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Viola D. Nickel, 91

Viola D. Nickel passed away May 21, 2024, she was 91 years young. The daughter of the late Alfred and Alice (Boelk) Schuldt she was born in Council Hill Illinois on February 10,1933, during the depression which ultimately gave her strong values, work ethic, and the true meaning of family. She had tremendous respect for God, and our Country.

Viola and her late husband Robert (Bob) worked together to build a business that serviced the area with Excavation and Field Drainage Systems. After raising their family in Stockton, they retired and moved to Elizabeth.

Bob and Viola enjoyed traveling, playing cards, hosting holiday family gatherings and of course being parents and becoming grandparents to many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

She is survived by her children, Ronald (Kay) Nickel of Fayetteville, NC, Connie Rees of Ft. Atkinson WI, Richard Nickel of Freeport, and Kay (Brent) Offenheiser of Elizabeth and her sister Beverly Kloss of Elizabeth, and many nieces & nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Shirley Schuldt & Vera Thomasson and her granddaughter Melissa Nickel and great grandson Danny Rees.

Funeral Services were held 1:00 pm Tuesday May 28, 2024 at Burke Tubbs Funeral Home, Freeport. Visitation was noon until the time of service. Our sincere appreciation goes out to the caring and loving staff at Midwest Senior Care in Galena who made Mom’s days as good as possible over the past few years and Hospice Care of Dubuque for her comfort and care.


Carlene Ertmer, 85

Carlene Ertmer, of Elizabeth, passed away on Monday, May 13, 2024, at FHN after a sudden illness. Born August 5, 1938 on the family farm to Clifford and Laura (Boldt) Dittmar. She graduated from Stockton High School Class of 1956 and married Robert on June 14, 1958 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Elizabeth. She was a devoted wife to her late husband, Robert, a loving mother to her seven children, a beloved grandmother and great-grandmother to her 18 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Carlene found terrific joy in the company of her family, her face lighting up whenever they were around. Her nurturing spirit and endless patience made her a cherished figure in her grandchildren’s lives, creating treasured memories that included reading countless storybooks aloud and playing games of UNO, Sorry, and Old Maid.

In addition to her love for children, Carlene had a keen interest in preserving memories and milestones of those she held dear. She clipped newspaper articles and archived materials about her family’s achievements for future generations to remember.

A true artisan in the kitchen, Carlene prepared many a homemade meal, desserts, rolls, jams and juices that were savored by family and friends alike. A pie, cake or popcorn balls were almost a weekly request for her children’s school bake sales. Visiting family favorites included homemade bread and cinnamon or caramel rolls, to name a few. Her skillful hands transformed fresh garden produce into containers of delight. It seems there was nothing she didn’t can or freeze.

In addition to her culinary talents, Carlene was a talented embroiderer and sewer. Her handiwork adorned the homes of many loved ones, and her repairs extended the life of many shirts and trousers. Each stitch was a labor of love and a testament to her resourcefulness. She contributed to the family income through waitressing, wrapping butter at the Elizabeth Creamery, delivering and selling eggs to customers every Saturday, and cleaning the Ray Mar Motel, where she became a surrogate daughter to Mary Chambers.

In her later years, she and Robert enjoyed attending grandchildren’s events, bowling, traveling, concerts in the park, and attending plays at Timberlake. After Robert’s passing, you could find her reading, doing word searches, listening to the radio, or watching Andy Griffith and Wheel of Fortune.

Carlene will be dearly missed by her friends and loving family, but her legacy of love and generosity will continue to live on in the hearts of all who knew her. A private family memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established.

Carlene is survived by her seven children, William “Bill” (Sue) Ertmer of Scales Mound, IL, Kevin (Brenda) Ertmer of Elizabeth, Tim (Tonya) Ertmer of Elizabeth, Joy Ertmer of Elizabeth, Jane (Greg) Hulstedt of Belvidere, IL, Steve (Sheila) Ertmer of Elizabeth, and Jenny (Joe) Duey of Tega Cay, SC; 18 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren; five siblings, Cleland (Joanne) Dittmar, Ruth Wright, Betty (John) Lisk, Judy (Martin) Ankney, Julene Robinson and one sister-in-law, Maxine Dittmar.

Carlene is preceded in death by her husband Robert; 2 children at birth, her parents, Clifford and Laura; her brother John Dittmar; and her brothers-in-law, Dean Wright and Dave Robinson.

Daryl H. Steinhagen, 82

Daryl H. Steinhagen, age 82, of Elizabeth, Illinois, went home to be with his Lord, Jesus, on February 22, 2024, as a result of complications from pneumonia and COVID. Daryl was born August 31, 1941, in Freeport, Illinois to Roy T. & Lola (Ploeger) Steinhagen.

Daryl graduated from Oregon High School in 1959. He attended Barber School in Rockford and graduated in 1962. He was a barber in Rockton, Illinois until he purchased his own (Daryl’s) Barber Shop in Hanover, Illinois in 1969. He barbered full time 1962-1975 and part-time 1975-2020. Daryl was a mail carrier at the Savanna Post Office from 1975-2004. He had the ability to tell you where anyone from Savanna lived.

The Oregon Roller Rink, owned by his father, is where Daryl met Barb Seipts. They married August 18, 1962. They raised their daughters, Debbie and Deanna, to be kind, caring, and have a good work ethic.

Daryl liked to travel the world, fish, garden, and attend family reunions to learn about his family tree. He loved to take photos with a camera and print the photos, long before having a camera on a phone. He had a green thumb and violets were his favorite. For many years he enjoyed going to breakfast on Saturday mornings with his cousin, Tom and Deb Kloepping. His favorite pastime was playing card games and Yahtzee with his family.

Daryl was the friendliest person and loved to talk with people to boast about his kids, grandkids, great grandkids because he was so extremely proud of all of them. He could start a conversation with a complete stranger and walk away friends or at least knowing their life story within 15 minutes. He was truly interested in learning about other people and their family or career. He liked to tell jokes or make people laugh. He was a #1 fan of all his Facebook friends, commenting on every single photo or post. We will miss all his instant likes and hilarious comments.

His greatest treasure was his 6 grandchildren and he took every opportunity to visit them wherever they lived. He was overjoyed to witness all 6 graduate from college. His great grandchildren were the highlight of his life and he adored watching them play and getting to Facetime with them often. Daryl will be dearly missed and cherished by his family and friends.

He was a member of the Mississippi Lodge #385, Savanna, Illinois; Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Valley of Freeport; Tebala Shrine, Rockford, Illinois; Grand Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill, Black Hawk Order No. 8, Stockton, Illinois; Knights of Columbus Trinity Council 14776; and Holy Cross Catholic Church, Stockton, Illinois. He served on Elizabeth Village Board and volunteered at the Hanover Fire Department for many years.

Daryl is survived by his wife, Barb, of 61 years, his daughters, Debbie (Jay) Graves of Elizabeth, Illinois and Deanna (Greg) Boughton of Dallas, Georgia; grandchildren, Emily (Jacob) Schwind, Amy Graves, Andrew Graves, David Boughton, Grace Boughton, Anna (fiancé Noah Eklund) Boughton; great grandchildren, Kinsley & Kyler Schwind; brothers-in-law Joe (Val) Seipts, Tom (Sherri) Seipts; sisters-in-law, Mata Seipts and Marianne Page; 39 nieces, nephews and greats; many friends and cousins; and his favorite cat, Willie.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his in-laws, Bill & Marion Seipts; brothers-in-law, Jim Seipts, Michael Seipts, Fred Rambow; sisters-in-law, Mary Rambow and Jean Wetzel.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Chris Stille and the MercyOne nurses and doctors for the wonderful care he received during his illness.

A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 1, 2024 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Stockton, IL. Visitation will take place from 4:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Friday May 31, 2024, at Law Jones Funeral Home in Elizabeth, IL. There will be a Masonic Service at 4 p.m., before the visitation.

Memorials may be made to Shriner’s Hospital in Chicago or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.


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