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Mae M. Abraham, 94

Mae M. Abraham, age 94, passed away on Friday, June 23, 2023 in Lena, IL. Mae was born on March 17, 1929 to Elmer and Marie (Higgins) Krupke in South Beloit, IL. She married Gerald “Abe” Abraham on January 1, 1952 in South Beloit. Mae was a Home Economics teacher at Orangeville and Aquin High School. She then served as the secretary for the family plumbing business for many years. She was a proud member of the Safari Club International.

She left her tracks on the long grass, hunting under wild skies on many hunts. From the high Plains of New Mexico, to the mountains of Montana. From the Swamps of Louisiana, through the Frozen Tundra of the Artic Circle, and seven times to the Plains of Africa. Mae found her trophies.

Mae is survived by her son-Scott (Judy) Abraham of Monroe, WI; grand-daughters- Kristi (Dan) Magee of Belbrook, OH and Traci (Rich) Anderegg of Columbus, WI; 5 great grandchildren- Jacob and Mitchel Magee, Kiley (Michael) Duffy, Leah and Max Wickler; grand dogs- Harley and Charlie; sisters-in-law Jeanette Krupke of Broadhead, WI and Carol Krupke of South Beloit, WI; and caretaker Heather Schweigert.

She is preceded in death by her husband Gerald “Abe”, 3 brothers- Howard, Ralph, and John Krupke, and 2 grand dogs- Walter and Sherman.

Cremation rites have been accorded. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. A memorial has been established in her memory. Condolences may be sent to the family at http://www.leamonfh.com

Elma Jeanette Koehler, 83

Elma Jeanette Koehler, 83, passed away peacefully on Tuesday June 27, 2023, at Azura Memory Care in Monroe, WI. She was born on August 2, 1939, in Galena, IL to Wilfred and Elma (Schuller) Greene.

Jeanette was married to Lyle Koehler in 1959 and he passed away in 1987. She then was with her significant other Dan “Barney” Reynolds for 25 years until he passed on December 26, 2017.

She worked for Kolb Lena for several years until she went to Newell Rubbermaid and worked there until she retired. Jeanette loved spending time with her family, loved the holidays, she enjoyed camping, walking, and watching her family compete in various sports.

Jeanette is survived by her son- Lenny (Nora) Koehler of Lena, IL; stepson- Mack Reynolds of New Glarus, WI; daughter in law- Karen Koehler of Monroe, WI; 4 grandchildren- Janelle, Katie, Kristen and Hailey, great grandchildren- JaKobe, Taylor, Brayden, Lyla, and RaeAna, and 2 brothers- Ray Greene, Loran (Kathy) Greene, sister-in-law- Karen Greene and numerous nieces and nephews.

She is preceded by her husband- Lyle, significant other- Dan, son - Larry, sister- Gerry (Ron) Greiner and Shirley in infancy, brothers- Wayne Greene and LaVerne (Donna) Greene and sister-in-law- Lois Greene.

A visitation was held on Sunday, July 2, 2023, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 p.m at the Leamon Funeral Home in Lena. A Funeral Mass was held on Monday, July 3, 2023, at 10:00 am at St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lena, IL. With a visitation from 9:00 am until time of service. Burial will take place at St. Michaels Catholic Cemetery in Galena. Father Andrew Sacayan Hernandez officiated the services.

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


Jack Sidney Baxter, 87

Jack Sidney Baxter, 87, of Freeport passed away peacefully Sunday, June 25th at his home surrounded by his loving family.

He was born April 12, 1936 in Freeport to Perry and Zoe (Clark) Baxter. He joined the Army National Guard soon after his graduation from Lanark High School in 1954. He left the guard in 1967 when his new job with the Freeport Fire Department conflicted with drills. He retired from the Department in the early 90’s after 25 years of service and reaching the position of Deputy Chief. He was married to Mary-Ellen DeLong in Lake City, IA on August 5, 1962.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Jill (Robert) Rogers, and his step-sister Caralee (Conrad) Aschenbrenner.

He will be dearly missed by his wife, daughters Stacey (Pete) Clark, Freeport and Regan Baxter, Columbia, MD; son Brett Baxter, Enterprise, AL; and grandsons John and Nicholas Baxter.

Jack was a man of many hobbies. In his younger years, he had a pilot’s license and sometimes flew his young family to visit his wife’s parents in Iowa. Then he took up sky diving and did several parachute jumps. When he got older, he switched to flying radio-controlled model planes. He had a talent for woodworking and built and sold muzzle-loading rifles. He also made beautiful baskets from red willow. He loved the outdoors and enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, and sometimes just sitting out in nature. He belonged to several organizations but was especially proud to be a Freemason. Jack Baxter seemed to know everyone. He had a knack for getting his picture in the paper. He loved blueberry pie. He claimed to hate cats but cats sure loved him. On road trips, he had no issues with pulling over and asking for directions. He enjoyed feeding the squirrels that would come to the back yard.

Memorial services will be 11:00 am Friday July 7, 2023 at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Pastor Frank Lay will officiate. Visitation 9:00 am until the time of service at the church. Interment will be in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens.

The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to Freeport Memorial Hospital, the Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center, FHN Supportive Care and the FHN hospice workers for the excellent care they gave him. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the American Cancer Society in Jack’s memory.

William (Bill) Reiling, 93

William (Bill) Reiling passed away on June 27, 2023 at Winn Prairie, Freeport, IL, two weeks after his 93rd birthday.

Bill was born on June 13th 1930 at home in Coe Township in rural Port Byron, IL to Vernon and Thelma (Wells) Reiling. He attended several one room schoolhouses in grade school and graduated from Lanark, IL high school in 1948. He helped on the farm and was a meat cutter in Chadwick, IL before being drafted. Bill met his future spouse, Marian Newendyke, at a roller rink in Sterling, IL. She was impressed by him but also by his new 1953 Bel Air Chevy. Bill served with a SCARWAF unit of the Army Corp of Engineers at the Itazuki Airforce Base in Japan from 1954-1955, right after the Korean War. He was a road grader and helped build an airfield for B-52 bombers and sabre jets. He also served as a jeep driver. After returning to Illinois, Bill and Marian were married at the Reformed Church in Sterling, IL on August 1st, 1956. They moved from Prophetstown, IL to Waddams Grove, IL. Bill raised cattle and grain farmed for over 40 years.

Bill and Marian had two daughters, Laurie (Butch) Broughton of Freeport, IL and Lynne (Dennis “Denny”) Lake of Lena, IL. Grandchildren are Andrew “Andy” Lake and his little family, Felicia and Skylar of Lexington, KY, Angela “Angie” Lake of Madison, WI and Asa Lake of Orlando, FL.

Bill was a loving family man and was very involved in his children’s and grandchildren’s lives. He enjoyed attending their sporting events, speech events and plays. He raised alpacas and sold pumpkins with his family. He also had a wry sense of humor and played many practical jokes on his family. Bill and Marian enjoyed many trips to Orlando, FL in the winter. They also traveled to Hawaii, Nova Scotia, Canada and the Panama Canal. Bill once took a business trip to British Honduras (now Belize) and flew in a Cesna 150 with National Geographic. Bill owned land near the Jane Addams Trail and was proud to be able to donate 13 acres for the Jane Addams Trailhead. Bill received his real estate license and also built, remodeled and/or restored homes, apartment buildings and barns in Stephenson and Carroll counties. Bill loved old Ford cars and rebuilt a 1907 Ford Model R and also had a 1908 Ford Model S. He won 2nd place for cars 1908 or earlier during the Old Car Festival in Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford Museum in 2011. Bill was recently honored as a 70 year member of the Lena Masonic Lodge. He was also a member of the Lena Lions and the Lena American Legion for many years. Bill was a current member of Harmony United Methodist Church. Bill and Marian enjoyed 64 years together. He was a loving husband and a wonderful family man and friend. He will be sorely missed by all that knew him.

Bill is survived by his children, grandchildren, brother Ronald (Janet) Reiling, sister-in-law Mary Newendyke, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Ernie and Carol Eads, sister-in-law Barbara Newendyke and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by special friend, Shirley McLeroy.

Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Marian and his parents.

A service was held at Leamon Funeral Home in Lena, IL on Friday, June 30th with Pastor Eddie Eddy of Harmony UMC. Visitation was from 10:00 AM until time of service at 11:00 AM. After the service, there was a graveside ceremony at the Lena Burial Park. A luncheon followed at Harmony United Methodist Church, Freeport, IL.

Special thanks to FHN Hospice, Winn Prairie staff and Dr. Miller.

A memorial has been established for FHN Hospice and Harmony United Methodist Church. Condolences may be sent to the family at leamonfh.com.


Rita S. Schindler, 74

Rita S. Schindler, 74, of Browntown, formerly of McConnell passed away unexpectedly on June 27, 2023. She was born on June 11, 1949, in Freeport to Elmer and Bessie (Klontz) Wachlin. Rita married Roger Schindler on April 7, 1968, at the Orangeville United Methodist Church and were together until his passing in 1985. In the early 2000’s she met her partner, Ronald Scheider.

She worked as an underwriter at General Casualty for 41 years until her retirement. Rita was a member of the McConnell United Methodist Church, McConnell Historical Society, secretary for Silent Hill Cemetery Association, former McConnell Legion Auxiliary member and very involved with helping with the youth group.

Rita is survived by her son- Michael Schindler of Orangeville, IL; Partner- Ronald Scheider, 2 stepsons- Scott (Patty) Scheider and James (Pam) Scheider; 6 step grandchildren, 3 step great-grandchildren, 3 brother-in-laws- LaVern Schindler, Denny (Loni) Schindler and Gary Herbig; as well as many nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by her parents, in-laws, husband Roger, son Robert in 1993, 2 sisiter-in-laws June Herbig and Anita Schindler and Special Uncle Rollie.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, July 1, 2023, 11:00am at the United Methodist Church of McConnell (McConnell Community Church). Visitation was held Friday, June 30, 2023, from 4:00pm until 7:00 pm at the Leamon Funeral Home in Lena. Pastor Doug Carroll officiated the service. Burial is at the Silent Hill Cemetery in McConnell. Cremation rites have been accorded.

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


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