, who had been stationed there with the Army. When Kathy and Eugene returned to the states, they enjoyed the births of two more sons, Richard and Dan. She enjoyed her role as a stay at home mom, but after the boys had grown a bit, she attended night school at Rockford College to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher. At Rockford College, she obtained her teacher certification and began teaching at Lena Grade School in 1980. She eventually earned her Master's degree in reading from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb. She retired from Lena-Winslow Elementary School in 2009.

Kathy and Eugene were members of the Gold Wing Riders Association. Kathy was a fan of Roy, Dale, Trigger, and Bullet, an avid reader, and active scrapbooker. She enjoyed laughing with her fellow Red Hatters, chewing the fat with high school classmates at ladies luncheons, the thrill of drum and bugle corps shows, and she loved supporting any of her grandchildren’s endeavors. Most recently she found joy in testing herself against Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune and watching Animal Planet, HGTV, and ice skating events.

Kathy is survived by three sons, Scott (Brenda Albertson) Baldauf of Cedarville, Richard Baldauf of Lena, and Dan (Brooke) Baldauf of Lena, four grandchildren, Tailor (Ashley) Mills of Denton, TX, and Bailey, Braden, and Avery Baldauf of Lena, a brother Don (Sharon) Goethe of Freeport, IL, and a sister-in-law, Marge Goethe of Maryland. Kathy was preceded in death by her husband, two brothers Gene and Jerry, her parents, and her beloved canine family members Heidi, Brandy, and Maggie.

Kathy was a lifelong member of Salem United Church of Christ and recently also enjoyed worshiping at Lena United Methodist Church. A private service will be held for the family. A visitation is planned for Wednesday, February 10th, from 2pm until 5pm at the Schwarz Funeral Home Chapel at 608 S. Park Blvd. in Freeport, IL. Please follow social distancing and mask wearing guidelines. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in Kathy's name to Friends Forever Humane Society in Freeport.


LaVerle D. “Bud” Eiseman, 84

LaVerle D. “Bud” Eiseman, 84, of Freeport, IL passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 28, 2021 at the Monroe Clinic Hospital in Monroe, WI.

He was born on June 21, 1936 to Walter and Viola (Koch) Eiseman in Freeport, IL. On May 27, 1961 Bud married Patricia Clarno in Orangeville, IL. He served his country in the United States Army from 1955-1958. Bud farmed in the rural Freeport area in his younger years, became a licensed plumber, and sold Scorpion snowmobiles. But and Patricia owned and operated E&H Pluming and Heating/Ace Hardware in Lena, IL. Bud enjoyed fishing, hunting and snowmobiling, He enjoyed going to Hayward, WI to the cabin and the lake, and loved being outdoors. He was a volunteer firefighter for over 30 years. Bud would do anything for anyone, especially his family. His grandchildren and great grandchildren meant the world to him.

Bud is survived by his wife of 59 years, Patricia of Freeport, IL; children Vicki (Brad) Diemer of Orangeville, IL, Duane Eiseman of Freeport, IL and LaVaughn (Elaine) Eiseman of Monroe, WI, grandchildren; Derik (Elizabeth) Diemer, Tasha (Jordan Echols) Diemer, Amanda Eiseman, April Martin, Erik Eiseman, Kelsey Eiseman, Adam Eiseman, and Elizabeth Eiseman, and seven great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his son Roger, two sisters and a brother.

Private family funeral services will be held at the Cramer-Leamon Funeral Home in Orangeville, IL. Burial will be at Grandview Cemetery in Freeport, IL. Shirley Kelter will officiate the services. A celebration of life to be held at a later date.

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


Reader Comments(0)


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2022