Audrey Meracle – Benton

Audrey Jo Meracle, age 61, of Benton; passed away at 1:58 p.m. Friday, January 26, 2018 at SSM Good Samaritan Hospital of Mt. Vernon.

Memorial Celebration of Life Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, February 2, 2018 at the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

Audrey was born on September 6, 1956 in Eldorado, IL, the daughter of Dwight Kenneth Erwin and Mildred Elizabeth (Mangrum) Erwin.

She formerly worked as a cleaning lady.

Audrey loved her cats, and she enjoyed playing cards.

She is survived by four sisters: Deloris M. Mayberry and husband Jim of Flora, IL, Joyce Arlene Bennett and husband Daniel of Tennessee, Brend Kay Beasley of Depew, OK, Phyllis Ann Erwin of Benton, IL; four brothers: Kenneth L. Erwin of Benton, IL, Ronald C. Erwin of Benton, IL, Curtis G. Erwin and wife Cathy of Cape Girardeau, MO, Douglas Erwin and wife Tammy of Akin, IL; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and a sister Sharon B. Webb.

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

Avis Frailey Shaw – Moline and formerly of Macedonia

Avis Frailey Shaw, 104, of Moline, IL passed away Sunday, January 28, 2018.

She was born in rural Macedonia, IL on July 14, 1913, the daughter of Jess & Fedora (Corn) Marquis. She married Jim Frailey October 11, 1930 and he passed away on March 4, 1966. Two Children were born to this union Anna Fae Schwabe and Nina Mae Baer. On June 13, 1970 she married Wayne Shaw and he passed away on May 9, 1992.
She was preceded in death by her Parents, siblings: Hazel Auten, Dana Darnell, Guy Marquis, Gene Marquis, Virginia Jones, Ruth Puckett  and David Marquis, by a daughter, Nina Baer and a Great-Grandson.  Matt Schwabe.

She is survived by her daughter, Anna Fae Schwabe and husband Jack of Moline; two grandsons, Keith and wife Shirley Schwabe of Pensacola, FL,  Greg and wife Cathy Schwabe of Moline; three great-grandchildren, Josh Schwabe of St. Petersburg, FL, Brittany & Mike Williams of Moline
Marissa & Taylor Rone of Olathe, KS

She is also survived by a sister-in-law: Evelyn Marquis, two step children; Ellen Phillip, David Shaw and wife Mary; six Step-grandchildren, six step-great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews, lifelong friends Jean Payne Smith and family.

Funeral services wil be held at 11:00 A.M. Friday, February 2nd at the Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton. Burial will be in the Brady Cemetery in Akin. Visitation will be after 10:30 A.M. Friday at the funeral home.

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


Michael Galayda – West Frankfort

Michael “Mike” Galayda, 96, of West Frankfort passed away Monday morning, January 29, 2018.

He was born in Buckner, IL on September 19, 1921, the son of Stephen & Anna Galayda.

He was retired as a meat inspector with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He was a Veteran serving in the Coast Guard.

Mr. Galayda is survived by his, wife Joann Galayda of West Frankfort, five daughters; Diane (Walt) Arms, Karen (Bob) Hines, Earla Stuthers, Janet Leach, and Carol (Denny) Bush  and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews

He is also survived by two brothers, Eli (Rose) Galayda and Steve Galayda, and a sister Elizabeth Adkins

Mr. Galayda was preceded in death by his Parents, by his 1st wife, Susie Galayda, two sons, Michael and Mike and by an infant Daughter.

Fuenral services will be at 1:00 P.M. Thursday, February 1st at the Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton with Denny Bush officiating. Burial with Military Rites conducted by the Benton American Legion, VFW. and the National Guard Honor Squad, will be in the Masonic & Oddfellows Cemetery in Benton. Visitation will be after 11:00 A.M. on Thursday at the funeral home.

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

Linda Kraft – Benton

It is with great sadness that the family of Linda Ann (Haney) Kraft announce her passing. She fought a long hard battle with cancer and passed away peacefully at home on Monday, January 22, 2018.

Linda was born May 25, 1959, the daughter of Willie and Thelma (Burton) Haney. She was a lifelong resident of Benton, who over the years volunteered for many different organizations in the community, including the Ministerial Alliance and Food Pantry.

She married Sammy Gene Kraft, of Benton, on January 10, 1976, and had one daughter, Jennifer Ann Kraft.

Linda attended Rend Lake Cosmetology school and ran her own beauty shop at her home, Linda’s Kut & Kurl for 15+ years. She loved being a beautician and especially loved being self-employed, as she could set her own schedule.

This allowed her to attend her daughter’s activities, which included volunteering as the leader of her Girl Scout Brownie group and coach her daughter’s softball teams with her husband Sam for many years.

After she closed her shop, she took some time off before going back into the work force at Wal-Mart. In the eight plus years, she was there, she worked as a cashier and during the holidays, loved to dress up as Santa’s Elf and the Easter Bunny for pictures.

She was also a member of the Benton Elks Lodge and elected as Trustee for the Benton Library.

One of the many things people loved about Linda was her passion for animals. She never met a stray animal that she and Sam wouldn’t care for.

Linda loved socializing, being with her friends, dancing, playing cards and had a wonderful smile that could light up a room. Many family and friends lovingly called her “Precious” as she was always sweet and kind to others.

Linda was preceded in death by her parents.

Linda will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 42 years, Sam; daughter, Jennifer of St. Charles, MO; sisters Carole Rice, Earlene Spetter, Brenda (Saffouh) KhanKan, and Sandra Majdich; brothers Ronnie Haney and Bill Haney; many cousins, nieces and nephews and a multitude of dear friends.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Morton and Johnston Funeral Home in Benton

A celebration of Linda’s life will be on Friday, January 26th, 2018, at 11:00 a.m,, with the Rev. Gary West officiating. Burial will follow at Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m, until 8:00 p,m,. Thursday, January 25th, 2018.

The family would like to extend a very warm thank you to all the staff at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, Crossroads Home Health and to the SSM Hospice team.

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials in Linda’s honor to the Franklin County Animal Shelter. Donations will be accepted at Morton Johnston Funeral Home.

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

Jack Dorris – Benton

Jack F. Dorris went to be with the Lord on January 22, 2018, surrounded by his much loved family. He was born on October 8, 1932. He leaves behind his wife of 59 years, Rena, sons, Ron (Anne) and Brad (Kathy); one daughter, Renee; seven grandchildren; one brother, Charles (Tomoko); several brothers and sisters-in-law, and many nephews and nieces.

Preceding him in death are his parents, Charlie and Hallie, sister, Maxine; brothers, Bob and Gerald; father and mother-in-law, Joe and Mildred Martoglio; and others who were much loved.

He served in the military and was an army veteran of the Korean War. He was a retired minister and FedEx employee.

Services have been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home, 301 S. Main St, Benton, IL.

Visitation will be held at the Pate Funeral Home on Saturday, January 27, 2018, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Funeral services will at 1:00 p.m. at the funeral home, with the Reverend Rick Fowler officiating. Burial will follow services at Masonic and Odd Fellow Cemetery in Benton, IL. Military rites will be performed by the Benton American Legion Post 280, VFW Post 2671 and the National Guard Honors Team.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Church of God World Missions Project #790-1092.

To view the obituary or to express condolences online, visit

Vida Mae Mabry – Valier

Vida Mae Mabry, 103, of Valier passed away on Sunday January 21, 2018 at Helia Healthcare in Benton.

She was born on November 16, 1914 in Doniphan, MO, to Rollie and Ida (House) Hastings.  She married Olen Mabry on December 21, 1935 and he preceded her in death on April 20, 1994.

She is survived by her children Ron and Sharon Mabry of Valier and Roger and Beverly Mabry of Valier; three grandchildren Kim and Brent Kried of Leepers Fort, TN, Becky and Mike Barry of Valier and Roger Dean and Melinda Mabry of Benton; nine great grandchildren Maren, Trey, Coby, and Zeb Kreid, Luke, Briley, and Shayne Barry, McCalynn Mabry, Blayne Mabry; and one great great grandson Sailor Alstat.

She was a LPN at the Frankin Hospital for over 30 years.  She was also a member of the Valier First Baptist Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, two sisters Violet Moyers and Virginia Sutton, and two brothers Kenneth Hastings and Charlie Hastings.

Funeral services will be on Friday January 26, 2018 at 1:00 PM at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher with Rev. Harl Ray Lewis and Pastor Kevin Bradley officiating.  Visitation will be on Friday from 11:00 AM until the time of the service at 1:00 PM.  Burial will be at Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser.

For more information go to our website

Vernon Edward Owens – Valier

Vernon Edward Owens, 87, of Valier passed away on Tuesday January 23, 2018 at 8:25 PM at the Herrin Hospital.

He was born on May 14, 1930 in Saugas, MA to Franklin and Eva (Glover) Owens.  He married Sue (Eubanks) Owens on August 26, 1956 and she survives of Valier.

He is also survived by his son Keith Jon (Peggy) Owens of Roanoke, VA; one grandson Justin (Britt) Owens of Roanoke, VA; one sister Barbara Smith of Fredericksburg, VA; and one brother Walter (Joyce) Owens of Saugas, MA.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother and two sisters.

He was veteran serving in the United States Marine Corp during the Korean Conflict and Vietnam War.  He also worked at Turco in DuQuoin for many years. He was member of the AMVETS.

Graveside services will be on Sunday January 28, 2018 at 1:00 PM at the Maple Hill Cemetery with Rev. Harl Ray Lewis officiating.  Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser is handling arrangements.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the donor’s choice, envelopes will be available at the cemetery.

For more information go to our website

Lena Mae Kirk – Valier

Lena Mae Kirk, 90, of Valier passed away on Tuesday January 23, 2018.

She was born on March 4, 1927 in Valier to Harlend and Edith (McManus) Cook. She married William Kirk on November 19, 1949 and he preceded her in death on September 9, 1990.

She is survived by her niece Sheila Lewandowski of Covington, IN and one nephew Donald Cook Jr.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and one brother Donald Cook.

Funeral services will be on Saturday January 27, 2018 at Noon at the Valier First Baptist Church with Rev. Harl Ray Lewis officiating.  Burial will be at Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Valier First Baptist Church, envelopes will be available at the church.

Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher is handling arrangements.

Edward John Staszak-Herrin

Edward John Staszak, 62 of Herrin passed away on Sunday January 14, 2018 at 8:30 AM at his home.

He was born on September 19, 1955 in Chicago to Edward and Elizabeth (Kiebles) Staszak.  He married Cassilda (Johnson) Staszak on October 26, 1996 and she survives of Herrin.

He is also survived by his son Keith Staszak of Christopher; step-son Leon Charley Walker of West Virginia; one grandson Xander Leon Walker; brothers and sisters Kenneth Staszak of Buckner, Donna Jackson of Sesser, Julie Martin of Christopher, Daniel Staszak of Johnston City and Carrie Staszak of Cape Girardeau, MO.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister Felicia Dick.

He was a truck driver and service technician for the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in DuQuoin.

Funeral services will be on Friday January 19, 2018 at 1:00 PM at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher with Father Urban Osuji officiating.  Visitation will be on Friday from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM at the funeral home.  Burial will be at St Andrews Catholic Cemetery in Christopher.

For a full obituary go to our website

Lorraine (Davis) Wyatt Price of Benton

Erma Lorraine (Davis) Wyatt Price of Benton, IL, passed away January 4, 2018 at Parkway Manor in Marion.

Lorraine was born at her family home in Marion, IL on March 13, 1927, the youngest of 4 children, to Roy C. and Erma (Malcom) Davis.  Her siblings were Aileen, James and Carroll.

Lorraine married Charles B. Wyatt on November 2, 1947 at the Wyatt family farm near Rend City, IL.  Together they had 4 children:  Sandy, Rodney, Barry and Ross.  They were married for 24 years before Charles passed away on February 12, 1972.

On March 28, 1975, Lorraine married Walter S. Price.  Walter passed away on June 18, 2015 shortly after their 40th wedding anniversary.

Lorraine held a variety of jobs in her life including selling Cloverine Salve in 6th grade, painting a porch in exchange for a bicycle, and working as a telephone operator.  For many years she was a farmer’s wife and homemaker.   Her family was the most important part of her life.  She worked for the Benton Water Department and the Benton City Clerk’s office.    Lorraine always had a passion for working with books.  In 8th grade, she was a volunteer for the Marion Jr. High Library and as a senior in high school worked for the Marion High School Library and the Marion Carnegie Library.  When she attended Southern Illinois Normal College, she worked for three years at Wheeler Library cataloguing books.   She eventually retired from the Benton Public Library in 1995.

Lorraine was an active member of the First Christian Church in Benton and given her love of books and Christian faith, she very much enjoyed studying the Bible.  She was an avid reader and had a personal library.  She enjoyed gardening, both flowers and vegetables and liked to do many kinds of crafts, crosswords and jigsaw puzzles.  She and Walter enjoyed taking road trips to visit family.

Lorraine is survived by daughter, Sandy Roberts of Anna, IL; sons, Rodney (Kim Alvarez) Wyatt of Costa Mesa, CA, Barry (Karen) Wyatt of Benton, IL, and Ross (Janis) Wyatt of Marion, IL; grandchildren, Britt (fiancée Tia Fletcher) Roberts of Jonesboro, IL, Cameron (Sara) Roberts of Dunbarton, NH, Darson  (Kevin) Rhodes of Hamlin, NY, Jeremiah Wyatt of Dunedin, FL, Erik Berrey of Carbondale, IL, Amanda (Kyle) Carr of Hoover, AL,  and Josey (Whitney) Wyatt of Carbondale, IL; and 9 great-grandchildren.

Lorraine’s family by marriage includes: Linda (Roy) Turner of Fort Sumner, NM, Martha (Chuck) Lisner of Pensacola, FL, Paul (Elaine) Price of Sammamish, WA, and Evan (Gayle) Price of Chandler AZ; grandchildren Robert (Misty) Shaw of Tuscon, AZ, Karen (Fred) Ciancio of Cheyenne, WY, Jillian Lisner of Dallas, TX, Morgan Lisner of Huntsville, AL, and Hailey Price of Edmonds, WA; and 4 great-grandchildren.

Lorraine was preceded in death by her parents, husband Charles, husband Walter, all of her siblings and daughter-in-law Cindy Price.

The family is especially grateful to friend and caregiver Irene Cluck who contributed so much to Lorraine’s comfort in the past years.  Irene’s patience, kindness and compassion embodied the best of her faith.

In accordance with Lorraine’s wishes, she will be cremated, and her remains will be entrusted to Pate Funeral home in Benton.

A celebration of Lorraine’s life will be held on Sunday, January 21st at 1:30 p.m., at the First Christian Church in Benton.

In lieu of flowers, consider memorials to the First Christian Church in Benton or Benton-West City Ministerial Alliance.

Condolences may be expressed on line at