Dewitt Obits Archives for 2016-05

Jennifer Nihiser

Jennifer Lynn Nihiser, 56, of Maroa, IL passed away on Friday, May 27, 2016 at Decatur Memorial Hospital.

Dawson & Wikoff Funeral Home, Mt. Zion is assisting the family with arrangements. Private family services will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be directed to The 31 Heroes Project.


Jennifer was born on January 11, 1960 in Decatur, IL, the daughter of Chester E. and Idella Marie (Phelps) Jones. She married Steven Nihiser on May 13, 2005. She was a homemaker and the suite keeper manager for Homewood Suites in Forsyth, IL. Jennifer enjoyed cooking, gardening, music and singing. She was a St. Louis Cardinal, NASCAR and Mark Martin fan. Jennifer adored her grandchildren and loved taking care of her family and “adopted” her children’s friends.


Jennifer is survived by her husband: Steve Nihiser of Maroa, IL; children: Katherine Ward and her husband Scott of Norfolk, VA, Marissa Benge and her fiancé Thomas Dine of Granbury, TX, Patricia Benge of Granbury, TX, Heather Nihiser and her husband Sean Graham of Decatur, IL, Samantha Benge and her fiancé George Matherly IV of Decatur, IL and Lindsey Nihiser of Maroa, IL; siblings: Rachel Hill of Plano, TX, Irene McCoskey of San Antonio, TX, LaVonne Chaney and her husband Ron of Shelbyville, IL, Carol Nixon of Converse, TX, Loretta Layton of Argenta, IL, Margaret Warnick and her husband Gary of Columbus, OH and Sonny Jones Jr. of San Antonio, TX; four grandchildren: Jonathan, Owen, Roxy and Idella.


She was preceded in death by her parents.


Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at

Bill Stephenson

Bill Stephenson 76 of Clinton, Illinois passed away 9:30 AM May 24, 2016 at his family residence, Clinton, IL. 

Mass of Christian burial will be 10:00 A.M. Friday, May 27, 2016 at St. John’s Catholic Church, Clinton, IL with Rev. Father James Henning celebrant. Burial will follow at Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Kenney, Illinois with Military Honors. Visitation will be 5:30 – 7:30 P.M. Thursday, May 26, 2016 at Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, IL with a Rosary at 5:00 P.M.

Memorials may be directed to St. John’s Catholic Church, Clinton Elks, or Clinton Eagles.

Bill was born November 30, 1939 in Litchfield, IL the son of Homer and Pauline (Pass) Stephenson. He married Sharon Mears April 15, 1959 in Kenney, IL.

Survivors include his wife: Sharon Stephenson, Clinton, IL; children: Bob (Diane) Stephenson, Lincoln, IL and Quint Stephenson, Clinton, IL; 6 grandchildren: Chase (Whitney) Stephenson, Andrew (Fiancé Emily) Stephenson, Amber (Brian Potthoff) Stephenson, Alyssa Stephenson, Jack Stephenson, Callie Stephenson; 1 great grandchild: Wesley Stephenson; 3 brothers: Charles “Steve” Stephenson, Princeville, IL, Paul (Evie) Stephenson, Hoyleston, IL, Mike Stephenson, Litchfield, IL; 1 sister: Helen Schuetze, Carlinville, IL.

He was preceded in death by his parents, 2 brothers and 1 sister.

Bill had served in the U.S. Army and worked for the Central Gulf Railroad for 42 years. He enjoyed hunting, motorcycles and loved his garden.

Online condolences may be made at


Miriam Hagen

Miriam J. Hagen 91 of Clinton, Illinois passed away 5 AM May 22, 2016 at Memorial East Hospital, Shiloh, IL.

Services will be 11 A.M. Thursday, May 26, 2016 at the Clinton United Methodist Church, Clinton, IL with Rev. David Huff and Rev. Leanne Noland officiating. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery, Clinton, IL. Visitation will be 10 – 11 A.M. Thursday at the church.


Memorials may be directed to Clinton United Methodist Church or the Chestnut Health Systems.


She was born in Clinton, IL on October 27, 1924, daughter of Russell Volkmar and Beryl Milligan. She attended Clinton schools and graduated from Clinton Community High School in 1942. She married MSgt Louis Hagen USAF on June 6, 1946. He passed away in August 15, 1978.


Miriam is survived by her son: Russell (Donna) Hagen, daughter: Pamela (David) Huff. She was also blessed with 7 grandchildren: Peter (Dustin) Stott, Nicholas (Rachel) Hagen, Katie Hagen, Heidi (Brent) Bainter, Noel (Mike) Russell, Brenna (Geoff) Cardin, and Wesley Huff and fiancé Chelsey Newell.  In addition, Miriam celebrated 10 great grandchildren: Alex, Jack, Joe, Gabe, Isabel, Hagen, Dublin, Jacoby, Parker, and Elyse. She is also survived by her first cousin and best friend Donna Baker.


Miriam and Louis travelled in the service until 1963 when he retired and they moved back to Clinton to raise their family. She worked as a cook in the Clinton Schools and as a clerk at Ace Hardware for many years. She was confirmed in the Clinton United Methodist Church when she was 13 and was an active member. Throughout her life, she enjoyed many activities, including cards, sewing, crocheting, travel, reading, and cooking. The focus of her life has always been family. She loved genealogy and keeping track of family and ancestry.  Many of those relatives are still in Clinton and will miss her greatly. She raised a son and a daughter whom she was very proud of. She was especially pleased that both her son and son-in-law are ordained United Methodist ministers from the Clinton United Methodist Church.


Online condolences may be made at

Walter Perkins

 Walter R. Perkins, lifelong resident of Clinton, IL, passed away early Sunday morning with his family by his side. Walter was 94, a local artist and musician. Per his self-written obituary, he died at the bar when he choked on an olive in his martini.

Graveside services will be 2:30 P.M. Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Kenney, IL with Pastor Tim Lusitana officiating and with Military Honors. Visitation will be held 1 – 2 P.M. Wednesday at Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, IL.


Walter was born February 25, 1922 to Fred and Jane Perkins. He married his wife of 55 years, August 24, 1945 in a ceremony officiated by his uncle, the Rev. E. L. Lawler, while on leave from the Army. They had one son, Larry Perkins.


Mr. Perkins retired after 30 years form Revere Copper and Brass, where he was a payroll accountant. He was a WWII veteran earning the Bronze Battle Star. He served as an Army Sargent in the Pacific Theater on Ryukus and Iwo Jima.


He was a member of the Clinton BPOE #785 since 1951. He also was a member of the American Legion Post #103, past president of the Clinton Ambucs Chapter and a life time member of the American Federation of Musicians.


He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, and sister, Dessa Goin and niece, Donna Page, both of Tucumcari, NM. He is survived by his son Larry and his daughter-in-law Janice.


Walter’s artistic talents have been showcased in various paintings, drawings, as well as stage props, and newsletters. He also did numerous drawings for his wife’s articles while she was a writer for the Herald & Review. His musical talents were enjoyed by many people over the years. He played at a high level with such musicians as Boots Randolf and Al Pierson as well as top area and local musicians. His musical talents are continued on by his son, Larry.


Walter out lived most of his friends, but those left will miss him dearly, as will his family.


Online condolences may be made at

Lyle Spray

 Lyle “Swede” Elmer Spray 81 of Wapella, IL passed away 5:54 AM May 22, 2016 at his family residence, Wapella, IL.


Visitation will be 5 – 7 P.M. Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, IL.


Memorials may be directed to Lung Cancer Research Foundation.


Swede was born January 20, 1935 in Wapella, IL the son of Lyle Raymond and Ethel Mae (Underwood) Spray. He married Joyce Probasco in 1960 in Wapella, IL.


Survivors include his wife: Joyce Spray, Wapella, IL; children: Terry (Lisa) Spray, Atlanta, IL, Mary Catherine Spray, Wapella, IL, Penny Lynn (Ronald) Russell, Lucasville, OH; 9 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren, brother: George Spray, Texas and sister: Gladys Armour, Wapella, IL.


He was preceded in death by his Parents and 1 Brother.


Swede served in the U.S. Army and was a member of the Local #362 Laborer’s Union in Bloomington, IL. He enjoyed NASCAR and old cars, especially Fords.

Online condolences may be made at


Nancy Perkins

Jesus took Nancy D. Perkins 72, home on May 21, 2016, 12:25 AM. She was the eldest daughter of Richard and Helen (Bratcher) Perkins born on August 29, 1943 in Springfield, Il.


Services will be 12 Noon, Saturday, May 28, 2016 at the Baptist Church, Weldon, IL with Pastor Clyde Shreve officiating. Burial will follow at Weldon Cemetery, Weldon, IL. Visitation will be 11 AM until the time of service at the church.  Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, IL is in charge of arrangements.


Memorials may be directed to the Humane Society of Decatur & Macon County, 3373 North Woodford St., Decatur, Il. 62526.


Survivors include her sister, Judy Cox; niece, Tara Reed; nephew, Rick Tudor; and great niece, Regan Reed; two aunts, Rose Neatherly and Justine Bratcher; as well as many cousins, her loyal friend, Nancy Pecora, and her beloved dog, Bella.


Nancy was a 1961 graduate of DeLand-Weldon High School.  Over her life time, Nancy’s most rewarding work positions were being a transporter at Covenant Medical Center in Urbana, IL as well as a line technician for the University of Illinois Flight School with Flight Star at Willard Airport in Savoy, IL.


She loved the outdoors, yard work, gardening, feeding the beautiful birds, and taking care of her beloved pets, most of which she rescued.


In her later years, her love and time was devoted to caring for her mother and look out for her aunts.

Online condolences may be made at

Clarence Pruser

Clarence Pruser 88 of Clinton, Illinois passed away 1:10 AM May 20, 2016 at Manor Court, Clinton, IL..


Services will be 11 A.M Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at the Christ Lutheran Church, Clinton, IL with Rev. David Dunlop officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Park Cemetery, Clinton, IL with military honors. Visitation will be 10 - 11 A.M. Tuesday at the church. Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, IL is in charge of arrangements.


Memorials may be directed to Christ Lutheran Church, Clinton, IL.


Clarence was born November 24, 1927 in Clifton, Kansas the son of Henry and Katherine (Reith) Pruser..


Survivors include his children: Brian (Mikki) Pruser, Clinton, IL, step-children, Randy Evans, Bloomington, IL, Leigh Ann (Danny) Smith, Grand Junction, CO., Lois (Jeff) Brougher, Bloomington, IL, 12 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren, daughter-in-law, Christy Pruser, Clinton, IL.


He was preceded in death by his Son, Thomas Pruser, parents, 4 sisters and 2 brothers.


Clarence served in the Army during the Korean Conflict. He was a grain Elevator foreman in Farmer City, IL.

Richard L. Bradshaw

Richard L. Bradshaw, 60, of Bement, passed away at 8:49 a.m., May 7, 2016 at the Kirby Medical Center, Monticello.

Richard was born June 30, 1955 in Decatur, IL the son of William and Marjorie (Sutherland) Bradshaw. He married Billie Scott in 1991 in Decatur.

Richard is survived by his wife, Billie Bradshaw of Bement; children, Linda Kay Bradshaw, Barry Wayne Bradshaw, Terri Barrett, Kim Bradshaw, and Randy Bradshaw; 8 grandchildren; sisters, Pat Thomas, Brenda Faulke, Nancy Thomas, Janet Sue Kearney, and Ann Patrick. He was preceded in death by his parents, 1 brother and 1 sister.

Richard was a farmer and a truck driver. He enjoyed his farming and being outdoors.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to the family.

Condolences may be sent to the family at


Zola Louise Daniels

Zola Louise Daniels, 81 of Monticello, IL., passed away at 5:22 P.M., on Thursday, May 19, 2016 at the Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, IL.

Celebration of life services will be held at a later date. Private family burial will be in the Bement Township Cemetery. Per her wishes cremation rites have been accorded.

Zola was born on December 17, 1934 in Bement, IL., a daughter of Leo L. and Ida A. Schwartz Fair. She married Raymond Daniels on October 14, 1951 in Bement, IL., and he passed away on March 22, 2010. Surviving children include; Reynold L. (Cory) Daniels of Lincoln, IL., Dennis R. (Sandy) Daniels of Champaign, IL., Jonathan A. Daniels of Wellington, MO., Jody (Daren) Bettis of Bement, IL., and Steven D. (Renee) Daniels of Monticello, IL., as well as 15 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are a brother; Eugene (Vickie) Fair of Bement, IL., and 2 sisters; Barbara Rhoades of Milmine, IL., and Helen Fair of Cerro Gordo, IL. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, daughter; Julia Allen, sister; Delores Housman and brother; Elvin Fair.

Zola was a member of the Bement Baptist Church, she loved to crotchet, as well as playing games on the computer. She loved her cat, Grace but most enjoyed the time she spent with her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Aaron and Susie Hinds, of Hinds Funeral Home, Bement, IL., have the honor to serve the family of Zola L. Daniels. “Our Family Is Here To Serve Your Family”


Christopher Jones

Christopher Lee Jones, 41, of Clinton, passed away Friday (May 13, 2016) at his home of natural causes.

He was born Feb. 8, 1975, the son of Larry Jones and Linda Worthey Jones.


He was a seed technician for Monsanto. He enjoyed fishing, playing pool and working on cars.


He is survived by his mother, Linda Jones, Watseka; one sister, Lena Lade, Sheldon; and several nieces and nephews, Caitlin and Lauren Jones, Mersades Wheeler and Callen Mears.


He was preceded in death by his father, Larry Jones; maternal and paternal grandparents; aunt, Bonnie; and uncle, Wilbur.


Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Baier Funeral Home, Watseka. His funeral will be at 11 am. Friday at Baier Funeral Home, Watseka, with one hour visitation prior to service. Pastor Joseph Hughes will officiate. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery, Watseka. Memorials in his name can be made to the family.

Charles Sampson

Charles "Bud" Sampson, 74, of Waynesville, passed away at 11:35 p.m. on Saturday (May 14, 2016) at his home.

His memorial service will be at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday at the Waynesville United Methodist Church, with Dave Taylor officiating.


Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of service on Wednesday at the church.


Cremation rites have been accorded.


Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery, Waynesville.


Charles Sampson was born Sept. 6, 1941, in Waynesville, the son of Roger LaFayette and Mary Wilma Nichols Sampson. He was united in marriage to Shirley Jean Kaufman on Jan. 26, 1962. She survives.


Also surviving are his children, Shawn (Danny) Bristow, Waynesville, and Michelle (Roger) Rich, Wapella; three sisters, Carol (Jack) Sampson, Kay (Dick) Schmid and Karen (Ron McGuffin) Te Voert, all of Waynesville; and two grandsons, Trevor and Bryson Bristow.


He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Steven Duane Sampson.


Bud graduated from the McLean Waynesville High School in 1959. He retired from Eureka Williams in Bloomington and had previously worked for General Electric and owned Sampson Construction. Bud had also served as mayor of Waynesville.


He was a Cardinals fan and enjoyed fishing, and his favorite time was spending Sunday afternoons with his family.


Memorials may be made to the Waynesville Fire Department or the donor's choice.


Final arrangements are entrusted with Quiram-Peasley Funeral Home, Atlanta.

Cobina Reynolds

Cobina D. Reynolds, 76, of Farmer City, passed away at 8:41 p.m. May 11, 2016, at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana.

Her celebration of life service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, Farmer City, with Pastor Steve Ingram officiating. Inurnment will be in DeWitt Cemetery, DeWitt. Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Farmer City Senior Outreach Programs.


Cobina was born Nov. 6, 1939, in Lane, a daughter of Merle and Irene Gregory Miller. She married Fred E. Reynolds on March 28, 1959, in LeRoy. He passed away Oct. 17, 2008.


She is survived by three children, Laura L. (Mike) Hughes, Bakersfield, Calif.; Doug M. (Sarah) Reynolds, Farmer City; and Peggy A. (Paul) Tobin, Farmer City; six grandchildren, Brooke (Brian) Hughes, Alishia (Reese) Martin, Brandon Reynolds, Natalie Reynolds, Jim (Mershon Caissie) Tobin and Katie Tobin; one great-granddaughter, Brynnan Hughes; three stepgrandchildren, Stephen Hughes, Bethia and Abijah; one sister, Evelyn Epperson, Mahomet.


She was preceded in death by her parents; son, Chris ‟Dog” Reynolds; stepgrandson, Michael K. Hughes; three brothers, Leonard Miller, Greg Miller and Merle Dean Miller.


Cobina was a loving person who enjoyed traveling and had been to 49 states. She was an avid fan of local country oprys. Cobina worked at the Farmer City Fair office for more than 25 years. She will be dearly missed by her family and everyone who knew her. Cobina was a grandmother to many.

Francis Dawson

Francis E. Dawson, 93, of Heyworth, passed away at 7:21 p.m. Saturday (May 14, 2016) at his home.

His graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Hopewell Cemetery, Downs, with grandson, Minister Eric Anderson, officiating. Kibler-Brady-Ruestman Memorial Home, Bloomington, is assisting the family with arrangements.


Memorials may be made to Sound of Illinois Chorus or Community Cancer Center.


Francis was born April 11, 1923, in Farmer City, a son of J. Lester and Merna Reed Dawson. He married Velma "Mickey" Sisco on Nov. 25, 1979.


Surviving are his wife, Mickey Dawson, Heyworth; children, Lester Dawson, Colorado; Jimmy Dawson, Penny Magacimo and Sherrilyn Dawson, all of California; Karen Ergun, Georgia; Lynda Dawson, Oklahoma; and Dennis Dawson, California; brother and sister-in-law, Sandy and Martie Sisco; cousin, Vernelle Nixon (100 years old), Farmer City; and his many loving grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.


He was preceded in death by his parents, J. Lester and Merna Dawson; brother, J. Ralph Dawson; and sister, Marjorie West.


Francis was a general contractor by trade. He started at an early age, being taught by his father. He worked alongside his father and with his brother for many years. The current Dawson Addition in Clinton was planned and developed in the late 1940s and early ’50s by J.L. Dawson and Sons.


Francis moved to southern California, building a thriving contracting and restoration business. He enjoyed all aspects of contracting, from design through completion. He especially enjoyed working with his customers, becoming long-time friends with many of them. While living in southern California, he worked with Navajo children, instructing them in contracting skills, and a few of the students went on to work for Francis. He also had his own bowling team for a few years.


After retiring, Francis and his wife, Mickey, returned to Illinois in 1996, to be close to relatives and childhood friends.


In 1996, Francis joined the Sound of Illinois Barbershop Chorus, which will sing at his funeral. His association with the dedicated singers provided some of his most enjoyable moments. In 2001, he was voted "Barbershopper of the Year" in addition to serving as Sunshine chairman.


Francis loved life to the fullest and will be remembered for his sunny disposition and ever-present smiles, jokes and the love he had for his devoted wife, Mickey. He and wife, Mickey, cherished doing everything together side-by-side, having a truly remarkable love story. They loved spending time with their children and grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by all who loved him and by his many treasured friends. He was a people person as evidenced by the many people he made friends with everywhere he went.


Condolences and memories of Francis may be left for the family at

William Ellis

William I. Ellis, 84, of Clinton, passed away 12:30 a.m. Friday (May 13, 2016) at his home.


No services are planned at this time. Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, assisted the family with cremation rites.


Memorials may be directed to Second Chance Pet Adoption.


William was born Nov. 17, 1931, in Randolph Township, the son of Fletcher “Bud” and Marion Carl Ellis. He married Betty Holland on Feb. 14, 1948.


Survivors include his wife, Betty Ellis, Clinton; children, John (Melanie) Ellis, Wapella; Bill (Janis) Ellis, Wapella; and Martha (Ed) Wilcox, Kearney, Neb.; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.


Condolences may be made at

Sharon Ann Wadkins

Sharon Ann Wadkins, 64, of Monticello, passed away Sunday, May 15, 2016, at Decatur Memorial Hospital with her family by her side.

Sharon was born December 17, 1951 in Monticello to Jerry Lee and Nancy June (Fisher) Starkey, Sr. She always enjoyed playing cards, singing old classic country songs and spending time with her family, friends and especially her grandbabies. Last year before becoming ill, she was able to enjoy a family vacation to Florida with her son, daughter and their families and made priceless memories.


She is survived by her mother, Nancy “June” Hatch of Mahomet; her two children, Stacey (Justin) Wierman of Monticello and Bobby (Tamara) Wadkins of Decatur; three grandchildren, Bailee, Brooklyn and Benton; one brother, Jerry (Martha) Starkey, Jr. of Houston, TX; and her very best friend of 20 years who has been caring for her constantly, Jeanna McMurray of Monticello.


She was preceded in death by her father.


Graveside services to celebrate the life of Sharon Wadkins will be 2 p.m. Thursday, May 19, 2016, at Point Pleasant Cemetery in Long Creek. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, 2016, at Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home. Memorials may be directed to The Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine 1001 Highlands Plaza Dr. West, Suite 140, St. Louis, MO 63110-1337.


The family of Sharon Ann Wadkins is being served by Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home, 2091 N. Oakland Avenue, Decatur, IL. Send condolences to the family at

Karen Lee Buckles Lucas

Karen Lucas died in a post surgical rehabilitation facility on September 29th at the age of

  74. Ms. Lucas born on May 20th, 1941 and was the eldest of six children. Her parents Leland and Mary Katharine Buckles preceded her in death. She is survived by her son Scott Alan Crabtree (Kansas City, MO) and daughter Lynn Ellen Crabtree (Charlotte, NC). She is also survived by her siblings Robert Buckles (Charlotte) of Forked River, NJ, Kenneth Buckles (Mary) of Mt. Pulaski, IL, Neil Buckles (Coral) of St. Charles, IL, Katharine Catton (Ron) of Bradenton, FL and Janet Tuchscherer (Fred) of McHenry, IL.


Karen was born and raised on a farm south of Latham, IL. She graduated from Warrensburg-Latham High School in 1959 and earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Illinois in 1963.


Karen had many talents including music, art and athletics. She was an avid tennis player and ballroom dancer in her later years. She pursued careers in medical technology, real estate and owned her own janitorial and property management companies.


Karen left the Midwest in 1984 to relocate to southern California. At that time she changed her name to Lucas in honor of her beloved mother.


The family is planning a 10 AM Visitation, 11 AM Service and Noon Dinner at the Latham, IL United Methodist Church (241 N. Walnut St.) on Saturday, May 21st, 2016. You can view her online memorial at . Memorial donations will be given to the Latham UMC.

Jeanette Daugherty

Jeanette Lee Daugherty, 78, of Clinton, IL, passed away on Monday, May 9, 2016, at her residence.

Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Thursday, May 12, at Brintlinger and Earl Funeral Home, Decatur, IL and one hour prior to services on Friday, May 13, at Clinton United Methodist Church, 308 E. Main, Clinton, IL. Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. Friday, May 13, at Clinton United Methodist Church, Clinton, IL. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery, Clinton, IL. Memorials may be made to: Clinton United Methodist Church, Arthritis Foundation, or American Heart Association.


Jeanette was born June 30, 1937, in Decatur, IL, daughter of Lester E. and Freida A. (Toole) Gordy. She married Peter A. Daugherty on November 17, 1956, in Decatur.


Jeanette retired in 1996 as a deputy clerk from the DeWitt County Circuit Clerk’s office. She also worked for several years in the business offices of John Warner Hospital and the local H& R Block.


Surviving are her husband of 59 years: Pete of Clinton, IL; three sons: Timothy A. (Terrie) of Wapella, IL, Jeffrey A. (Kim) of Heyworth, IL, and Jonathan (Katie) of Gifford, IL; six grandchildren: Bradley, Chelsea and Janelle Daugherty, Mindy, Abbey and Ted Kerrn; two great-grandchildren: Margaret and Joshua Kerrn; and one brother: Ron A. Gordy of Lafayette, IN.


Jeanette was preceded in death by her parents and brother Jack L. Gordy.


Condolences may be left to the family in care of Brintlinger and Earl Funeral Home at

Darrel Sickles

Darrel N. Sickles, 63, of Clinton, IL passed away on Friday, May 6, 2016, at his family residence after a long and courageous battle against Alzheimer’s disease.


Visitation will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 1pm to 2pm followed by a Memorial Service at 2pm at Kenney Christian Church of Kenney, IL with Pastor Ernie Harvey, Jr. officiating. Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, IL assisted the family with cremation rites.


Memorials may be directed to the Darrel Sickles Memorial Fund.


Darrel was born on April 9, 1953 in Pana, IL the son of Francis and Dreamus (Creekmur) Sickles. He married Leslie McAdams on August 30, 1985 in Decatur, IL.


He is survived by wife, Leslie of 30 years: his beloved son Taylor Sickles of Kenney, IL and two granddaughters Sierra and Kinzey Sickles. He is also survived by his sister Cheryl (Jim) Sargent and many nieces and nephews.


He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers and three sisters.


Darrel was a member of Ironworkers Local 380 and IBEW 51 with Clinton Power Station. He enjoyed his work and the friendships formed over his many professional years.


He loved golfing, woodworking and all outdoor activities. He loved his music and John Denver was his favorite. Above that, he adored his family and doting over his precious granddaughters. Darrel’s kind and gentle nature will be greatly missed by his friends and family members.


Thank you to his caregiver and friend, Dora Alwood, for her unwavering devotion to his comfort and well being. Thank you Harbor Light Hospice of Forsyth, IL. for his excellent care. The family wishes to express a special thank you to Ernie Harvey, Jr. for providing support and spiritual care to the family in their time of need.


Online condolences may be made at

Bill Ledbetter

 Bill Lee Ledbetter, 82, of Clinton, formerly of Greenville, passed away at 8:15 p.m. Sunday (May 8, 2016) at Farmer City Rehab, Farmer City.

His service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with Phil Yakey officiating. Burial will follow at Crum Cemetery, Wapella, with military honors. Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home.


Memorials may be directed to the DeWitt County Animal Shelter.


Bill was born Oct. 13, 1933, in Greenville, the son of Luther and Emma Hemken Ledbetter. He married Shirley Torbert on Sept. 6, 1956, and they had two daughters, Karen Ann Underwood, Wapella, and Lori Lee (Daniel Osborn) Murphy, Atlanta; four grandchildren, Jeremy (Kitiara) Underwood, Jill (Wes) Foster, Candi (Jake) Taylor and Samantha (Caleb) Ballew; and nine great-grandchildren.


He later married Lynda Kay Saylor on Feb. 13, 1982, in Clinton. She survives along with his four stepchildren.


He was preceded in death by his parents and one grandson, Hunter Underwood.


Bill was an Army veteran serving in the Korean conflict while stationed in Germany. He was a member of the Greenville Central Church and the Masonic Lodge. He farmed his entire life and worked for Caterpillar Tractor for 30 years. He enjoyed the outdoors and hunting, and was a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan.


The family would like to extend a special thank-you to the nurses and caregivers at Farmer City Rehab.


Condolences may be made at

John G. Gillis

John G. Gillis, 86, of Farmer City, died at 4:08 p.m. Monday (May 9, 2016) at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana.

Service: celebration of life at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Farmer City American Legion, Farmer City, with Bud McMasters officiating.


Burial: Arcola Cemetery, Arcola, with military rites accorded.


Visitation: noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Farmer City American Legion.


Memorials: Joe Williams American Legion Post 55, Farmer City. Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, Farmer City, is handling arrangements.


Survivors: wife, Marylou Gillis, Farmer City; two sons, David A. (Tina) Gillis, Roodhouse, and Tim (Deborah) Gillis, Hillview; one daughter, Tina Smith, Roodhouse; one stepdaughter, Stephanie Drake, Farmer City; two stepsons, Stuart (Diana) Drake, Cape Coral, Fla., and Stanley (Colleen) Drake, Nordland, Wash.; stepdaughter-in-law, Patricia Drake, Champaign; six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; six stepgrandchildren; seven stepgreat-grandchildren; one sister, June (Bob) Douglas, White Hall; four brothers, Harvey Gillis, Washington, D.C.; Richard Gillis, Jacksonville; Fred (Linda) Gillis, White Hall; and Edward Gillis, Jerseyville.

Thelma Leever

Thelma I. Leever, 96, of Lincoln, died at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday (May 11, 2016) at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, Lincoln.


Service: noon Monday at Fricke-Calvert-Schrader Funeral Home, Lincoln, with Pastor Darrell Howard officiating.


Burial: Harmony Cemetery, Beason.



Memorials: Beason United Methodist Church or Beason Fire and Rescue Squad.


Survivors: three sons, Robert (Judy Haywood) Leever, Decatur; Dennis (Rhonda) Leever, Phoenix, Ariz.; and Rick (Cindy) Leever, Charleston, S.C.; one daughter, Judith Medaris, Mount Pulaski; 11 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and seven great-great-grandchildren. 

Rickie Handley

Rickie J. Handley, 56, Clinton, died 6:14 p.m. Thursday (May 5, 2016) at Galesburg Cottage Hospital, Galesburg.

Service: none. Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, assisted the family with cremation rites.

Memorials: DeWitt County Friendship Center.

Survivors: father, Kenneth, and stepmother, Pat Handley, Gilman; sisters, Brenda (Calvin) Kelley, St. Augustine, Fla.; Donna (Kenny) Bush, Kodak, Tenn.; and Vicki (Dave) Redman, Clinton; stepsisters, Christie (Tom) Pfister, Normal; Ellen (Gordie) Golden, Anchor; Peggy Corry, Bloomington; and Donna Graning, Peoria.

Condolences may be made at


Rhonda Tohill

Rhonda L. Tohill, 57, of Cerro Gordo, IL, passed away 6:43 a.m., Thursday, April 28, 2016 at her residence.



Memorial services will be 2:00 P.M. Saturday, May 7, 2016, at Cerro Gordo United Methodist Church, with visitation one hour prior to service time at the church. Inurnment will be in Point Pleasant Cemetery, Long Creek, IL. Memorials may be made to the family, and checks may be made payable to Rhonda Tohill Benefit c/o State Bank of Cerro Gordo, Illinois. Brintlinger and Earl Funeral Home, Cerro Gordo, is handling the arrangements.


Rhonda was born October 12, 1958, in Laurel, Nebraska, the daughter of Duane P. and Ruth A. (Peabody) Pokett. She married Anthony L. Tohill on January 1, 2005 in Cerro Gordo, IL.


Rhonda was Secretary for 4 years at Cerro Gordo United Methodist Church, worked at Cerro Gordo Food in the deli department for 3 years, Hyvee Food for 3 years in Sioux City, Iowa, and was a General Manager of 6 Subway’s for 4 years.


Rhonda was a member of Cerro Gordo United Methodist Church and Christians United In Christ (CUIC). She ran the local food pantry (God’s LifeLine), and was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary.


She is survived by her husband Anthony of Cerro Gordo; children Joshua L. Pedersen of Moville, IA, Randy L. Pederson of Sioux City, IA, Christopher N. Ntor-Ue of Lombard, IL, Brandy Lee (Derrick) Cullison of Decatur, Christopher L. (Jennifer) Tohill of Maroa, IL; 15 grandchildren; sisters Theresa A. (Steve) Hanson of Bronson, IA, Diane A. Kibbe of Pappillon, NE, Marcia K. (Jack) Foster of Moville, IA; brothers Thomas D. Pokett of Sioux City, IA, Timothy P. (Jennifer) Pokett of Indiana, Terrence L. Pokett of Sioux City, IA.


She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Sandy Hanson, and grandparents Helen and C.E. Peabody.


Condolences may be left to the family in care of Brintlinger and Earl Funeral Home at

Betty Bianucci

 Betty Bianucci, of Tucson, AZ formerly of Clinton, IL passed away May 3, 2016 in Tucson, AZ.


Graveside services will be held at a later date at Memorial Park Cemetery, Clinton, IL. Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, IL is in charge of arrangements.


Memorials may be directed to Betty Bianucci memorial fund c/o Calvert Funeral Home, 201 S. Center St.. Clinton, IL 61727


Betty was born in Illinois and married George Bianucci, former owner, and founder of the restaurant “The Shack" formerly "George's Shack”.


Survivors include her son: Michael Bianucci and his wife Lana; and her daughter: Christina Morgan; grandson: Kieran Morgan and his wife Cydney and great-granddaughter: Soleil.


She was preceded in death by her husband George Bianucci.


Betty Bianucci was one of Jehovah's Witnesses for over 66 years in the Clinton, Illinois and Tucson, Arizona  areas, having served many of those years as a Full Time Pioneer Minister, active in community service helping many in learning about the Bible, and those choosing to become one of Jehovah's Witnesses; along with her son Michael Bianucci, who also Pioneered with her  8 of those years while also serving as an elder for over 40 years consecutively in the local Clinton and Bloomington areas, now residing between Bloomington, Illinois and New Jersey areas.


At the end, Betty was being cared for by her daughter Christina Morgan, who she had been living with in Tucson, AZ. for many years till her recent passing.

Charlotte Marie Fredrick

Charlotte Marie Fredrick, 66, of Monticello, passed away at 7:05 a.m., April 27, 2016 at the Kirby Medical Center.

Charlotte was born May 11, 1949 in San Diego, CA the daughter of John Richard Hanson, Jr. and Harriett Louise (Warden) Hanson. She married David O. Fredrick on January 11, 1973 in San Diego, CA. He passed away on February 13, 2014.

She is survived by her son, David W. Fredrick (Debbie) of Quincy; daughter, Angela K. Gadbury (Steve) of Mahomet; grandchildren, Jacob Gadbury (Michelle) of Alaska and Jared Gadbury of Mahomet; step-grandchildren, Dakota, Dezaree and Dustin Guthrie; brothers, Richard Hanson of San Diego, CA and John Hanson of Las Vegas, NV; and sister-in-law, Kay Carnes (Dave) of Monticello. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and sister, Peggy Gallup.

Charlotte was a homemaker and a member of the American Legion Post #24 and the Ladies Auxiliary. She enjoyed sewing, crafts, and loved spending time with her children, grandchildren and close friends.

A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m., Friday, May 6, 2016 at the Christ Lutheran Church, Monticello with Pastor Micah Garnett officiating. A graveside service will follow and be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, May 6, 2016 at the Camp Butler National Cemetery in Springfield.

Memorials may be made to the family or Faith in Action of Piatt County.

Condolences may be sent to the family at


Darby Brackenhoff

Darby Brackenhoff, 71, of Farmer City died at 10:45 p.m. April 15, 2016, in Urbana after a brief but fierce battle with a very virulent form of pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by loving family members. 

Visitation will be at 11 a.m. Saturday with a celebration of life to follow at 1:30 p.m. at Trinity Community Fellowship Church, Farmer City, with Pastor Dave Ashby officiating. Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, Farmer City, is in charge of arrangements. Burial will be at Maple Grove Cemetery immediately following the service for family and close friends.

Darby was born Sept. 26, 1944, in Farmer City, the daughter of Joseph and Barbara Eubank, who preceded her in death. She married Don M. Brackenhoff on Feb. 12, 1966.

She is survived by her husband, Don, and their children, Mark J. (Kari) Brackenhoff, Mahomet, and Morgan B. (Jennifer) Brackenhoff, Mansfield, as well as four granddaughters and two grandsons. She also is survived by her sister, Shari Eubank, as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

She attended Moore Township High School in Farmer City and Drake University and graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a degree in English and speech. Her true passion was teaching high school English, speech and debate.

Her husband, Don, was a career officer and pilot in the U.S. Air Force, and they lived in many different places, including Enid and Oklahoma City, Okla.; Sacramento, Calif.; Boston, Mass.; Little Rock, Ark.; Montgomery, Ala.; and Honolulu, Hawaii. She spent nearly two years in Farmer City while Don was in Vietnam in the 1960s and early 1970s. When he retired from the Air Force in 1986 they moved back to Farmer City and she became a farmer’s wife.

Darby taught high school English, speech and debate at Southeast High School in Oklahoma City for three years, and later taught English and debate at Blue Ridge High School in Farmer City for five years until she grudgingly had to retire because of the effects of severe rheumatoid arthritis. She left a legacy of successful students who remained in contact with her, many of them saying that she was the best teacher that they had in their academic career.

When they retired from farming, they bought a motor home and saw a lot of the U.S. in their travels with their faithful West Highland white terrier, Braveheart. She particularly loved the two months that they spent in Florida each winter.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, her most favored charity for the thousands of service members who suffered grievous wounds and post-traumatic stress disorder.



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