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Obituaries

Freeport/Shannon

Ralph Wayne Bass, 82

Ralph Wayne Bass, age 82 of Freeport, IL, formerly of Shannon, IL passed away Monday, February 26, 2024. He was born July 2, 1941 in Stockton, IL to Raymond and Margorie (Plapp) Bass. Ralph grew up in Shannon, IL on the family farm with his three brothers. He was a graduate of Shannon High School in 1959. After graduating, Ralph served in the United States Air Force from 1960-1968. During his time in the Air Force, Ralph really enjoyed being stationed in Fairbanks, AK and Klamath Falls, OR.

After his discharge from the Air Force, Ralph worked in the Carroll and Stephenson County area. On May 27, 1978 he married Dianne Feltmeyer at Church by the Side of the Road in Rockton, IL. For many years Ralph owned and operated Ralph Bass Boom Service, which earned him the nickname “Boomer”. Ralph’s memberships included the American Legion Boyle-Hoy Post of Shannon, Lions Club, Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite Bodies in Freeport, and Tebala Shrine in Rockford, IL. He also served as a volunteer on the Shannon Fire Department. Ralph’s hobbies and interest included raising and training horses for riding for many years, landscaping, and gardening. He also enjoyed his annual summer vacation with his family in Hayward, WI.

He is survived by his wife Dianne of Freeport, IL; two children Rodney (Lisa) Bass of Princeton, NJ and Angela (Steve) Chang of Camano, WA; two brothers Gene (Karen) Bass of Sun Prairie, WI and Robert Bass of Sarasota, FL; stepson Mike (Karen) Gothard of Richmond, VA and stepson-in-law Leonard Weiler of Sartell MN; nine grandchildren Ryan Bass, Alessandra Bass, Amelie Bass, Jenny Chang, Lindy Chang, Zoe Weiler, Zachary Weiler, Christopher Gothard and Emily Gothard; and many nieces and nephews.

Preceding Ralph in death are his parents, brother Paul Bass and sister-in-law Marlis Bass, and stepdaughter Michelle Weiler.

Memorial services with Military Funeral Honors were at 12:00 P.M. Monday March 4, 2024 at Burke-Tubbs Funeral Home in Freeport. A visitation was held from 11:00 A.M. until the time of service. A memorial has been established in Ralph’s memory.

McConnell

Kevin M. Zimmerman, 66

Kevin M. Zimmerman, age 66 formerly of McConnell, IL, passed away on February 23, 2024 in Lena. He was born on October 5, 1957, in Freeport, IL, the son of Merle N. and Therese (Ciganek) Zimmerman.

Kevin graduated from Lena-Winslow High School in the class of 1975 and then went on to United Electronics Institute and graduated in 1977. He had worked for Ingersoll Milling and Machining and then was the owner/operator of Bobtown Computing Services. Kevin had been an EMT, a member of the McConnell Fire Department, the McConnell Historical Society and the Lena Evangelical Free Church.

Kevin is survived by his siblings- Christopher Zimmerman, Sarah (Fritz) Wenger, and Kurt Zimmerman; nephews- Steven Zimmerman, Fritz, and Ross (Ashley) Wenger; niece Stephanie (Jacob) Walter; great nephew Jackson Walter; great nieces Ava and Payton Walter.

He was preceded in death by his parents, paternal grandparents Merle C. and Hazel Zimmerman, maternal grandparents Michael and Mary Ciganek.

A visitation was held from 10:00 a.m. until time of service on Friday March 1, 2024 at the Evangelical Free Church in Lena. Funeral services followed beginning at 11:00a.m. at the Evangelical Free Church in Lena. Officiating was Pastor Casey Dwyer. Cremation rites have been accorded.

A memorial has been established in his name. Condolences may be sent to the family at http://www.leamonfh.com A special thank you to Laurie, Sandy, Staci, and Maranda and all of the other caregivers who cared for Kevin throughout the years!

Lena

Anna Esther Meyers, 93

Anna Esther Meyers, 93, of Lena passed away on Friday, February 23, 2024 with family by her side. She was born at home in rural Orangeville, IL on November 13, 1930 to Walter and Anna (Baumert) Brandli. As the daughter of a cheesemaker, her family moved to Lena to the Excelsior Cheese Factory. She attended Excelsior country school prior to her family moving to Lena and graduated from Lena High School in 1949. She worked at the Lena Drug Store after school as a “soda jerk”. As a child, she spoke both Swiss and English and played the accordion.

She married her high school sweetheart, Harold “Spud” Meyers, Sr. on April 22, 1950. After their marriage, they began farming in Lena. Anna worked alongside “Spud” in the daily operations of the family farm, which included corralling cattle, driving tractors, doing chores and running for parts. One of her greatest sources of joy was raising their children: Linda, Christine, Pauline, Harold, Jr. “Mike”, Lisa & Mark. She treasured the time that she spent with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren attending as many events as she could. Anna was a wonderful cook and baker. She also grew a large garden and would preserve the fruits of her labor to feed family and friends. In the 1980’s she began working at AJ’s Lena Maid Meats until she retired in 2006.

She was a lifetime member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and served as a Eucharistic Minister. She was also a member of Home Extension and Lena Woman’s Club. Some of her hobbies included her vegetable and flower gardens, knitting, quilting, bus trips, playing euchre with her card clubs and joining a ladies bowling league at the age of 80. She also enjoyed going to see plays, walking, and visiting with neighbors.

As a child, she traveled by boat with her parents to visit their homeland, Switzerland. In 2013, she enjoyed a return trip by plane with her family to visit some of the places that she remembered visiting as a child. In 2015, she also enjoyed a trip to Alaska to visit her granddaughter’s family.

Anna is survived by her four children: Christine Bartelt of Winslow, Pauline (Paul) Cyborski of Rockford, Lisa (Bart) Conrad of Anderson, Indiana, and Mark (Lori) Meyers of Lena. Grandchildren: Jennifer (Jason) Kempel, Kimberly Leamon, Karen (Adam) Norling, David (Brittany) Cyborski, Annie (Jon) Lohrenz, Carolyn (Philip) Cowden, LeeAnn Meyers, Kayla (Mark) Hinton, Matthew (Katelyn Kimm) Conrad, Daniel (Kenzie) Conrad, Joseph (Holly) Conrad, Mark (Sara) Meyers and Malissa (Jed) Shultz. Great-Grandchildren: Owen, Emma & Lucas Kempel; Alexander Leamon; Breton, Leif, Burke, Lindy & Ella Norling; Jacob Cyborski; Clara, Samuel, Caleb & Lisbeth Lohrenz; Oliver & Jack Cowden; Walter & Henry Hinton; Waylon, Weston & Winton Meyers; Preston, Brycen & Ryan Shultz; Brother: Paul Brandli; Sister: Beatrice (Richard) Moritz; Sister-in-law Sandra Brandli as well as many nieces, nephews, and friends along with special family friend Scot Raymer.

Anna was preceded in death by her parents and her husband Harold “Spud” Meyers, children Linda Leamon & Harold “Mike” Meyers, Jr .; son-in-law Steve “Herm” Bartelt; brother Walter Brandli; sisters-in-law: Marilyn Uhe, Marian “Cel” Fransen and Burdene Meyers and brothers-in-law Donald Meyers, Eugene Uhe and Don Fransen.

A Catholic Mass was held at 12:00 PM on Thursday, February 29, 2024 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lena. A visitation was from 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM on Thursday, February 29, 2024 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Lena. Father Andrew Hernandez officiated the services. Burial followed Mass at the Lena Burial Park.

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

Hanover

Eric Stevenson, 54

Eric Stevenson, 54, of Hanover, IL, passed away Monday, February 19, at University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago, IL. Funeral service was held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 24, at the Law Jones Funeral Home in Hanover. Visitation was from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, February 23, as well as one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

Eric was born February 21, 1969, son of Terry and Vinetta (Jeffers) Stevenson. He was the youngest of three and grew up in Hanover. Eric attended Hanover schools and went to River Ridge High School. After his schooling, Eric worked construction for a time before a short move to Long Island, NY, were he worked at a Deli. Eric returned home to Hanover, and eventually became a rail car technician. Eric’s greatest achievement was raising his three daughters, whom he loved dearly.

Eric was a big sports fan, and especially loved the Michigan Wolverines, the Mets and the Rangers. He loved the outdoors; going fishing in his younger days, and mowing the lawn in his later days. Eric had a great sense of humor. He was a good friend, always loving and fun. Eric volunteered for the Hanover Fire Department for several years.

Eric spent his entire life around women; with his two sisters and three daughters, he took care of all the ladies in his life. Family was important to Eric; he was the favorite uncle to his nieces and nephews. Besides being a proud Dad, he was a proud Papa, and was a huge part of his grandchildren’s lives. Family was the center of Eric’s life. He would do anything for those he loved most.

Eric will be dearly missed by his mother, Vinetta; three daughters, Morgan, Madison (Connor), and Mallory; five grandchildren, Tyson, Urijah, Josiah, Jocelyn, and Colton; two sisters, Shelley Spratt, and Toni (Robert Wakeford); ten nieces and nephews; seven great nieces and nephews; and four first cousins, all of whom love him dearly. Eric is preceded in death by his father, Terry; his Aunt Carol; and his cousin, Dereck.

Stockton

Charles M. Hicks, 86

Charles M. Hicks, age 86, of Stockton, IL passed away Saturday, February 3, 2024 at Allure of Stockton. He was born in High View, WV on April 13, 1937 to the late Boyd and Elsie (Whitlock) Hicks. Charles married Shelby Shumate on September 11, 1962. She passed away in 2008.

Charles was a diesel mechanic and worked in waste management. He also worked at the Apple Canyon Lake Recycling Center. Charles enjoyed old cars, entertaining kids, and being around friends.

He is survived by his daughter, Peggy (Carl) Sherblum of Rhode Island; his two granddaughters, Jennifer (Jeremy) Balfor and their daughter Hailey and Alicia Hey and her two sons, Bryce and Blake. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; his sister, Betty Lou; and his brothers, Jimmy, Billy and Micky.

Arrangements are private per Charles’s request.

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