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Obituaries

 


Rockford

Leona I. Frey (96)

Leona I. Frey peacefully passed away on March 23, 2022, near the arms of a beautiful oak tree outside her window. Her long life was full: of nature, teaching, learning, friendships, church, volunteering, family and adventure, and her German heritage. Her soul was a beautiful example of compassion, selfless love, and generosity. Leona will be remembered by all who knew her as a person with a great heart, always checking on the well-being of others. Most of all, Leona cherished spending time with her family and friends to share a meal, have a cup of tea, play ‘42’ and talk! Her energetic brown eyes and quick smile let you know she was ready for some kidding and fun.

Passionate about nature and loving everything to do with birds, squirrels, owls, and trees, Leona took great pleasure in turning over an old log in the forest to see what insects it was home to. She cherished her days of volunteering for the hands-on nature education programs for children at Severson Dells Nature Center. She led hikes, participated in night walks, joined in the butterfly garden, and went on birding and other outings with her nature friends. Dedicated to the preservation of our earth, she practiced reducing and reusing long before recycling was even a word. She was a vigorous walker on the bike paths before starting her day’s work. She was proud of her home and had many bird feeders, a garden, and she continued to mow her lawn at age eighty.

Leona’s very special most recent friends were those at Severson Dells. However, as a young adult and widow, Leona joined PWP (Parents without Partners), and along with her Bethel United Church of Christ family, these were the source of lifetime friendships. She also kept in touch with her business school friends and wonderful teachers and staff she worked with at McIntosh and Lathrop elementary schools. She adored her sister Rosanna, all her nieces and nephews on both sides of the family, and her cousins. In addition, she had get-togethers and lasting friendships with many good neighbors. She lived in her home until she was 92 years old.

Leona was a great mom to her daughters, treating them to tent camping trips to the state parks of IL and WI, and train trips to national parks out west. Her Coleman tent and camping supplies were her pride and joy and she passed them on to granddaughter Sarah, to continue in her spirit. Her favorite years she said were those raising Laurie and Linda. Her six grandchildren have fond memories of picnics and fun at the local county fairs, being read books on the sofa, helping in her garden and compost, walks down the farm lane, sleepovers at her house during summer weeks of day camp, library reading challenges in the summer, going ‘owling’ at night in the woods, attending Riverhawks games, going to the Starlight Theatre, and receiving homemade birthday cakes each year at college. Her grandchildren who were in Mexico recall her taking too many shots of tequila, loving coconut, working in the school library, and trips to the beach.

On August 5th, 1925 Leona was born in the family farmhouse to Sadie and Herman E. Wubbena in Harper, IL. She told the family many stories, including how the bread would rise near the warming oven, and homemade churned butter was made, and she instilled that German work ethic in her children and grandchildren. She attended a one-room schoolhouse, and later graduated from Shannon High in 1944. Her big decision was to go to Rockford School of Business in 1946. From 1946 - 1956 Leona worked as a legal secretary for attorneys Thomas, Davis and Kostantakos. She married Carl Frey during that time, in 1951. When Carl died in 1963, Leona began taking college classes and working for attorney John Pelgen, where she worked for 10 years. After graduating from Rockford College in 1973, Leona started her second career, as a 4th/5th grade teacher at McIntosh and then Lathrop schools in Rockford, obtaining her master’s degree in education from NIU in 1982. After 20 years, she retired, and lived with daughter Laurie part of every winter until the age of 93.

Leona is survived by two daughters, Laurie Frey-Baquedano (Yucatan, Mexico) and Linda (Joe) Radford (Pearl City, IL); 6 grandchildren, Sarah (Brandon) Rushing, (Lompoc, CA), Dakota Radford (Charleston, IL), Teal Radford (Santa Fe, NM), Colton Radford (Independence, IA), Lauren (Byron) Morris (North Augusta, NC), Alison (Rob) Ruch (Flowery Branch, GA), and 8 great-grandchildren: Emma, Byron, Naamen & Camilla Morris; Miriam & Rownan Ruch; and Gray & Jack Rushing. She is predeceased by her sister, Rosanna Dietmeier of Freeport, IL.

The family would like to have a special thank you to Drs. Koepsell (Sr. and Jr) and their staff in Rockford, for their years of kindness and expertise, and to the wonderful managers, nurses, CNAs, cooks and staff at both Oakley Courts in Freeport and Allure of Mt. Carroll.

A memorial has been set up in Leona’s name for an interactive bird book display at Severson Dells Nature Preserve; Rockford, IL – her favorite spot to volunteer.

A joyous celebration of her life will be held at a later date. Please visit http://www.walkermortuary.com to send condolences and see updates.

Hanover

Henry Grishkowski, 92

Henry Grishkowsky, 92, of Dubuque, Iowa, passed away Friday, March 25, at Hospice of the Valley in Glendale, Arizona.

A funeral service was held at 11:00am on Monday, April 4, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 8393 South Derinda Road, Elizabeth, Illinois, with Pastor David Russell and Pastor Paul Amlin officiating. Burial will be in the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery. Henry was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Derinda and an associate member of Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Dubuque, Iowa.

Henry John Grishkowsky was born in a sod roofed house on the prairie of rural Beulah, North Dakota. He was the third son of Martha Gramm and Reinhart Grishkowsky. The date was Easter Sunday, April 7, 1929. The family spent the following very cold winter in North Dakota, but then went to California to stay with grandparents to escape the weather and the hardships of the Great Depression of the early 1930’s. The family later returned to their North Dakota land, financially able to plant wheat, feed beef cattle and mine the coal resources, which served the family well.

Henry attended Beulah Community Schools from first grade through high school graduation. Continued education took him to Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. From his second year of college to graduation he was a pre-theology student at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.

In the fall of 1951, he entered Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. It was here, in a church young peoples’ meeting, that he met his future wife, Rosebud Hyink, then a college nurse and junior at the University of Dubuque.

During his years of study, he was the District President of the entire Luther League of South Dakota, North Dakota and part of Canada. This honor was relinquished when he began his parish ministry.

Henry went on internship for his third year of theological study at Zion Lutheran Church in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Having completed that requirement, he returned to Dubuque, then took Rosebud to her home in Palos Park, Illinois, where they were married on June 19, 1954. The couple made their first home in a small apartment in Dubuque, Iowa. Henry had part time work at the Eagle Grocery Store and Rosebud worked the summer for the Visiting Nurse Association.

Following their graduations and having received his first call to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hanover and Trinity Lutheran Church in rural Derinda, Illinois, Henry was ordained in Zion Lutheran Church in Beulah, North Dakota on June 12, 1955. He was installed in Hanover and Derinda on July 10, 1955. He and Rosebud served 42 ½ years in their first and only call, where every member was precious. Just prior to retirement, Pastor Henry was honored with an award of Pastor Emeritus by his congregation. The service of closure took place on October 26, 1997. Pastor Henry and Rosebud retired in December 1997, and moved to Sunset Park Place in Dubuque, Iowa.

Henry was a kind and gentle man, who devoted many of his early years of retirement to the loving care of his wife, Rosebud. In his later years, Henry enjoyed spending his winters in Glendale, Arizona. Henry was much loved and will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

Henry is survived by his brother, Glen (Becky) of Glendale, Arizona, a sister-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, and many very special friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife, his brothers Eldon and Delmar, a brother-in-law, and two sisters-in-law.

Memorials may be given to Trinity Lutheran Church in Derinda, Illinois, Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Dubuque, Iowa, or a charity of your choice.

Freeport

Carol Lee Baker, 84

Carol Lee Baker, 84, of Freeport, IL, passed away peacefully in her home Thursday, March 31, 2022, surrounded by loved ones. She was born August 8, 1937 in Freeport to Robert and Eleanor Connery. Carol was united in marriage to Harrison “Pete” Baker on September 27, 1958 and were together 54 years until his passing in 2012.

Carol was an accomplished and well-rounded woman. She graduated Freeport High School in 1956 and Sterling Beauty School in 1960. She ran Carol’s Beauty Shoppe out of her home for a decade and later managed Fannie May Candies in Freeport for some 35 years. Carol was an active member of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) for 27 years, and awarded Woman of the Year. She was active with Chicks of ’56, women’s bowling leagues, and she regularly played cards and games with her sister, Janice, in multiple card clubs and groups over the years. She loved traveling and vacationing with her family yearly to the lakes in Chetek, WI. Nothing made her happier than cooking for family, planning for family get-togethers, and spoiling grandkids and family dog, Lexxy, with cookies and treats.

Carol is preceded in death by her parents Robert and Eleanor (Penticoff) Connery, husband Harrison “Pete” Baker, and brother-in-law Jack Hammond.

She is survived by her sister Janice Hammond, Freeport IL, daughter Connie Meyer, New Glarus WI, son Robert Baker (Brea Adams and daughter Gabby Mullen), Freeport IL, grandchildren Samantha Meyer (Jason Jindra), Christopher Meyer, Aleisha (Bill) Gerbode, Kyle (Mandi) Baker, great-grandchildren, Nathan, Zoey, Arianna, Carson, Oliver, Calum, and Colby, and niece and nephews Sherry Koerner, Brian (Patti) Hammond, and Greg (Kim) Hammond.

Funeral services will be 11:30 AM Saturday April 9, 2022 at Burke-Tubbs Funeral Home in Freeport, IL, with Rev. Eddie Eddy, Sr. officiating. Visitation will be from 9:30 AM until the time of service. Interment will be at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens.

A special Thank You! to FHN Hospice for their care and assistance throughout Carol’s final days before her passing.

Stockton

Kenneth Lee Hess, 79

Kenneth Lee Hess, age 79, of Stockton, IL passed away Friday, April 1, 2022 at Allure of Stockton. He was born in Stockton on August 29, 1942 to the late James and Gertrude (Posey) Hess. Kenny married Pamela Cox on August 13, 1972 at Calvary United Methodist Church in Stockton.

He was a 1960 graduate of Stockton High School and retired from the Stockton School District. Kenny had previously worked as a photographer, taking many wedding photos. He had also worked for Koym Electric and Kraft Foods. Kenny was an avid Stockton Blackhawks fan and enjoyed attending the sporting events. He was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout Leader. Most of all, Kenny was a family man. He loved every minute he spent with his family and enjoyed traveling with Pam to visit family that lived out of state.

He is survived by his wife, Pam Hess of Stockton; his sons, Michael Hollister of Las Vegas, NV, Steve Herburger of Kenosha, WI, Tim Hess of Canon City, CO, and Scott Hess of Stockton; his daughter, Amy (Tom) Rheingans of Portland, OR; his 10 grandchildren; his brother, LaVerne (Daune) Hess of Thousand Oaks, CA; and his sisters, Betty Galentine of Thomson, IL and Sharon (Donald) Goethe of Freeport, IL. He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Jeff Herburger; his grandson, Alexander Hess; his brothers, Mel, Don, Wayne and Marvin Hess; and his sister, Gladys Hess.

The funeral service will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2022 at Calvary United Methodist Church in Stockton at 11:00 a.m. There will be a visitation beginning at 9:00 a.m. Interment will take place at Ladies Union Cemetery in Stockton. A memorial fund has been established. Condolences may be shared at http://www.hermannfuneralhome.com.

 

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