Leaf River, Illinois
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Charles H. Ehmen,...
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Todd Allen Lucas,...
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John F. Brown - 969/26/1920 - 4/11/2017
John F. Brown, 96, of Lena, formerly of Rockford, passed away Tuesday April 11, 2017 in FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport. He was born Sept. 26, 1920 in Stillman Valley, IL the son of Charles A. and Lucy (Woodcock) Brown. He married Vivian M. Boumgarden on Oct. 7, 1941. John was a 1938 graduate of Stillman Valley High School. He was a 1st Lt. fighter pilot in the Air Force during World War II serving 14 months in the European Theater of Operations. John flew patrol, weather missions, and training flights in the P-47 and P-51 aircraft and totaled 540 hours as a pilot in military aircraft. He served as operations officer for the 354th Fighter Group and the 64th Fighter Wing where he supervised schedules and assignments of aircraft to personnel in the flying proficiency program. After discharge, John continued flying as a commercial pilot and stayed actively in touch with the fighter pilot’s group. He retired from Commonwealth Edison as a load dispatcher after 38 years of employment. He enjoyed traveling, golfing, motorcycles, and was an avid Cubs fan. Survivors include sons, Donald (Pat) Brown of Lena, Russell (Sue) Brown of New Lenox, IL, and Warren Brown of Waldorf, MD; eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren and one great great grandchild. He was preceded in death by his wife Vivian, sisters, Henrietta and Lucy, and brothers, George and Charles Jr.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday April 15, 2017 at the Farrell Holland Gale Funeral Home, 136 W. Roosevelt Rd., Stillman Valley with Pastor Rick Bader officiating. Visitation will be held from 10:00-11:00 AM prior to the service. Burial, with military honors, will be at Stillman Valley Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to Stillman Valley Cemetery.
Winfred H. Barnes - 8812/22/1928 - 4/3/2017
Winfred H. "Brother" Barnes, 88, longtime Byron resident, died Monday April 3, 2017 in MorningStar Village, Rockford. He was born Dec. 22, 1928 in Taylorsville, North Carolina the son of Otto and Lena (Jolly) Barnes. He married Betty L. Newhausen in Oregon, IL on June 17, 1949. Winfred was a retired machinist from Ingersall Milling Machine in Rockford where he was known as "Barney" He was a member of the Mt. Morris Moose Club, was a Cubs fan, and enjoyed bowling, golfing, and fishing. Survivors include his wife, Betty; sons, Thomas (Nova Wise) Barnes and Jerry (Bridget) Barnes both of Rockford; grandchildren, Mike Barnes, Nic Barnes, and Sydney Barnes; and 2 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister, Rita Belle Parsley, and a grandson, John. Special thanks is extended by the family to Teresa Brent and everyone at Heartland Hospice and also everyone at MorningStar Village for their care and compassion toward Winfred and his family.
Funeral services will be held Saturday April 8, 2017 at 11:00 AM in the Farrell-Holland-Gale Funeral Home, 506 W. Merchant St., Byron with Pastor Randy Snider officiating. Visitation will be prior to the service from 9:30-11:00 AM. Burial will be in Byron Cemetery.
Hattie Oberg - 864/17/1930 - 3/30/2017
Former All American Girls Professional Baseball League player Hattie A. Oberg, 86, passed away on March 30, 2017, surrounded by loved ones at her daughter’s home in Mt. Morris, Illinois. Born on April 17, 1930 in Winnebago, Illinois, she was one of nine children of Walter and Hattie LaTour Peterson.
She played two seasons with the Rockford Peaches, immortalized by 1992’s A League of Their Own, although she would say the movie “was nothing like the real thing”. Her love of baseball was a lifelong passion and was capped when her beloved Cubs won the World Series in 2016. She also had a career in manufacturing until she retired from Motorola in the 1990s while she was living in Phoenix, Arizona. She returned to the Rockford, Illinois, area in 2007 where she lived most of her life.
An accomplished musician, she was active in accordion clubs and entertained fellow retirement home residents until a couple of years ago. She was proud of her Scandinavian heritage and passed down many holiday traditions and recipes to her children and grandchildren.
She is survived by her daughter Sandra (Sandy) Hayden of Mt. Morris and son Randy Oberg of Mesa, Arizona, three grandchildren, Brittany Miller, Ryan Hayden and Stephanie Hayden, and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her sisters Ruth, Pauline, and Farrell and is also survived by her brother Gilbert and sisters Mary, Margaret, Doris, and Betty.
The family gives special thanks to longtime friend Cathy Wehmhoefer for loving care and assistance over the last few weeks, as well as to Serenity Hospice, her granddaughter Brittany and sister Mary.
Services will be held on April 22, 2017 at 2pm at VFW of Oregon, IL at 1310 W. Washington Street. In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Cancer Society are suggested.
Kimberly L. Sherman - 327/9/1984 - 3/29/2017
Kimberly Lynette Sherman passed away the evening of March 29th 2017, after numerous complications from her second heart transplant. Her quick wit, adventurous spirit, and love for family and friends will forever be cherished.
Kim grew up in Byron Illinois, daughter of Donna and Richard Van Velzer; twin sister to Katie Rose and Zach Van Velzer, granddaughter to Ferd Fransen. She graduated from Byron High School in 2003. Later, attended Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI where she received her Bachelors in Business Management in 2008. While at Alverno, she established lasting connections with staff and fellow students.
Kim made it a priority in her life to see as much of the world as possible. Even in her last weeks with us she was planning a trip. Kim began to travel internationally as a teenager, first to Spain, then South Korea. In fact, her love for travel and adventurous spirit lead her to her husband, Ryan Sherman. They met on a European tour in 2005. Kim was traveling by herself, and as life would have it, was introduced to two siblings from California, Ryan and Lindi Sherman. Kim easily established a friendship with Ryan and his sister and continued to correspond after they returned to the United States.
After countless emails, phone calls, and long distance travel, Ryan moved to Milwaukee to be with Kim. Ryan is Kim’s true love and match, and were married June 18th 2010. They graduated college with one another by their side, and lifted each other through many challenges and triumphs. Together they found adventure and history in Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Jamaica, and in recent years valued trips around the U.S.
Kim enjoyed spending time with her nieces Gloria and Claudia, even making a play room for them in the home she and Ryan shared. Family was very important to her. She made it a point to visit family as much as possible, often sharing memories and jokes while making new ones. Kim enjoyed the visits from her in-laws from California; Carolyn & Robert Gunn & Bob Sherman; and was in constant contact with sisters in law Lindi Marsiglia, Nicole Mitchell, and Joana Gunn.
Kim always presented with absolute courage, taught others what true strength looks like, kept hopeful, maintained a positive attitude, and shared a genuine concern for others throughout her life including during her lengthy health challenges. Kim is an inspiration to her family, friends, and anyone fortunate enough to have known her.
Family and Friends are invited to Kim’s Celebration of Life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Byron, Illinois.
Friday, April 7th in Milwaukee, WI at Alverno College, Art and Cultures Gallery from 4-8 pm.
Sunday, April 9th in Byron, IL at Prairie View Golf Club from Noon – 4 pm.
Maureen K. "Mimi" Skurski - 6610/29/1950 - 3/27/2017
Maureen Karen “Mimi” Skurski., age 66, was carried to her eternal home in the arms of her savior, Jesus Christ, on Monday, March 27, 2017, after a brief illness. Maureen was born on October 29, 1950, the daughter of Stanley and Nora (Burns) Skurski. She graduated from Byron High School in 1968, where under the tutelage of Mrs. Hobart, she excelled in typing and stenography. These skills enabled Maureen to readily find employment wherever she applied. Maureen worked as a secretary in many fields; from the Kysor plant in Byron to an investment firm, to international real estate law office, Las Vegas Valley Water District, Clark County Court Clerk, Nevada Board of Realtors, MGM Grand purchasing dept., a bank corporate office in Chicago, and the Winnebago County Sanitation District; as well as with several area real estate offices. Maureen loved music and dancing,. She enjoyed shopping, cooking, parties, reading, and watching old movies. Maureen’s vocabulary was second to none and she enjoyed using those skills playing scrabble with her cousins. She was full of life and always helpful to others. She was preceded in death by her father. She is survived by her mother; sister, Norma (Harry) Adams of Byron; brothers, Stan (Tammy) Skurski of Las Vegas, NV and Howard Skurski of San Diego, CA; nieces and nephews, cousins, an aunt and uncles, and lifelong honorary sister, Claire Babbitt. Funeral mass will be held on Friday March 31, 2017 at 11:30 AM at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Byron with Father Howard Barch officiating. Visitation will be held from 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM prior to the service. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Byron. In lieu of flowers, memorials are established for St. Mary’s Catholic Church
Gary Knaub, Sr. - 703/26/2017 - 3/26/2017
Leaf River, IL
Gary G. Knaub, Sr., 70, lifelong Byron/Leaf River area resident, died Saturday March 25, 2017 in Oregon Living & Rehabilitation Center. Born February 10, 1947 in Monroe, Wis., the son of Kenneth C. and Florence Marie (Bussie) Knaub. Married to Alice Novak October 8, 1966 in Rockford. Gary worked at Chrysler for 42 years , retiring in 2008 and those who worked with him knew him as a jokester. At his place in Missouri he had a horse that he had trained by the Amish and his horse Dollar would follow him around like a dog. Gary was an avid fisherman, hunter and an excellent trap shooter. He would find any excuse or reason to be outside. To his kids he was "That 70's Show"'s Red Forman - he didn't sugarcoat anything. We will always remember the many outings on the Rock River skiing. He would always have room to take many of the kids in Leaf River for a day out with us. Gary will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Survived by his wife, Alice of Leaf River; sons Gary (Connie) Knaub, Jr and Tim (Rosa) Knaub, both of Leaf River and Scott (Julie) Josephitis of Stoughton, Wis.; daughter, Brenda Knaub of Tulsa, OK; grandchildren, Alice & Gaby Knaub and Dan Knaub; brother, Kenneth Knaub, Jr of Byron; and sister, Ramona (Douglas) Freimuth of Chana. Predeceased by his parents and an infant brother. Funeral services will be held at 11:00am Saturday, April 1 in Farrell-Holland-Gale Funeral Home, Byron preceded by a visitation beginning at 10:00am. Pastor Randy Snider of Cornerstone Family Church, Byron will officiate. Burial in Byron Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the family
Gary R. Murphy - 644/6/1952 - 3/25/2017
Gary R. “Murph” Murphy, age 64, died Saturday, March 25, 2017 at Mercy Health Center in Rockford. He was born April 6, 1952 in Rockford, Illinois the son of William Richard and Opal (Herzfeldt) Murphy. He graduated from Byron High School class of 1970. Gary also attended the University of Iowa and received a degree in Engineering. He also was a substitute teacher. He was a longtime member of Operator’s Union Local # 150. He always enjoyed hiking, back packing and loved to get together with friends to play cards. Gary was always there to help others in their time of need. You could not ask for a better friend. Last, but not least, Gary was a die hard Packer’s fan. He especially enjoyed it when they beat the Bears. Even though he had many health problems in the later stages of his life, he was a fighter and kept a positive outlook on life. He was a longtime member of the Byron Masonic Lodge # 274. He was predeceased by his parents. Survied by his many friends including special friends Terry Palmer, Dawn Fisher, Dawn and Julie Wetzel, and the Gene Miller family.
Funeral service will be 3:00 pm, Sunday, April 2, 2017 at the Farrell-Holland-Gale Funeral Home, 506 W. Merchant St. in Byron with the Rev. Randy Snider pastor of Cornerstone Church of Byron officiating. A Masonic Service will follow. Visitation will be prior to the service from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. A graveside service will be held 10:00 am, Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Byron with the Rev. Howard Barch of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Byron officiating. A memorial fund is established in Gary’s name for the Kidney Foundation.
Elizabeth Jean Brown - 585/7/1958 - 3/22/2017
LaMoille, Illinois – Elizabeth Jean “BJ” Brown, age 58, formerly of Oregon died suddenly, Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at her home in LaMoille. She was born May 7, 1958 in Rockford the daughter of James L. and Kathleen M. (Keel) Brown. She graduated from Oregon High School in 1976. BJ worked most of her life as a caregiver to others in the Home Health Care industry. She previously was a member of the Mt. Morris Ambulance and Fire departments. She was an avid animal lover and rescuer. She was predeceased by her patents, brother James L. Brown, nephew James A. Brown, Jr., and sister-in-law Colleen Brown. She is survived by her sister Pam (Bruce) True of Mt. Morris, 2 nephews; Jason (Renee) True, and Brandon (Brittani) True, 2 nieces; Dawn (Jeff) Todd and Tracey Brown (Mitch Munns), 2 great nephews; Devin and Keegin , 2 great nieces; Veronica and Gwendolyn. At Elizabeth’s request cremation rites have been accorded. No services are planned.
Michael James Gorman - 488/7/1968 - 3/16/2017
Michael James Gorman, age 48, died March 16, 2017. He was born on August 7, 1968 in Dixon, the son of James Dean and Mary Elaine (Fane) Gorman. He married Jodi Bruce on September 12, 1998. Mike began working with the Illinois Dept. of Corrections in 1987. He was currently the Superintendent and Tact team member at Dixon Correctional Center. Mike was a huge dog lover and avid Dallas Cowboys fan. He liked to work out and was a huge movie buff. His children remember him being a good cook and artist. Above all he loved his family and participating in the kids' activities. He is survived by his wife, Jodi; children Brandon and Ashlee; mother, Elaine (Larry) Berkenpas of Dixon; sister, Cindy Gorman of Dixon; father-in-law, Charles Lee Bruce; and dogs Coco and Elliott. He is preceded in death by his father and grandparents and his mother-in-law, Judy Bruce. Funeral services will be held at 11 AM on Saturday March 25, 2017 at the Farrell Holland Gale Funeral Home in Byron with Pastor Randy Snider of Cornerstone Family Church officiating. Visitation will be held from 3-7 PM on Friday March 24 at the funeral home. He will be buried with the ashes of his beloved dog Butkus in Dixon. In lieu of flowers, memorials are established for his children’s college fund.
Dean Lundgren - 703/7/1947 - 3/14/2017
Dean Lundgren, 70, longtime Byron resident, died Tuesday March 14, 2017 in Independence Village, Rockford. Born March 7, 1947 in DeKalb the son of Leo "Timppy" and Bertha Irene (Gleason) Lundgren. Married to Darlene Burns August 20, 1966 in DeKalb; she died October 20, 2006. Dean worked as a custodian and drove school bus for Byron Schools for over 20 years and was a member of Cornerstone Family Church of Byron. He enjoyed woodworking, fishing, travel and raising his family. Survived by his daughters: Deanna (Scott) Forst of Frisco, Texas and Denise (Jason) Beard of Machesney Park; grandchildren: Jeffrey, Bryan and Bailey Forst and Cory Beard; brothers: Danny (Betty) Lundgren of Oklahoma and David Lundgren of Stillman Valley; and mother-in-law, Agnes Burns of Iowa. Also predeceased by his parents. Funeral services will be held at 11:30am Saturday March 18 in Cornerstone Family Church, Byron preceded by a visitation beginning at 10:00am in the church. Pastor Randy Snider will officiate. Burial at a later date in Byron Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family.