Obituary – Don Akin – Benton

BENTON — Don Akin, 100, passed away Sunday afternoon, July 13, 2014.

Don was born Nov. 19, 1913, near Akin, the son of Wallie and Lulu (Gaither) Akin. He and his family moved to Benton five years later when their home burned.

He married Viva Mae McAfoos on June 27, 1936. She preceded him in death in 2005, 20 days before their 69th wedding anniversary.

Survivors include his daughter, Ava Jackson of Indianapolis; daughter and son-in-law, Vicki and James Page of Benton; grandsons, Aaron Jackson of Norfolk, Virginia, and Jared Jackson of Summerville, South Carolina; granddaughters, Chelsea (Page) and Dusty Crisp, and Courtney (Page) and Josh Chady, both of Benton; and six great-grandchildren.

Don graduated from Benton Township High School (later renamed Benton Consolidated High School) in 1932. He graduated from Bradley Polytechnic Institute in Peoria with specialities in watch and jewelry repair.

He opened Akin Jewelry Store in 1934 and retired in 1988 after 54 years of business in the same location. Drake’s Jewelry is in that location today.

A World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Navy, Don was stationed in the Admiralty Islands in the South Pacific. He was honorably discharged Dec. 14, 1945.

He was a member of First Baptist Church in Benton and American Legion Post 280 since 1946. He was a past member of the Rotary Club, Benton Chamber of Commerce, Elks, VFW, Benton Country Club and Lake Wales Country Club.

Don enjoyed playing golf (achieving three holes-in-one), working in his yard, Sudoku puzzles and remaking old clocks.

On his return to Benton in 2012, he relished being with his friends and family and enoyed going out to eat and reuniting with people he knew. He always surprised people when they learned his age, since he looked, thought and acted like someone much younger.

According to his wishes, private services will be at a later date.

Donations may be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois, Inc., 204 Halfway Road, Marion, IL 62959-5058.

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

Obituary – Betty K. Moschino – Benton

Betty K. Moschino, 74, of Benton, passed away June, 17, 2014 at Memorial Hospital in Carbondale.

Betty was born February 4, 1940 in Mulkeytown, IL, the daughter of Oliver Evan Rogers and Mary (Campbell) Rogers.

She was married to Frank Moschino and he survives in Benton.

Betty was a retired coal miner, last working at CONSOL Rend Lake Mine. Betty was a member of the First Christian Church in Christopher, IL and the UMWA.

She is survived by her children, Kathy Esposito, Mulkeytown, IL, Richard Johnston, Christopher, IL and Angela and Brent Gossett, Coello, IL.

Betty is also survived by her grandchildren, Chasity Shaffer, Nicole Washington, Rachael Johnston, Keenan Johnston, Lorrie Horton, Emily Gossett, Maddie Gossett and Grace Gossett; great-grandchildren, Wardell Williams, Jayla Williams, Brittany Washington, Zuri Swarthout-Yoop, Savannah Smith, Amber Smith, Grant Smith, Ashley Smith, Jude Crawford and Gabriel Horton.

Also surviving are her brothers and sisters, Maxine and Earl Giacomo, Mulkeytown, IL, Connie and Fred Samples, Benton, IL, Wanda and Dick McCreaken, Zeigler, IL, Val Gene Rogers, Crainville, IL and Richard and Sue Rogers, Texas.

She is also survived by several nieces and nephews. Betty was preceded in death by her parents, a daughter Lauri Johnston, granddaughter Ashley Biggs and sister-in-law Anita Rogers.

Funeral services will be Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11 a.m. At First Christian Church in Christopher. Visitation will be after 5 p.m. on Friday at Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher and 10 a.m. Saturday until the time of the service at the church.

Burial will be in Mulkeytown Cemetery Mulkeytown IL

Gilbert Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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Obituary – Donald “Fonz” Acosta – Sesser

Donald “Fonz” Baird Acosta, 55, of Sesser, passed away on Monday, June 16 at 11:23 p.m. at Memorial Hospital in Carbondale.

He was born August, 29, 1958, in Chicago Heights, IL, the son of Al Acosta and Linda (McBride) Acosta. Both parents are surviving and live in Sesser.

Donald worked for the township for many years.

He is survived by his children, Dalton Acosta, Sesser, IL, and Sarah Acosta, of Valier, IL; one grandchild, Gavin Johnson.

He is also survived by three brothers, Alfonso Acosta, Kevin Acosta, Dale and Lorissa Acosta, all of Sesser, IL and one sister, Susan and Harlan Payne, of Ina, IL.

Also surviving are nephews Dillon Payne, Justin Payne, Anthony Acosta, Jared Acosta, and Cash Acosta and several aunts, uncles and cousin. He was preceded in death by one grandson, Mathew Acosta.

Donald had lots of friends, and the Acosta family would like to give a special thank you to Brother Larry Cook

Funeral services will be held Sunday June 22, 2014 at 2 p.m. at Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser, IL, with Brother Larry Cook officiating. Visitation will be on Sunday, June 22, 2014 from 11 a.m until the time of service at 2 p.m.

Donald’s wishes were to be cremated after the funeral service and his ashes will be buried at the Mitchell cemetery in Sesser at a later date.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Bear Point Freewill Baptist Church, Sesser VFW, or donations can be made to the family.

Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home Sesser IL is in charge of arrangements.

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Obituary – Frances “Frannie” Marberry – Sesser

SESSER — Frances “Frannie” Jean Marberry, 35, died at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 14, 2014, at home.

Frances was born Oct. 10, 1978, in Effingham. Her father was Michael Loren Marberry and he preceded her in death. Surviving are her mother and stepfather, Dianna and Curt Williams of Sesser.

Survivors also include sisters, Jennifer and Arthur Lemons of Sesser, Laura Marberry of Sesser; nieces, Gillian and Cordelia; stepsisters, LaDonna Field of Galatia, Cindy Williams and Jessica Williams, both of Harrisburg; grandparents, Burt and Jean Crocker of Sesser; aunts and uncles, Janet and Larry Jones of Harrisburg, Brenda and Keith Kramer of Sesser, Randall and Cindy Crocker of Sesser, special caregiver, Patty Kopec and several cousins.

Frances was preceded in death by her father, grandparents, Loren and Juanita Marberry and aunt, Mary Drake.

Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Monday, June 16, 2014, in Valier First Baptist Church in Valier, with the Rev. Harl Ray Lewis officiating. Burial will be in Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Huntington’s Disease Society.

Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser is in charge of arrangements.

For more information, visit

Obituary – Kenneth Leadabrand – Mulkeytown

MULKEYTOWN — Kenneth Leadabrand, 61, passed away Thursday, June 12, 2014, at his residence.

He formerly worked at Prestige Trailer Manufacturing in Du Quoin.

Kenneth was of Presbyterian faith.

Kenneth was born Jan. 15, 1953, in Red Cloud Nebraska, to Raymond and Betty (Rutledge) Leadabrand. His mother survives of Campbell, Nebraska.

Kenneth was married June 16, 1973, to Lorraine (Ahlers) Leadabrand and she survives of Mulkeytown.

Survivors include children, Michael and Kathy Leadabrand of Royalton, granddaughter, Ashley Leadabrand; sisters, Virginia Heinrich of Hastings Nebraska, and Carol and Allen Kumke-Campbell.

He was preceded in death by his father; brothers, Philip and Roger Leadabrand; and a nephew, Justin Kumke.

As per Kenneth’s wishes, he will be cremated with his ashes buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery in rural Lebanon, Kansas.

Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher is in charge of arrangements.

For more information, visit

Emma Pauline Baburnich – Benton

BENTON — Emma Pauline Baburnich, 85, of Benton, passed away Saturday, June 7, 2014, in Good Samaritan Regional Health Center in Mount Vernon.

She was born April 19, 1929, in Benton, the daughter of James Everett and Emma (Mertens) Bays. She married William “Butch” Baburnich in 1948, and he preceded her in death Dec. 27, 2003.

Mrs. Baburnich was a 1947 graduate of Benton High School.

She was a loving mother and grandmother, an accomplished bridge player and a familiar retail clerk in Benton.

She is survived by her children, Elaine Mannen and husband, Ted, of Alexandria, Virginia, John “Chip” Baburnich of Evansville, Indiana, and David Baburnich and wife, Mary, of Benton; three grandchildren, Claire Mannen and Will Mannen of Alexandria and Emily Baburnich of Benton; and sister, Louise Sisk of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; three sisters, Dorothy Bays, Leona Bays and Evelyn Stewart; and brother, Harvey Bays.

Private graveside services will be conducted.

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

For those who wish, memorials in Mrs. Baburnich’s memory may be made to Benton/West City Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry and will be accepted at the funeral home at any time.

Ted Grenco – Benton

Ted Grenco, 78, of Benton, passed away Monday morning, June 9, 2014 in Benton.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 14 at First Baptist Church in Benton, with the Rev. Bill Carter officiating.

Entombment will be at a later date at Masonic & Oddfellows Cemetery in Benton.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton and after 10 a.m. Saturday at the church.

For those who wish, memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church in Benton or to the American Heart Association and will be accepted at the funeral home at any time.

Dennis James Stewart – Du Quoin, IL

Dennis James Stewart, 57, of Du Quoin, IL, passed away at 4:07 a.m. on June 9, 2014 at Marshall Browning Hospital, in Du Quoin, IL.

Dennis was born May 30, 1957 in Lorain, OH, to Lorain, OH to Carol Kennedy, of Louisville, KY.  His parents were Jim and Ann (McDowell) Stewart and they preceded him in death.

He was married to Kathy (Fred) Stewart of Du Quoin and she survives.  In addition he is survived by one son, Robert Brown, of Du Quoin and one brother, Matt Stewart, of Louisville, KY.  He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother.

Dennis worked as a truck driver for PTI Trucking.

His wishes were to be cremated with no funeral service.  Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser is in charge of arrangements.  For more information go to






Gerald “Harry” Archie Alexander – Coello, IL

Gerald “Harry” Archie Alexander was born April 12, 1962 and passed away on June 9, 2014 at his home in Coello surrounded by his family and friends.

gerald alexander 001He was preceded in death by his father James Arthur Alexander Sr. and his mother Frances (Oshier) Alexander, youngest brother Thomas Alexander, older sister Rita Davis, Nephew James Hinton, and sister-in-law Judy Alexander.

Left to carry on his memory wife Wilma Roberts and step children; Michelle Irvin and partner Dave and their children Sidney, Alex, Julien, Emilee and Devon, Johnny Baxter and his wife Courtney and their children John Mathew and Tyler Baxter, Wanda Baxter and partner Kevin and her children Nathan, Jacob, Fatima, and Della.  His sister Geneva Harmon and her children Joseph Alexander and Geneva Alexander and her two daughters Mackenzie and Katlynn.  Brother James Alexander Jr. and his two Sons Chris Shurtz and his wife and children and Kenny Shurtz.  Sister and brother-in-law Mary Denise and Randall Gobtop and their children Doug Suhr and his wife and children, Starr Alexander and her children Charles and James, Jawn Jewel Warren and her husband Dwaine Warren and their children Laura Suarez and husband Carlos Suarez and their sons Ronnie and Carlos, Brother John Alexander and partner Debbie Winemiller and his three sons Eric Powell and his wife and children, Thomas Alexander and his wife and children, Michael Alexander and his wife and children, and one niece Jenny Chin and her husband Richard and their children.  And many many loyal friends

Funeral services for Mr. Alexander will be on Friday June 13, 2014 at 11:00 A.M. at the Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser with Pastor Doug Burkhamer officiating.  Burial will be at the Masonic and Oddfellows Cemetery in Benton, IL.  Visitation will be on Thursday June 12, 2014 from 6:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. at the funeral home.

This battle I did not lose, I simply went home.

The family would like to thank Dr. Morthland and staff, Dr. Pinede and staff, Hospice of Southern Illinois, friends and community members who showed their ongoing support.

Always strong, caring, loyal, tough yet devoted and faithful.

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Obituary – Mary Alice Page – Ewing

Mary Alice Page, 57, of Ewing, passed away at 6:02 p.m. Thursday, June 5, 2014 at her home.

She was born on Feb. 15, 1957 in Benton, IL, the daughter of George and Kathlene (Winemiller) Kays.

She married Gary Page on September 19, 1992, and he survives.

In addition to her husband she is survived by a daughter, Abby Reiger and James Smith, of West Frankfort and a step-son, Josh Page and wife Joni, of Ewing.  She is also survived by four grandchildren, Brett Reiger, Mathew Reiger, Morgan Reiger and Daegen Smith; a sister, Linda Roberts, of Ewing, nephew Chris Roberts and wife Toni, of Ewing, great nephew, Lucas Roberts, great niece McKinley Roberts, sister-in-law Linda Volz and husband Steve, of Benton, mother-in-law Maxine Page, of Benton and nieces and nephews Mike, Stacey and Tristan Stricklin and Josh, Jennifer and Logan Carlton.

Mrs. Page was preceded in death by her parents, by a sister, Brenda Roberts and by her father-in-law, Bill Page.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 8 at Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton with the Rev. Bob Pankey officiating.  Burial will be at Phillips Cemetery in Ewing.  Visitation will be after 1 p.m. Sunday at Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton.