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Alfred “Al” Packard, 87

Alfred “Al” Packard passed away at home on September 18th, 2022. He almost certainly would not have wanted his life’s story read as a standard obituary.

Al would have preferred a funny story, likely involving a harmless prank and multiple witty one-liners. It is difficult to execute a prank through an obituary, so in Al’s memory, you’ll settle for one-liners.

Al was a natural born storyteller, so sifting through the hyperbole and exaggeration to establish the basics was more difficult than you’d guess. As his bride would be quoted “I’ve gotta say, there were times in his life where he had very little respect for the truth”. Al was not a dishonest man in any sense of the word but may have added an inch or two to the length of his most recently caught fish.

Al was born to Enid Evelyn (Tomlin) and George Erwin Packard in Antigo, Wisconsin on July 27th, 1935. Alongside his brother and cousins, Al spent his formative years being a true outdoorsman - catching fish, hunting rabbits and deer, and feigning ignorance when stopped by DNR. Al’s family relocated to Grayslake, Illinois, where he became a proud athlete. Al played football, basketball, and baseball. He would be quick to remind you that today’s athletes just aren’t as tough, and that when he played football, facemasks were optional.

After graduation, Al was drafted into the US Army, where he spent two years in Germany - to be clear, this was in 1958, so the stories told to grandchildren of liberating France may have been overblown. He spent most of his time as a GI ensuring the local bier was safe to drink and keeping morale up around base with his quick wit and humor. Upon completion of his service, he moved back to Chicago and joined the Ironworkers Union.

Al worked in Chicago from 1960 to 1975. Thanks to shoddy record keeping by the City of Chicago, Al was confident in telling his grandchildren that he single handedly welded the steel on whatever building in Chicago was being discussed at the time. To this date, they have been unable to prove otherwise.

During this time, Al met Sally, and began a long life of love with her. Together, they raised 8 children: Jane (Nagel), Sue (Simmons), Ricky Smiley, Linda (Diedrich), Darlene (Eggleston), Daniel Packard, Mary (Tessendorf) and Donald Packard.

In 1975, Al and Sally loaded the 8 children into a six-passenger station wagon and moved to Lena, Illinois.

Once in Lena, Al started his own business welding and operating cranes, all while taking on various side projects as he saw fit. If 50 years from now, an outdoorsman comes across a tree-stand that weighs 150 pounds, stands 40 feet high, and is sturdy as a rock, please return it to Sally.

After running his own business for 20 years, Al had a taste for the open seas. He got his United States Coast Guard Captain’s License and earned the moniker “Captain Al”. Al then went on to captain the Harrah’s casino boat in Joliet for another 6 years until retirement.

Upon retirement, Al spent a lot of time with his (many) grandchildren: Josh Schamberger, Adam Schamberger, Jessica Parker (Holm), Shawn Tessendorf, Jeffrey Tessendorf, Bradley Tessendorf, Nick Simmons, Luke Simmons, Daniel Smiley, Michael Smiley, Chris Smiley, Stephanie Hoover, Valerie Smola (Nagel), Bonnie Hayes (Nagel), Vanessa Nagel, Grace Eggleston, Lily Eggleston, Michael Packard, Megan Packard, Ayden Packard, and Alex Packard.

Al is pleased to report that he is survived by this entire list of grandchildren, as well as all 24 great-grandchildren. Al was a devoted grandpa, providing life lessons, big hugs, and lots of love to all of his grandchildren. In return, his grandchildren gave him the nickname of “Geek”. What a cruel world.

Sally and Al purchased a winter home in Englewood, Florida, where Al returned to his childhood roots of loving to fish. He spent many days at the “House of Pain”, “Banana”, and “Swiss Cheese” catching grouper, amberjack, and shark. His mornings in Florida consisted of checking weather buoys and strategizing the plan of attack to maximize the number of fish that could be caught in a day.

As the weather warmed up, Al and Sally would return home to Lena, where Al traded the salt-water tackle for camouflage and his crossbow and began to prepare to hunt whitetail each fall. The only saving grace for the deer of Stephenson County was Al’s beloved Le-Win Panthers football team.

Al spent each of his Friday nights cheering on the team while providing unsolicited feedback on how he thought the game should be played (and oftentimes, also how he thought it should be officiated).

Al spent the last years of his life living the right way. He would do what he wanted, when he wanted. He spent many summer nights by his pond, catching fish and telling jokes around the campfire. He spent many winter days in Florida, catching fish and telling jokes on a boat. Regardless of season or location, he was always ready for dessert.

Al was preceded in death by his parents, brother, and son, Ricky. They are undoubtedly reunited, and Al is likely arguing with his brother on who gets which deer stand for opening day.

Al is survived by his wife, Sally, and seven of their children: Jane Nagel, Sue Simmons, Linda Diedrich, Darlene (Gene) Eggleston, Daniel (Debbie) Packard, Mary (Al) Tessendorf, and Donald (Stacy) Packard.

Additionally, Al is survived by many great people who blur the lines between family and friend, including Jim and Kim Goebel, John and Eddie Clark, Denny and Cheryl Burnham, Boyd and Kim Reese, among many others.

Al’s memory and legacy will live on through his loving family and friends. We love you, Geek. A memorial service will be held at 12:00 pm on Saturday, October 1, 2022 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lena, IL. A visitation will be held from 10:00 am until time of service. Cremation rites have been accorded.

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

Sandra ”Sandy” L. Morrison, 75

Sandra “Sandy” L. Morrison, 75, of Lena passed away peacefully at her home on September 17, 2022. She was born on December 03, 1946, in Monmouth, IL to Harlan and Elizabeth (Esters) Terpening, She married Dr. David L. Morrison on January 19, 1968 at the Gerlaw Christian Church in Gerlaw, IL.

Sandy was a proud 1968 Monmouth College Graduate. Following her graduation, she began her career in education at Southern Junior High School in Stronghurst, IL. In 1978 she accepted a position teaching english and grammar at Knoxville Junior High in Knoxville, IL. In 1983 Sandy and her family moved to Lena, IL. Shortly after the move, she stared work to pursue her Masters of Social Work degree at the University of Wisconsin Madison and obtained her degree 1988. In the fall of 1988, she started work at Freeport School District as a social worker and remained there until her retirement in 2011.

In her free time Sandy loved spending time outside, whether that be walking, enjoying some sunflowers or sitting on her deck watching birds at her bird feeders. She also enjoyed reading in her free time. She was an avid Wisconsin Badgers and Chicago Sports Fan and would always try to watch the games when she could. Sandy was a member of the Lena United Methodist Church but also enjoyed attending various churches with her friends and family. She loved singing in the church choir as well as going to various bible studies and other church related activities. Sandy’s family meant the world to her, as she adored her grand children and loved keeping up with their activities. She also enjoyed antiquing and shopping with her mother and sister through the years.

Sandy is survived by her three sons- Mark (Michele) Morrison of Freeport, IL, Matthew (Laura) Morrison of De Forest, WI and Jeffery Morrison of Lena, IL; 3 grandchildren- Micah, Marly and Bennett; sister- Debra (James) Darrah; Brother-in-law William (Ginny) Morrison; sister-in-law Marjorie Barrett and numerous nieces, nephews and other loved ones.

Sandy is preceded in death by her parents, in-laws, husband David (in 2000) and brother-in-law Phillip Barrett.

Memorial Service was held at 12:00 pm on Friday, September 23, 2022, at the Leamon Funeral Home in Lena, IL. Visitation took place from 10:00 am until time of service and a luncheon took place immediately following at Lena United Methodist Church. Officiating was Pastor Keri Rainserger.

Burial will take place at a later date at Warren County Memorial Park in Monmouth, IL. Cremation rites have been accorded. A memorial has been established in her name.

Condolences may be sent to the family at http://www.leamonfh.com

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