Obituary – James Clifford Carpenter – Christopher, IL

James Clifford Carpenter, 76, of Christopher, IL passed away January 2, 2016 at his home.

He was born July 19, 1939 in Christopher, the son of Clifford Carpenter and Lena (Laws) Carpenter.

James was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and a member of the Christopher American Legion and the Italian Club, in Coello, IL.

He is survived by his children Laurie Greene (Casey), Nebraska, step-children Tina and David, of Florida and Anthony, of Desoto, IL; grandchildren Allison Fels and (Danny),Halley Zulawski (Andrew), Caitlan Greene, Carissa Greene, great-grandchildren Danny Jr. and Kylee; brothers and sisters Dimple and Patrick Lynch, Christopher, Jane & Dean Phillips-Pinckneyville IL, Laverne Wilmore, Joliet, IL, Marion and Lou Carpenter, Port Bolover TX, Johnny amd Fay Key Christopher, and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by parents, brother LeRoy Carpenter, sisters Carolyn Dulitus, Loretta Hester, Ruby Vaughn and infant sisters Gladys and Alberta Carpenter.

Graveside funeral services will be held Wednesday Jan. 6, 2016 at 1 p.m. at Mulkeytown Cemetery, in Mulkeytown, IL. Friends and family are asked to meet at the cemetery.

Gilbert Funeral Home, in Christopher, is in charge of arrangements.

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Obituary – Gerald Laverne Arview – West Frankfort, IL

WEST FRANKFORT — Gerald Laverne Arview, 91, passed away peacefully in his sleep Wednesday morning, Dec. 30, 2015, in Herrin Hospital.

He was born July 23, 1924, in West Frankfort, the son of John and Doris (McGuire) Arview.

Mr. Arview was a World War II Navy Veteran.

He is survived by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Mr. Arview was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Karleen Anderson and Barbara Nichols; and a brother, Johnnie Arview Jr.

Memorial services for Mr. Arview will be in the Spring.

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

Obituary – James Allyn Drew – Ewing, IL

James Allyn Drew, age 66, of Ewing, passed away at 8:38 a.m. Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at the St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Regional Health Center in Mt. Vernon, IL.

James A. Drew media picFuneral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, January 1, 2016 at the Leffler Funeral Home, with Rev. Dale Burzynski officiating. Military rites will be conducted at the conclusion of the funeral service at the funeral home by the Benton American Legion Post #280, V.F.W. Post #2671 and the Army National Guard. Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Friday at the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

James was born on June 9, 1949 to Lester and Goldie (Hall) Drew of Benton.

He was of the Baptist faith having formerly been a member of Flatt’s Baptist Church until its closing.

James served his country in the U.S. Army from March 17, 1969 to March 8, 1971 during the Viet Nam War.

He formerly worked for BNSF Railroad, was a rural mail carrier, and also worked for Ewing-Northern Township.

He loved fishing, hunting, car races and working on cars. Most of all he enjoyed spending time with his family. He never met a stranger and was always there to help when called upon.

James is survived by his wife Joanne (Hendricks) Drew of Ewing, IL; his children: Robert Drew and wife Heather of Benton, IL, James Drew of McLeansboro, IL, James D. Lenard and wife Judy of Benton, IL, Rick Lenard and wife Kelly of Johnston City, IL, Vicky Shageto and husband Victor of Bonnie, IL, Kim Phelps and husband Eric of West City, IL; a sister Mary Ellen Spann and husband Jerry of Little Rock, AR; two brothers Dewayne Drew and wife Renne’ of Waltonville, IL, Rodger Drew and wife Sharon of Ina, IL; seventeen grandchildren; nineteen great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews; and was loved by all.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother Donald Johns.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, and will be accepted at the funeral home.

To leave online condolences to the family or to share memories of James, visit

Obituary – Palma Vercellino Ronchetto – formerly of Valier, IL

Palma Vercellino Ronchetto, at the age of 92, passed away December 27, 2015 peacefully at her home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

She is survived by her daughter, Julie (Dolly) Vercellino Recht, Grandchildren Ronnie Lee Phillips, Eric Recht, Christopher and wife Carmen Recht, Pamela and husband Mark Colon; Great Grandchildren Sara Trost, Robert Phillips, Victoria Recht, Marina Recht, Savannah Harley Colon, Enzo Colon and Great Great Grandchildren Alexandria Trost and Sophia Trost. 

Mom's 90th Birthday Palma was preceded in death by her husband of 44 years, Barnie Vercellino in 1983, daughter, Dianne Phillips Sapia in 2003, and grandson, Bryan Wayne Phillips who passed away in October 2015.  Bryan’s wife Linda Phillips survives.

Preceding her in death, also, was husband, Domenick Ronchetto, Sr. whom she married in 1997.  She loved and appreciated her surviving stepson and daughter-in-law Joe Robert and Sue Ronchetto and stepson, Domenick Ronchetto, Jr. and all of their children.

Palma was born March 6, 1923 in Mulkeytown, Illinois and lived in Valier.  In 1972 she and Barnie built a home in Fort Lauderdale.  In time her daughter’s and grandchildren would all live near her there, however, she called Valier home.  She was a respected member of the Valier First Baptist Church and the Oceanside Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale.  Her faith was a beacon to us all. Palma Vercellino Ronchetto will always be remembered as a Matriarch.

Funeral Service will be on Saturday January 2, 2015 at 1:00 P.M. at the Valier First Baptist Church in Valier with Rev. Harl Ray Lewis Officiating.   Visitation will be on Saturday January 2, 2015 from 11:00 A.M. until the time of the service at 1:00 P.M. at the church.  Burial will follow at Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser, Illinois.

Bryan Wayne Phillips’ passing will be honored during the services.

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Obituary – Damien A. Edwards – Christopher, IL

Christopher, IL

Damien A. Edwards, age 35, of Christopher, IL died Sunday, December 20, 2015 at his home.

Damien EdwardsCremation services will be accorded. A Memorial Celebration of Life Service will be held at a future date.

Arrangements are through the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

Damien Arwel Edwards, was born on March 3, 1980 in Rotherham South Yorkshire, England, the son of Arwel Edwards and June (Leigh) Edwards. He married Callie Huffine on October 10, 2010 and she survives.

Until his health prevented him from working, Damien was employed with the Coello Fire Department. He also formerly worked as an electrical engineer, worked for Auto Credit of Southern Illinois, and AllTel Communications.

While growing up in England, he attended the Church of England.

Surviving is his wife Callie Edwards of Thompsonville; his two sons: Alexander Lee Edwards and Liam Anderson Edwards, both of Thompsonville; his parents: Arwel and June Edwards of the United Kingdom; a brother Kevin Charlesworth of the United Kingdom; a sister: Sharon Charlesworth Squires of the United Kingdom; his in-laws: William and Mary Huffine of Thompsonville; and several nieces and nephews.

To leave online condolences to the family, or to share memories of Damien, visit

Obituary – Charles Jens Clark – West Frankfort, IL

West Frankfort, IL — Charles Jens Clark, age 91, of West Frankfort, passed away at 4:46 a.m. Christmas Day at his home with his family and friends at his bedside.

Charles Clark media picA Memorial Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, January 16, 2016 at the Thompsonville Seventh Day Adventist Church with Pastor John Lomacang officiating. Burial with military rites are to follow.

Arrangements are with the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

Mr. Clark was born on May 10, 1924 in Erina, NE, the son of Charles Egbert Clark and Hansina (Mortensen) Clark. He married the former Frances Muriel Williams of rural Mansfield, MO on December 7, 1947, together they shared 68 years of marriage.

Charlie was a dairy farmer, rancher and carpenter.  He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II in the Medical Corps. Charlie volunteered at 3 Angels Broadcasting for over 15 years.

He was a faithful Christian and member of the Thompsonville Seventh Day Adventist Church. He lived believing in the nearness of the second coming of the Lord, and died believing he will sleep in the grave until the sound of the trumpet when Jesus Christ will come and wake the dead in Christ.

Charlie enjoyed playing and working with his children and spending time with his cattle, driving tractors and watching his corn grow. His work was his pleasure.

He is survived by his wife Frances Clark of West Frankfort, his ten children: Ross Clark and wife Debbie of Mansfield, MO, Rodney Clark and wife Cynthia of Bartlett, NE, Pam Turner and husband David of Thompsonville, Barbara Clark-Laird of Mansfield, MO, Tammy Larson and husband Clarence of Thompsonville, Melissa Martin and husband Steve of Higdon, AL, David Clark of Fayetteville, AR, Kim Anderson and husband Ken of Ooltewah, TN, Jonathan Clark of Bangalore, India, Jody Immanuel and husband Thomas of Bangalore, India; twenty grandchildren: Kelley Fowler, Andy Clark, Brent Coffman, Tracy Collins, Nathan Clark, Amanda Bauler, Jefferson Clark, Jason Clark, Sunshine Story, Crystal Arriola, Azure Guzman, Summer Boyd, Lucas Boyd, Keith Downs, Matthew Downs, Melanie Pierce, Monica Dunne, Jacob Martin, Abigail Martin, Jennifer Immanuel; thirty great-grandchildren; and numerous foster children.

Charlie was preceded in death by his parents; a sister Dorothy Clark; and two grandsons: Eric Cordell Downs and John Damon Clark.

Memorial contributions may be made to 3ABN P.O. Box 220 West Frankfort, IL 62896.

To leave online condolences to the family, or to share memories of Charlie, visit

Obituary – Larry D. Page – Benton, IL

BENTON — Larry D. Page, 78, passed away Sunday evening, Dec. 27, 2015, in Benton.

Larry was born July 10, 1937, in Ewing, the son of Colvar “Bill” and Lola (Cole) Page.

He married Mary Ann (Taylor) on Aug. 10, 1957, at Nazarene Church in Benton, and she survives.

Mr. Page retired as water superintendent for the city of Benton. He loved going to his grandkids’ ballgames and activities and was an avid Cardinals Fan. He attended Whittington Church.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Ann Page of Benton; four children, Julie and Bill Sentel of Macedonia, Scott and Lisa Page and Jill and Pat Sanders, all of Benton, and Jennifer Page of Raleigh, North Carolina; grandchildren, Marcie and Adam Clark of Macedonia, Sarah and Donnie Millenbine of Dahlgren, Alison and Jason Woodrow of Springerton, Heather and Ryan Stock of Marion, Ashley Page of Valmeyer and Carston Sanders of Benton; and great-grandchildren, Calynn, Morgan and Camryn Clark, Mallorie and Trevor Millenbine, Grace, Annabell, Caroline, John and Elizabeth Woodrow and Connor Dutton.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Robert Leon “Leroy” Page.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, in Whittington Church with the Rev. Mark Minor and the Rev. Greg Shelton officiating. Burial will be in Elder S.M. Williams Cemetery in Ewing. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, at Morton and Johnston Funeral Home in Benton and 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Whittington Church and will be accepted at the funeral home at any time.

For more information or to sign the online guest register, visit

Obituary – Kenny Munday – Benton, IL

Benton, IL

Kenny Munday, age 78, of Benton, passed away at 3:50 p.m. Christmas Day.

Private family services will be held.

Kenny was born on October 11, 1937 in Benton the son of Morgan C. Munday and Iva (Hays) Munday. He married the former Sandy Henley on June 5, 1964, and together they shared 51 years in marriage.

Kenny worked as an auto body mechanic with BM Motors in Benton. He was a member of the First Christian Church of Benton.

Kenny is survived by his wife Sandy Munday of Benton; two daughters: Tara Diebling of Union, MO, Makala Munday of Benton; two grandsons: Matthew Morgan Sabal and Hudson Harley Sabal; a brother Tom Munday and wife Lonny of Orlando, FL; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law Tom and Connie Henley of Thompsonville.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

To leave online condolences to the family, or to share memories of Kenny, visit

Benton, IL

Nola Maxine Walker, age 88, of Benton, passed away at 8:35 p.m. Christmas Day at the Good Samaritan Regional Health Center in Mt. Vernon, IL.

A memorial service with burial will be at a future date.

Arrangements are through the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

Nola Maxine Walker was born on March 26, 1927 in Benton, the daughter of Everett Rea and Nellie (Miller) Rea.   She was first married to Warren Lewis and he preceded her in death. She later married William J. Walker and he preceded her in death on July 22, 2015.

Mrs. Walker was a retired auditor having last worked with Gold Blatts Department Store.

She was a member of the Logan Street Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon. Before her health failed her, she enjoyed singing with the church choir at Logan Street Baptist Church.

She was most happy when spending time with her family. She also enjoyed dancing, and watching Dancing With The Stars and doing crossword puzzles.

Nola Maxine Walker is survived by her daughter Dina Lewis of St. Louis, MO; a step-daughter Patricia A. Walker and husband Ralph Jocke of Medina, Ohio; a daughter-in-law Mary Lewis of Richcrest, CA; seven grandchildren; twenty-four great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and a brother Ivan Cremeens of Mesa, AZ.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husbands; son: Ivan Lewis; and two infant daughter Jayma and Cynthia.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Benton Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry.

To leave online condolences to the family, or to share memories of Nola Maxine Walker, visit

Joyce Elaine Gunter-Sesser, IL

Joyce Elaine Gunter of Sesser, IL passed away December 25, 2015.  Joyce was born July 27, 1950 in Christopher, Illinois the daughter of Andrew Earl and Clara Aline (Crocker) Brown.  Joyce was united in marriage to Hershel Lee Gunter the son of Albert Murphy and Leona (VanHoye) Gunter on June 19, 1971 at the Methodist Chruch in Sesser.

joyce 2She graduated from Sesser-Valier Class of 1968.  She worked as General Assistance Job Project Coordinator for Goode Township Supervisor from April 1, 1986 to June 30, 2010 and worked part-time for the City of Sesser as Maple Hill Cemetery Secretary from January 4, 1999 to April 30, 2014 when she retired.  She also worked at Decca Records in Pinckneyville before her marriage and shortly after her marriage, and she also worked at Sesser Garment Factory during mine layoffs.

She was community minded and actively involved for many years in Sesser junior Woman’s Club, Sesser Junior Baseball-Softball Youth Organization, Sesser Opera House Restoration, Sesser Area Chamber of Commerce, Sesser American Legion Auxiliary, Southern Illinois Arthritis Foundation, Goode-Barren Historical-Genealogical Society, her mother and she cataloged the Maple Hill Cemetery and put in book form in 1996 which was sold by the historical society.

Joyce leaves a long legacy of a large family that she hope they will be forever grateful for having her in their lives, survivors include her three sons and their families, Brian Lee Gunter and his wife Angela Lynn (Murphy) of Sesser, Brent Andrew Murphy Gunter and his wife Melissa Ann (Donoho) of Sesser, Brice Taylor Gunter and his wife Karla Marie (Nipper) of Ewing, Illinois.  She has nine grandchildren:  Lukas Brian Gunter, Elijah “Eli” Eugene Gunter, Garrett Lee Gunter, Gabe Edward Gunter, and Annabelle “Belle” Lynn Gunter children of Brian and Angie, Brayden Andrew Murphy Gunter and Cody Raymond J. Gunter children of Brent and Melissa, Bryla Marie Gunter and Stella Elaine Gunter children of Brice and Karla.

Her extended family including her sisters and brother and their families:  Ruth Ann Brown Hicks of Sesser, Glenna Jean Brown and her husband Ronald Ray Roberson of Sesser, David Earl and his wife Sharon Kay (Kern) Brown of Creston, IL.

Nieces and nephews:  William “Billy” Gale Hicks Sesser, Vicki Lynn (Hicks) and her husband Bruce Alan Lewis of Valier, Alan Dale and his wife Kelley Leann (Loucks) Hicks of Sesser, Patrisha “Tish” Ann (Hicks) and her husband Robert “Bob” Edward Pinegar of Dixon, IL, Roger Earl and Wife Sandra Dianne (Pitchford) Hicks of Sesser,Richard Ray Roberson of Effingham, IL, Randall Rex Roberson Sesser, Edward Dean Rithie of Owasso, Oklahoma, Crystal Gail (Brown) and her husband David Scott Dunseth of Stillman Valley, IL, Dustin Earl and wife Noelle Shelby (Shultz) Brown of Creston, IL.

Special great nephews and nieces:  Ryan Gale Hicks Valier, Christin Michelle Hicks of Sesser, Jordan Lee Hicks of Sesser, William Andrew “Andy” and wife Anna Kathaleen “Katie” (House) Lewis of Benton, Wade Alan Lewis of Benton, Alyn Beth (Hicks) and husband Timothy James Newbury of Sesser, Tiffany Chanelle (Hicks) and husband William Eris Powell of Sesser, Sarah Elizabeth (Hicks) Alexander of Sesser, Mahaylah Claire (Hicks) and husband Timothy Lee Mabrey of Fort Leonardwood, MO, Robert Ethan Hicks, Dustin Lee Hicks, Alyana Brooke Hicks all of Sesser, Michael Edward and Jeanna Ann Louise Pinegar both of Dixon, IL, Timothy John Hicks of Sesser and fiancé Kelsey Whitecotton of Buckner, and Grace Abigail (Hicks) and husband Michael Phelps of Valier, Jonathon Michael Ritchie of Creston, IL, Owen Nathanial and Amelia Paige Dunseth both of Stillman Valley, IL, Collin Andrew Brown, Lauren Elizabeth Brown of Creston, IL.

Special Great Great Nephews and Nieces:  Halle Nicole Meiner and Waylon Lee Hicks both of Benton, Cadean Ryan Hicks of Sesser, Skyler Lynn Lewis of Benton, Layla Belle Newbury, and Alba James Newbury of Sesser, London Rhyan Powell of Sesser, Talan Andrew Alexander of Sesser, Brooklyn Grace Nevaeh and Ashlee Nicole Hicks both of Sesser, Torie Aline Pinegar of Dixon, IL, Jacob “Jake” Aaron Hicks, Joshua “josh” Thomas Hicks and Joseph ‘Joey” Robert Hicks, Gauge Ray Phillips, Karlie Mae Phillips and Della Grace Phillips all of Sesser, Noa Grace Phelps of Valier.

Gunter Brother-in-laws and Sister-in-laws:  Donald Ray and wife Sharlyn Kay (Offerman) Gunter of Valier, Allen Dakle and wife Diane (Rector,Tanner) Gunter of Orient, Brenda Lou Gunter of Christopher, Garry Wayne and wife Dori Sue (Cowsert) Gunter of Zeigler, Dennis James and wife Lori Dawn (Bearden) Gunter of Christopher, Linda Sue (Gunter) and husband Samuel ‘Sam” Wink of Mulkeytown.

Gunter Nieces and Nephews:  Heather Kay (Gunter) and husband Joshua Lee Raymond and daughter Piper Ann of Gobles, MI, Sherri Dawn Gunter and daughter Shayna Ranae Sloan of Christopher, Jason Ray and wife Shawna Diane (Wingo) Gunter and children Gavin Ray and Jaslyn Nicole of Sesser, Cory Don Gunter of Evansville, IN and children Jordan Scott and Joshua Ray Gunter of Valier, Jaxson Michael Gunter of Evansville, IN, Marty Allen and wife Vicki Leigh (Garmane) Gunter of Christopher and daughter Michelle Leigh (Gunter) and husband Craig Allen Helma and daughter Jazmine Nichole of Milnot, North Dakota, Wendy Sue (Gunter) Anderson and children Alex Lee and Mollie Sue Anderson of West Frankfort, Kyle Wayne and wife Cara Lynn (Frey) Gunter and son Ryan Gunter of Belleville, IL, Kara Charlene Gunter and daughter’s Valerie Marie Gunter and Ariel Michelle Gunter of Belleville, Samuel Blake and wife Misty Kay (Baker) Wink of Christopher, and daughter Makenne Faye Newell, Nekko Lee Wink and fience Mikala Chamness and son Jaden Murphy Kellerman of DuQuoin.

Joyce was preceded in death by husband: Hershel Lee Gunter died November 18, 2008, her father Andrew Earl Brown, paternal grandparents Asia Nat and Lettie Belle (Miller) Brown, Maternal grandparents Raymond J. and Mary Della (McBride) Crocker, father and mother –in-Law Albert Murphy and Leona (Van Hoye) Gunter, brother and sister in law Francis Albert and Judith “Judy” Ann (Pomroy) Gunter and their son Keith Allen Gunter.

Visitation will be on Tuesday December 29, 2015 from 5;00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. at the Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser.  Funeral Service will be on Wednesday December 30, 2015 at 11;00 A.M. at the funeral home with burial to follow at the Maple Hill Cemetery.  Joyce’s Celebration of Life will be officiated by the Former Mayor of the City of Sesser Ned Mitchell and Brother Larry Cook of the Bear Point Free Will Baptist Church.

The Gunter Family requests that you would consider a donation to The Sesser Valier Early Intervention Program (Make cchecks payable to S-V Community Unit 196) in Lieu of flowers in memory of their mother Joyce, envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

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