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Obituaries

Stockton

Emma Grace Emanuelson, 13

Emma Grace Emanuelson, age 13, of Stockton, IL passed away unexpectedly at her home surrounded by her family, on April 30, 2024. Emma was born on April 14, 2011, in Freeport, IL to Tonya (Townsend) Nolan and Eric Emanuelson. She was currently in 7th grade at Stockton Middle School. Mr. Richardson was her favorite teacher. Emma was involved in band and track at school and enjoyed helping her Grandma Sue at the Sidetrack in Apple River, IL. She was the silliest girl, with the best personality and the best jokes. She was loveable, fearless and pleasure to be around. Emma was happiest outdoors. Horseback riding, climbing trees, playing around the cars, hunting with her papa Bob, grandma Pat, going to demolition derbies, and helping her dad Mike build and work on the cars, and being with her family and friends were her favorite things to do.

Emma is survived by her parents: Tonya and Mike Nolan of Stockton; siblings: Karmon, Cora, and Koy; grandparents: Charles and Brittney Townsend, and Robert and Patty Nolan; great-grandparents: Thomas and Teresa Townsend, and Susan Kriebs; great great grandma Julie Schmidt; uncle Case Townsend, and numerous great aunts, great uncles, cousins, and friends.

Emma was preceded in death by her grandparents: Cendra Wills, Jeanette Townsend, Dennis and Marilyn Emanuelson, and her great-great grandparents: Ernie Schmidt, Doris and Gene VanLent and S.A and Margaret Townsend, and her friend and classmate, Eli “Melon” Henderson.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, May 11, 2024 at the Stockton Elementary School Gymnasium (formerly the middle school) in Stockton. A visitation will be from 4:00 PM- 7:00 PM on Friday, May 10, 2024 at the Stockton Elementary School Gymnasium in Stockton. A private family burial will take place at the Nora Community Cemetery in Nora. John Lee will officiate the services.

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

Foster D. Heller, 95

Foster D. Heller, age 95 of Stockton, IL passed away Monday, April 29, 2024 surrounded by his children. The funeral service was held Monday, May 6, 2024 at 11:00 am at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Stockton. There was a visitation before the service beginning at 9:00am. Interment will take place at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Stockton.

He was born Nov. 21, 1928, in Scales Mound, IL to Reynold and Ella (Siegel) Heller. He went to Scales Mound school and graduated from East Dubuque High School after his family moved to that area. He married the love of his life, Rosemary (Ricke), on October 1, 1949 in Menominee, IL He was employed at John Deere Co before entering his passion of farming in 1954 where he and his wife moved to Woodbine, IL He was a dairy farmer for 45 years as he had a deep passion for working with cattle and living the life of a farmer. After retiring he continued to help his son-in-law, Grant, on Offenheiser Farms in Derinda. He and his wife moved to Stockton in 2003.

He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, a former 4-H leader, and a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church in which he served on the building committee when the church was built. He loved playing euchre and played in many different card clubs. He was a great husband, father, grandpa and great grandpa and was loved by all his family and close friends who knew him.

He is survived by and will be deeply missed by one son and three daughters. Sharon (Richard) Kump, Stockton, Kathy Knauer (Patrick Breen), Lacon, IL, Stan (Deanna) Heller, McFarland, WI, Donna (Grant) Offenheiser, Elizabeth, IL. Seven grandchildren, Melissa (Justin), Matthew (Victoria), Keri Ann, Kyle (Nikki), Jack, Claire, and Michael (Abby). Eight great grandchildren, Elyse, Audra, Owen, Abigail, Andrew, Wells, Willa, and Hayes.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, one sister, Joyce Meyer, and 6 brothers, Harold, Lester, Clayton, Arnold, Robert, Billy and son-in-law, David Knauer.

We would like to thank dad's close neighbors who always had a watchful eye on him, Janet Broshous and Denny & Kathi Starr and his pew friend in church, Kathy Talbert. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established. Condolences may be shared at http://www.hermannfuneralhome.com.

Lena

Donald F. Brown, 82

Donald F Brown, age 82 of Lena passed away May 2, 2024 at the Lena Living Center after two years of declining health. He was surrounded by love from his family and friends during his last few days. He was born January 13 1942 to John and Vivian (Boumgarden) Brown. He grew up in Dixon, IL, and graduated from Dixon High School in 1960. He met his bride, Patricia L Dempsey, at the Dixon Dog n Suds (the Dixon version of the Lena Drive Inn), where she was a car hop. They married on September 4 1965 and shared 58 years together. They were blessed with two daughters, Brenda and Kathy. The family lived in Grand Detour and Franklin Grove, IL before moving to Lena in 1980, where has lived for the past 44 years. Don worked for Commonwealth Edison for 38 years retiring in 2005. He spent his retirement years helping Pat with her real estate business and maintaining various rental properties owned by he and Pat. He was often seen driving around Lena in one of his many classic cars, window rolled down and arm resting on the door. He has an extensive model train collection and enjoyed sharing it with his grandsons and any interested extended family or community member. He stated he wanted to be remembered for his work ethic, which he has passed on to his daughters. He stated he had 3 loves in this world, his wife and daughters, grandsons, and his passion for classic cars. He was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church and the Lena Lions Club. He was the chairman of the street committee for Fall Festival for 40 years and was very proud at the success of Fall Festival.

Don is survived by his wife, Pat of Lena, children Brenda (Bob) Werhane of Lena, IL, Kathy (Alan) Carda of Eagan, MN; Grandchildren Fritz (Amy) Werhane of McFarland, WI, Adam(Credence) Werhane of Lena; Aleks and Georgiy Carda of Eagan, MN Great-grandchildren; Bryce Werhane and Vivian Werhane. beloved grand dogs: Captain, Rookie, and Aspen. Brother Russell (Sue) Brown of New Lenox, IL and special friend of the family Jacyn Stultz (Jon) Harris of Rowley, MA.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, John and Vivan Brown, and Brother Warren Brown.

Funeral services will be held 11:00 AM on Thursday, May 9, 2024 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Lena. A visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 PM on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Lena. Burial will take place at Lena Burial Park in Lena. Pastor Jason Shaw will officiate the services.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established for the Lena Lions Club and for St. John's Lutheran Church. Condolences may be sent to the family at http://www.leamonfh.com.

Loretta J. Cheeney, 82

Loretta J. Cheeney, 82, of Lena, IL formerly of Kent, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Sunday, April 28, 2024 at the Lena Living Center. She was born on June 22, 1941 in Freeport, IL to Martin and Ida (Duzan) Moe. Loretta was a 1959 graduate of Shannon High School. Loretta worked at a restaurant in Lanark where she met the love of her life, Franklin Cheeney, they were united in marriage on August 1, 1959. She retired after 29 years from Atwoods Automotive in Stockton where she was an arc welder.

In Loretta’s younger years, she belonged to the Bethel United Methodist Church in Shannon. She enjoyed horses and trail riding, and traveling with Frankie in their younger years. Loretta was a Union Steward at Atwoods Automotive in Stockton. She was a dreamer and an animal lover. She loved spending time with her family, especially eating meals where her grandchildren joined her.

Loretta is survived by her sons Leon (Lori) Cheeney of Kent, IL and Troy (Mary) Cheeney of Janesville, WI, grandchildren; Amanda Cheeney, Benjamin (Lexie Joiner) Cheeney, Joseph (Marlena) Cheeney, Austin (Tina) Cheeney, Kyle Clement, Carson Clement, Jeff Cheeney, Tamra (Jason) Brown, and Caleb Cheeney, seven great-grandchildren, a sister Blondena Best, and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Frank, two sons; Curtis and Lonnie Cheeney, brother Howard Moe, and a sister Deloris Campbell.

Funeral services were held at 1:00 PM on Friday, May 3, 2024 at the Leamon Funeral Home in Lena. A visitation was from 11:00 AM until time of services at the funeral home on Friday. Ken Lawson officiated the services. Burial will take place at Lena Burial Park in Lena.

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

Elizabeth

Michael T. Binns, 64

Michael T. Binns was born February 25, 1960 at the Savanna, IL Hospital. He passed away December 25, 2023 at Rockford St. Anthony’s Hospital.

He graduated from Elizabeth High School in Elizabeth, IL. He worked at Kelly Springfield and later at Titon Tires in Freeport. He was in the Army from 1981-1984 and was in Panama for 2 years. Later, he was in the Army Reserves until 2020.

In 1991 he married Rose Stanger in Freeport. Later divorcing and moving to Rockford.

He is survived by his mother, Marian Binns; two sisters, Cheryl (Gary) Jay and Carolyn Holmer; one brother, James (Valerie); one adopted son; one step son; one step daughter; nieces and nephews; and step grandchildren.

A private family service will be held. Interment will take place at Ladies Union Cemetery. A memorial fund has been established. Condolences may be shared at http://www.hermannfuneralhome.com.

Nora

Vivian Ruth Kepner, 99

Vivian Ruth Kepner passed away April 24, 2024 at her home on the family farm where she has lived for over 75 years. She was 99 years old, born July 1924 in Jackson County, WI. She was the fifth of seven children of Sever and Hulda (Nordeen) Fieldstad, a close farm family that endured the Depression. Her father was compelled to leave Central Wisconsin in 1936 and move to South Wayne WI in search of better farmland and opportunities. Vivian liked to frame her Depression era childhood by reporting that she weighed only 70 lbs upon her 8th grade graduation. Her family moved to a farm in Nora Township in 1941 and she graduated from Winslow High School in 1943. She took teaching classes at Platteville WI. She taught in one-room schoolhouses in three districts: Rowe’s Corner, Eden School, and the Puckett School, located at the Southeast corner of the intersection of IL RT 78 and Canyon Road.

She met her husband and life partner Hubert Kepner at a dance at the Warren Opera House in 1943. They married on November 28, 1948, living and working together on the family farm located south of Nora IL for 65 years until Hubert’s death in 2013. Vivian and Hubert had four children: Robert (Theresa), Dr. Barbara Kepner, George (Rogene), all of Lena IL, and Charlie (Martha) of Chicago, IL.

Besides being instrumental in the farming operation, Vivian taught GED/Adult Education classes for Highland Community College for 25 years beginning in 1970. She assisted numerous individuals in passing their GED and acquiring their HS diploma. She loved teaching math and was a proficient tutor, not only to her many students, but also to her children and grandchildren.

Surviving Vivian are her four children; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren: Valerie (Ryan) and Sadie Deal of Monroe, WI; Paul (Alicia), Mackenzie, Noah and Evelyn Kepner of Lena, IL; Alison Kepner (Brandon Larson) of Baraboo, WI; David (Sara), Vivienne and Harrison Kepner of Waunakee, WI; Claire Kepner ( Jordan Rainey) of Mont Alto, PA; Olivia Kepner ( Levi Davis) of Gratiot, WI; Peter Kepner (Madison Smith), Elizabeth Kepner (Jake Hesslau) and Katherine Kepner, all of Chicago, IL.

Vivian was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Hubert Kepner; siblings: Leonard Fieldstad, Vernon Fieldstad, Inez Biesemeier, Helen Boynton, Robert Fieldstad and Kenneth Fieldstad; four infant great-grandchildren: Kyle Joseph Kepner, Madalyn Janice Deal, Ava Theresa Deal and Sydney Jane Kepner.

The Kepner Family would like to thank the caregivers that cared for Vivian in her final years, allowing her to stay in her beloved house and farm, including Barbara Kepner, Dale, Maureen, Sherri, Mary Jo and Bill.

Services were held at Bartell-Leamon Funeral Home in Warren. Visitation was scheduled for Friday, May 3rd from 4 to 7 PM. The funeral was officiated by Reverend Rick Bader and was held Saturday, May 4th at 11 AM, with burial at Elmwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established for the benefit of St. John’s Lutheran Church, the Nora Community Church, and Highland Community College.

Lanark

Nancy L. Fikkema, 89

Nancy L. Flikkema, age 89, of Lanark, passed away Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Memorial service was held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 7, at the Law Jones Funeral Home in Lanark. Visitation was from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. prior to the service at the funeral home.

Nancy was born on January 30, 1935, daughter of Louis and Pearl (Van Dyke) Hoak. She graduated from Morrison High School with the class of 1953 and soon after married the love of her life, Charles Flikkema, on January 7, 1955. Together, they raised four loving children and celebrated 69 years of marriage.

Nancy was a dedicated homemaker, enriching the lives of her family with her warmth and care. She was a great cook and baker. Her family especially enjoyed her amazing pies. Nancy was a very loving grandmother and great-grandmother. All she wanted to do was love and rock the little ones, and boy she could rock. Nancy loved to quilt and knit things for her loved ones. She gifted many quilts, pillow cases, and pot holders to all her family over the years.

An avid golfer, Nancy achieved two holes-in-one, a testament to her skill and patience. She also enjoyed bowling, gardening, bird watching from her deck, going to estate sales with Chuck, and playing cards with her grandchildren. Nancy and Chuck took many trips including adventures to San Francisco, Reno, Denver, and a trip to Hawaii that began with a snow mobile ride through a blizzard.

A devout member of the United Methodist Church in Lanark, Nancy also took an active part in community activities as a member of the L.C. Women’s Club and L.C. Quilt Club. Nancy's commitment to her faith and community was evident in her involvement in her church and various clubs, where she made lasting friendships and contributed generously to communal activities.

Nancy will be dearly missed by her husband, Chuck Flikkema of Lanark; four children, Cynthia Haynes of Mt. Juliet, TN, Alan (Rosemary) Flikkema of Lanark, Gregg (Rhonda) Flikkema of Lanark, and Cathy (Bill) Gilman of Lanark; ten grandchildren, Tasha Haynes, Charley Haynes,, Jeremy Flikkema, Chris Flikkema, Jon Flikkema, Jessica DeSpain, Brooke Gilman, Courtney Gilman, Jake Gilman, and Colin Gilman; 19 great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Judy Voss of Prophetstown, IL, and Jessica (Allen) Wade of Sterling, IL. Nancy is preceded in death by her parents, her grandparents, and her grandson, Matthew Flikkema.

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