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Apple River

Darlene Elizabeth (VanLent) Busch, 88

Darlene Elizabeth (VanLent) Busch, 88, of Apple River, Illinois passed away at home on Thursday, December 21, 2023.

She was born on April 26, 1935 in rural Scales Mound, Illinois, the daughter of Frank and Clara (Schonhoff) VanLent. Darlene married Elmer “Hommie” Busch on December 7, 1951, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Apple River, Illinois. A life long homemaker, she enjoyed working puzzles, playing bingo, and keeping up with the neighborhood news over coffee.

Surviving are her children; Randy (Jackie) Busch of Warren, Debbie (Alan) Jacox of Steward, Linda Toay of Apple River, Barb (Dan) Haffele of Warren, Monica (Jeff) Cline of Apple River, Matt (Laurie) Busch of Warren, and Amy Busch of Freeport, her daughter-in-law Mary Busch of Darlington, WI. Darlene is also survived by her 19 grandchildren; Emily (Richard), Megan (Rich), Cody (Kayleigh), Cole, Josh (Susan), Justin (Lindsey), Mallory (Aaron), Dylan, Jamie (Brian), Dawn (Ben), Cammie (Mark), Ryan (Amanda), Betsy (Ryan), Abby (Chad), Ben (Danielle), Adam, Katie, Patrick, and Alex. She is also survived by 26 great-grandchildren; Lydia, Garrett, Griffin, Maddox, Audrey, Mathias, Everrett, Elliott, Emmory, Reagan, Taylor, Hannah, Harrison, Autumn, Avery, Ben, Erin, Sean, Kate, Bella, Morgan, Ryker, Lincoln, Isaiah, and Cade, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Darlene was preceded in death by her husband Elmer, her daughter Beth Ann, and her son Kim. She was also preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, and her twin sister.

A visitation was from 5:00 to 7:00 PM on Wednesday, December 27, 2023 at the Bartell-Leamon Funeral Home in Warren, Illinois. Private family services will be held at a later date. Burial will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Apple River, Illinois.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in her memory. Condolences may be sent to the family at http://www.leamonfh.com.


Joyce Meyer, 97

Joyce Meyer (nee Heller), age 97 years, passed away peacefully on December 27, 2023, at Ivy Manor in West Bend, Wisconsin.

Joyce was born on April 17, 1926, in Apple River, Illinois. She graduated from Scale Mound High School in 1944 and married her high school sweetheart Armin W. Meyer on January 14, 1945, at St. John Lutheran Church in Schapville, Illinois. Joyce was a long-time resident of Warren, Illinois, residing on a farm on Meyer Road for over 25 years.

Joyce is survived by her children, Kenneth W. (Nancy) Meyer of Waukesha, WI; Janice Hupp of Las Vegas, NV; and Calvin D. (Diana) Meyer of West Bend, WI. She is further survived by ten grandchildren, Anne Meyer of Waukesha, WI; Kendra (Brian) Axness of Sun Prairie, WI; Heather (Nick) Meyer-Boothby of Cedar Rapids, IA; Katie (Tony Silva) Gilbertson of Portland, OR; Jeremy Gilbertson of Ohio; Brandon Gilbertson of Tennessee; Janeen Becke of West Bend, WI; Tom Becke of West Bend, WI; and Shelley Sweet of Titusville, FL; as well as 13 great-grandchildren, and 9 great-great grandchildren. Joyce is also survived by her brother Foster Heller, sister-in-law, Twila Meyer, and many nieces & nephews on both the Heller and Meyer sides of the family.

Joyce was preceded in death by her parents, Reynold and Ella Heller (nee Siegel); her loving husband of 66 years, Armin Meyer; daughter, Corrine Ostby; granddaughter, Jennifer Gilbertson; and brothers, Harold, Arnold, Lester, Clayton, William, and Robert Heller.

Joyce was a proud farm wife and employee of the Warren School System. She was a talented quilter and crocheter, and leaves behind many warm blankets and memories for her family. Joyce was a member of the Warren Methodist Church and lived a faith filled life.

There are no formal funeral services, per Joyce’s request. A private graveside inurnment service will be held in Warren at a future date.

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

Fort Myers

Emerson “Lynn” Cheeseman, 79

Emerson "Lynn" Cheeseman, 79, passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by family, in Fort Myers, FL, Saturday, November 18, 2023, following a courageous battle with Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson's Disease.

Born April 7, 1944, in Freeport, IL, to Emerson Cheeseman and Lois DeVries Cheeseman, Lynn attended Shannon High School where he excelled in academics and sports. He proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corp. from 1966 - 1968, before graduating from Southern IL University with a Bachelor's Degree in Science. Lynn married his high school sweetheart, Janice Kent at Bethel United Methodist Church in Shannon, IL, March 3, 1968. They were blessed to share 55 years of marriage together.

He worked in finance at NAPA's Standard Unit Parts in Normal, IL, before opening his accounting practice, Lynn Cheeseman, C.P.A. He retired in 2016, after 33 years serving multi-generational clients. Throughout his career, he made friends with long-tenured employees. Lynn was proud to prepare tax returns at no cost for active-duty military service members.

Lynn is remembered for his sense of humor and his devotion to family. His friends affectionately called him "The Big Cheez" and enjoyed countless rounds of golf at Crestwicke Country Club during his 35-year membership. Lynn was passionate about volunteering. In addition to building homes with Habitat for Humanity, he spent more than a decade volunteering for SCORE acting as treasurer and mentoring small business owners. Caring for his lawn brought Lynn great joy. He took pride in having the sharpest, most beautiful lawn in the neighborhood.

Lynn and Jan were active members of Calvary United Methodist Church in Normal, IL, for 45 years before moving to Ft. Myers, FL, to enjoy warmer winters and be close to family.

Lynn is survived by his loving wife, Jan Cheeseman, Fort Myers, FL; his two children: Kristie (Brett) Rainwater, Naples, FL, and Kara (Shawn) Conley, Broomfield, CO; grandchildren: Kaleb Rainwater, Elgin, IL, Addison Rainwater, Naples, FL, Caitlin and Ellie Conley, Broomfield, CO; mother, Lois Cheeseman, Freeport, IL; two sisters: Carol (Don) Larson, Freeport, IL, and Diane (Wayne) Mead, Sun Prairie, WI; and brother, Jay Cheeseman, Lanark, IL. He was preceded in death by his father, Emerson Cheeseman; sister-in-law, Quayla Cheeseman; and his father and mother-in-law, Walter and Eileen Kent.

Arrangements are pending for a celebration of life at a later date.

His family asks that, if you are so moved, donations be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in his memory at http://fundraising.stjude.org/goto/lynncheesemanfundraiser


Patricia A. Curran, 79

Patricia A. Curran, 79 of Lena, IL passed away on Thursday, December 28, 2023 in Lena. She was born on July 8, 1944 in Rockford, IL to James and Dorothy (Radtke) Monahan. She was united in marriage to the love of her life, John R. Curran on July 11, 1964. Following their marriage, in 1984, the family moved to Lena, IL where their children grew up and they lived the rest of their lives.

Patricia is survived by her children: Chris (Jerry Pool) Curran of Freeport, Jody (Mark Fordham) Katzenberger of Rockford, Jolene (Dennis Pieper) of Lena, James (Lisa) Curran of Warren, IL, Jacquelyn (Terry Daschner) Curran of Lena, Julie (Todd Bessert) Curran of Lena, and Jaysen (Kristina Knesting) Curran of Racine, WI; her grandchildren: Jack, Megin, John, and Jordin Katzenberger, Brandyn (Kaleigh Storm) Curran, Jared (Samantha) Curran, Emily Pontnack, Jakeb Daschner, Abby (Bryant) Lawson, Ashleigh (Ian White) Wilson, Adriana (Wyatt Owen) Curran, Allie Curran, Lucas Baney, Jayden Hornung, Quinton Preston; her great-grandchildren: Ayden, Lenny, Luci, Laikyn and Carlisle; several brothers and sisters-in-law. Two family friends; Wayne Kitzberger and James Reichling and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband John, brother Joe Monahan; two sisters Mary Jane Monahan, and Kathy Weber.

Patricia was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Lena, IL. Her faith was very important to her. She was a religious education teacher and active in other areas of the church. She enjoyed shopping, doing puzzles, and watching Wheel of Fortune. Patricia was also an election judge. She cherished the time spent with family creating memories they will all remember forever.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held at 1:00 PM on Thursday, January 4, 2024 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lena. A visitation was from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM on Thursday, January 4, 2024 at the Leamon Funeral Home in Lena. Father Michael Morrissey and Father Andrew Hernandez officiated the services. Burial will take place at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Lena.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Patricia’s name. Condolences may be sent to the family at http://www.leamonfh.com.

Sheridan Brinker, 82

Sheridan Brinker 82, died peacefully, January 2, 2024, at his home surrounded by his family. Sheridan was born August 13, 1941, in Lena, IL, to Ivan and Gladys (Medeke) Brinker. He attended Warren and Lena schools and graduated from Lena High School in 1959. He loved cars and learned to work on them at several garages in the area. After serving his country in the Air Force, where he met his wife Marybeth, he continued his education at Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, OK. He and his wife returned to Lena where they raised three awesome sons. In 1986 he opened Brinker’s Pit Stop and served as a bus mechanic for The Lena-Winslow School District.

He was an avid outdoorsman, hunting in Montana, fishing on Lake Michigan and in Canada. Later he bought land in Lena on which he planted over two thousand trees to create a tree farm. On his land he built a log cabin and expanded a pond for ducks and geese. He was recognized by the Department of Natural Resources for Wildlife Conservation Management.

He is survived by his wife Marybeth; sons- Chris (Angie) of Lena, Tom Brinker of Rockton, and Erick (Nettie) of Winnebago; eight grandchildren- Colton, Ashtyn, Hanna, Abby, Eme, Olivia, Sydney, and Sawyer Brinker; sister Anita Bonebright; brothers Robert (Vikki) Brinker and Scott (Cathy) Brinker all of Lena; brother and sister in-laws Edith (Edwin) Jones, Thomas (Tina) Pye; sisters-in-law Linda Pye, Miriam (Curt) Breneman; many wonderful nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers-in-law Larry Bonebright and David Pye; nephew Sean Breneman.

Special thanks to Anita, Mimsy, and Jen for their unwavering love and support. Also, thank you to all the staff of FHN Hospice, and the VA in Madison and Freeport.

Visitation was held on Sunday, January 7, 2024, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lena. A Funeral Service followed at 3:00 p.m. with a Fellowship after that. Pastor Thomas Mosbo officiated the service. Cremation rites have been accorded.

In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Parkinson’s Foundation and Good Shepherd Church. Condolences may be sent to the family at http://www.leamonfh.com


Diane J. Klinefelter, 74

Diane J. Klinefelter, 74, of Shannon, formerly of German Valley, died Thursday, December 28, 2023, at the Serenity House in Oregon, after a brief illness and broken heart (from losing the Love of her life 8 years ago), surrounded by her loving family. Born August 4, 1949, in Freeport, the daughter of James and Iva (Reemtsma) Mennenga. She graduated from Winnebago High School in 1967. Diane married Roger L. Klinefelter on January 25, 1974, in Silver Creek Reformed Church, German Valley. She worked as a beautician for many years. Diane also helped at the Valley Inn in German Valley. Diane enjoyed mowing their lawn and taking care of Silver Creek Cemetery for years with her husband Roger. She dearly loved spending time with her children, grandchildren and attending all of their events.

Diane is lovingly survived by her sons, James (Amanda) and Tim "Tiny” (Rachael) Klinefelter; grandchildren, Eric Schaney, Olivia, Ryker, Charles Klinefelter, Alley, Abiageal, William Weber all of Shannon; Sister, Eunice (Norman) Miller of German Valley, Sister-In-Law Jean Mennenga of Pecatonica; Great Grandchildren Piper & Haven Schaney; and Many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and cousins.

She was predeceased by her husband, Roger; parents, James and Iva Mennenga; brothers, Wayne and Merle; niece, Beth Miller, great niece Kaylee Hawk.

The family wishes to Thank Dominique Beck who became a Great Friend and part of the family to Diane. Serenity House and Staff for all their kind care given to their Mom and Grandma. And to Dr. Terry Miller for the care given and FHN staff.

Funeral service was held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, January 5, 2024, in Bethel United Methodist Church, 217 S. Hickory St., Shannon, with Pastor Brenda Morris, Pastor Ellis Boughton and Dawn Barr co-officiating. There was a visitation at the church on Thursday, January 4, 2024 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Burial will take place in Silver Creek Cemetery, German Valley. A memorial fund has been established. Condolences may be shared at http://www.hermannfuneralhome.com.


Susan Schumacher, 67

Susan Schumacher, aged 67, passed away Sunday, December 31, 2023, at Lantern Park Specialty Care in Coralville, Iowa, due to complication from Multiple Sclerosis. A Celebration of Life will be scheduled at a later date.

Susan Elizabeth Schumacher was born March 27, 1956, to parents Wayne and Monica (Ehredt) Schumacher in Savanna, Illinois. She graduated from Elizabeth High School in 1974 and kept in contact with numerous EHS classmates. After high school Susan earned a degree in Early Childhood Education from Iowa State University. She worked briefly as a librarian assistant for Iowa State before she decided to contract-transfer to the University of Iowa. She worked for the University of Iowa library for 30 years before retiring in 2021.

Of all the places she had lived in the Midwest, Sue was so glad she came to stay in Iowa City. She so appreciated the diverse population and cultural environment of the city and the medical support of the University of Iowa Hospital & Clinic. Sue said of her time at the Libraries, “I am so inspired by all the young people that I have met.”

Family was most important. Home is where the heart is, and for Sue, that remained to be Elizabeth, IL. Sue’s siblings live in the tri-state area and have blessed her with nieces and nephews and lots of “greats.”

Susan’s family includes sisters; Sally Gilligan of Dubuque, IA, Shirley (John) Rosenthal of Galena, IL, Sharon Wand of Elizabeth, IL; three nieces, seven nephews, many great-nieces and great-nephews; and dear friends, Mark Forbis of Ames, IA, Megan Appell-Melcher of Iowa City, IA, and Leah Appell-Waterman of Iowa City, IA.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Donald Schumacher; brother-in-law, William Wand; and one great-nephew in infancy, Cole Spoerl.


Dennis N “Denny” Meyerhofer, 78

Dennis N. “Denny” Meyerhofer, age 78, of Elizabeth, IL, completed his earthly journey on November 30, 2023, at the Galena Stauss Care Center while surrounded by his loving family. To honor Denny’s life, a Celebration of Life will be held on March 2, 2024, with details to be announced at a later date. The Tri-State Cremation Center is humbly serving Denny’s family.

Denny was born on May 11, 1945, in Freeport, IL, a son to Edward O. and Mildred J. (Breed) Meyerhofer. He was raised to proudly possess a strong work ethic and an unwavering devotion to his family, always willing to put in the work and make the necessary sacrifices for the greater good of all he was responsible for. Denny was the third-generation owner of Breed’s Electric Service, Inc. and spent his working career primarily within the different divisions there, but also helped with the other family business, The Clothes Bin and Gift Shop whenever possible. Denny was also a member of the Jo Daviess County Sherriff’s Department Mounted Patrol. His affinity for an honest day’s work and horses blended perfectly in this venture.

In Denny’s early years, he was known as “BluJu”, a nickname given to him by his classmates. Not long after another nickname, “Mofer” was also adopted into his life after Judy had hastily asked a group of guys in Elizabeth if they happened to know where Denny Mofer was. It stuck and eventually Judy and Mofer were united in marriage.

Denny appreciated his down-time as well though. Boating and snowmobiling were always near the top of the list, but undeniably his favorite way to spend time was camping with his family and friends. The quality time together was a priority in Denny’s life and countless memories have been made over the years which all of his loved one’s will continue to treasure for generations to come. Denny was as selfless as they come and wasn’t afraid to have a little fun when the work was done. Truly the best husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather any family could hope for and his absence will be felt deeply in the lives of each and every one of them. Thank you, Denny, for consistently being the good and decent man the Lord made you to be and may He keep you safe and secure in His loving arms until we all meet again.

Those left behind to cherish the memory of Denny include Our Brady Bunch!! John (Cindy Hilby) Meyerhofer, E.Jay (Renee Reid) Meyerhofer, Lisa (Mike) Kolb, Shellie (Jeff Schoenhaar) Callan, Jackie (John Goebel) Meyerhofer, and Tim (Suzi Kubatzke) Meyerhofer. Denny is also survived by his love, Judy (Mantzke) Meyerhofer, 20 grandkids, 22 great-grandkids, and his loving sister, Margaret Palmer.

Preceding Denny in death was our Brady Bunch Alice, Grandma Ethel Mantzke. Denny was also preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Mildred (Breed) Meyerhofer; and his father-in-law, Ed Mantzke.

Denny’s family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Galena Stauss Care Center and Hospice of Dubuque for all of their professional and compassionate care.

Online condolences may be shared with Denny’s family at http://www.tristatecremationcenter.com

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