Shirley M. Bigham — Benton, IL

Shirley M. Bigham, 79, of West City, IL, passed away Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at her daughter’s home surrounded by her family.

She was born in Benton, IL on September 27, 1937, the daughter of Jesse and Pauline (Taylor) Sullivan.

She was married to Jack Bigham, Sr. and he preceded her in death on March 17, 2009.

Mrs. Bigham is survived by  four children, Peggy Fitzpatrick, and husband Mike, of Benton, Donna Perkins, of West City, Jack Bigham, Jr., and wife Lydia, of Benton and Deon Bankston, of Marion, IL; two stepsons, Darrel Bigham, of Sesser, and Charles Daham, and wife Rita, of Bolivar, MO; grandchildren Michelle, Mike, Scott, Nathan, Triston, Brenah, Brad, Chad, Steven, DeAnna, Angela and Charles; two sisters, Suzanne Baker, of Benton, and Patsy Haney, of Aurora, IL; one brother, Larry Dale Sullivan, of Benton. She is also survived by several great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Bigham was preceded in death by her parents, husband, a son, Dennis Lee Keelin, a grandson, Greg, a son-in-law, Jim Perkins and by one brother, Bobby Sullivan.

Mrs. Bigham was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was a homemaker and a member of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 17 at Morton & Johnston Funeral Home, in Benton, with Pastor Rod Joplin officiating. Burial will be at Masonic & Oddfellows Cemetery, in Benton. Visitation will be after 12 noon on Saturday at the funeral home.

 

Tom McLeod — Sesser, IL

Tom McLeod, 68, passed away on Monday December 12, 2016 at 6:22 p.m. in Mercy Hospital in St Louis, MO.

He was born on January 27, 1948 to Edwin Thomas and Julia (Sutter) McLeod. He married Janiace (Muir) McLeod on August 23, 1975 and she survives of Sesser. He is survived by his children Tommy and Raylene McLeod, of Pekin, IL, Sherrie and Dave Roecker, of Marquette Heights, IL, and Dr. Bryan and Tanya McLeod, of Florence, SC.  He is also survived by five grandchildren and four sisters, Kay Rybolt of Peoria Heights, Theresa and Rick Kelch of Peoria, Mary Kelch of Peoria, and Stacy McLeod of Peoria.

He was a painter in an auto body shop.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two granddaughters.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday December 17, 2016 at 3 p.m. at the Thompsonville Church of God with Brother Brian Mixon officiating.  Visitation will be on Saturday December 17, 2016 from 2 p.m. until the time of the service at 3 p.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home to assist the family with funeral expenses.

For more information go to our website www.gilbertfuneralhomes.com

James “Jim” Broadway – Benton, IL

James “Jim”  L.  Broadway, 70, lifelong resident of Franklin County, passed away at 12:04 a.m., Wednesday, December 14, 2016, at his home surrounded by his family.

broadwayHe was born on October 3, 1946, to Lester and Eleanor (Hartsock) Broadway in  Benton. James was a self-employed truck driver for 46 years. He was a former police officer for many years in Christopher. He married Freda Crider and they were married for 28 years.

 He was a life member of the Eagles, a life member of OOIDA, Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association and the Sons of the American Legion Post 1961 Orient. He enjoyed fishing and hunting.

Jim was a loving husband, father and grandfather.

 Jim is survived by his loving spouse, Freda of Benton; three sons, Jimmy Broadway, Bill Crider and Brad Reynolds, Gary Crider and wife Becky; two daughters, Susan Broadway, Linda Sanders; two brothers, Ron Adams and wife Peggy of PA, Gene Dale Broadway of Benton, IL; two sisters, Beverly Irvin and husband Wayne of Orient, IL, Cathy Lamont and husband Joe of West Frankfort, IL; 10 grandchildren;  six great-grandchildren, many nieces & nephews; and Jims loving pet companion, Sophie.

 He was preceded in death by parents, Lester and Eleanor Broadway, three sons, Chester Broadway, Mike Crider and Chuck Garbo, four brothers, Carl Hartsock, Bill Hartsock,  Stacy Broadway,  Kenny Ray Broadway, four sisters, Linda Broadway Matheny Groves, Paula Broadway Vaughn, Cheryl Broadway Jones and Jan Hartsock.

Services had been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home.

 Visitation will be held Friday, December 16, 2016,  from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Pate Funeral Home,  301 S. Main St., Benton, IL.     Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 17, 2016, at 1:00 pm at the Pate Funeral Home, Benton, IL, with American Legion Post 280 Chaplain Paul Lingle and Brother Howard Johnson, officiating. Burial will take place in the Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made in Jim’s honor to Hospice of Southern Illinois or the American Legion Post 280 and will be accepted at the funeral home.

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

 

Mrs. Stella Kesler- 96 of Christopher

Stella P. Kesler, 96 of Christopher IL,mrs-kessler passed away peacefully in her sleep at the Herrin Hospital on December 7, 2016.

She was born July 21, 1920 in Christopher, the daughter of Walter and Elizabeth (Lemajtini) Petroff.  She married William “Bill” J. Kesler of West Frankfort and he preceded her in death on July 12, 1981.

She worked at Austin Periodicals in the office until the age of 82.  She was a member of the St Andrew’s Catholic Church in Christopher.

Survivors include a son William “Bill” Blaine and Janet Kesler of Christopher, one grandson Bradford Blaine and wife Angie Kesler of Columbia;  Three grandsons; Logan Blaine Kesler, Carter Bradford Kesler, and Gavin Blaine Kesler all of Columbia.  She loved them dearly and was so proud of them.

She is also survived by a sister-in-law Theresa Kesler, a good friend Karen Winget and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her precious granddaughter Beth Kesler, three sisters Anna Devienouski, Mildred Arbatch and an infant girl.

Private services will be held at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher. Burial will be in St Andrew’s Catholic Cemetery.


Barbara B. Huffine, 72-Macedonia

barbara-huffineBarbara B. Huffine, 72, of Macedonia, passed away at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 8, 2016, at her residence.

She was born on May 20, 1944, to Vern and Beth (Lewis) Billings in Mendota, IL. Barb worked in the mail room for Unocal Corp. She married Thomas Huffine in 1962 and he survives.

She was enjoyed quilting, knitting, crocheting, horseback riding and reading. She also enjoyed playing and working on the computer.

Barb was a loving wife, mother and grandmother.

Barbara is survived by her loving husband, Thomas Huffine, Sr., of Macedonia, IL; two sons, Thomas Huffine, Jr. and wife Holly, of Burlington, WI, Anthony R. Huffine of Rosco, IL; one daughter, Pamela Huffine of Macedonia, IL; one granddaughter, Amber Huffine and two sisters, Patricia Phillips of Champaign, IL and Jaquline Abbott of Champaign, IL.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Vern and Beth Billings.

Services have been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home.

Visitation will be held Saturday, December 10, 2016, from 2:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m., at Pate Funeral Home, 301 S. Main St., Benton, IL.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 10 2016, at 3:00 p.m. at Pate Funeral Home, Benton, IL.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army and will be accepted at the funeral home..

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

Wanda Dorris — Sesser, IL

Wanda Faye Dorris, 72, of Sesser, IL passed away on Friday December 9, 2016 at 5 a.m. at her home.

wandaShe was born in Sesser on April 19, 1944 to Noble and Mae (Braden) Merkel.  She married Jim Dorris on February 14, 1964.

She is survived by two sons Steve and Benita Dorris of Sesser and Brian Dorris of Sesser, grandchildren Taylor (Ryan) Eubanks, Drew Dorris, Blake Dorris, Trey Dorris, Brianna Dorris and one great grandchild Everett James Eubanks.

She is also survived by two sisters, Neva Sulser of Sesser and Nina (Ray) Chrisman of Nashville, TN.  She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, one daughter Jamie Phoenix, and two brothers George Merkel and Harold Merkel.

She was a retired clerk from the Sesser Post Office and was a member of the Sesser First Baptist Church.

Funeral service will be on Monday, December 12, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. at the Sesser First Baptist Church with Brother Bryant Harris officiating.  Visitation will be on Sunday December 11, 2016 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser.  Visitation will also be on Monday December 12, 2016 at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.  Interment will be in the Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Sesser-Valier Athletic Department and will be accepted at the funeral home.

For more information go to our website www.gilbertfuneralhomes.com

Mrs. Mikkell Sneddon, 74 of Buckner

Mikkell Jeanne Sneddon, 74 of Buckner IL, passed away at 1:30 P.M. on Wednesday December 7, 2016 at Helia Healthcare in Benton.
Mrs. Sneddon was born on March 21, 1942 at the UMWA hospital in West Frankfort, IL to Michael Brckovich and Hilda (Wicker) Brckovich. Mikkell married James L. Sneddon on September 16, 1994 and he survives of Buckner.
Mrs. Sneddon is also survived by a daughter Amy K. Sneddon of Buckner, a son Andrew Sneddon of Centralia, three grandsons Douglas Sneddon of Johnston City, Bryce and Misty Upton Sneddon of Benton, and Trevor Sneddon of Benton. Three great grandchildren Wyatt Upton, Cheyenne Upton, and Ava Sneddon all of Benton, and a special family member, Chuckie Newell of Buckner, and numerous cousins and friends.
Mikkell was preceded in death by her parents, beloved aunts Margaret Brckovich, Helen Neely, and Betty Sullivan. Mrs. Sneddon will be cremated and a memorial service will be held on Saturday December 17, 2016 at 2:00 P.M., at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher. Visitation will be on Saturday December 17, 2016 from 1:00 P.M. until 2:00 P.M. at the funeral home. Mikkell’s wish was to have her ashes scattered on Flatt Top Hills in Yampa, Colorado.

 

 

Sheldon Mike Gilbert, 72, Christopher

Sheldon Mike Gilbert, 72 of Christopher IL, passed away Monday December 5, 2016 at the Franklin Hospital Emergency Room. Mike was born February 17, 1944 in Carbondale, IL, to Sheldon Record and Mildred (Arburn) Gilbert.
After the death of his parents, at the age of nine years old, he was taken in and raised by his brother Joe and Helen (Cook) Gilbert as one of their children. He married Carolyn (Cook) Gilbert on August 10, 1968 in Detroit, MI and she survives of Christopher. He was a veteran serving in the United States Marine Corp. from 1962 until mike-gilbert1966.
He was a member of the First Christian Church in Christopher, American Legion of Christopher, Masonic Lodge, and a former member of the Christopher Lion’s Club. He was the former owner of Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher and Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser until his retirement in 2006.
Survivors include his wife Carolyn, his loving children Cheryl and Rob Seidel of Benton, Bob Gilbert of Christopher, and Stephen and Sarah Gilbert of Christopher. He is also survived by his grandchildren that he loved dearly Lindsey Seidel, Jacob Seidel, Bobbi Jo Gilbert, Kaili Gilbert, Bailey Gilbert, and Reagan Gilbert. He is also survived by two brothers and one sister, Terry and Sandy Gilbert of Marion, KY, Randy and Becky Gilbert of Mulkeytown and Jeanenne and Corky Mazur of Christopher; Brother-in-law Ronald and Toni Cook of Clinton Twp., MI; nieces and nephews Keith and Angie Gilbert, Brad and Valerie Gilbert, Kevin and Kim Gilbert, Britt and Sandy Gilbert, Rodney and Niki Gilbert, Chris Preuss, Courtney and Cheryl Mazur, Trevor and Niki Mazur, Donnie Cook, Gary Cook, Kevin Cook, Ronnie Cook, Carl and Eileen Wedel, Phil and Barb Wedel and George and Mary Wedel.
He was preceded in death by parents, S.R. and Mildred Gilbert, Joe and Helen Gilbert, grandson Connor Michael Gilbert, one sister Ann Wedel Jones, and one niece Jennifer Jo Preuss.
Funeral Service will be on Friday December 9, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher with Rev. Daniel Ison officiating. Following the funeral service, Mike’s wishes were to be cremated with burial at a later date. Visitation will be on Thursday December 8, 2016 from 4:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Mulkeytown Cemetery and will be accepted at the funeral home.
The Gilbert Family would like to thank everyone for their kindness during this difficult time. Special thanks go to the Christopher Police Department, Coello Rescue, and Abbott’s EMS.

Mr. Kevin Gray, 51 of Akin

Kevin Douglas Gray, age 51 of Akin IL, passed away Saturday, December 3, 2016 at his home..

Kevin was born on February 22, 1965 in Benton, the son of Max M. Gray and Laverne (Mundell) Gray.

Kevin was a BCHS graduate of the Class of 1983. He worked as a laborer with Productive Products in Akin, until its closure. Prior to working at PPI, he worked for the Dallas Morning News newspaper.

Kevin was an avid baseball enthusiast, and enjoyed NASCAR.

He is survived by a sister Crystal Heumann and husband Wilford “Bubby” Heumann of Benton; a brother Kyle Gray of Benton; two nephews Matt Davis and Travis Gray and a niece Alexa Heumann; an uncle Roger Mundell of Benton; and several cousins.

Kevin was preceded in death by his parents, and his paternal and maternal grandparents.

Graveside services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, December 10, 2016 at the Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery with Pastor Kurt Sanders officiating. There will be no visitation, family and friends are asked to meet at the cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Kevin, to the American Cancer Society.

The Leffer Funeral Home of Benton has been entrusted with the arrangements.

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

Cecil Ray Bennett – Benton, IL

BENTON — Cecil Ray Bennett, 73, passed away Sunday morning, Dec. 4, 2016, in SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Mount Vernon.

bennettHe was born Dec. 8, 1942, in Logan, the son of Fred and Lorene (Neunlist) Bennett.

He married Donna (Filkins) on June 10, 1963, and she survives.

Mr. Bennett was a veteran, serving in the Marines.

He was a retired coal miner.

Mr. Bennett is survived by his wife, Donna Bennett of Benton; three children, Rebecca Lynn Bennett Melvin of Benton, Lisa Anne Bennett Filson and husband, Todd Alan Filson, of Du Quoin, Steven Ray Bennett of Pickle City; 10 grandchildren, Meranda Tate and husband, Seth, Mirya Melvin, Angela Darst and husband, Travis, Dallas Filson and wife, Danielle, Alisha Cockrum and husband, Daniel, Alex Melvin, Jessica Stephens and husband, Drew, Jacob Melvin and wife, Halee, Courtney Burroughs and husband, Garrett, and Samantha Bennett; 15 great-grandchildren.

Mr. Bennett was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Richard; and two sisters, Darlene and Yvonne.

Funeral services will be at noon Wednesday, Dec. 7, in the Logan Church of God, with Pastor Earl Young officiating. Burial will be in the Logan Church of God Cemetery. Visitation will be after 10 a.m. Wednesday at the church.

Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton is in charge of arrangements.

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