Richard Hommema, Jr. – Melbourne, FL

Richard Hommema, Jr., 89, of Melbourne, Florida, passed away at 7:35 p.m., on  Sunday, November 13, 2016 at his residence.

 He was born on August 4, 1927, to Richard and Katherine (Zwart) Hommema, Sr., in Chicago, IL.  He married the former Sarah Cardy.

Richard is survived by his loving spouse Sarah; three children, Jeanette Carol Hubiak, Keith Allen Hommema and Shirley Ann Gibson; three grandsons, William, John, Derek; and four great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

 Visitation will be held Monday, November 21, 2016, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Pate Funeral Home, 301 S. Main St., Benton, IL.

Funeral services will be held 10:00 a.m., on Tuesday, November 22, 2016, at Pate Funeral Home, Benton, IL.  Burial will follow services at Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home, Benton, IL.

Georgia Shapkoff Hill — Benton, IL

Georgia Shapkoff Hill, who shaped the lives of thousands of students at Christopher and Benton High Schools over four decades, died peacefully Sunday, November 6, 2016 at the age of 94.

pic-pateIt was her wish to be cremated and that her family observe her death privately.  The family asks that her life be commemorated by gifts to the Benton Public Library from whom she gratefully received books delivered to her home after she reluctantly gave up driving at the age of 92.  Her late husband of 56 years Judge Robert S. Hill served as President of the Benton Public Library Board for 16 years.

Mrs. Hill was born to Atanis P. Shapkoff and Svette Georgoff Shapkoff, Bulgarian immigrants, and was the youngest of seven children, surviving her siblings Anthony Shapkoff, Peter Shapkoff, Nicholas Shapkoff, Anne Rodenbush, Kathryn Smith, and Julia Tafel.

She is survived by her three children Brandon Robert Hill (Christine) of Cortez, Colorado; Hollis Hill Lindsey (James B.) of Chicago; and Robbye Hill Toft (Robert F. Ketterer) of St. Louis, Missouri, and three grandchildren Anneliese Toft of Chicago, Martin John Toft IV of St. Louis, and Madeline Hill Lindsey of Chicago, as well as thirteen nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Hill graduated from the University of Colorado and returned to her hometown of Christopher, Illinois where she taught speech and English and directed plays.  She was recruited to return to teaching in 1962 when Benton High School needed someone to teach junior English to prepare college-bound students for their standardized tests. She conveyed her considerable knowledge of American literature, Shakespeare and grammar for their success not only on standardized tests but also in life.  She peppered her teaching with historical knowledge from her travels throughout the United States and Europe.

She equally enjoyed listening to and providing thoughtful counsel to former students on personal and professional decisions and was gratified by their continued successes.

Mrs. Hill was a member of the First Christian Church in Benton, and was active in the March of Dimes, American Association of University Women, and the Illinois Federation of Teachers.  She was a life-long Democrat and voted in every election.

Arrangements entrusted to Pate Funeral Home, 301 S. Main St., Benton, Illinois.

For more information or to sign the guestbook please visit

Judith Lynn Shukites – Christopher, IL

Judith Lynn Shukites, 63, of Christopher, IL, passed away November 14, 2016 at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

shukitesShe was born September 25, 1953 in Christopher, the daughter of William “Bill” Yadloski and Doris Hargraves.

Judith married John D. Shukites on December 16, 1978.

She is survived by her children Phillip (Missy) Shukites, of Christopher and John Michael Shukites, of Christopher; grandchildren who were her life, Zane and Xander Shukites; brothers and sisters Chuck (Cheryl) Yadloski, of Marion, IL, Kathy (Chris) Ahrendt, of Goreville, IL, Sue (Dave) Andress, of Kansas City, MO, Lori (Roger) Gant, of Mulkeytown, IL; several nieces and nephews.

Judith was a retired LPN and an dedicated supporter of the Illinois Autism Society. She was known for playing the accordion and for her work in the music ministry at Christopher First Baptist Church.

.She was preceded in death by her parents.

Funeral services will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, November 18, 2016 at Christopher First Baptist Church  with Pastor Matthew B. Crain officiating. Cremation rites will follow with burial to be held at a later date.  Visitation will be on Friday November 18, 2016 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the church

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Christopher 1St Baptist Church, envelopes will be available during visitation at the church.

Gilbert Funeral Home, Christopher, IL, is in charge of arrangements. For more information go to

Raymond “Jinx” Bandy – Logan, IL

LOGAN — Raymond “Jinx” Bandy, 90, passed away at 11:53 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, in Franklin Hospital in Benton.

He was born Dec. 21, 1925, in Christopher, the son of Raymond and Florence (Mocaby) Bandy.

He married Helen Bernice (Meachem) and she preceded him in death. He then married Doris (Linn), and she preceded him in death.

Mr. Bandy was a retired coal miner. He was a World War II veteran, serving in the U.S. Marines. He was a member of Logan Church of God.

Mr. Bandy is survived by his son, Lonnie Bandy and wife, Loretta, of Logan; daughter, Patricia Absher and husband, Robert, of Logan; 14 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; one sister, Geraldine Conner and husband, Lonnie, of Logan.

Mr. Bandy was preceded in death by his parents; both wives; two sons, Ronnie Ozbourn and Larry Joe Bandy; one daughter, Caroline Sue; and several brothers and sisters.

Funeral services will be at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, in Logan Church of God, with Pastor Earl Young officiating. Burial will be in Logan Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Logan Church of God. Military rites will be conducted at the cemetery by Thompsonville American Legion.

Morton & Johnston Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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

Johnny Ernest Key – Mulkeytown, IL

MULKEYTOWN — Johnny Ernest Key, 91, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016, in the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Marion.key

Born June 28, 1925, in Christopher, Franklin County, he was the son of the late Eli Jackson Key and Susan Marie Laws.

On Oct. 26, 1941, he married Alice Fay Drysdale, of Christopher, and was soon after hired by the Illinois Central Railroad. His family life was soon interrupted by World War II when he joined the Army.

In 1943, Johnny enlisted in the U.S. Army and, in February, was called into active duty. Attached to the 2nd Infantry Division, he was part of the Normandy Invasion (Omaha Beach) and, in France, served as a machine gunner. Wounded by an artillery shell explosion, he was sent back to the United States to recover. In June of 1945, near the end of World War II, Johnny was honorably discharged and returned home to Fay, Christopher, and the Illinois Central Railroad. Years later, a doctor would tell him he still had enough shrapnel inside his body to start a junk yard. Among his military awards are a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. In 2013, he was awarded the French Legion of Honor Medal, the highest decoration bestowed in France.

In 1987, Johnny retired, after 43 years with the railroad.

In 1947, Johnny was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the following years, he evolved into a man committed to being a follower of Jesus. He became a modern-day disciple, an example of what the Apostle Paul meant, when he wrote, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…”Col. 3:16. A soft-spoken, gentle man, he became a prominent figure in the church in Southern Illinois and held numerous positions of trust and leadership. He and Fay served a full-time mission together, in the Roanoke, Virginia Mission, and then served in the Chicago and St. Louis Temples.

Johnny was married to the love of his life, Alice Fay Drysdale Key, for 75 years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Eli Jackson Key and Susan Marie Laws; and brothers, Harvey Clifford Meadows and James Ralph Meadows.

Left, with many good memories, are wife, Alice Fay Key; daughter, Brenda Fay Key Rauback and husband, Fred, of St. Peters, Missouri; daughter, Becky Susan Key Hart and husband, Mark, of Mount Vernon; son, Johnny LaVar Key and wife, Cindy, of St. Peters, Missouri; daughter Rue Launa Key Webb and husband, Vernon, of Benton; daughter Lorri Latona Key, of Kearney, Missouri; son, Derek LaRon Key and wife, Michelle, of Marion; sister, Freda Pauline Meadows Issler, of Herrin; in addition to 26 grandchildren and 49 great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov 5, 2016, in Church of Latter-day Saints at 17947 N. Highway 37 in Johnston City, with Bishop Randy Balmforth, officiating. Graveside services with military rites will be at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, in Mulkeytown Cemetery.

Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher is in charge of arrangements.

Beth Ann Pheasant – Christopher, IL

CHRISTOPHER — Beth Ann Pheasant, 37, of Christopher, IL, passed away on October 31, 2016 at 11:10 p.m at her home.

bethBeth was born June 18, 1979 in Urbana, IL, the daughter of Larry G. Wyskiel and Alice Faye (Cronin) Wyskiel.

She was a registered nurse and worked at the VA Hospital, in Marion, IL.

Beth is survived by her father Larry Wyskiel and wife Jackie, of Benton, IL and her mother Alice Wyskiel, of Sesser, IL.

Also surviving are her children Makaylah Wyskiel, Shelby Eickelmann, Riley Eickelmann, Hannah Pheasant, Daymon Pheasant and Drew Pheasant, all of Christopher; one grandson Parker James.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2016 from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher.

Private burial will be at a later date in Little Flock Cemetery, in Carterville, IL.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Gilbert Funeral Home to help with funeral expenses.

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

For more information go to

Allene Yoder — Mulkeytown, IL

MULKEYTOWN — Allene Yoder, 94, died Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, in Shawnee Christian Nursing Home, in Herrin.

Allene was born Aug. 14, 1922, in Elkville, to George and Katherine (Schmitt) Kirchner.

She was married to Walter Berner and he preceded her in death on June 18, 1978. She then married Fred Yoder and he preceded her in death March 6, 2006.

Allene was a retired LPN.

She was a member of the Mulkeytown Christian Church.

Allene is survived by her daughter, Linda and Larry Reaney of Mulkeytown; daughter-in-Law, Bea Berner of Elkville; stepchildren, Kathy McCluney, Karen Yoder and Kay Gibson; grandchildren, Angela Robbins, Scott and Amanda Reaney, Doug and Cheryl Berner, and Greg and Jodi Berner; and great-grandchildren, Justin Berner, Jason Berner, Erica Berner, Zachary Berner, Brooklyn Allene Reaney and Rae Reaney.

The family would like to especially thank her homemaker, Becky Hayes, and the employees of Respite Care at Shawnee Christian Nursing Home for the care that Allene received.

Allene was preceded in death by her parents; one son, Robert Berner; one stepson, Fred Yoder Jr.; one sister, Ann Psinas; and two brothers, Russell Kirchner and Jack Kirchner.Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, in Mulkeytown Christian Church, with the Rev. Kurt Jensen officiating.  Visitation will be from 12 noon until the time of the service at 2 p.m. Saturday at the church. Burial will be in Mulkeytown Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to West Frankfort Christian Service Camp. Envelopes will be available at the church.

Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher is in charge of arrangements.

For more information, visit

Floyd Burns — Benton, Illinois

Floyd Burns, age 66 of Benton, passed away at 6:25 p.m. Sunday, October 30, 2016 in Benton.

Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, November 3, 2016 at the First Christian Church of Benton, with Pastor Kurt Sanders officiating.  Burial will be in the Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery of Benton.  Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday at the church.  Arrangements are through the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

Floyd was born on February 7, 1950 in Perry County, IL, the son of Floyd Lewis Burns and Mary Ann (Fowler) Burns.

Floyd was a self-employed mechanic. He formerly worked for Dave’s Taxi and enjoyed the many trips driving area residents to their doctor appointments to the various St. Louis Hospitals, and the many other hospitals across Southern Illinois.

He was a proud member of the First Christian Church in Benton.

Floyd is survived by a nephew Lee Otis Sexton and wife Lana of Channahon, IL; an aunt Lillie Davie of Cape Girardeau, MO; and several cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters: Ortus Velma Burns and Mary Lou Sexton; an infant sister; a niece Cathy (Sexton) King; and two nephews: Thomas Floyd Sexton and Timothy Dale Sexton.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Fellowship Center Building Fund at the First Christian Church, 302 South Main Street, Benton, IL 62812.

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

Norma “Jean” Dale — Sparta, IL

Norma “Jean” Dale, 89, of Sparta, IL passed away Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016 at her home.

She was born in Pesotum, IL on January 20, 1927, the daughter of Touncie E. and Rosie M. (Fields) Conner.

She was a member of the First Baptist Church, in Sparta.

She is survived by cousins Billy Paul Conner and wife Linda, of Whittington, IL, James Richard Conner and wife Nancy, of Pocahontas, Del Lavern Conner, of Midland, Texas and Barbara Newman, of Rockford, IL; her adopted family that she made her home with, Pastor Tim Gregory and wife Becky, of Sparta, and their children Rachel, Timmy and wife Kristan, Megan, Elizabeth, Joshua and Hannah.

She was preceded in death by her parents and one brother Paul Everett Conner.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at First Baptist Church, in Sparta with Pastor Tim Gregory officiating. Burial will be in Franklin Cemetery, in Whittington, IL.

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the time of the service at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church, in Sparta.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to First Baptist Church of Sparta Building Fund.

Johnston Funeral Home in Ina is in charge of arrangements.

Tammy R. Starr – Benton, IL