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Brandon J. Hartzell, 39

Brandon J. Hartzell, 39 of Warren, IL passed away peacefully at home with his wife and daughters by his side, on Monday February 12, 2024. He was born on February 6th, 1985, in Monroe, WI to the late Harry Hartzell and Cathy Burmeister. Brandon attended Warren Jr. Sr. High School, and went on to work at Monroe Truck Equipment, Stagecoach Trails Limestone, and most recently the Jo Daviess County Highway Department. On September 1st, 2007, Brandon married the love of his life, Ashley Dagle in Apple River.

Brandon enjoyed hunting, especially with his daughter Kaylee, camping, side by side riding, snowmobiling, and making sure his yard was perfectly mowed. He also enjoyed watching his girls participate in sporting events. Brandon will always be remembered for his loyalty and witty sense of humor. He mostly enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.

Brandon is survived by his wife Ashley and his daughters Kaylee and Kennedy Hartzell, Mother Cathy (Dick) Burmeister, Sister Kari (Nick) Coffey, and Brother Jason Hartzell, Mother-in-law Melody (Chaz) Hammer, Father-In-Law Eric (Kathy) Dagle, Brother-In- Law Chris Watson, several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins, and many special friends, especially Brian (Renee) VanRaalte and their family.

Brandon was preceded in death by his father Harry Hartzell in 2011, and his paternal grandparents Nathan and Jean Hartzell, maternal grandparents Kenneth and Annabel Wilberding, and Uncle Keith Farrey.

A celebration of life will be held from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm on March 2nd, 2024, at the Apple River Event Center. Per Brandon’s request, cremation rites were accorded. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established for his daughters, Kaylee and Kennedy Hartzell.

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


Pearl City

Dan ‘Scoob’ Kempel, 62

Dan ‘Scoob’ Kempel, beloved son, brother, father, husband, grandfather and friend, passed away peacefully on February 5, 2024, at the age of 62, surrounded by his loving family. Born on September 27, 1961 in Freeport, Dan was the son of Marvin and Vera (Diestelmeier) Kempel.

Dan was a devoted husband to his wife, Jane, and a cherished father to his three sons, Jamie (Marissa) Kempel – children: Jayden, Jarod and Jaxsyn; Tony (Tessa) Kempel – children Autumn and Paxton; Michael (Grace) Kempel; and two step-children, Shane (Erica) Cook – children Avery, Kadyn, Faith and Harper; and Shannon Smith – children Torey (Conor), Julie (Kyle), Kortny; mother Vera Kempel; sisters Cindy Kerchner and Nancy (Lloyd) Unger; and brother Randy (Linda) Kempel. His legacy also includes three great grandchildren as well as many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and other extended family members.

Dan is preceded in death by his father Marvin Kempel and his paternal and maternal grandparents.

He was a pillar of strength and wisdom, always providing unwavering support and guidance to his family. He enjoyed hobby farming on his property. Loved to spend time with his family and friends enjoying everything his property had to offer. He loved to cheer on all of his grandkids at their sporting events. He enjoyed riding his Harley Davidson, was a casual Vikings fan and loved his beloved dog Shaggy.

Dan started Kempel/Urish Construction with John Urish over 30 years ago. He had passed his knowledge and workmanship on to many employees through the years. He was delighted to pass on his craftmanship and compassion to customers and to his children who continue to run his business.

He will be dearly missed by his family, friends and all who had the privilege of knowing him. The family asks to dress casually and wear a Kempel/Urish shirt if you have one to a service that was held at Zion Community Church on February 12. Pastor Wayne Fischer officiated. Condolences may be shared at http://www.walkermortuary.com


Jo Anne Sweeney, 91

Jo Anne Sweeney, age 91, of Savanna, IL, passed away at FHN Hospital in Freeport, IL on Sunday, February 19, 2024. A funeral service was held at 1 p.m., Wednesday, February 21 at Law Jones Funeral Home, in Savanna. Visitation was held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., before the service. Burial will follow at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery, in Savanna.

Jo Anne, or Annie as her friends and family often called her, was born September 7, 1932 in De Soto Wisconsin, the daughter of George and Sadie (Munson) Massie. She attended school in Hanover, IL, graduating from Hanover High School with the class of 1950. On July 28, 1951, Annie married James “Jim” Sweeney. They lived together in Cedar Rapids, before moving to Mt. Carroll, where they resided for a time, in what is now Raven’s Grin Haunted House. Ultimately, they moved to Savanna when Jim began working for Interstate Power.

Jim and Annie would go on to have seven children, who surely kept Annie busy around the home. But, once her children grew a bit older, Annie began working as a nurse’s aide at the Savanna Hospital. She assisted with countless births over her 25 years there and was always so proud to help bring life into this world.

Annie loved to socialize, but never wanted to be the center of attention. To her, the joy came from hearing about the lives of others and supporting them with kind words of encouragement and attentive admiration. None were bigger beneficiaries of Annie’s kindness and loving demeanor than her family! She loved to host holidays and family gatherings, cooking their favorites, like spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, and goulash, and baking sweet treats. With seven children and dozens of grandchildren and eventually great grandchildren, she’d often have to bake more than a dozen pies to ensure everyone had their share.

In her twilight years, Annie moved to Pinnacle Place, in the old Savanna Hospital. She took comfort in the idea of living in the very place where she witnessed so much new life. With her cooking and hosting days behind her, Annie entertained herself with word seek puzzles and harlequin novels and was always eager to receive pictures of her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Jo Anne is survived by six children, Darrel Sweeney, of Savanna, William (Diane) Sweeney, of Savanna, James Sweeney, Jr., of Clinton, Michael (Jodi) Sweeney, of Fulton, IL, Debra Salisbury, of Geneva, and Barbara (Jeff) Booth, of Griffin, GA; 16 grandchildren; and 18 great grandchildren. Jo Anne is preceded in death by her parents, George and Sadie; husband, James; son, John Sweeney; sister, Patricia Sweeney; and brother, Darrel “Pete” Massie.

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