Tammy R. Starr – Benton, IL

Lavergne Johnson – Chandler, IN

ROYALTON — Lavergne Johnson, 90, of Chandler, Indiana, passed away Monday morning, Oct. 24, 2016, in Woodmont Health Campus in Boonville, Indiana.

She was born April 28, 1926, in Royalton, the daughter of Clyde Thomas and Mary Elta (Butler) Mason.

She married Walter T. “Jack” Johnson on Dec. 6, 1944, and he preceded her in death on Feb. 3, 1993.

Mrs. Johnson was a member of Chandler Nazarene Church in Chandler, Indiana.

Mrs. Johnson is survived by her daughter, Tammy Boruff and husband, David, of Boonville, Indiana; son, Bruce Johnson and wife, Lisa, of Evansville, Indiana; four grandchildren, Joshua Winsett and wife, Solvé, Shelby Joest and husband, Paul Alicia Johnson and Lindsay Johnson; two stepgrandchildren, Willie Boruff (Samantha) and Lance Adams (Kayti); great-grandchildren, Emery Joest, Maddie and Bryson Adams; two other great-granchildren on the way; sister, Mattie Biggs of Royalton; sister-in-law, Karen Etherton; and many nieces, nephews and cousins that she adored.

Mrs. Johnson was preceded in death by her parents; husband; two sisters, Estelle Duncan and husband, William, and Lemadale Menghini and husband, Frank; a brother, Bob Mason; a brother-in-law, Bob Biggs; nephews, Bobby Ryan Mason and Bob Jones; and a niece, Loma Talley.

Celebration of Life services will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, in Chandler Nazarene Church in Chandler, Indiana, with the Revs. Dennis King and Michael Bell officiating. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Chandler Nazarene Church at 204 N. Fourth St.

Services will also be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, in Morton and Johnston Funeral Home in Benton, with the Rev. Donnie Colson officiating. Burial will follow in Miners Cemetery in Royalton. Local visitation will be from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Morton and Johnston Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Chandler Nazarene Church.

Patricia “Patti” Gilbreath – Benton, IL

BENTON — Patricia “Patti” Gilbreath, 62, passed away Tuesday afternoon Oct. 25, 2016, at her home.

pattiShe was born May 1, 1954, in Christopher, the daughter of Walter L. “Jerk” and Rudell “Short” (Smith) Newcomb.

She married Bill Gilbreath on May 1, 2004, and he survives.

Patti had worked at the State Bank of Whittington for many years.

She was a member of the Whittington Church.

Mrs. Gilbreath is survived by her husband, Bill Gilbreath of Benton; mother, Rudell “Short” Newcomb of Benton; daughter, Trisha Robertson and husband, Chad of Benton; son, Shawn Yadloski and wife, Shauna of Vienna; twin brother, Mike Newcomb and wife, Kathy, of West Frankfort; stepdaughter, Janet Fletcher and husband, Billy, of Sesser; six grandchildren, Carly Robertson, Kayla Robertson, Kamryn Robertson, Gracelyn Yadloski, Griffin Yadloski and BreeAnna Fletcher, and a grandson, Colton on the way; and mother-in-law, Doris Gilbreath of Benton.

Patti was preceded in death by her father.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 28, in Morton and Johnston Funeral Home in Benton, with the Rev. Mark Minor officiating. Burial will be in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Benton. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.

For those who wish, memorials in Patti’s memory may be made to the American Diabetes Association, and will be accepted at the funeral home at any time.

For more information or to sign the online guest register, visit www.mortonjohnstonfuneralhome.com.

Harvey R. Heard — Benton, Illinois

Harvey R. Heard, age 76 of Benton, passed away Sunday, October 23, 2016 at the Franklin Hospital in Benton.

A Graveside Service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at the Masonic & Odd Fellows Cemetery of Benton, with Pastor Zack Waldis officiating. There will be no public visitation. Family and friends should go directly to the cemetery.  Arrangements are with the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

Harvey Raymond Heard was born on December 29, 1939 in Macedonia, IL, the son of Leamon and Margurite (Barnfield) Heard.  He married the former Karen Lee Fitzpatrick on August 25, 1959, and she preceded him in death on July 26, 1996.

Harvey worked for 35 plus years with Arch Mineral Coal Company of Percy, IL.  He was a member of the U.M.W.A.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening and horses.

Mr. Heard is survived by two sons: Michael Heard and wife Becky of Shiloh, IL, Mark Heard and wife Nancy of Valier, IL; four grandchildren: Cheri Thompson and husband Mike of O’Fallon, IL, Ryan Heard of Arlington Heights, VA, Billy Heard and Emily Heard both of Valier, IL; two brothers: Bryce Heard and wife Sue of Ina, IL, Terry Heard of Macedonia, IL; a sister Linda Lineberry and husband Chuck of Sparta, IL; several nieces and nephews.

Harvey was preceded in death by his parents; wife Karen Heard; and a granddaughter Jennifer Heard.

To leave the family online condolences, or to share memories of Harvey, visit www.lpfuneralhome.com

Betty Jane Hutchins – Sidney, IL

Betty Jane Hutchins, 87, of Sidney, IL passed away Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 in Champaign County, IL.

She was born in Sesser, IL on Sept. 2, 1929, the daughter of Carrol and Jessie (Cypher) Bays.

She married Edgar E. Hutchins on March 27, 1953 and he preceded her in death on Nov. 6, 1999.

Mrs. Hutchins was a member of the First Christian Church in Lexington, Texas.

She is survived by three daughters, Jan Platte, of Westminster, CO, Pam Schoonover and husband Monty, of Sidney, IL and Martha Briggs and husband Joe, of Westfield, IL; six grandchildren; two grandchildren and nine grandchildren; a sister Donna Parkinson and husband Ray, of Mahomet, IL.

Mrs. Hutchins was preceded in death by her parents, husband, son-in-law Steve Platte and by two brothers Albert Bays and Denzil Bays.

Graveside services will be at 12 noon Monday October 24, 2016 at the Shiloh Cemetery in Whittington. There will be no visitation and those attending are asked to meet at the cemetery.

Harriett Nadine Hefner – Dix, IL

Harriett Nadine Hefner, 88, of Dix, IL formerly of Bonnie, died on Wednesday, October 19, 2016.

She was born in Whittington, IL on June 14, 1928, the daughter  of Phillip Newton Wilkerson, Sr. and Mary Frances (Sadler) Wilkerson.

She married James Hefner on January 11, 1946 and he preceded her in death on September 6, 1995.

Even though Nadine had very little formal education she managed to go back and obtain her GED and then to nursing school and graduate with honors. She worked as an LPN for many years at Good Samaritan Hospital. For many years she was a member of Palestine Baptist Church in “The Diggins’ near Benton, IL and later a member of Dahlgren Community Chapel.

Mrs. Hefner is survived by her son Jerome Hefner and wife Carolyn, of Texico; daughter Shirley Hawkins and husband Ronnie, of Mt. Vernon, IL; daughter-in-law Gayle Hefner, of Dahlgren; son Thomas Hefner and wife Cindy, of Bonnie; grandchildren Devon Simmons and husbnd Dave, of Woodlawn, James Ryan Hefner and wife Jenifer, of Kell, Charity Hawkins and fiance Kevin Baumann, of Mt. Vernon, Alexander Hawkins, of Mt. Venron, Gwendolyn Upton and husband Steve, of Mt. Vernon, Robin Hefner, of Texico, John Hefner, of Dahlgren, Paul Hefner and wife Dawn, of Wyoming, Triston Hawkins, of Mt. Vernon; great-grandchildren Kent Almaroad, of Salem and Brooklyn Upton, of Mt. Vernon; great-great grandchildren Wayden Hawkins and Malachi; one sister Carrie Mae Roberts, of Du Quoin.

Mrs. Hefner was preceded in death by her parents, husband, by a son Rev. James Hefner, two brothers Phillip Wilkerson, Jr and Ezra Wilkerson, four sisters Lois McLearin, Easter Laughland, Loretta Whitecotton and Patsy Robertson.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, October 23, 2016 at the Johnston Funeral Home in Ina with the Rev. Dean Severin and the Rev. Tony Phelps officiating. Burial will be in Kirk Cemetery in Ina. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

Ray Richardson – Marietta, GA

Ray Richardson, 88, of Marietta, GA passed away Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at Kennestone Hospital, in Marietta, GA.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 23, 2016 at Morton & Johnston Funeral Home, in Benton, with Pastor Larry Richardson and Pastor Rod Joplin officiating. Burial will be at Masonic & Oddfellows Cemetery in Benton. Visitation will be from 1:30 p.m. until the time of the service at 3 pm.

Morton & Johnston Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Bette Ronchetto Thomas – Christopher, IL

Bette Ronchetto Thomas, 93, of Christopher, IL passed away October 18, 2016 at Herrin Hospital.

She was born February 20, 1923 in Christopher, the daughter of Charles “Doc” Flatt and Nora (Braden) Flatt.

Bette married Michael Ronchetto and he preceded her in death, she later married David Thomas and he also preceded her in death.

Bette worked as a personal legal secretary. She was a member of Eastern Star and Christ’s View Christian Church, in Christopher.

She is survived by her children, Harry and Christine Thomas, of Buckner, IL and Valerie and Andy Wilson, of Christopher’ daughter-in-law Joan Thomas, of San Bernardino, CA. She is also survived by six grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, one son David “DL” Thomas, three sisters Emma Hastings, Lucille McCarty, Nora Mae Furlow, and three brothers Charles Flatt, Alfred “Alfy” Flatt, and Robert “Bob” Flatt

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, October 21, 2016 at Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher with Pastor Ron Henwood officiating. Visitation will on Friday from 1 p.m. until the time of the service at 2 p.m. Burial will be at Maple Hill Cemetery, in Sesser, IL.

Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher is in charge of arrangements. For more information visit


Eula K. Spain – Benton, IL

Eula K. Spain, 99, of Benton, passed away at 9:36 p.m., on October 17, 2016 at Helia Healthcare of Benton, IL.

spainShe was born on March 10, 1917 to William and Nellie (White) Kerley in Parrish, IL. Eula retired as a District Manager for Schnuck’s Bakery. On April 20, 1935 she married Ellis Spain and he preceded her in death on January 3, 1994.

She was a member of Order of The Eastern Star and the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary.

Eula is survived by her two granddaughters, Kelly Darnell and husband Scott of Thompsonville, IL, Vicki Minor and husband Jesse Sr., of Benton, IL; four great-grandsons, Lance Darnell and wife Emily of Thompsonville, IL, Ryan Darnell of Thompsonville, IL, Jeremy Minor of Benton, IL, Jesse Minor, Jr. of Carbondale, IL; brother-in-law, Joe Zid of Hot Springs Village, AR; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by parents, husband, Ellis Spain, a daughter, Nancy Kays, four brothers, Jewell Kerley, Ray Kerley, Eldon Kerley, Billy Kerley, five sister, Reathel Locklar, Rosalie Sadler, Jessie Pruess, Wanda Kerley, Ethel Mae Zid.

Arrangements under the direction of Pate Funeral Home, Benton, IL.

Graveside services will be held on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 1 pm at the Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery, Benton, IL, with Rev. Michael Kramer, officiating.

Online condolences can be given at www.patefh.com.

Opal J. Burkett — Benton, Illinois

Opal J. Burkett, age 88 of Benton, passed away at 8:22 p.m. Friday, October 14, 2016 at the Westside Rehabilitation and Care Center in West Frankfort.

A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, October 20, 2016 at the Jonesboro Cemetery, Jonesboro, Illinois, with Opal’s son David Daisy officiating.  There will be no visitation, family and friends are asked to go directly to the cemetery.

Arrangements are through the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

Mrs. Burkett was born on June 18, 1928 in Jonesboro, IL, the daughter of Tom Lynn and Mary (Theiss) Lynn.

Opal formerly worked as a housekeeper at the Franklin Hospital, and previous to that she was a seamstress at the Joan Claire Dress Factory in Benton.

She is survived by her son David J. Daisy and wife Tonya of Jerome, IL; a grandson David Andrew Daisy of Jerome, IL;  a sister Dorothy Penrod of Waterloo; and several nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Burkett was preceded in death by her parents; first husband David F. Daisy; second husband Kenneth Burkett; four brothers: Robert Lynn, Glenn Lynn, Ray Lynn and Paul Lynn; and a sister Viola Rendleman.

Memorial contributions may be made to her family to donate to the organization of their choice.

To leave the family online condolences or to share memories of Opal, visit www.lpfuneralhome.com