Michael J. Lang - 74
1/3/1943 - 10/31/2017
Oregon, IL

Michael J. Lang,...

Mary Louise Smith - 86
3/30/1931 - 10/29/2017
Oregon, IL

Mary...

Joyce M. Horn - 91
8/11/1926 - 10/25/2017
Oregon, IL

Joyce M. Horn, age...

Willis J. "Harley" Davison - 64
5/26/1953 - 10/24/2017
Dixon, Illinois

Dixon – Willis J....

Eleanor E. Ruter - 68
3/7/1949 - 10/21/2017
Oregon, IL

Eleanor E. Ruter,...

Shirley M. Parks - 87
10/2/1930 - 10/15/2017
Byron, IL

Shirley M. Parks,...

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Eleanor E. Ruter - 68

3/7/1949 - 10/21/2017
Oregon, IL

Eleanor E. Ruter, 68, of Oregon died Saturday Oct. 21, 2017 in KSB Hospital, Dixon. She was born March 7, 1949 in Oregon the daughter of Joseph & Helen (Yuccas) Pazera. She married Edgar A. Ruter in Freeport, IL; he died in 2008. Eleanor enjoyed playing Bingo. Survivors include her daughter, Teresa Engle of Oregon; grandson, Brandon Dietrich; great grandchildren Mason & Mia; sister, Helen (Brad) Pfoutz of Mt. Morris; and brothers, John (Marilyn ) Pazera and Paul Pazera both of Mt. Morris; and several nieces and nephews. She was also preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Don. Funeral services will be held Friday Oct. 27, 2017 at 11:00 AM in the Farrell-Holland-Gale Funeral Home, 110 S. 7th St., preceded by visitation beginning at 10:00 AM. Pastor John Guthrie will officiate. Burial will be in Chapel Hill Gardens, Freeport.

Shirley M. Parks - 87

10/2/1930 - 10/15/2017
Byron, IL

Shirley M. Parks, 87, of Byron, passed away Sunday October 15, 2017 in Serenity Hospice and Home, Oregon. She was born October 2, 1930 in Rockford the daughter of Kenneth & Jennie (Carey) Nelson. Shirley attended school in Rockford until 1947, at which time the family moved to Byron. She graduated from Byron High School in 1948 at attended Rockford Memorial School of Nursing. She married Joseph H. Parks in Byron on March 2, 1950; he died in 2010. Shirley worked with her father at Nelson Jewelry from 1949 until 1974 when she and her husband Joe started Parks Sports in Byron. She moved to Hot Springs Village, Arkansas in 1994 and returned to Byron in 1999. Survivors include her children, Craig (Cheryl) Parks of Crivitz, WI, Kent (Denise) Parks of Flagstaff, AZ, Karen (Joe) Shiver of Winnebago, IL, and Connie (Gary) Dieckbernd of Rockton, IL; grandchildren, Joe, Chris, David, Chelsea, Benjamin (Whitney), Aaron (Rachel) Parks, Moriah (Tim) Bridges, Drew (Laura) Hogan, Trevor (Sarah) Hogan, Katryna (Pete) Kirby, Karmen (Bob) Bryer, Kacie (Scott) Spanton, Kelsey (Adam) Cooper, & Kyle and Chad Shiver; 14 great grandchildren; sister, Ramona Noyes of Genoa, IL; and brother, Kenneth (Meryl) Nelson of Byron. She was also preceded in death by her parents.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 12:00 Noon, preceded by visitation beginning at 11:00 AM, in the United Church of Byron, 701 W. 2nd St., Byron with Rev. Dr. Jesse Tanner officiating. Burial will be in Byron Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to Serenity Hospice & Home, Oregon.

Freda J. Engelkes - 84

2/28/1933 - 10/10/2017
Oregon, IL

Freda J. Engelkes, 84, of Oregon, passed away peacefully Tuesday October 10, 2017 in Oregon Living and Rehabilitation Center. She was born February 28, 1933 in Byron, IL the daughter of Joseph Lee and Isabella (Sutton) Fletcher. She married Donald E. Engelkes in Oregon, IL on Oct. 5, 1958; he died in 2005. Freda was an active member of the Oregon United Methodist Church where she was involved with the Sunday School program and Naomi Ruth Circle. She formerly was employed at the Dekalb/Ogle Phone Co., Combined Communication Services, and the Dress Shop in Conover Square. Freda enjoyed word search books, gardening, flowers, and baked the best sugar cookies. She was also the "best playmate" to her grandchildren.
Survivors include her children; Sue Engelkes, Jane (Monte) Messenger and Daniel (Shana) Engelkes all of Oregon; grandchildren, Mychal (Sarah) Messenger, Joseph Messenger, and Mya Engelkes; and her first great grandchild on the way; and many nieces & nephews including special niece Polly Black . She was also preceded in death by her parents, grandson Matthew, and 4 sisters and 6 brothers.
Funeral services will be held Friday October13, 2017 at 11:00 AM in Oregon United Methodist Church, 4th & Jefferson St., Oregon with Pastor Thomas Kim officiating. Visitation will be Thursday from 5:00-7:00 PM in Farrell-Holland-Gale Funeral Home, Oregon. Interment in Byron Cemetery at a later date. Memorials may be directed to Serenity Hospice and Home, Oregon.

Lena M. Stienmetz - 89

6/17/1928 - 9/28/2017
Oregon, IL

Lena M. Stienmetz, 89, longtime Oregon resident, died Thursday September 28, 2017 in Oregon Living and Rehabilitation Center. She was born June 17, 1928 in La Valle, WI, the daughter of George & Mabel (Palmer) Nachtigal. She married John W. Stienmetz in Oregon, IL on October 9, 1946; he died in 1992. Lena was a member of the Oregon United Methodist Church and worked as a CNA at Franklin Grove Nursing Home and for 12 years at Oregon Living and Rehabilitation Center. Lena enjoyed crocheting and crafts. Survivors include her daughters, Mary Lundquist of Rochelle, Mabel Jean Mann of Rochelle, and Barbara Ann Frost of Beloit, WI; sons, Jack Stienmetz of San Antonio, TX and Ted Stienmetz of Dixon; 14 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, and 5 great great grandchildren; sister, Thelma Hartje of La Valle, WI ; and brother, Art of Reedsburg, WI. She was also preceded in death by 4 sisters and 3 brothers.
Funeral services will be held Monday, October 2, 2017 at 10:30 AM, preceded by visitation beginning at 9:30 AM, in St. Paul Lutheran Church, 5th and Jefferson, Oregon with Pastor Richard Tomlinson officiating. Burial will be Silver Creek Cemetery, Leaf River. Memorials may be directed to Serenity Hospice and Home, Oregon.

Wilma E. Bauer - 73

4/7/1944 - 9/28/2017
Stillman Valley, IL

Wilma Elizabeth Gossett was born in Monmouth, Illinois on April 7, 1944. Growing up, she developed a love for roller skating and would go skating every chance she could at the Freedom Roller Rink in Monmouth. After moving from Monmouth, Wilma attended West Jr. High School and Auburn High School in Rockford, Illinois, where she graduated in 1961. During these years, she loved hanging out in Rochelle, Illinois and it was there where she met, and fell head-over-heels for, Gene Bauer. She had run away from home one day, and Gene found her. He held her hand that day and every day after for over 55 years. Wilma and Gene were married on October 20, 1962 at the Rock Church in Rockford, Illinois. Wilma attended beauty school and cut and styled hair for many years. She loved making peoples’ hair beautiful – a passion that was passed on to her granddaughter. Wilma also loved singing, playing the piano, and playing the organ. She would sing and play any chance she got – both at home and at church every Sunday and was also a choir director at church for many years. On many Sunday afternoons after church and on holidays, she would come home and play her accordion for her family. Her greatest joys were her three beautiful children. She was always involved with everything for her children – in school, in church, and in life – and was an influence in everything they did. She was always so proud of them and bragged about them to everyone she met. She always said that her greatest accomplishment was her children and trying to be the best mother she could be to them. She even sold her beloved piano, without telling anyone, just so she could have money to give her son to buy his first car. There were many, many other times she gave up things so she could do for her children – all because she would do anything to make sure they were happy. Wilma always looked forward to the many family trips that she, Gene and the kids would take. Traveling to Wisconsin Dells was one of her favorites. She loved collecting Native American memorabilia - and she would always find plenty of it at The Dells. She was very proud of her Pawnee Indian heritage and wanted to display in through her memorabilia collection. As a family, she also started roller skating again. Her and Gene would take the kids to the Ing Skating Rink and spend hours skating with them. She also loved cooking and baking – especially for her family. Some of her children’s favorites were her delicious egg salad sandwiches, cheeseburgers, open-faced sandwiches, and salmon patties. She was also known to make her famous roast, potatoes, and carrots in her pressure cooker. As she got older and her children moved away, she began playing Bingo with all her friends at Legion Hall in Rockford, Illinois. She loved playing Bingo and hanging out with all her friends there every week. When she became a Grandma, she absolutely loved it. She loved spending time with each one of her five grandchildren – but she especially loved spoiling them. Whether it was cooking, buying things or taking them places, her world revolved around those grandkids. She was especially proud when her granddaughter recently graduated from Cosmetology School – following in her footsteps. Wilma always loved her career as a beautician and now her granddaughter was doing the same thing. Some of Wilma’s favorites were the color blue, butterflies, roses, and Disney characters. Many times when you would see her, she would have some shirt on with Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Tinkerbell, or any other funny character. It would always make people smile. She also loved shopping and buying things for everyone else – especially at Christmas. Many years, you could not even see the Christmas tree because of all the presents piled around it.
August of 2016, Wilma attended her last family reunion with her husband, Gene. She attended these family reunions for over 30 years and loved each and every one of her family and extended family so much. She also just loved people in general and was so outgoing and outspoken. She would make friends with strangers wherever she went and act like she had known them for years. Wilma would make people laugh all the time and when she wanted, she could demand attention of a room of people and she would get it. She had a great and crazy sense of humor – and one of her famous pranks was giving her husband three boiled eggs – but only really boiling two of them….Wilma was a beautiful woman both inside and out and has left this earth too early – leaving emptiness in many lives and a longing for her beautiful, contagious laugh and her soft loving touch. She is loved by many and will be dearly missed by them all. Whenever you see a butterfly, please think of her. And if you ever hear the song, My Way, by Elvis Presley, know that it was how Wilma lived her life – she lived it her way. She was predeceased by her parents, daughter Penny Graybeal, Brother Paul, and Sister Dixie. She is survived by her husband of 54 years Gene, son Roger Bauer of Stillman Valley, Paula Lofgren of California, Sister Leona Gibb of Smithshire, IL, 5 grandchidlren Donna Smartt, Jeremiah Graybeal, Maranda Graybeal, Ryan Bauer and Danae Bauer, 2 great grandchildren Trinity Smartt and Adriana Finney. A Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers a memorial fund is established in her name and can be directed to her husband Gene at 6220 Condon Road, Stillman Valley, IL. Farrell-Holland-Gale Funeral Home in Stillman Valley assisted the family.

Pamela Sue Hammer - 65

11/4/1951 - 9/22/2017
Oregon, IL

Oregon – Pamela Sue Hammer, age 65, died Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 at Pinecrest Manor in Mt. Morris. She was born Nov. 4, 1951 in Sandwich, IL the daughter of Robert W. and I. Bernice (Scheer) Hammer. She attended Valley Haven School for the Exceptional in Oswego, IL. She grew up in Plano, IL. Pam worked for the Village of Progress. She had a smile for everyone she met. Her family and friends where very important to her. Pam had participated in the Special Olympics. She attended both the Lighthouse United Methodist Church and the Oregon Church of God. Her favorite hobbies where watching love story movies, going fishing, and bowling. She was predeceased by her parents and many aunts and uncles. She is survived by her sister Patricia (George) Barth of Glen Allen, Virginia, brother Steve (Dixie) Hammer of Oregon, IL, nephews Chad Hammer and Jason Hammer (Stephanie Haugh) , nieces Elizabeth Barth, Jennifer (Paul) Matthews, Catherine (Mike) Bryant, Amanda Hammer, 15 grandnieces and nephews, and many cousins. Funeral service will be 11:00 am, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017 at the Oregon Church of God with the Rev. Michael Hoffman pastor of the church officiating. Burial will be in the Lighthouse Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday evening from 5-7 pm at the Farrell-Holland-Gale Funeral Home, 110 S. 7th Street, Oregon, IL. A memorial fund is established in Pam’s name for the Village of Progress.

Charles V. Thornquist - 89

8/3/1928 - 9/22/2017
Byron, Illinois

Byron – Charles V. “Chuck” Thornquist, age 89, died Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 at O.S.F. Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, IL. He was born Aug. 3, 1928 in McPherson, Kansas the son of Elmer and Anna (Holm) Thornquist. He attended Evanston Township High School for 2 years in Evanston, IL and than graduated from LaJolla High School in LaJolla, California. He attended Glendale City College in California studying General Engineering and finished his associate’s degree later in life at Rock Valley Community College in Production Technology. Chuck served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War from 1951-1953. He married Marilyn L. Widergren on Oct. 23, 1954 in Rockford, IL. She preceded him in death in Dec. of 2004. Chuck attended the Cornerstone Family Church in Byron, IL. He was a member of the Stillman Valley Lion’s Club. He was an avid Chicago Cubs Fan, and loved attending musicals, plays, and concerts with his special friend Mabel Boyer. Chuck was dedicated to his family and enjoyed attending his 4 sons and grandchildren’s activities. He also liked making sure his home and yard were in pristine condition. He was predeceased by his parents, wife Marilyn, and brother John. He is survived by his 4 sons; Brian (Barbara) Thornquist of St. Louis, MO, Bruce (Susan) Thornquist of Downers Grove, IL, Brent (Patricia) Thornquist of Scottsdale, AZ, Brad Thornquist of Rockford, 7 grandchildren; Daniel (Carly) Thornquist, Lisa (Paul) Smith, Jordan Thornquist, Dana Thornquist, Lee Thornquist, Patrick (Jiao) Thornquist, and Natalie Thornquist, 2 great grandchildren Brooke and Chloe, and special friend Mabel Boyer of Byron. Funeral service will be 11:00 am, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 at the Cornerstone Family Church in Byron with the Pastor Randy Snyder pastor of the church officiating. Visitation will be prior to the service from 9:30 to 11:00 at the church. Burial will be in the Arlington Memorial Park in Rockford. A memorial fund is established in Chuck’s name for the Cornerstone Family Church.

Mary A. Ackerson - 96

11/20/1920 - 9/19/2017
Ashton, IL

Mary A. Ackerson, 96, lifelong Ashton area resident, died Tuesday, September 19, 2017 in The Meadows at Franklin Grove. Born November 20, 1920 in Shaw Station, IL the daughter of Sherman and Eva (Turner) Shaw. Married to Roy Harold Ackerson in 1940; he died in 2003. Mary was a graduate of Lee Center High School and received her Bachelor’s Degree in education from Northern Illinois University. She taught fifth grade at Ashton Elementary School for 30 years, retiring in 1980. Mary was a member of Ashton United Methodist Church and formerly a member of Lighthouse United Methodist Church. She was an avid reader. Survived by daughters: Sharon (Bill) Wagner of Oregon, Sandy (Jerry) Garkey of Florida, Vicki Dawson of Texas, and Pamela (Gary) Ferguson of Freeport; 7 grandchildren; 18 great grandchildren; and a brother, Sherman (Donna) Shaw of La Moille. Also predeceased by her parents; grandson, Sean Garkey; son-in-law, Lynn Cater; 4 brothers; and 2 sisters. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to the family.

Lee A. Reif - 77

2/7/1940 - 9/16/2017
Byron, IL

Lee A. Reif, Sr., age 77, passed away at Swedish American Hospital in Rockford, IL on Saturday September 16, 2017. He was born on February 7, 1940 in Chicago, IL the son of Milo and Elma (Kline) Reif. Lee married the love of his life; Elsie Anderka, on July 12, 1958, in Chicago, IL. He worked and retired from Gates Rubber Company and was a past employee of the Byron School District. Lee was also a partner with his son Dan, at Danlee Wood Products in Forreston, IL. He was a member of All Saints Lutheran Church in Byron. Lee was a loving husband. He showed this through many things including supporting his wife’s quilting by being her master cutter of quilt pieces and being by her side. He cherished their time together, and they wintered for eleven years at Reflections on Silver Lake in Avon Park, FL. While he was there he enjoyed shuffleboard. In his spare time, he also enjoyed playing cards with his friends. Lee was also a devoted father,grandfather, and great-grandfather. He enjoyed travelling with his family and taking many trips with the grandchildren to Disney World. Lee is survived by his wife, Elsie, of Byron; children, Lee “Skip” Jr. (Tami) Reif of McHenry, IL, Judy (Craig) Mathers of Galena, IL, Dan (Dawn) Reif of Apple Valley, MN, and Tammy (Jeff) Carson of DeKalb, IL; brother, Jim (Kit) Reif of Byron; grandchildren, Lauren Reif, Jordan Reif, Nicole Mathers, Jessica (Tyler) Stricker, Kyle (Alicia) Reif, TJ Reif, Noah Greenfield, Emma Greenfield, Lila Greenfield, Ally Lawler, Nathan Lawler, and Rachel Carson; great grandson, Jaxon Stricker; dear friends, Paul (Judy) Morgan and Tim (Peggy) Adams; and special puppy, Zoey. He is preceded in death by his parents and his dog and close companion, Patti. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am Saturday Sept. 23, 2017 at All Saints Lutheran Church, Byron, with Pastor Janet Wold officiating. Visitation will be held from 9:00 – 11:00am prior to the service at the church. A luncheon will follow the funeral service. Memorials are established for St. Judes, Serenity Hospice, or All Saints Lutheran Church.

Jerry L. Witmer - 73

1/10/1944 - 9/13/2017
Oregon, Illinois

Jerry L. Witmer, 73, of Oregon, died Wednesday, September 13, 2017 in Serenity Hospice Home, Oregon. Born January 10, 1944 in Freeport. Beginning in 1958, Jerry was raised by Oscar and Mildred (Wiles) Matzinger and worked with them on family farms in Dixon and Chana until 1975. He was then employed at Wood Bros. in Oregon for 14 years and Martin & Co. for 22 years. He was a 1962 graduate of Amboy High School. Survived by a brother, John Witmer of Oregon; step brother, Larry Aubrey of Schaumberg; several cousins, nieces and nephews; and special friend, Roger Watts. Predeceased by his parents and brother, Don Witmer. Services will be held at 2:00pm Monday September 18 in Farrell-Holland-Gale Funeral Home, Oregon preceded by a visitation beginning at 1:00pm. Pastor Randy Snider of Crossroads Family Church, Byron will officiate. Burial in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Dixon. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Serenity Hospice & Home, Oregon.

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