Category Archives: Obituaries

Gene W. Bovee

Gene W. Bovee quietly passed away Thursday evening, September 16, in St. Joseph Memorial Hospital, Murphysboro, Ill. Gene was born September 17, 1925 in Nevada, Iowa.

Gene married Maurine L. Olsen on February 9, 1946 in Dundee, Ill.

He is survived by his wife, Maurine L. Bovee of Carbondale; daughter, Claudia Broom (Bill) of Carbondale; son, Terry Bovee of Carbondale; daughter, Dawn Kittoe (Ken) of Waukesha, WI; son, Jeff Bovee (Terese) of Augusta, KS; daughter, Lynn Holmes (Ken) of Iowa City, Iowa; daughter-in-law, Cheryl Bovee of Carbondale.  He is also survived by 16 grandchildren:  Jessica Jones, Matt Broom, and Sarah Pienkos; Travis and Whitney Bovee; Kurin and Keith Kittoe; Nick, Josh, Ryan and Kyle Bovee; Emma, Natalie and Adam Holmes; Sarah and Ben O’Brien and 5 great grandchildren:  Dorian Miller; Mallory and Zachary Broom; Connor and Gracie Jones.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother.

Gene retired as a salesman for Reichhold Chemicals in 1987.  He  served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II in the South Pacific. He was active in the Marine Corps League of Carbondale and helped bring Toys for Tots to Southern Illinois. In 2001, he was chosen Marine of the Year of Illinois. A dedicated volunteer, he also served 1672 volunteer hours at the Marion VA Medical Center.

Gene loved God, his family, people and the Marines.  He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend who touched deeply those he knew and loved.

A memorial service is planned for  Saturday, November 27 at 10:00 AM at First United Methodist Church, Carbondale. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to First United Methodist Church, Carbondale. Huffman-Harker Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.  To sign the memorial guest book, visit:

Marikay Nichols

Marikay (nee Lieving) Nichols, 72, passed away Friday, Sept. 24, 2010, at her home in Batavia.

She was born May 27, 1938, in DeKalb, the daughter of Jesse and Catherine (nee Ernzen) Lieving. She was united in marriage to Lynn Nichols on May 18, 1957, at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Batavia.

Marikay was a devout Catholic; a former parishioner of St. Gall Catholic Church in Elburn, and now a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church in Batavia. She enjoyed her career as an administrative assistant at Waubonsee Community College and later at St. Peter Catholic Church in Geneva. She was an avid reader and collector of many things, including dishes and holiday decorations among other items.

She is survived by her five children, Kim M. Nichols of North Aurora, Steven S. Nichols of San Diego, Thomas R. Nichols of North Aurora, Patricia E. Nichols of North Aurora, and Joan C. (John E. II) Saupp of Naples, Fla.; and a grandson, John E. Saupp III of Naples, Fla.

In addition to her parents, Marikay is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Lynn.

Visitation was Tuesday, Sept. 28, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Moss Family Funeral Home, 209 S. Batavia Ave. in Batavia.

Funeral services will begin with prayers at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010, at the funeral home before proceeding to Holy Cross Catholic Church, 2300 W. Main St. in Batavia for Mass at 10:30 a.m. Interment will follow in East Batavia Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to American Diabetes Association, 30 North Michigan Ave. Suite 2015, Chicago, IL 60602.

For additional information, please contact Moss Family Funeral Home in Batavia at (630) 879-7900 or

Dennis Allen Anderson

Dennis Allen Anderson, 67, of Elburn, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010, due to complications of mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

He was born Feb. 1, 1943, in Geneva, the son of Sten and Margie (Allen) Anderson.

Dennis grew up in Elburn on a dairy farm. He attended local schools and graduated from Kaneland High School in 1961. Later, he attended Eastern Illinois University.  

Dennis entered the U.S. Army in 1966. Stationed in Germany, he proudly served his country for two years.

Dennis and Leona were married on July 5, 1969, at Grace Lutheran Church in Lily Lake.

Dennis worked for several years for Jewel Food Stores. Later, he worked for the Kane County Department of Transportation until his retirement. 

Dennis was a faithful and lifelong member of the Grace Lutheran Church of Lily Lake. He also was a 40-year member of the Elburn American Legion, Post No. 630, and a member of the Elburn Lions Club, where he received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award. In addition, he served on the board of trustees for the Town and Country Public Library in Elburn.  

He is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, Leona; two sisters, Stena Warne of Mesa, Ariz., and Donna Grimes of Belvidere, Ill.; nephews,  Gideon Warne and Lowell Dean Oranger; nieces, Tena Simpson, Kimberly Lang and Shauna Pena; great-nieces and nephews and many friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents.

A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 2, at Grace Lutheran Church of Lily Lake. Rev. Ernst Rex, pastor of the church, will officiate. Private family interment will follow at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit Grace Lutheran Church of Lily Lake or the International Mesothelioma Program. Checks may be made to the “Dennis A. Anderson Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at

Phil A. Kuzlik

Phil A. Kuzlik, 69, of Chapin, S.C., formerly of both Chicago and Elburn, passed away Thursday, Sept. 5, 2010.

A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn 60119.

A memorial has been established in his name to benefit his favorite charities. Checks may be made and mailed to any of the following charities: Palmetto Children’s Hospital, P.O. Box 100199, Dept. 274, Columbia, S.C. 29202 or the East lake Community Church, ACTS Metro, 10057 Broad River Road, Irmo, S.C. 29063. Tributes may also be forwarded in his name to P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119, or on the web at

Dennis A. Anderson

Dennis A. Anderson, 67, of Elburn, passed away on Sept. 8, 2010, at Kindred Hospital in Sycamore, Ill. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at a later date.

Arrangements are handled with care by Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. For information, call (630) 365-6414 or visit

Anna Kozik

Anna Kozik, 100, of St. Charles, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010, at Provena Pine View Care Center, where she had recently made her home.

She was born Aug. 8, 1910, the daughter of Paul and Suzana (Hrokus) Sladek in Czechoslovakia.
She grew up near Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, and attended local schools.

Anna was united in marriage to Paul Kozik in Czechoslovakia on Jan. 29, 1928. They traveled back to the United States to make their home.

They lived in Chicago for a time until 1943, when they moved to Ramm Road in Maple Park, where they made their home for many years. Anna continued to live on the family farm after Paul passed away in 1984. Due to declining health, she moved to Provena Pine View Care Center in 2004.

The care of her family was Anna’s number-one priority. She worked on the farm, made their house a home and worked as a housekeeper for several local families.

Anna was a faithful member of St. Gall Catholic Church for many years.

Anna’s farm garden helped to feed generations of family and friends. Freezers and shelves held the harvest that always came on her birthday. On that day, a party was held and instead of giving gifts, everyone found themselves laden with gifts from her garden and kitchen. Smells of cooking and baking often permeated the home and held the promise of home-cooked meals, birthday cakes and cookies. She was a loving grandmother to not only her grandchildren, but to anyone who crossed the threshold. She will live long in the memories of those who loved her and will not soon be forgotten.

She is survived by her son, John P. (Patricia) Kozik; four grandchildren, John P. (Cathie) Kozik Jr., Molly (Jeff) Horn, Stephen (Chie) Kozik and Thomas Kozik; five great-grandchildren, Elizabeth Anna Kozik, Michael E. Kozik, Quinlan Kozik, Emily Kozik and Mary Horn; many nieces, nephews, cousins and a family of friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents and her husband.

Visitation was Monday, Sept. 13, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A mass to celebrate her life followed visitation at St. Gall Catholic Church. Interment followed at St. Gall Cemetery, Elburn.

A memorial has been established in her name to benefit her favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Anna Kozik Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at

Bruce H. Conley

Bruce H. Conley, 60, passed away Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, at his home,                        surrounded by his loving family. Bruce finished the race and claimed the promises of his Savior to whom he long ago gave his heart and who guided and sustained Bruce through all of his life. He has fought the good fight; he has finished the race.

Bruce Herbert Conley was born April 13, 1950, in Elburn, the youngest child of Charles and Winifred McMurray Conley. Though the family home was at the corner of Reader Street and Main Street, the whole block and the surrounding yards were open to being a young boy’s playground. Bruce would “hunt tigers,” play cowboys and Indians and spend hours swinging in his grandparent’s backyard, where sometimes he could be heard singing, “O, My Papa.”

Hayfever and allergies often limited his outdoors activities, which may have helped him learn to express himself through music and writing. In addition to dealing with his allergies, he worked hard to overcome a serious problem with stammering.

Bruce attended Elburn Grade School and Kaneland High School, where he excelled in music and graduated with the class of 1968.

He began playing coronet in the fifth grade and took private lessons at Dee Palmer’s in DeKalb. Hours of practice, in time, earned him his dream instrument, a Bach trumpet. He played it in high school and college, at many family “jam sessions” and until recently, in tribute to many veterans as they were laid to rest. As a teenager, his music took him another direction and he, along with three other boys, became The Uther Days, a rock band later also known as Denver Green. Bruce played lead guitar with Dave Johnson, Steve Gliddon and Bob Hamblen making up the rest of the band. Following graduation, he attended North Central College in Naperville, Ill., where he majored in music.

During his senior year in high school, Bruce began training as an aid at Delnor Hospital in St. Charles. There was a cute, petite blonde in the same class who quickly caught his eye, and then his heart. Kristine McConnaughay was a junior at St. Charles High School, and soon she and Bruce found that they had more in common than the aid classes at the hospital. It was young love that would one day grow into a lifetime of commitment; a love much deeper than either imagined in those early, teenage years.

Their courtship began while they were both in high school and grew as they both graduated and went off to college. After his freshman year at North Central, Bruce transferred to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., where he began studies in Mortuary Science.  Subsequently, he studied psychology at Wisconsin State University in Whitewater, Wis., and mass communication at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb before entering the U.S. Army Reserve in 1971. He returned home and was employed as an on-air announcer at WKKD-FM in Aurora.

On Oct. 7, 1972, Bruce and Kris were united in marriage at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in St. Charles, where Kris sang to him the words he had written to the melody of “Bless This House.”

They settled into their home on South Main Street in Elburn and the everyday workings of married life. That same year, Bruce made the decision to return to his mortuary science studies and began attending Worsham College in Chicago, where he graduated in 1973 and joined his parents in the family business, becoming the third generation to do so.

Bruce and Kris moved to his grandparent’s former home, north of the funeral home, and Chuck and Winnie moved into the house on South Main Street, where Sunday dinner found four generations gathered around the table each week.

On Oct. 11, 1975, Bruce and Kris were blessed with the birth of their son, Benjamin Hale. In 1982, the birth of their daughter, Sarah Louise, made their family complete and quickly outgrowing the home they were in. In 1983, when the opportunity arose to obtain the Reeves house, Bruce moved his family across the backyard to their new home on Main Street.

Like the generations that preceded him, life was built around family (which included a large extended family and the countless families that he served), faith and Bruce’s dedication to helping the bereaved through his work and his writing.   

Throughout his career, Bruce was passionate about helping grieving children, and in 1975 he penned “Butterflies, Grandpa & Me,” a story and coloring book illustrated by his sister, Karen, and written to help explain death, grief and the funeral to children. Through the years, thousands were published and used by funeral homes, churches and hospice programs along with his later book, “Handling the Holidays,” and “Plain Paper Poems,” which contained poems written by Bruce and Karen. Bruce also wrote a number of bereavement pamphlets, several of which were translated and used in bereavement groups in South Africa. His publications, produced by Conley Publications, are still used across the country by those who are dedicated to helping grieving families.

His writing and speaking on grief attracted him to a number of self-help programs that began in the early ‘80s across the Fox Valley.  Bruce was instrumental in the founding of Compassionate Friends, Survivors of Suicide, the Widowed Persons Service, Fox Valley Hospice, and later, DeKalb Hospice, among other programs.

In 1983, he founded Elburn’s first counseling center with Dr. Del Hagin of Aurora College. That effort would grow beyond bereavement to become Conley Outreach Community Services, which incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1995. Bruce was always keenly aware that death brought with it many changes in the lives of families he served and saw grief-care as something that needed to go hand-in-hand with the broader scope of community services.

In the fall of 1985, that “broader scope” caused Bruce to take on the challenge of saving the old Elburn Elementary School as a community center. With the help of others, he succeeded and founded the Elburn and Countryside Community Center as a not-for-profit organization. Without the benefit of tax or municipal support afforded other Kaneland communities, the organization supported itself as a business incubator while saving the gym and playground for the children of the community.

Through much of the ‘90s, Bruce was involved in state and national associations concerned with bereavement care. In 1995, he led the first conclave between the National Hospice Organization and the National Funeral Director’s Association, and in 1998, he chaired the Association for Death Education and Counseling national conference held in Chicago. In 2000, his focus returned home to take over the West Towns Network, a tax supported program of 708 Inc., which became a service of Conley Outreach. His passion for bringing programs and services to the rural community substantially expanded the program. In 2001, Bruce joined visions with Dr. Michael Mangis and Dr. Donald Preussler of Wheaton College to create another not-for-profit organization, the Center for Rural Psychology, which took over the counseling arm of Conley Outreach to become Heartland Counseling.

Bruce’s ultimate vision for combined bereavement and community care found dimension in his dream of a barn raising on the grounds of the Ravlin homestead in Kaneville, which he acquired in 1997. Though the barn never became a reality, many of the programs and services he envisioned did evolve at the farm through the tireless efforts of volunteers who created a lush prayer garden there and made use of existing buildings to host programs and gatherings. In 2005, Bruce and Kris moved from Elburn to make their home at the Conley Outreach Farm in Kaneville. Bruce loved the quiet beauty of the farm, peaceful babble of the creek and the glory of countless sunrises and sunsets. It was an endless source of inspiration to him as he returned to his writing.

While raising his family and working for better community programs, Bruce followed in the footsteps of his parents and grandparents in a ministry of caring that served grieving families not only from his hometown of Elburn but from many surrounding communities as well. There with a caring arm of support, words of comfort and tireless effort to help, Bruce took his work and his care to schools, churches and homes; wherever he was needed.

When tragedy struck in local schools, he responded with guidance for teachers, students and parents alike, helping them to create meaningful and healing goodbyes. Through his efforts, counseling was made available to students and teachers who had been touched by tragedy. In the aftermath of those losses, he helped schools create crisis teams and programs to meet the needs of students.

Bruce was a member of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association, the National Funeral Directors Association, ADEC, Blackberry Lodge #630, AF & AM, Elburn and the Community Congregational Church, Elburn.

Bruce and Kris’ love story was nurtured by, and grew with, faith and loving family ties; enriched and strengthened by an unshakable belief in God’s plan for their lives. Bruce wrote countless songs and stories that left special memories in the hearts of his children, niece, nephews and friends. There were songs of faith, songs for travel and adventure and even a song for “going to get a Christmas tree.” His most recent song, “My Offering, The Vision,” was penned in the last days of his life. Life values were a part of bedtime stories, and evening prayers and life lessons were taught by example. When Kris’ parents each faced serious health concerns, Bruce and Kris made room for Kris’ mother to live with them for a time. Later, Bruce’s mother made her home with them as well. Young people always found the door open both in times of fun and times of difficulty.

Bruce loved children and spent many years developing programs to help and to teach. He was a much-loved uncle to his niece and nephew and great niece and nephew. Then, he became a grandpa and “kids” took on a whole new meaning. He was a devoted grandpa who was never afraid to get down to their level, join in the fun, jump in the pool, and be as boisterous and hilarious as they were. He had special greetings for each one and always a “Ding-how” when they left. He wrote songs for each of them and a masterful Christmas story, “Bethlehem Kids,” which included not only his grandchildren but several other children who held a special place in his heart. The songs and the stories will remain, but perhaps the greatest gift was the lap that always had room for one more, the arms that embraced each child, the unconditional love and prayers that blessed each child.

Family went well beyond his wife and children to include his “work family,” which over the years changed in number and name but not in the relationship he had with them. Bruce was a man with countless visions for new programs, creative ways to celebrate life and ways to bring help to those in need. Throughout the months of his battle with cancer, he wrote inspiring journal entries on Caring Bridge that were read by thousands of people across the country. Even then, his thoughts were how to help others, but he did not realize how many he had touched with his God-given skills, caring, words, vision and faith, until the responses to those entries began to fill the guest book pages of Caring Bridge.

Bruce leaves his devoted, loving wife, Kris of Kaneville; his son, Ben (C.J.) Conley of Sugar Grove; his daughter, Sarah Conley of Seattle, Wash.; four beloved grandchildren who were the delight and sunshine of his life, Andy, Em, Matt and Mikey Conley; his sister, Karen (Les) Howard; his niece, Sheila (Phillip) Albano and their children, Nick and Katherine; his nephew, Bill Howard, all of Elburn; and his sister-in-law, Karen (Bill) Wooton of Geneva and their son, Daniel Wooton, also of Geneva; and his aunts and uncle, Ruth McCloud and Ralph (Ferne) Conley, all of Batavia. In addition, he leaves an extended family of cousins and their families, a devoted family of staff who have shared so much of themselves with him, and a countless host of friends whose lives have touched his through the years. Lastly, he leaves to those he loved these words: “the job of the visionary is to place the vision so that others can grab hold and then make it their own.” 

He is preceded in death by one child in infancy; his parents, Charles and Winifred Conley; one brother, Wayne, in infancy; his paternal and maternal grandparents; his father and mother-in-law, Lloyd and Gladys McConnaughay; and one uncle, George McCloud.

Visitation will be held at the Orchard Community Church, 101 S. Barnes Road, Aurora, on Thursday, Sept. 16, from 2 to 8 p.m.            

A service to celebrate Bruce’s life will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 17, at the Orchard Community Church. Pastor Kathy Lawes, a longtime family friend, will officiate, and interment will follow at Blackberry Cemetery, Elburn.

A memorial has been established in his name to benefit Conley Outreach. Checks may be made to Conley Outreach or the Bruce Conley Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may be forwarded to the family at the same address or through the web at

Leslie L. Volkstorf

Leslie L. Volkstorf, 34, passed away suddenly on Sept. 1, 2010.

She was the loving daughter of Charles H. and Mary E. (nee Andersen) Volkstorf; dear sister of Carl (Khandie) Volkstorf, and the late Jeffrey and Lori Ann; and dearest aunt of Matthew.

A visitation and funeral service were held Saturday, Sept. 4, at Colonial Chapel in Orland Park, Ill. Interment was private.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Operation Blessing or Gentle Rohi Ministry are appreciated. Express your thoughts and condolences at

Phil ‘Santa’ Kuzlik

A celebration of life for Phil “Santa” Kuzlik, 69, will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, at East Lake Community Church in Chapin, S.C.

The family received friends from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8, at Dunbar Funeral Home, Dutch Fork Chapel, Irmo, S.C.

An additional memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St, Elburn.

Phil died Sunday, Sept. 5, 2010. Born in Chicago, he was the son of the late Theophil and Marianne Alaksiewicz Kuzlik.

A member of East Lake Community Church, he served as a church usher and member of the greeter team. He was a graduate of St. Rita High School in Chicago. In addition, he had many hours of mechanical, plumbing and electrical training.

He loved working for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and was supportive of all law enforcement branches. A man with a kind and giving heart, he played Santa during the holidays. He was always ready to help people and was the one others turned to when things needed to be fixed.

Surviving are his wife of 29 years, Pamela Olson Kuzlik; daughter, Denise Feltes (Jack) of Sugar Grove; son, Bob Kuzlik (Stephanie) of Dixon, Ill.; daughter, Kathryn Hofmann (Scott) of Elburn; son, Michael Kuzlik of St. Charles; daughter, Pam “Pammy” Kuzlik (Chris Busch) of Cleveland, Tenn.; stepsons, Jerry Carroll (Linda) of Lakeland, Fla., Randy Carroll (Toni) of Guyton, Ga.; 12 grandchildren, Anthony Stover, Anna, Sarah and Emma Feltes, Julie and Victoria Kuzlik, Chase Hofmann, Ciarra and Dylan Busch, Adeline, Isaiah and Joshua Carroll; sisters, Therese Kuzlik, Luanne Thiel Dehar (Allan); many unofficially adopted children; and beloved dogs, Maggie and Molly.

Special thanks to the staff of Palmetto Health Richland for their extraordinary care of Phil and his family.

Memorials may be made to Palmetto Children’s Hospital, P.O. Box 100199, Dept. 274, Columbia, SC 29202 or East Lake Community Church, ACTS Metro, 10057 Broad River Road, Irmo, SC 29063.

Please sign the online guestbook at

Virginia Claypool

Virginia Claypool nee Noland Wilson, 78, of Sugar Grove, passed away on Friday, Aug. 27, 2010, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Virginia, also known as Ginni by her family and closest friends, was under the wonderful care of Tower Hill Healthcare Center in South Elgin and Passages Hospice during the final months of her life.

Virginia was born on July 17, 1932, in St. Mary’s, W.Va. At the age of 12, she was taken in by the family of Hal and Eunice Wilson. The Wilsons and their daughter, Dona Lynn, welcomed Virginia into their home, where she was adopted and became a member of a wonderful loving family.

Virginia attended Spencer High School and excelled in everything she did. She finished top in her class. She was also voted most popular and most likely to succeed by her classmates. After graduation, Virginia ventured far from home to attend Aurora College in Aurora, where she studied education and worked part time at All Steel in Montgomery. It was during this time in college where she met the love of her life and future husband, James Claypool.

After graduation, she taught English at the Community High School in Erie, Ill., and then at Franklin Junior High in Aurora. James and Virginia were married on June 22, 1957, in Aurora and began building their life together. In October of 1958, Virginia gave birth to her first child, Mark Claypool. At that time she gave up her teaching career to dedicate her life to her family. In 1964, James and Virginia adopted an infant girl, Lisa, and their family was complete.

Virginia worked as an admissions counselor at Aurora College and later served a term as President of the Alumni Association. Virginia attended Northern Illinois University and earned a Masters Degree in Education.

In 2000, the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease began to show and set the stage for the final years of her life. True to her nature, she did research to better understand and come to terms with the disease that would eventually claim her life.

Virginia is survived by her husband, James Claypool of Sugar Grove; son, Mark (Tricia) Claypool of Sugar Grove; daughter, Lisa Claypool Allen of Evanston, Ill.; grandsons, Tyler and Kyle Claypool and Joseph Allen; granddaughters, Brianne Claypool and Rose Allen; brothers, Bill Noland, Jack Stewart and Harley Stewart; sisters, Helen Boggs and Dona Lynn MacMurdy.

Virginia is preceded in death by her birth parents, Lula and Amon Noland; her adopted parents, Hal and Eunice Wilson; and two brothers, Eugene Hornbeck and Warren Noland.

Visitation was held on Tuesday, from 4 to 8 p.m. at The Healy Chapel, 332 W. Downer Place, Aurora, IL 60506. Funeral services were held at 10 am. on Wednesday, at the chapel. Graveside services will immediately follow at Sugar Grove Cemetery in Sugar Grove.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested gifts be made in Virginia Claypool’s name to the National Alzheimer’s Association or Aurora University.

Virginia Claypool—high achiever, loving wife, doting mother, faithful servant to God in life.

For information, please call (630) 897-9291 or visit to sign the online guestbook.

Annie “Ann” V. Gliddon

Annie “Ann” V. Gliddon, 92, of Sugar Grove, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010, at The Tillers Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Oswego.

She was born April 5, 1918, in Elburn, the daughter of Earl and Gracie (Galiger) Wilkison.

Ann grew up in Elburn and attended local schools. During high school, Ann worked for Jane Nash in the hotel/restaurant in downtown Elburn. She graduated from Elburn High School in 1936. Following graduation, she worked as a waitress at The Farm.

Ann was united in marriage to Fred E. Goetz on Aug. 23, 1940, in the parsonage of the West Chicago Congregational Church. They welcomed a daughter, Ethel, two years later, and made their home in Elburn until 1968, when they moved to Sugar Grove.

Following Fred’s passing on Aug. 23, 1991, love favored her again when she was married to Almer T. Gliddon in Carrie’s Parlor at the Community Congregational Church of Elburn on Jan. 15, 1994. Sugar Grove continued to be her home with Almer and was where they enjoyed 15 years of love and memories until he passed away on Oct. 3, 2009.

While raising her daughter, Ann also worked at a tailoring factory for a time, as well as Burgess Norton during WWII. She returned to waitressing at the Fisher Cafe in Elburn for many years before turning to bookkeeping for her husband when they purchased from his dad the Elburn Hardware, Plumbing and Heating in 1954. After the business was sold 14 years later, Ann worked for the Henry Pratt Company. She retired 16 years later in 1985.

Ann was a lifetime member and Sunday school teacher for 10 years at the Community Congregational Church of Elburn and was a member of the Royal Neighbors of America. She was a 50-year member and past chaplain of the Elburn American Legion Auxiliary, Post No. 630, where she compiled a book of prayers that was dedicated to her sister Grace and won honors when it was submitted to a regional competition. In later years, Ann volunteered at Provena Mercy Center Hospital from 1990-94. During that same time, she was a member and past Treasurer of the Women of the Moose in Aurora, Chapter No. 83.

Ann loved her family and spent as much time as she could with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She never slowed down and filled her time with many activities and memberships but was at her best in the kitchen making mouth watering cookies, toffee, peanut brittle, pies and angel food cakes. Out of the kitchen, her hands kept busy sewing and crocheting, and any time left over was given to reading her favorite books.

She is survived by her daughter, Ethel (Bill) Cole of Manteno, Ill.; two step-children, Mary (Ken) Gustafson of Elburn and Steve Gliddon of Elburn; one granddaughter, Jacklyn (Bruce) Campbell and their children, Logan and Timothy of Yorkville; four step-grandchildren, Diana (Howard) Bentley and their children, Erica and Elizabeth of Concord, N.C., Tom Cole of Salisbury, N.C., Eric Gustafson of Geneva, and Jon Gustafson, of Geneva; and one sister-in-law, Lillian Windisch of Mountain Home, Ark.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Earl and Gracie; husbands, Fred Goetz and Almer Gliddon; seven siblings, Edwin Wilkison, Ray Wilkison, Cora Lee, Earl Wilkison, Jane Willis, Grace Kintz and Hattie Windisch; and two sisters-in-law, Marion Wright and Mable Simpson.

Visitation was Monday, at Community Congregational Church of Elburn, with a service following that evening. The Rev. Michelle Prentice-Leslie, pastor of the church, officiated, and interment followed Tuesday morning at Blackberry Township Cemetery, Elburn.

A memorial has been established in her name to benefit Sugar Grove Public Library, Sugar Grove Fire Protection District, the Elburn Lions Club, the Elburn Community Congregational Church and the American Legion Auxiliary Post 630 of Elburn. Checks may be made to the “Ann Gliddon Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or online at, where you can also find Ann’s full life story.

Mary J. Miller

Mary J. Miller, 82, of Bradenton, Fla., formerly of Elburn, passed from this life to eternal life on Aug. 20, 2010.

She is survived by her husband, Dean D. Miller; her daughter, Frances (Tom) Wilson; three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

She now joins her daughter, Carol Ann Miller.

Her visitation will be held on Thursday, Aug. 26, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A service to celebrate her life will be held on Friday, Aug. 27, at 11 a.m., with visitation from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at the funeral home. The Rev. David Petty of Rockford will officiate. Interment will follow at Blackberry Cemetery.

A memorial has been established in her name. Checks may be made to the “Mary Miller Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or online at

Clare Groff Frantz, Jr.

Clare Groff Frantz, Jr., 95, of Sugar Grove, passed away at his home surrounded by the love and prayers of his family on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010.

He was born Dec. 4, 1914, the son of Clare Groff Sr. and Eleanor S. (Tague) Frantz in Moorestown, N.J.

Groff lived in Chicago for a time. The family moved to Sugar Grove during the winter of 1925-26. Groff graduated from Sugar Grove High School with the class of 1934 and then joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and was stationed in Brule, Wis. A year later, he attended the University of Cincinnati.

Groff was united in marriage on June 4, 1939, to Jeanette Huggins and eventually welcomed home four children. They began their new life together in Hessville, Ind. Groff and Jeanette’s lives took separate paths in the fall of 1962, but he would be lucky in love once again when he met Ruth Boy Randall at a group called Parents Without Partners. They would soon have no need for the group when they joined their two families in October of 1963.

Groff served as a machinist apprentice at Youngstown Sheet and Tube in Hammond, Ind., eventually becoming a journeyman tool maker/ machinist just before WWII began. Groff received a deferment during war time and helped make engines for B-25 bombers in Chicago. Following the war, Groff and his then-growing family came back home to Sugar Grove and converted a local blacksmith shop into his own machine shop, complete with an upstairs apartment. In the late 1940s, Groff began working for many companies, including Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab. Any time not spent at work was dedicated to Groff’s imagination, and the results were born in his shop, which was where he loved to be. For 95 years, Groff’s hands never slowed.

Groff was a member of the Lincoln Highway Association, the Contemporary Historical Vehicle Association and the Auroraland Auto Restorers Club, where he served as president. As a Mason, he was a member of the Jerusalem Temple Lodge, No. 90 in Aurora. Groff was also a lifetime member, past Sunday school teacher and drew up the plans for the Fellowship addition at the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church. He helped establish the first Boy Scout Troop 41 in Sugar Grove. He formed the Sugar Grove Historical Society around his dining room table. In addition, Groff was also Past Assistant Chief of the Volunteer Sugar Grove Fire Department.

Groff’s achievements and inventions were only limited to the scope of his imagination. His machines were ingenious, his labor intensive, and the results were numerous and one of a kind.

When the children were young, Groff and Jeanette vacationed at a cabin in Hayward, Wis., and later, when Groff and Ruth’s families became one, trips to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan became an annual ritual. At first, the family spent their time living in tents until a cabin was built and later re-built, becoming a haven for family retreats. Groff and Ruth also loved to travel around the country with friends through the CHVA and the Lincoln Highway Association in vintage cars and motorcycles. Groff also built a roadster from the frame up using a Crosley Station Wagon, and his son Cliff now owns and shows it at local car shows.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth, of Sugar Grove; nine children, Clifton G. (Lynne) Frantz of Batavia, Nancy C. Wilkison of Elburn, David S. (Vickie) Frantz of Sugar Grove, Steven J. Frantz of Sandwich, Mark J. (Beth) Randall of Plain City, Ohio, David L. (Kathy) Randall of Yorkville, Terry M. (Jim) Jensen of Aurora, Jane A. (Ken) Laurie of Elburn and Dwight C. (Monica) Randall of Woodstock; 20 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, cousins and a family of friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Thomas T. Frantz; and two grandsons, Curtis Groff Frantz and Jonathon Randall.

Visitation and a memorial service were held Monday, Aug. 23, at the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church, 176 Main St., Sugar Grove. The Rev. Steven Good, pastor of the church, officiated. Private family interment will follow at a later date.

In lieu flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit the Sugar Grove Historical Society. Checks may be made to the “Sugar Grove Historical Society” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 102, Sugar Grove, IL 60554. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or online at

Marjorie Cecelia Klein

Marjorie C. Klein, of Elburn, 87, passed away on July 13, 2010.

Marjorie was born on Aug. 17, 1922, in Taylorville, Ill., to Frank and Margaret (Lupton) Curtin.

After WWII, during which she worked at an aviation plant, Marjorie finished beauty school in Springfield, Ill., and became a licensed beautician. She practiced her art in Decatur, Ill., where she partnered with her friends in her first private enterprise.

After marrying Bill Salins, she moved to Chicago with her children, Judy and Billy, and operated Avalon Beauty Salon in Maywood and Bellwood.

Even after retiring, she continued to work for Hair Crafters in Elgin.

Marjorie was involved with the Holy Name Society, Elburn Book Club and Senior Vitality of Delnor in her later years. She did the crossword puzzle everyday.

Marjorie was a member of St. Peter & Paul Church in Virgil, where a memorial mass will be held in her honor on Saturday, Aug. 21, at 11 a.m.

Survivors include her son, Bill (Christine) Youmans; her grandson, S. Aaron Etienne; and her niece, Marjorie Ann (Jim) Schick and their son, Robert.

Marjorie is preceded in death by her daughter, Judith K. Etienne; and William D. Youmans, Bill Salins and Ralph Klein, her loving husbands.

In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to The American Cancer Society in honor of Marjorie at or American Cancer Society, 225 North Michigan Avenue #1210, Chicago, IL 60601-7833 (312) 372-0471.

Joan I. Needham

Joan I. Needham, 74, of DeKalb, formerly of Maple Park and Big Rock, passed away on Wednesday, July 28, 2010, at the DeKalb Area Retirement Center in DeKalb.

She was born on May 26, 1936, in Aurora, the daughter of Lloyd and Helen (Schuld) Fritsch.

Joan was raised on a farm outside of Big Rock and went through 12 years of school there. After graduating from Big Rock High School, she entered the Copley Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Aurora, and made many lifelong friends there.

Joan was united in marriage on Sept. 23, 1956, at the Baptist Church in Big Rock, to Mr. Donald C. Needham. They made their first home in Maple Park.

Joan went to work as a registered nurse at the Sycamore Municipal Hospital and continued there until 1970. She held many positions, including charge nurse of pediatrics, evening house supervisor, and assistant night house supervisor.

Joan’s family began to grow; Pamela Jo was born in 1957 and Peggy Ann was born in 1960. In 1969, Joan accepted a position at the new Mid-Valley Area Vocational Center, where she was one of the eight “original” teachers who developed curriculum and taught junior and seniors from the participating schools.

Joan went back to school and earned her baccalaureate degree from the College of St. Francis in 1977. After completing her degree, Joan moved on to Delnor Hospital in St. Charles for three years, working as an in-service education instructor. In 1980, she was hired as director of education at DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Facility.

Joan graduated in 1981 from Northern Illinois University with a master’s degree in adult education. She also taught continuing education courses for nurses and nursing assistants at Kishwaukee Community College, Elgin Community College and Waubonsee Community College.

Joan’s career expanded when she began writing textbooks for Delmar Publishers in New York. She authored, co-authored and contributed chapters for a total of 13 books. In addition to writing, she served as a consultant for the development of media materials used in teaching nurses and nursing assistants.

Through the years, Joan was active at Grace United Methodist Church in Maple Park, serving as a Sunday school teacher, and on various committees at First United Methodist Church in DeKalb, and as secretary for two years for the United Methodist Women. Joan was also a member of the Illinois Nurses Association and Delta Kappa Gamma sorority for women in education.

Joan was an original board member establishing the Maple Park Public Library in 1963 and continued to serve on the board for 20 years. She volunteered at both the DeKalb County Hospice and the DeKalb County Rehab and Nursing Center.

In her spare time, Joan enjoyed several hobbies, including photography, needlework, sewing, genealogy, traveling and entertaining.

Joan is survived by her daughters, Pamela Needham-Volkert of Rochelle, Ill. and Peggy (Jeff) Yagen of Maple Park; her grandchildren, Samuel Volkert of Rochelle, Ill., Margaret Joan Yagen of Maple Park, Kim (Todd) Stecker of Creston, Ill., and Stephanie (Eric) Kersten of Ashton, Ill.; her great-grandchildren, Noah and Luke Steckert, and Madison and Elias Kersten; her brothers, Ken (Barbara) Fritsch of Wheaton, Ill., and Ron Fritsch of Chicago; her sister, Beverly (Gene) May of Sugar Grove; her good friends, Blen and Perry Lakin, Gwen and John Fox, Barbara Hoffman, Myrna and Bob Stouffer; and many nieces and nephews.

Joan was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Needham; and her parents, Lloyd and Helen Fritsch.

A funeral service will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 31, at the First United Methodist Church, 321 Oak St., DeKalb, with Reverend Laura Crites officiating.

Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, July 30, at the Nash-Nelson Memorial Chapel, 141 N. Maple St., Hinckley. Interment will follow in the Ohio Grove Cemetery in DeKalb.

Memorials in Joan’s name made by made to either the DeKalb County Hospice, 2727 Sycamore Road, DeKalb, IL 60115, or to the First United Methodist Church, 321 Oak St., DeKalb, IL 60115.

Joan’s family would like to thank the DeKalb County Hospice for their wonderful care of Joan.
Arrangements by Nelson Funeral Homes & Crematory, (815) 286-3247. For information, visit

Donna Mae Crook

Donna Mae Crook, 76, of Elburn, formerly of Lily Lake, passed away surrounded by the love and prayers of her family, Tuesday, July 20, 2010.

She was born Dec. 15, 1933, in Elmhurst, Ill., the daughter of Donald and Mable (Anderson) Talty.

Before she was 1, her father took a different path. Mable then married Edward Reinink Jr., who became the man she always saw as her father.

Donna jumped on a train each day to attend Wheaton High. Her younger years were filled with happy memories and times spent in the family-owned meat market and general store, Andersons, in Elmhurst.

She found love very early in life and caught the eye and the heart of William Crook. They were united in marriage on Oct. 21, 1950, in Warrenville, Ill. Donna and Bill spent many years raising a family and making their house a home.

When Bill became afflicted with MS, Donna became his caretaker for more than 20 years. Their love increased with every day; their bond becoming unbreakable until his passing in 1993.

They began their new life together on the family farm for a time until 1953, when they moved to Lily Lake. They built a new home two years later. After Bill’s passing in 1993, Donna moved to live with her son, Tom, and his family for the next 13 years.

Donna’s heart was big enough to care for the world and everyone in it. For most of her years, she was affectionately known by all as “Grandma.” She never met a stranger, and very few ever left without having their lives changed for the better.

Never one to brag about herself, Grandma could do anything. She worked on the farm, at a pickle company for a time, worked as a welder, and later worked many years in the restaurant industry. Grandma worked at The Farm Inn in Wasco, Campton Inn in Lily Lake, and later at the Kountry Kettle in Elburn.

Family was most important in her life, so for the next many years she helped take care of her grandchildren, spoiling them rotten and loving every moment. Grandma was a fixture in their lives, present for every step and every accomplishment.

She went back to work after the grandkids were grown at her best friend and daughter Linda’s restaurant, Gert’s Place in Batavia, before dedicating her energy and care for the next many years at the Valley Sheltered Workshop until December 2009. It was the perfect place for a woman with an unlimited amount of love to give, and it didn’t take long for her to adopt “her kids” as her own. They adopted her as well, and the legend of Grandma grew exponentially.

Later she was featured in several newspaper articles lauding her hard work and determination, and deemed her the reason for the continued success of the shelter. After meeting Grandma, no one was ever the same, and the mark she left on the hearts and minds of all she knew will last for generations and beyond.

She is survived by her son, Tom (Deborah Lee) Crook of Elburn; seven grandchildren, Ted Crook, Jenny (Jason) Peak, Billy Norton, Eleni (Mark) Zelazoski, Cynthia Higgins, Kit Crook and Cody Crook; seven great-grandchildren, Emma Peak, Danielle Norton and her daughter, Lilly Ann; William Norton Jr., Brandy Norton, Joey Melby, Ashley Zelazoski and Derek Zelazoski; one sister, Charlene Terlecki; many nieces, nephews and a countryside of “family” that will never forget her.

She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, William; daughter, Linda Runge; son, Willy (Doreen) Crook; sister, Kaye Brogie; and brother, Ed Reinink.

A memorial service will be held to celebrate her life on Saturday, July 31, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Lily Lake Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in hers name to benefit Valley Sheltered Workshop and other favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Donna Crook Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at

Beverly ‘Bev’ A. Siebert

Beveraly “Bev” A. Siebert, 71, of Yorkville, formerly of Elburn, passed away Monday, July 19, 2010, at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora.

Beverly was born July 7, 1939, in Mattoon, Ill., the daughter of Paul and Lois (Grant) Jones.

Bev grew up in Mattoon but moved to the Elburn area in 1949 and attended local schools.

On June 30, 1956, Beverly married her high school sweetheart, David Siebert. They made their home in California for a time but soon returned to Illinois, settling in the Elburn-Kaneville area, where they would share most of the next 48 years together. David and Bev moved to Yorkville in 1996. She continued to make her home there following David’s passing in 2004.

Though Bev worked at various jobs over the years, she made it her job to raise her children and care for David. There wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for her children, even pulling them in a wagon for over eight miles to a friend’s home who had a swimming pool. She truly made her house a “home,” making not only delicious meals but everlasting memories.

When the holidays came around, Bev was unofficially credited with inventing Chex Mix, a mixture of seasoned cereal now sold in bulk, but was once uniquely her own. She was firm but fair with her children, but when grandchildren came along, Bev found her calling, taking them shopping, teaching them how to bake, and she attended nearly all the various school events. Her family was her life, and she wouldn’t have had it any other way.

She is survived by three children, Paula Siebert of Yorkville, Terry (Sarah) Siebert of Manatee County, Fla., Trent (Dawn) Siebert of Sugar Grove; four grandchildren, Krista (Jay) Lutz and their son, Jayden, of Manatee County, Fla., and Jake Siebert of Oswego, Ill., Kylie and Tyler Siebert of Sugar Grove; one sister, Claudette Liehr of Oswego, Ill.; many nieces, nephews; and a family of friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents; a step-father, Walter “Bertie” Gregory; husband, David; and brother-in-law, Rick Liehr.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, July 24, with a service to conclude visitation at noon at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. Interment will follow at Blackberry Township Cemetery.

A memorial has been established in her name to benefit her favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Beverly Siebert Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or at

John T. Bush

In loving memory of John T. Bush, who was born March 2, 1963, passed away June 16, 2010.

Services were held June 21 at 7 p.m. at Salerno’s Rosedale Chapel in Roselle, Ill. Internment services were private.

John was a good friend and neighbor who always gave a helping hand. John will be missed and long remembered for his care of people and the land. May the Lord bless John’s daughter, Sara, family and many friends with his comforting hand.

Thank you

On May 4 of this year, our daughter Meridith passed away. It has meant so much to us to have received cards, emails, letters and phone calls from our Illinois friends.

Thank you for being there for us in our time of grief and honoring Meridith is such a positive way. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.

Al and Linda Albrecht
Mexico Beach, Fla.

Marie E. Frasz

Marie E. Frasz (nee Gullidge), 90, of Geneva died peacefully in her home on June 17.

She was born Aug. 18, 1919, in Hobart, Tasmania.

She met her late husband, Dr. Edward Frasz, a naval officer during World War II in Sydney, Australia, and they corresponded for the duration of the war. After losing her two brothers in the war, she traveled to San Francisco to marry Ed on Sept. 10, 1945 and became a U.S. citizen.

They started their life together in Chicago before moving to Geneva in 1950 where Marie raised a family and assisted in running the office of Ed’s Geneva dental practice for 30 years.

Marie was a curator, docent and resident at the Fabyan Villa for 12 years, a volunteer at the Geneva History Center, and had a life long passion for flower arranging and was proud of her status as a senior member of the Geneva Garden Club.

She is survived by her two sons, Geoffrey (Margie) of Las Vegas, Andrew “Drew” (Gail) of Elburn, and a daughter, Paula of Plano; also her grandchildren, Laura, Aaron Frasz, Sephanie, Samantha, and Jerry Henrickson.

She was preceded in death by her husband Ed in 1983, and a son Noel in 1954, and her parents, two brothers and a sister.

Marie would say “Have a long, wonderful life. I sure did !”

Visitation was held Sunday, June 20 at the Yurs Funeral Home in Geneva. Burial took place Monday at Oak Hill Cemetery, in Geneva.

William J. Berens

William. J. Berens, 84, of Sycamore, passed away at Bethany Rehab Center on Monday, June 7, 2010.

William was born June 12, 1925, in Virgil on the family farm. He was the son of William. N. and Emma Berens.

He grew up in Virgil. When a young man, he became a carpenter/contractor and worked as a carpenter until he retired in 1980.

After retirement, he repaired furniture for just about anyone in the area.

Through the years, Bill had acquired many friends that he never ceased to remind you about.

His breakfast club buddies, for instance, whom he met with at various local restaurants, would always stir some kind of comeback remarks when William had an enlightening remark or catch phrase to throw out to them—which were all in good fun of course.

He was formerly married to Francis A. Berens and had four children. Later in his life he married Vivian Butts.

He is survived by four children, David (Wanda) Berens Maple Park, Richard (Georgia) Berens Maple Park, Michael (Toni) Berens Maple Park, and Bonnie (Jeff) Worland Jamestown, N.Y.

He had five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and two sisters, Joan (George) Potter of Canada and Dorothy (Chuck) Bristol of Virgil.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife and sister, Dorothy Bristol, and his beloved dog, Susie.

A memorial service was held on his birthday, Saturday, June 12, at the Church of Christ, Sycamore.

Lucinda Muirhead Corron

Lucinda Muirhead Corron, 101, of Campton Township, died June 12 at her home.

She had been a resident of Campton Township for 64 years.

She was born June 4, 1909 in Plato Township, the daughter fo the late John and Elizabeth Beith Muirhead.

Lucinda graduated from Plato Township High School in1927 and also was a graduate of Wheaton College in 1931 and Northwestern University M.A. in 1938.

She taught English at Plato High School until her marriage to Robert Corron on June 14, 1946.

Her memberships include the Wasco Ladies Aid, St. Charles Women’s Club and she was a former member of the Plato Methodist Church. She was also a volunteer at the Elgin Mental Health Center.

She is survived by two sons, Robert (Jane) Corron of Campton Township, and David Corron of Campton Township. One Daughter, Sarah (Larry) Toms of Oregon, Ill., and one granddaughter, Ashley Corron, of Chicago.

Lucinda was preceeded in death by her husband, Robert, two sisters, Elizabeth Muirhead and Lillian Dahlstrom, and two brothers, Donald and John Muirhead.

Lucinda and her family appreciated the loving care given to her by Mary Niceley and Norene Milligan.

Funeral services will be Wednesday, June 16 at Whitney Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. June 15 at Yurs Funeral Home in St. Charles.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Wasco Ladies Aid, the American Cancer Society, or to the Parkinson’s Sisease Foundation.

Marie C. Phillips

Marie C. Phillips, 90, of Elburn, passed away Saturday, June 5, 2010, at DeKalb County Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in DeKalb.

She was born Dec. 17, 1919, in Richardson, Ill., the daughter of Anthony and Susan Roberta (Deutsch) Heyob.

When Marie was only a child, the family moved to the Virgil area, where she attended S.S. Peter and Paul School. She graduated from Mt. St. Mary High School in St. Charles.

She was united in marriage to Walter “Bud” Phillips on July 13, 1940, at S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Virgil. They began their new life together in St. Charles before moving to their home in Elburn in 1946. When her health began to decline, Marie moved to the DeKalb County Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.

Marie worked in the Elgin Watch Factory through the war but also worked for a number of businesses in the Kaneland area, including Smith’s Grocery in Elburn and the County Line Restaurant in Maple Park for 15 years before retiring at the age of 75.

She was a faithful member of St. Gall Catholic Church for 64 years, was a former member of the Altar and Rosary Society, was a choir member for many years, and provided transportation to the nuns from Virgil and St. Charles for the religious education programs.

Marie was a private person and always found the comforts of home to be “just what the doctor ordered.” Her sense of humor was only a breath away and always on the dry side. Through her working years, she made many friends among the area farmers and neighbors whom she served at various restaurants and establishments where she worked.

She is survived by two daughters, Rose Marie Newcomb of Harrisburg, Ill., and Laura Sheehan of Chana, Ill.; three sons, Walter A. Phillips of St. Charles, Gerald (Judy) Phillips of DeKalb, and Raymond (Susan) Phillips of DeKalb; three siblings, Marcella Turk of Sycamore, Jacob (Marilyn) Heyob of St. Charles, and Richard Heyob of Russelville, Ark.; 12 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, three great-great grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, especially Cheryl Nicolaou and Bernard Blasch, and a family of friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Walter (1974); her brother, Anthony “Tony” (Jean) Heyob; brothers-in-law, Edwin F. Turk and Donald (Virginia) Blasch; sisters-in-law; and Taomi Heyob.

A wake service concluded the visitation on June 8 at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St. , Elburn, IL 60119. A mass to celebrate her life was held at St. Gall Catholic Church, Elburn, on Wednesday, June 9. The Rev. Karl Ganss, pastor of the church, officiated, and interment followed at St. Gall Cemetery.

A memorial has been established in her name to benefit her favorite charities.Checks may be made to the “Marie Phillips Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or online at www.conleycare .com.

The family passed along a heartfelt thank you to all the dedicated staff and volunteers at the DeKalb County Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.

Helen A. Kahl

Helen A. Kahl, 92, of Maple Park, passed away peacefully into the arms of her Savior surrounded by the love of her family at her home on May 31, 2010.

She was born Dec. 8, 1917, in Aurora, the daughter of Richard and Mary (Gatzke) Dumdie.

Helen grew up in Aurora on Union Street and was able to walk to school every day. She graduated from East Aurora High School. Afterward, she began working for Miller, Bryant & Pierce Manufacturing, where they made typewriter ribbons.

Helen was 27 when she met the love of her life, Glenn Kahl, in August of 1945. After a whirlwind two-week courtship, Helen found a ring on her finger and was told, “You are it.” They were united in marriage the following year on Feb. 2, 1946. Sixty-four years of love, laughter and family later, it still was the best decision Glenn ever made.

They began their new life together in the Maple Park area and never left, making their house a home and a haven for friends and family.

Helen was a member of the UMW at the Grace United Methodist Church in Maple Park, as well as Sunday School teacher for many years. When she wasn’t at work she found herself at a table among friends playing cards, especially Pinochle.

Helen loved to sew for her family, making endless flannel shirts, night gowns and even most of her own clothes. She was a fabulous baker known for her pies and coffee cakes. You knew she was baking the minute you walked into the house, because the intoxicating aroma coming from the kitchen instantly brought a smile to your face. Helen was especially proud of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She had a kind and compassionate soul, never said a bad word about anyone and was endlessly devoted to her “man,” loving him until the very end.

She is survived by her husband, Glenn, of 64 years; five children, Roger (Pat) Kahl, Dennis (Karen) Kahl, Carol (Ron) Williams, Allen (Mary) Kahl and Janet (Ken) Stoll; eight grandchildren, Grant (Cindy) Kahl, Brandon (Dana) Kahl, Chris (Kim) Kahl, Tiffany (Lori Angstadt) Kahl, Heather (Bert) Veldhuizen, Addam Kahl, Nick (Loren Thompson) Kahl and Breanne Kahl; eight great-grandchildren, Trevor Kahl, Kailyn Kahl, Brock Kahl, Mackenzie Kahl, Brooke Kahl, Peyton Kahl, Aidan Kahl and Garrett Veldhuizen; one brother, Paul (Audrey) Dumdie; an aunt, Bernice Helmeker; one sister-in-law, Lucille Johnson; two wonderful caretakers, Bev Roethlisberger and Krystyna Struzik; the compassionate hearts of DeKalb County Hospice; many nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends from church.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Richard and Mary Dumdie; five sisters, Lucille Fritz, Ella Bastion, Minnie Wennemaker, Evelyn Shevlin and Mary Cross; her father and mother-in-law, Ray and laura Kahl; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Alice and Orvis Schroyer, Dorothy and Bill McAdams, and Merle Johnson.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. with a funeral service to celebrate her life to begin at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 3, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL, 60119. Burial will follow on Friday morning, June 4, at Gardner Cemetery, Maple Park, at 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in her name to benefit Grace United Methodist Church and DeKalb Hospice. Checks may be made to the “Helen Kahl Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at A full life story is also available on the website.

Elsie G. (Riedelsperger) Rissman

Elsie G. (Riedelsperger) Rissman, 91, of Shabbona, Ill., formerly of Elburn and Hinckley, passed away at the Shabbona Health Care Assisted Living Center, where she had recently made her home, on Saturday, June 5, 2010.

She was born Dec. 1, 1918, in Hinckley, the daughter of Louis and Pauline (Pfisterer) Riedelsperger. Elsie grew up in Hinckley, where she attended local schools.

Elsie was united in marriage to Walter M. Rissman on Feb. 8, 1938. They made their home in Aurora for a time until 1947, when they began farming in rural Hinckley. In 1952, they moved to the Rowe farm on Keslinger Road, and for a time, she worked at National Electronics (formerly Cetron). They continued to make their home on the farm until 1968, when they purchased the H-Way Lounge in Shabbona, Ill. Retiring in 1979, they continued to make their home in Shabbona, where Walter passed away in 1988. In the years since, Elsie continued to make her home in Shabbona with the help of her loving family.

Like her mother before her, Elsie was a good homemaker and housekeeper. They might have lived on a farm, but she would have no animals in her house, except the dog that David would sneak into the basement on cold winter nights. Elsie’s word was law, and the punishment for breaking the rules would often be being chased out the door with a broom.

Elsie loved to collect antiques: figurines, paper weights, antique furniture and antique dolls all had places in her heart and home. Although she had no hobbies, she was an avid Walmart shopper. Her travels never brought her farther from home than where she could get back to her own bed at night. Elsie was a good cook, always making something to make your mouth water. During their farming years, Elsie took charge of the house while Walter took care of the farm. Later they ran the Hi-Way Lounge, where she helped in the kitchen.
She is a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Hinckley.

She is survived by four children, Marcia (Bill) Mikesell of South Elgin, Ill., David (Karren) Rissman of Elburn, Vicki (Ken) Lackey of St. Charles, Gary (Beverly) Rissman of Sugar Grove; 17 grandchildren; 36 great-grandchildren; six great-great grandchildren; former son-in-law, Larry (Diana) Erickson of Kaneville; former daughter-in-law, Dianne Rissman of Buena Vista, Calif.; many nieces and nephews, and a countryside full of friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Walter; one son, Darryl; one daughter, Connie; and five siblings, Florence, Clara, Martha, Walter, Ronald and Ella.

Visitation was Wednesday, June 9, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL, 60119. A funeral to celebrate her life will be held at 11:00 a.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Hinckley, on Thursday, June 10. Interment will follow the service at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery.

A memorial will be established in Elsie’s memory to benefit the Immanuel Lutheran Church and other charities. Memorials checks may be made to the Elsie Rissman Memorial and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through the obituary at

Frances B. “Fran” Koenig

Frances B. “Fran” Koenig, 88, of Maple Park, passed away in the early morning hours, surrounded by the prayers of her family on Saturday, June 5, 2010, at Kishwaukee Community Hospital.

She was born Nov.5, 1921, in Maple Park, the daughter of John and Grace (Birkeneder) Neisendorf.

Fran grew up in rural areas around Maple Park and attended local schools. She graduated Maple Park High School with the class of 1939.

Fran moved to Geneva for a time and attended a beauty school. She made use of her newly acquired education doing hair for various local beauticians.

Fran met her future husband, Edward Koenig, while still in high school. Their friendship would turn into love following his discharge from the United States Navy during WWII. They were united in marriage on Feb. 11, 1945, at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Maple Park.

They would begin their new life together in their hometown of Maple Park and spend the rest of their lives raising a family and making enough memories to last a lifetime.

Ed and Fran ran the Dairy Bar on Main Street for a time while living above the shop. When they sold the Dairy Bar, Fran opened the Powder Box Beauty Shop next to Kahl’s Appliance Store. Later, when they built their home, Fran brought the Powder Box into her home and did hair for friends and family for the next 40 years.

In the 1970s, Fran not only was Sexton for St. Mary of the Assumption Cemetery on County Line Road in Maple Park, she also mowed it on a weekly basis.

In 1983, Fran put down her scissors and put away the curlers to begin a 21-year career at the Maple Park Post Office. In earlier years, both Fran and the Legion wives catered events for the American Legion. Later, she became the bar manager for many years. She retired from the Maple Park Post Office on May 31, 2005, and when her health declined a year later, she put down the books she kept for both the American Legion and the cemetery.

Fran was a member of the Maple Park American Legion Wives for many years. She was a parishioner of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, where she was a member of the Church Board, Cenacle Guild and helped count money on Sundays.

Fran was a woman who never seemed to stop moving or helping those in need within her community. When she wasn’t working or attending various meetings, you could find her sitting around the table with friends playing Pinochle or at the Legion playing Pitch. She also enjoyed her time trying to beat the house at different casinos, and when Bingo came calling, Fran always answered.

Fran was also known to hit the links in her late 60s with a local women’s golf group. In later years, Fran made many trips and cruises with friends across the country and abroad. From Las Vegas and Atlantic City and across the globe to Africa, Egypt, China, Ireland, Europe and Australia, Fran saw it all. Every night, Wheel of Fortune was an event, along with whenever her beloved Cubbies would play.

She is survived by five children, Rodney (Jacque) Koenig of Norwood, Colo., Stephen (Billie) Koenig of Rhinelander, Wis., Julia (Scott) Eyster of Rochelle, Ill., Patricia (Mike) Pomatto of Batavia, and Susan (Randy) Ekstrom of Elburn; six grandchildren, Aaron Eyster, Nathan Eyster, Christa Pomatto, Sarah Pomatto, Halie Ekstrom and Brooke Ekstrom; three siblings, Helen Strausberger of Sandwich, Ill., John (Rose) Neisendorf of DeKalb, and Bud (Betty) Neisendorf of Burlington, Ill.; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends the world over.

She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Edward; and three sisters, Mary Eder, Babs Barsic and Agnes Neisendorf.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday, June 10, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL, 60119. A mass to celebrate her life will be held at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, Maple Park, Friday, June 11, at 11 a.m. The Rev. Joachim Tyrtania, pastor of the church, will officiate, and interment will follow at St. Mary of the Assumption Cemetery.

For those unable to attend the mass, it will be available online at five minutes prior to the service. You may also view the service in an on-demand format 48 hours following the service at the same address.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in their her name to benefit St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, specifically the cemetery and organ restoration funds. Checks may be made to the “Fran Koenig Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at

Gregory ‘Greg’ Phillip Graham

Gregory “Greg” Phillip Graham, 51, of Elburn, formerly of Lombard, Ill., passed away May 23, 2010, at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family following a long and fierce battle with cancer.

He was born Nov. 30, 1958, in Effingham, Ill., the son of Lynn and Vera Graham.

He grew up spending many years on his grandparents’ farm, and although he built his knowledge in local schools, his character was built on each acre of that farm.

Greg attended St. John’s Lutheran School and graduated from Glenbard East High School with the class of 1977. Greg found excavating and demolition work in the construction trade, working long hours but always finding time to work on various motorcycles and cars.

Greg found the love of his life just down the road from his home, but never met her until after graduation while camping with mutual friends. Tracy Gilman stole his heart while she gave him her own when they were united in marriage in 1982.

They began their new life together in Lombard for a time, where they began raising a family that would include two sons, Austin and Mason. In 1988, the family moved to Elburn, where he built the house where they would make their home.

Greg never found a motorcycle or car that he couldn’t fix up and sell for more than he paid. In recent years, a 1950 Ford brought him many hours of happiness as well as accolades when he won the First Place Friday Night Award in Lombard. His vehicle was also chosen to continue with an entry into the World of Wheels.

Greg hosted great parties and huge bonfires that originally just “happened” but quickly became an annual event that brought friends and family from around the country.

Greg was one of a kind. His strength of character that was forged on the farm combined with his infectious unique laugh and warmth of spirit made him unforgettable in every sense of the word. Gone but not forgotten, his presence can still be found in the legacy of memories he left behind for all those who loved him.

He is survived by his wife, Tracy; two sons, Mason Graham of DeKalb and Austin Graham of Elburn; five siblings, Marcia Catalano of Lombard, Kevin Graham of Lombard, Carole (Mark) Roberts of Wheaton, Ill., Jeff (Ann) Graham of Downers Grove, Ill., and Tim Graham of Lombard; his parents, Lynn and Vera Graham of Lombard; and many nieces, nephews and a family of friends who will miss him dearly.

He is preceded in death by both his paternal and maternal grandparents.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 27, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL, 60119. A funeral to celebrate his life will begin at 11 a .m., Friday, May 28, also at the funeral home. The Rev. James Ilten, pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Lombard, will officiate. Private family interment will follow cremation at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit the American Cancer Society. Checks may be made to the “Greg Graham Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at

Lyla Y. Johnsen

Lyla Y. Johnsen, 84, of Elburn, passed from this life to eternal life early in the afternoon on May 18, 2010, surrounded by the love of her family at Kindred Hospital in Sycamore.

Lyla was born the daughter of D. Clyde and Bessie B. (Brundige) Divine on Dec. 19, 1925, in Geneva.

She grew up in the La Fox area and attended both La Fox and Wasco schools. She graduated from Geneva High School with the class of 1942. After graduation, like many of her generation, Lyla found work at Burgess-Norton, where employees made tank piston pins in support of the war.

During her younger years on the family farm, Lyla got to know her “farm neighbor,” a 13-year-old boy named Jay Johnsen. Their farms were adjoined on a creek, and through the passing of time, friendship grew into love, and love into marriage on June 19, 1946.

They made their home with Lyla’s brother Bill and his wife until they could save enough money to have a dream farm of their own.

Lyla and Jay began farming on the Beith farm, where they farmed for three years until 1949, when Lyla and Jay moved to the Warne farm west of Elburn. There, they bought their first herd of dairy cows. In 1952, they moved to the Zeller farm on Shoefactory Road near Elgin, Ill., and farmed there until 1960, when they purchased the present family farm homestead, where Jay’s family lived when he was a boy.

Through the years they would farm many acres throughout the area. The Johnsen families eventually purchased 1,000 acres near DeKalb.

Besides working on the farm and raising her family, Lyla spent many years as a teacher’s aide at Wasco Elementary School, where many friendships were made with many generations. She also was a Sunday school teacher at United Methodist Church of Geneva.

Lyla had a giving heart and always found ways to give back to her neighbors and surrounding communities. She was a 4-H leader for more than 20 years, first with the Elgin Eagles and then with the La Fox Boys. When the boys were young, Lyla also was a Cub Scout Leader.

Her family ties were strong to the old one-room Sholes School house. Many members of her family were taught as students with her aunt, Emma Divine, being a teacher, as well. She was instrumental in the moving of the school house from Burlington and its refurbishing when it finally found its home in Le Roy Oaks Forest Preserve. When an election time came around on the calendar, she could always be counted on as an election judge.

Lyla also was a member of the Wasco Ladies’ Aid and the Aurora Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Later, she helped to organize and became a charter member of the Elias Kent-Kane Chapter of the DAR on December 10, 1980. Jay and Lyla both were active together, starting the Lords and Ladies Square Dance Club in Elgin. They also were very involved in the La Fox Farmers’ Club and the Associated Milk Producers Inc. For more than 20 years, Lyla was the superintendent of the Hobby and Crafts Building at the Kane County Fair.

Lyla had a love for travel with her sister, Merilyn, and later Jay, with destinations in every state as well as into Canada and Mexico. Lyla and Jay could always be found in the stands rooting on their children and grandchildren at nearly every single game, no matter the sport or the weather. Lyla will be missed by many and forgotten by none.

She is survived by four sons, Steve Johnsen of Denver, Colo., Rodney (Diane) Johnsen of Elburn, K.C. (Phyllis ) Johnsen of Batavia, and Todd (Linda) Johnsen of St. Charles; seven grandchildren, Marc-Paul (Melissa) Johnsen and their children, Evelyn and Leia of Denver, Colo., Grant Johnsen, Ryan Johnsen, Nicole “Coley” (Dan) Pawlikowski, Ben Johnsen, Kaitlyn Johnsen and Tara Johnsen; one sister, Lois Divine, of St. Charles; four sisters-in-law, Marcia Filip of Vancouver, Wash., and Marilyn Divine of Wisconsin, Judy Johnsen of Florida and Viola Johnsen of Geneva; one brother-in-law, Merle Johnsen of southern Illinois; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and a countryside of friends.

She is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Jay (2008); her parents; two brothers, Bill and Ramon; and one sister, Merilyn Divine.

Visitation was Tuesday May 25, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. A funeral service to celebrate her life was held Wednesday, May 26, also at the funeral home. Lyla’s son, Steve Johnsen, pastor of the Denver Inner City Parish, officiated, and interment followed at Garfield Cemetery, Garfield Road, Campton Township.

A memorial has been established in her name to benefit Denver Inner City Parish, and the Garfield Farm. Checks may be made to the “Lyla Johnsen Memorial” and mailed in care to P.O. Box 66, 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through her obituary at For additional information, call (630) 365-6414

John R. Harter

John R. Harter, 69, of Northlake, Ill., formerly of Sugar Grove, passed away at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital, Elmhurst, Saturday, May 15, 2010.

He was born March 21, 1941, in Aurora, the son of J. Raymond and Gladys (Severtson) Harter.

John grew up in the Elburn area on several farms over the years and attended Kaneland High School.

John was lucky in love twice, marrying Margaret Keierleber in 1959, and later, Linda Macon in 1969. He was blessed with nine children and a lifetime of memories.

John spent his first adult years in Elburn before living in Aurora, Sugar Grove and Yorkville. Most recently, he called Northlake home for 13 years.

Though he farmed like his family in his younger years, before long he traded a tractor seat for a seat in a tractor trailer. He drove a truck for many companies, most recently for Chicago Sweeteners Inc.

He loved to fish for anything that swam in any body of water big enough to hold them. The term Dad never encompassed what John was to his children. He was a dad to more than just his children, adopting not by law, but by love, children that weren’t his own.

John also was a loving grandfather to all his grandchildren, but over the years developed an especially close relationship with his granddaughter, Olivia Harter.

He was a man large in stature, but even bigger when it came to how he cared for others. A better friend no man could find. His loss can’t be measured in size but found in the number of footprints that were uniquely his, alongside his family and friends as he walked with them through their lives.

He is survived by his mother, Gladys Harter; nine children, John Maseman of Burlington, Wis., Byron (Sue) Maseman of Titusville, Fla., Steve (Donna) Maseman of Sandwich, Ill., Deb (Che) Gonzalez of Rockford, Ill., Teresa (Richard Givens) Harter of Joliet, Ill., Kenneth A. (Roberta) Kassinger of Yorkville, Phil (Becky) Kassinger of Sugar Grove, Tim Kassinger of Scott City, Mo., and Nina Lynn (Steven) Saindon of Colorado Springs, Colo.; 36 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; one sister, Kathryn Zawacke of Morristown, N.J.; one brother, Dennis (Diane) Harter of Keller, Texas, many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends along each country mile.

He is preceded in death by his father, J. Raymond; and one grandson, Jeremie Maseman.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m., Monday, May 24, at Kaneville United Methodist Church, Kaneville. A memorial service hosted by his family with the help of the church will begin at 7 p.m. Rev. Jason Turner, pastor of the church, will officiate, and private interment will follow cremation.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit American Lung Association. Checks may be made to the “John Harter Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at

Juanita ‘Nita’ Ann Elizabeth Cornell Quigley

Juanita “Nita” Ann Elizabeth Cornell Quigley, CMSGT USAF, Ret., nee Shaw, 68, of Trenton, died Friday, May 14, 2010, at her residence surrounded by her family.

Nita was born Aug. 8, 1941, in Jeffers, Minn., to Lloyd and Clara (Greiner) Shaw; they preceded her in death.

In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by an infant daughter, Theresa Jean Cornell; brothers, Duane Vincent Shaw, Lawrence Shaw and Tommy Shaw; a sister, Joan Kay Shaw; maternal grandparents, Matthias and Anna Greiner; paternal grandparents, Jacob and Lottie Shaw; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, Henry and Marion Quigley.

She married Paul Anthony Quigley on Oct. 9, 1976, and he survives in Trenton.

Also surviving is a son, Bradley John (Debra) Cornell and a daughter, Elizabeth “Beth” Joan (Curt) Meredith, all of Elburn; grandchildren, Jason Lloyd Bradley (Jaclyn) Cornell, Christopher Len (Jeny) Cornell, Angeline Joan Meredith and Madeline Elyse Meredith; great-grandchildren, Noah Lloyd Bradley Cornell, Caleb Christopher Cornell and Landon Levi Cornell; step-sons, Paul Quigley, Jr. of Dublin, Ireland, and Michael Patrick (Jeanine) Quigley of Schererville, Ind.; siblings, Douglas Robert (Sherri) Shaw of Bertha, Minn, Michael Allen Shaw of Junction City, Wis., Mary Jean (Wayne) Herzog of Plover, Wis., William Steven (Jean) Shaw of Bertha, Minn., Gregory Mark (Pam) Shaw of Florida, Kathryn Joan (Scott) Oines of Park Rapids, Minn., Victoria Renee Kapphahn of Hoffmann, Minn.; a brother-in-law, Hank Quigley of Gary, Ind.; honorary sister, Sherry (Ron) Deien of Trenton; special friends, Charlotte (Gary) Reymond, Annie Duing all of Trenton, and Mary Douthitt, of Belleville; and a host of relatives and friends.

Nita retired as a CMSGT after 26 years in the USAF. She was an honor graduate of Basic Military Training, Personnel Training School, Air Force Recruiting School and was awarded Outstanding Recruiter of the Year, a Wing Career Advisor where she created the Career Counseling that is still used today. She was a Personnel Specialist and achieved Personnel Assistant Manager status, Special Duty Assignment at AMC, IMA Chief for TACC and developed numerous guidance policies and were relied on and trusted to manage that command function. Nita was given the Air Force Meritorious Medal with Cluster, three Air Force Accommodation Medals and three Achievement Medal Awards, and also received numerous awards and was selected for Senior NCO of the Year for AMC in 2000.

She was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church and Altar Sodality, where she served as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister, Trenton American Legion, Trenton VFW Auxiliary and Lifetime Member, Hospice of Southern Illinois volunteer, Multiple Sclerosis. She was a fundraising volunteer and participant in the 50-Mile MS Challenge Walk, Christian Missionary, and was a professional clown. Nita formerly worked as a beautician and was the past owner/operator of Skeeter’s Cut & Curl Beauty Salon and Boutique in Elburn.

Funeral Mass of Christian Burial was Monday, May 18, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Trenton, with Msgr. Donald Eichenseer and Fr. Eugene Kreher officiating. Interment with full military honors followed in St. Mary Cemetery, Trenton.

Visitation was Sunday, May 17, and Monday, May 18, at the Moss Funeral Home in Trenton.

Memorials can be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois or to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and will be received at the funeral home.

The Trenton VFW Auxiliary held services on Sunday at the funeral home.

Expressions of sympathy can be sent to

Robert Alan Phelps

Robert Alan Phelps, 80, passed away May 9, 2010, in Tulsa, Okla.

He was born on May 15, 1929, in Kaneville, the second child of Alan and Edith (Brackett) Phelps. He married Charlene Volkers on June 9, 1951, while serving with the Army Corps of Engineers and was later deployed to Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Robert went to school in Kaneville, graduating with the class of 1947.

He moved with his family to Oklahoma in 1966. Years later, he began the R.A. Phelps Equipment Co., selling and servicing heavy equipment for street sweeping and sewer cleaning. He later designed, manufactured and sold the Line King sewer root saw for commercial use.

Robert was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Barbara Snyder. He is survived by his wife, Charlene; a son, Brad Phelps and his wife, Joyce Polkinghorne; a daughter, Cheryl Davidson and husband, Dale; a brother, Keith Phelps and wife, Kay, of Indianapolis; a sister, Lynette Werdin and husband, Dave, of Kaneville; and three grandchildren, Sarah and Alan Davidson, and Killian Phelps.

In honor of Robert, gifts may be made to Clarehouse of Tulsa and The American Heart Association.

Robert’s funeral and burial were held in Tulsa, Okla., on May 14, 2010.