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Jon R. Daws, 59

Jon R. Daws age 59, of Lena, IL passed away unexpectedly on Monday, August 1, 2022. He was born July 30, 1963 in Freeport IL to Robert and Dianne (Duth) Daws. Jon married Anne Kempel on April 8, 1988 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lena, IL. He was a 1981 graduate of the Le-Win High School. Jon and Anne are current members of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Stockton.

Jon farmed in the rural Lena area alongside his father, Robert. He was always willing to help anyone in need. For the past 24 years, Jon served as the highway commissioner for the West Point Township. Because of his devotion to helping people, he always made sure that the roads were cleared for the first responders whenever they were needed, whatever the weather. Jon never met a vehicle on the road, without waving at them.

Jon was an amazing father. He loved Nick and Ariel more than anything in the world. He would drop whatever he was doing to help his children. Nick needed a replacement cellphone while at college, and Jon left at 5:30 pm alone and drove to Bloomington, IL to deliver the new phone and was back the same night. Every Saturday night, as Ariel was a little girl, Jon would paint her fingernails, making sure she was ready for church on Sunday. He was really looking forward to Ariel’s wedding coming up this spring and was excited to have Noah as a son-in-law. Jon loved Noah and respected him for his strong work ethic and his kind and loving heart towards Ariel.

Jon is survived by his wife Anne of Lena; son- Nicholas of Madison, WI, Daughter – Ariel (fiancé Noah Zellmer) Daws of Orfordville, WI; Parents- Robert and Dianne Daws of Lena; sister- Pam (Bill) Lingle and their children; Lauren (Carl) Fisher, Lucas (fiancé Nicole Beebe) Lingle; Brothers- Ron (Becky) Daws and Roger (Michele) Daws and their children; Shaun (Laiken) Daws, Adam (Kelaiah) Daws, Karri Daws; father and mother in law Dean and Margaret Kempel of Lena; Donald Kempel and his children; Matthew (fiancé Emiley Engle) Kempel, Phillip Kempel, William (Codi) Kempel and their son Oliver; Gary (Amy) Kempel and their children Samantha and Andrew, Keith (Christy) Kempel, and their daughter Emily; special cousin Bruce Daws.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents Scotty and Jane Duth, paternal grandparents George and Katherine Daws, and his sister-in-law Martha Kempel.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM on Thursday, August 11, 2022 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Stockton, IL. Visitation will be from 4:00 PM- 8:00 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at Leamon Funeral Home in Lena, IL. Burial will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Lena, IL. Father Michael Morrissey will officiate the services.

A memorial has been established in his memory. Condolences may be sent to the family at http://www.leamonfh.com.

Sharon E. Holland, 78

Sharon E. Holland, age 78 of Lena, passed away on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, at Lena Living Center. She was born March 17, 1944, in Stephenson County, IL, the daughter of Harold and Emma (Otte) Koch. Shortly after graduating high school, she married Merton “Mert” Holland on August 12, 1962, at the Lena United Methodist Church. Sharon then started working at Kayser’s Butchering in Lena, where she worked for many years. She then went on to work at Micro-Switch in Freeport, IL until her retirement.

Sharon coached youth softball in Lena for several years. She was active in her bowling league and loved to go out dancing. Sharon was an avid dog lover throughout her life. Her dogs were a big part of the joy she found when camping at many different parks and campgrounds. She also enjoyed spending time in the gardening and canning vegetables and meat. Sharon and Mert also loved to go on motorcycle rides together. In her later years, when she was able to spend time with her grandchildren, she took advantage of it by cooking and baking for them all, as she treasured the opportunity to make precious memories with them.

She is survived by her husband-Mert of Lena; two children- Robert Holland of Freeport, Barbara (Heath) Harbach of Warren; seven grandchildren; Kaylene (Zach) Borgmann, Chase (Johanna) Holland, Blake Holland, Shane (Sarah) Harbach, Cody (Danesa) Harbach, Chelsea (Melissa Goodwin) Harbach, Analiesa Harbach; nine great-grandchildren with one more on the way; five brothers- Eugene Koch, Kenneth (Sharon) Koch, Dean (Bonnie) Koch, Roger Koch, Don (Rita) Koch; one sister- Kathryn Slamp; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Sharon was preceded in death by her parents, two sisters-in-law; Sally Koch and Kathy Koch, one brother-in-law Richard Slamp, and one niece Brittany Koch.

A private family service will be held. Burial will take place at Lena Burial Park.

Sharon’s family wishes to extend a special thank you to the staff at Lena Living Center, and Heartland Hospice for all the care she received.

She will be remembered for her great hugs and will be missed by everyone that knew her.

A memorial has been established in her name. Condolences may be sent to the family at http://www.leamonfh.com


Joyce Elaine Brinkmeier, 81

Joyce Elaine Brinkmeier, 81, of Freeport, formerly of Lena, passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 28, 2022 at Provena St. Joseph Center in Freeport, with her family by her side.

She was born December 28, 1940 in Freeport, the daughter of Woodrow and Caryl (Leggett) Lorenz. She graduated from Freeport High School in 1958 and married Thomas Brinkmeier on July 3, 1965 in Freeport. Joyce worked at MICRO SWITCH and was a lunch lady at Lena-Winslow Elementary School, in addition to spending many years as a homemaker. She was a member of Lena United Methodist Church.

Joyce enjoyed quilting, bowling, traveling, playing cards and games, and working in the garden. She was an incredibly talented crocheter, making beautiful afghans, tablecloths, doilies, snowflake ornaments, and other keepsakes her family will cherish. She excelled at word games and she and her husband Tom were masters of Password, using their own secret language to dominate most opponents. She salted her beer, mastered her brandy slush recipe, and did not peek at her beef stew while it was in the oven.

She is survived by her daughter, Catherine (Chris) Mutschler of Holland, MI; four grandchildren: Amy (Jeff) Ficaro of Tinley Park; Erica (Ian) Blair of Lena; and Josephine Mutschler and Thomas Mutschler of Holland, MI; five great grandchildren: Olivia and Isabella Ficaro; and Easton, Emmett, and Elliott Blair; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Bruce and Terri Brinkmeier of Barrington; Ken and Julie Beach of Freeport; and Linda Lorenz of Hermitage, TN; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Joyce was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Tom; her brothers, Gerald Lorenz and Kenneth Lorenz; sister-in-law, Gayle Lorenz; and her infant son, Steven Thomas.

A visitation was held on Monday, August 8 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Leamon’s Funeral Home in Lena. The funeral followed the visitation at noon on the same day. Cremation rites will be accorded. A memorial is being established in Joyce’s memory. Condolences may be sent to the family at http://www.leamonfh.com. The family would like to thank FHN hospice, especially Andrea and Yolanda, for their compassionate care.


Gerald Lee Blair, 86

Gerald Lee Blair, age 86, of Lanark, IL, passed away July 31, 2022 at his home. A memorial visitation was held Friday, August 5, 2022 at Law Jones Funeral Home in Lanark, from 4pm to 7pm. Then on Sunday, August 7, 2022, from 1-4pm, the Blair family hosted a celebration of Jerry’s life at his home, at 26503 US Highway 52, in Lanark. A memorial fund has been established in Jerry’s name.

Jerry was born January 30, 1936 in rural Stephenson County, IL, the son of Walter and Teresea (Koch) Blair. He attended Lanark schools, graduating from Lanark High School with the class of 1953. Jerry went to work for his brother, Don Blair’s produce business, driving around the area picking up eggs. On June 23, 1957, Jerry married Joyce Gerdes at Trinity Lutheran Church in Milledgeville, IL. Shortly thereafter, Jerry was drafted into the United States Army, where he proudly served his country in Korea.

Upon returning home from war, in 1960, Jerry got right back to work, building a life for himself and his family, driving truck for a number of companies, including DeKalb Feed and Hafer Trucking. He then found himself with an opportunity to purchase a white washing business; one that he would run for more than 40 years. Never one to shy away from a strong work ethic, Jerry saw another opportunity to provide for his community, and opened Blair Running Boards in the mid 1970’s. He was a man who truly loved a hard day’s work. Even in his own businesses, he went to work every day with the attitude of a working man, and certainly “not a boss”, as he would often remind his family.

Jerry cherished his community, where he was a proud Lion’s Club member and took an active role in coordinating, and of course appearing in, parades throughout the years. He was a winner of the Melvin Jones and the Lion of the Year awards. There may not have been a bigger fan of high school sports than Jerry, as well. He loved watching all the kids compete, especially his grandchildren as they came of age. In his younger years, he loved to dance and roller skate; he actually met his dear Joyce at White Pines Roller Rink, in Polo IL, those many years ago. Late in Jerry’s life, with most of his work responsibilities fading into the past, he still found happiness tinkering with whatever he could get his hands on. Until his last breath, Jerry was kind, trustworthy, and loyal to the highest degree. He will be dearly missed by family and friends, alike.

Jerry is survived by his wife of 65 years, Joyce; two sons, Jeff (Sandy) Blair, of Lanark and Jarrett (Jana) Blair, of Lanark; five grandchildren, Heidi (Adam) Ditzler, Theresa (Curtis) Johnson, Jordan Blair, Jace Blair, Seth (Ally) Blair, Joe (Brenna) Meade, Cassie (Kris) Corrigeux, and Krista (Quinten) Hayes; 15 great-grandchildren, Shyanna, Laney, Charlie, Cayse, Carver, Cruz, Ashtyn, Daxton, Sadie, Kinley, Hadley, John, Elliott, Jack, and Luke; and brother, Norm (Wava) Blair, of Le Sueur, MN. Jerry is preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Teresea; four brothers; and two sisters.

The Blair family would like to extend a special thank you to FHN Hospice for their kindness and professionalism.


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