Norma Lucille Dame – Christopher, IL

Norma Lucille Dame, 65, of Christopher, IL, passed away at 2:35 p.m. July 26, 2016 at Centralia Manor Nursing Home.

dameShe was born February 23, 1951 in Olmsted, IL, the daughter of Henry Cecil Dame and Norma (Dick) Dame.

She was the treasurer for the Southern Illinois Earth Science Club.

She is survived by a son, Mike and Chandra Dame, of Sesser, IL; grandchildren Aiden Smialek and Nora Dame; brothers James David Dick, of Metropolis, IL and Christopher Hise, of Christopher; special friend Mary Hargett, of Benton, IL. She was preceded in death by her parents and one special friend Edward William Leber.

A celebration of life service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, 2016 at Gilbert Funeral Home, in Christopher, with Brother Jason Todd officiating. Visitation will be at the funeral home on Saturday, July 30 from 12 noon until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Relay for Life and will be accepted at the funeral home.

Gilbert Funeral in Christopher is in charge of arrangements. The family would like to express their appreciation to the staff at Centralia Manor for the excellent car provided to Norma Lucille.

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Lawrence A. (Larry) Lipe – Marion, IL

Marion, Illinois — Lawrence A. (Larry) Lipe formerly of Herrin, Illinois died at his home in Marion on July 26, 2016 at the age of 77.

lipeMr. Lipe was the former owner of Lawrence A. Lipe and Associates a civil engineering firm based in Benton, Illinois and a partner in JT Blankinship in Murphysboro, Illinois. He was responsible for the design and implementation of water distribution systems and waste water treatment facilities for a number of Cities, towns and Villages in in Southern Illinois including the Rend Lake Inner-City Water System and wastewater treatment and water distribution system for the City of Herrin. He served as the Chief Engineer for the Rend Lake Conservancy District and was the City Engineer of the City of Herrin for over 40 years.

Mr. Lipe was the son of Bernice and Lawrence Verdon Lipe of Chester, Illinois. He was born in West Frankfort, Illinois while his father was the superintendent of the Orient, Illinois elementary school. The family moved to Chester, Illinois where Mr. Lipe attended elementary and high school. He was twice inducted into the Chester High School Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the 1954-55 basketball team and a member of the 1954 football team.

He attended the University of Illinois where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity and received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1961. After graduating from the Illinois he served in the United States Army and was based in Fort Lewis, Washington where he was company commander and attained the rank of 1st Lieutenant. In 1964 he joined the engineering firm of Clark Dietz in Champaign, Illinois which had been awarded the contract to lead the design of Rend Lake Inner-City Water System.

In 1966, Mr. Lipe moved to the engineering firm of Vinyard-Givenrod which was acting as the local firm enlisted to oversee the construction of Rend Lake. He became of a partner in the engineering firm with Bud Givenrod forming the firm Givenrod Lipe Inc. and in 1973, he became managing partner of the Givenrod Lipe Inc. With the acquisition Jacobs Engineering of Huntsville, Alabama the firm eventually grew to include 75 employees with offices in Missouri and Alabama and work stretching as far as Louisiana. In 1979, the firm was restructured and Lawrence A. Lipe & Associates was formed.

Through his work for the Rend Lake Conservancy District and the design of it golf course, Mr. Lipe conceived the idea of the iconic water tower featuring the golf ball on tee. In addition to dozens private engineering and surveying projects completed during his career, Mr. Lipe’s engineering projects include work for the Southern Illinois municipalities including Herrin, Benton, West Frankfort, Christopher, Johnston City, Royalton, Hurst, Bush, West City, Dowell, Norris City, Blairsville, and Colp.

Mr. Lipe married Helen Sue Wittenborn of Chester, Illinois in 1961. He lived in Herrin, Illinois for over 30 years where he raised two children, Laura of Champaign, Illinois and Steve of Chicago. In 1987 he married Diana Gail Durham (Shew) of Benton, Illinois.

He is survived by his wife Diana of Marion; sister Janet Muzos of Lake Oswego Oregon, sister-in-law Jeanne of Somersville, Florida, former wife Sue Buescher of Carbondale, children Laura Anne (John) Vavrin and Steven Andrew (Susan) Lipe, step children Michael Kent (Judy) Durham of Macedonia, Illinois and Kenneth Wade (Angela) Durham of Thomasville, Georgia, his grandchildren Sarah Jane Vavrin, William Douglas Vavrin, Coco Reilly Lipe, and Scarlett Helen Lipe and his step-grandchildren Mary Grayson Durham and Catherine (Cassie) Caroline Durham.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Leonard Verdon Lipe (Jeanne), and his grandson, Jasper Lawrence Lipe.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, July 29, 2016 at the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton, with Pastor Michael Neubert officiating. Burial will be in the Elder S.M. Williams Cemetery near Ewing. Visitation will be at the Leffler Funeral Home from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday evening.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the United Leukodystrophy Foundation, and will be accepted at the funeral home.

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

Janice A. Fletcher – Akin, IL

Pete Rotolo – Benton, IL

Pete Rotolo, 86, of Benton, IL,  passed away Friday afternoon, July 22, 2016 in Benton.

He was born in Marion, IL on August 25, 1929, the son of Dominick & Jennie (Cuccia) Rotolo. He owned and operated Pete’s Sound Center in downtown Carterville for many years. He retired from LACO Electronics. He was a Gideon &  He was a Deacon of the 1st Baptist Church of Carterville. Mr. Rotolo was a very active member of  North Benton Baptist Church. He was a member of the Lion’s Club in Carterville and a very proud foster grandparent at Benton Elementary School. He married Bonnie Mae (Denham) in 1948 and she preceded him in death on 1969. He then married Lucille Rose in 1970 and she died in 1990. He married Lavina Bean in 1991 and she survives.

He is survived by his son David Rotolo and wife Doris of Benton, daughterNancy Skokan & husband Jim of San Antonio, TX; grandaughters Dee Rotolo and Rodney Robinson of Vergennes, Sandy Ridings and husband Lyndon, of Benton, Elizabeth Switek and husband Dan, of Austin, TX, Jennifer Almaguer and husband Roy, of San Antonio, TX; great-grandchildren Dustin Lynch, Kassie Lynch, Rylee Ridings, Jacob and Adam Switek, Andrew and Allyson Almaguer.

Mr. Rotolo was preceded in death by his parents, by four brothers and 3 sisters.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 27th at the Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton with Rev. Gary West officiating. Burial will be in the Masonic & Oddfellows Cemetery in Benton. Visitation will be after 1 p.m. on Wednesday at the funeral home.

In lieu of Flowers, memorials in Pete’s name may be made to the Benton-West City Ministerial Alliance-Food Pantry.

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

Jo Ann Joiner – Benton, IL

Jo Ann Joiner, 72, of Benton passed away Sunday morning, July 24, 2016 at the Herrin Hospital.

She was born in Gary, IN on October 7, 1943, the daughter of John & Mildred (Eldridge) Hall.

She was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of West City. She was a loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Sister & Sister-in-law. She was always doing something for Others. She worked long hours at many different jobs. She had a generous nature, and came from a large family and she was very proud of them, They always came first. She was a very caring individual.

Mrs Joiner is survived by three sons, Steve Brown and wife Linda of Brunswick, Maryland, Kevin Brown and wife Laura of Granite City, Jeffrey Brown and wife Lisa of Benton; grandchildren Natalie Brown and Bobby Stark, Kristoffer Brown, Jessica Brown, Dusten Brown and wife Michele, Kelsea Peacock and husband Cory, Jonathan Brown, Brandtlee Brown, Elissa Brown; great-grandchildren Katlyn Brown, Jailyn Brown, Avery Brown, Lily Pigg and Kevin, Aiden and Camden; sisters Susie Willis, of Benton, Ruth Zeboski, of Benton, and Linda Ward, of Benton, brother Don Hall and wife Mary of Richardson, TX; special brother-in-law Robert “Ike” Crnokrak of Benton; sister-in-law Sharon Hall, of Benton

Mrs. Joiner was preceded in death by her parents, husbands-Carl Brown, Dean Bowman & Ronald Joiner, by a daughter and son-in-law Karla and Alan Rost and by their children-Stephanie, Jason and Charlie Rost, by a grandson Joshua, by a sister Norma Crnokrak and by two Brothers Wesley Hall and Ronald Hall.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, July 29th at the Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton with Rev. Bert Mitchell officiating. Burial will be in the Masonic & Oddfellows Cemetery in Benton. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8:00 P.M. Thursday at the Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton.

In lieu of Flowers, memorials in Jo’s name may be made to the First Baptist Church of West City.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the Fifth Season Staff & to the caregivers at Herrin Hospital for the excellent care given to Jo.

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

Frank M. Senka – Christopher, IL

Frank M. Senka, 75, of Christopher, IL, passed away July 22, 2016 at his home.

Frank was born September 6, 1940 in Chicago, IL the son of Robert Senka and Regina (Krol) Senka.

Frank was a school teacher. He was a member of St. Andrews Catholic Church, in Christopher.

He is survived by cousins Ronald Pickett, of Burbank, IL, Edward Pickett, of Crestwood, IL, Lee Pickettt, of Worth, IL and Chad Pickett, of Romeoville, IL. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers Daniel and Robert Senka.

Frank’s wishes were to be cremated with no services. Burial will be in St Andrews Catholic Cemetery.

Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.For more information go to our website

Lillie V. Prather – Christopher, IL

Lillie V. Prather, 83, of Christopher, IL, passed away July 21, 2016 at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

She was born August 28, 1932 in Desoto, IL, the daughter of Sarah Lucille (Hood) Dickerson.

Lillie married James Prather and he survives of Christopher.

She is survived by her children, Tamela and Gary Cornaglia of Christopher, Kimberly and James Hanks of Harrisburg and Robin and Larry Smith of Christopher; grandchildren: Robbie (Laura) Prather, Carrie (Kip) Davis, Joshua (Sarah) Smith, Kaley Smith, Zachary Hanks, Brian (April) Hanks, Addie Hanks; great-grandchildren: Riley Davis, Zane Davis, Jett Davis, Lex Davis, Christopher Prather, Caleb Prather.

She was a devoted wife and mother, and she also loved working part-time as a retail clerk at Lot-O-Savings in Christopher. Lillie was a member of Eastern Star.

She was preceded in death by her mother, one son James Walter Prather Jr., and two sisters Betty Pinkston and Helen Million.

A memorial service will be held Sunday July 24, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher, with Brother Mark Miller officiating. Visitation will be on Sunday July 24, 2016 from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Lillie’s nephew Nathan Barnes to ease the burden of his medical expenses.

Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher is in charge of arrangements. For more information go to our website

John L. Gass – Mt. Vernon, IL

Richard H. Holt – Christopher, IL

Richard H. Holt, 65, of Christopher, IL, formerly of Bloomington, IL, passed away Wednesday, July 20th following a courageous 9-month battle with cancer.

holtRick was born August 3, 1950, in Centralia, IL, to Richard “Tex” Holt and Mary Holt.  He graduated from Centralia High School in 1968.  He completed a tour of duty with the US Army in Vietnam from 1970-1971. Upon his return, he attended SIU Carbondale and spent several years teaching special education in Carbondale and Schaumburg. Rick left teaching  in 1979 to open his business, Functional Furniture, in Bloomington, where he was able to pursue his passion as a master carpenter and cabinet maker.

He moved his business to Christopher in 2004, and married Diane Holt on February 14, 2007.  Since that time, he has added prize-winning jelly maker (Ma Holt) to his resume, and has been actively involved in the Lion’s Club of Christopher.  He was also actively involved in the Young Musicians Project based in Centralia, without his tireless efforts, support, and fundraising efforts, including the “Bathhouse Band Reunion Jam” from 2011-2012 and “Missing the Sixties” from 2014-2016, the Young Musicians Project would not be as successful as it is.

Rick was a proud member of the Disabled American Veterans Franklin County Chapter 51, whose single purpose was empowering disabled Veterans and their families to lead a high-quality of lives with respect and dignity. Rick gave tirelessly of himself during his time with the DAV in his service to our ill and injured heroes, which he was one of. Rick spent hours upon hours raising money to help those in need and visiting our Veterans in the hospital and in long-term care. He held several titles during his tenure with the organization to include most recently as the Adjutant/Treasurer. A title he held for several years as he was the glue that held the chapter together. The most important title he held was mentor and friend to all those he encountered. His patriotic sense of compassion was exhibited daily and his leadership and friendship will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

Rick was a loving husband, father, brother, and uncle.  He never met a stranger, and will be missed by all who knew him and loved him.

He is survived by his wife of nine years, Diana Lambert Holt; daughters Elizabeth (Brian) Holt-Schwab of Chicago, and Ericka (Craig) Louer of St. Louis; step-sons Beau (Jamie) Forbes of Oak park, and J.J. Forbes of Royalton; one grandson Ronan Alexander Forbes, brothers John (Pam) Holt of Carbondale, and Jim Holt of Centralia; nephews & nieces Philip (Jillian) Holt of Seattle, WA, Dion (Marianne) Holt-Phoenix of Gig Harbor, Wa, Vanessa Holt-Phoenix of Murphysboro, Cassy & Matt Gregge of Herrin, Colleen Price of Carterville, Nick Dodson of Arizona.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and one brother Charles “Chuck” Holt.

Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher is handling the arrangements.

The family would like to thank the entire staff at Carbondale Memorial Hospital for their exceptional care over the past month, and his team at Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis.  Rick’s wishes were to be cremated, a celebration of life for all who knew and loved him will be held at a future date.  Memorials can be made in his name to the Disabled American Veterans Charity (DAV) and will be accepted at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher.

And as Rick would say, “Once an Orphan, always an Orphan”

For more information go to our website .

Robert “Howdy” Mandrell – West Frankfort, IL