We don't write papers, we build scrapbooks



LaVerne Willis, 77

LaVerne Willis, age 77, of Stockton, IL passed away Sunday, August 13, 2023 at his home. He was born in Freeport, IL to the late Sherwood and Pearl (Belk) Willis. LaVerne married Juanita Heidenreich on December 27, 1969.

He was a graduate of Elizabeth High School and went on to receive his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Dubuque and his Master’s Degree from Dubuque Theological Seminary. LaVerne farmed most of his life. He had also worked at the Eagle Ridge Resort in Galena. He enjoyed reading, puzzles, flowers, going for hikes, watching movies, and collecting rocks. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with grandchildren.

LaVerne is survived by his wife, Juanita; his daughters, Sue (Kevin) Miller and Julie Romaine; his son, Kimball (Sandy Staas) Willis; his grandchildren, Jessica, Caleb (Esther), Sara, Elizabeth, Avri, Rachel, Micaela, Joshua, Jaime, Lydia, Landon, Tiffani and Maggie; his sister, Marianne; his brothers, Eugene (Barbara) and Sherman (Marcella); and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his daughter, Marcella Portner; his two grandchildren, Austin and Chloe; and his brother, Sydney.

A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, August 27, 2023 at the Elizabeth Community Building at 1:00 p.m. A memorial fund has been established. Condolences may be shared at http://www.hermannfuneralhome.com.

Pearl City

James Duane Brinkmeier, 79

James Duane Brinkmeier, age 79, of Pearl City, IL passed away Wednesday, August 16, 2023 at Lena Living Center. He was born on July 20, 1944 to Donald and Mariette (Hoffman) Brinkmeier. He married Linda Kuhlmyer on July 12, 1964 in Pearl City. Together they raised two children.

James was a lifelong member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pearl City. He served on the Stephenson County Pork Producers Board and the American Yorkshire Board. He loved fairs and hog shows. He could be found playing cards most anywhere.

Surviving is his wife, Linda of 59 years; his daughter, Tammy (Kurt) Baldauf; his son, Chet Brinkmeier; his grandchildren, Chad (Krista) Baldauf of Wyokk, MN, Jase Baldauf of Preston, MN, Alex Brinkmeier of St. Louis, MO, Zach Brinkmeier of Des Moines, IA, Cara Brinkmeier of Pearl City and Collette Brinkmeier of Pearl City; his two great grandchildren, Temperance Baldauf of Wyokk, MN and Jorik Baldauf of Wyokk, MN. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Daryl.

A funeral service was held on Monday, August 21, 2023 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pearl City at 10:00 a.m. There was a visitation on Sunday, August 20, 2023 also at the church from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Interment will take place at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Freeport.

A memorial fund has been established. Condolences may be shared at http://www.hermannfuneralhome.com.


Steven R. “Herm” Bartelt, 74

“Herm” was born November 6, 1948 in Monroe, WI to Donald and Neva (Krebs) Bartelt. He died on August 13, 2023 at home. He attended Winslow Grade School, graduated from Lena-Winslow High School, and attended Highland Community College. He began farming at his grandparents farm in 1966, milking cows, raising hogs and planting crops. On June 29, 1974, he and Christine Meyers were married in Lena. In 1983, Scot Raymer began working at their dairy farm and became an integral part of the farming operation, fishing buddy and grew to be a “part of the family”. Due to declining health the dairy herd was dispersed in 2017 and a beef herd was started and continues today. While actively farming he earned awards from DHIA for “Super Cow” and from DeKalb seed corn company for the 200+ Club. He was proud of his farming career and was a good steward of the land.

In his younger life, Herm was a member of the Winslow Volunteer Fire Department, served as Winslow Township Clerk, was chair of the Winslow River Days Committee and emcee of River Days for many years. He was also a 50-year member of the Masonic Lodge, having joined the Winslow lodge and most recently belonging to the Orangeville lodge. In recent years he was content to drive around the countryside in the truck with Scot and the dogs (Duke and Annie) checking out the crops and the beef herd, and giving the dogs lots of treats! He was a good historian of Winslow and had drafted a book with lots of old sayings and sage advice.

He referred to himself as the “best provider you’ll ever have” as he was always bringing fruits, vegetables, wild mushrooms, or berries home to be processed and put in the freezer. There was always plenty of beef, pork and chicken in the freezer as well. No one ever left this farm hungry!

He is survived by Christine, Scot, dogs – Duke and Annie and Honey. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Anna Meyers and sisters-in-law, Pauline (Paul) Cyborski, Lisa (Bart) Conrad, and brother-in-law, Mark (Lori) Meyers, “honorary sisters” Jennifer (Jason) Kempel and Kim Leamon. Also surviving are many special nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews and many special friends too numerous to mention. Herm was loved and will be missed by all.

Preceding him in death are his parents, Don and Neva, father-in-law Harold “Spud” Meyers, sister-in-law Linda Leamon and brother-in-law “Mike” Meyers.

Per his wishes, a public graveside service was held at 1:00pm on Thursday, August 17, 2023 at Rock Lily Cemetery in Winslow. Pastor Ernie Stabenow officiated the service.

The family would like to give special thanks to Dr. Malcolm DeCamp at UW Health, Dr. Michael McFadden and staff and FHN Hospital staff, SSM Health Monroe hospital staff and Lena Living Center staff for the loving care given to Herm over the past weeks.

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


Peggy Reed, 59

Peggy Reed, of Lombard, passed away at the age of 59 on August 9, 2023, with her family by her side. She was born September 20, 1963, to Lyle and Cynthia (Dunaway) Reed of Dakota.

Peggy graduated from Orangeville High School in 1981. In 1983, she graduated from Highland Community College with an associates degree before attending the University of Illinois Chicago and graduating with a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree in 1989. After graduation, Peggy worked her entire 30 plus year career at Rush Hospital in Chicago.

Peggy was a big fan of the Chicago Bears, Chicago Bulls, and of course the Chicago Cubs. Traveling to Arizona for spring training was an annual family event. While in Phoenix, she scored her first hole in one while golfing with family. She enjoyed traveling with family and friends to Alaska, St Louis, and Europe. Peggy was a fearless child and woman always ready for the next adventure.

Peggy is survived by her parents Lyle and Cynthia of Dakota; sisters Mary (Randy) Cummins of Freeport, Barbara (Dale) Simpson of Freeport; brothers Curtis (Molly) Reed of Winslow and Martin Reed of Dakota. She is also survived by 10 loving nieces and nephews and 16 great nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM on Sunday, September 24, 2023, at the Cramer-Leamon Funeral Home in Orangeville. Memorial services will be held at 1:00 PM on Sunday, September 24, 2023, at the Cramer-Leamon Funeral Home in Orangeville. Pastor Roger Bronkema will officiate the services.

Burial will take place at Rock Lily Cemetery in Winslow, IL. 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


Reader Comments(0)

Rendered 07/11/2024 23:04