James Wesley Whitecotton – Sesser, IL

James Wesley Whitecotton, 77, of Sesser, IL passed away April 20, 2016 at his home.

whitecottonMr. Whitecotton was born on August 4, 1938 in Stiritz, IL, the son of Paul Whitecotton and Edna (Thome) Whitecotton.

He married Marie (Mork) Whitecotton on May 20, 1964 and she survives of Sesser.

He is survived by his children, Renee Colman, Phoenix, AZ, Tim and Shawna Whitecotton, Jacksonville, FL, Tammy and Joe Bushong, Waltonville, IL, Terry and Kim Whitecotton, Buckner, IL and Todd and Amy Whitecotton, Seabrook, TX: grandchildren David, Sarah, T.J., Kelsey, Tyler, Trace, Wes, Brook, Cheyenne, Ryder, Cutter, Connor, Trinity and Angelis, Seiley; brothers and sisters Carolyn and Clyde Hollars of Chicago, IL, Betty Vecchio of Granger, IN, Linda and Rich Regaldo of Bowlingbrook, IL and Bruce and Rhonda Whitecotton of Chicago, IL; five surviving great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one son Tom Whitecotton, and two brothers Al Whitecotton and Larry Whitecotton.

Visitation will be at the Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser on Saturday April 23, 2016 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Per his wishes there will be no funeral service, cremation will follow the visitation.

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

For more information visit www.gilbertfuneralhomes.com.

Lawrence Andrew Gostowski – Benton, IL

Benton, IL — Lawrence Andrew Gostowski, age 90, of Benton, passed away at 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at his home.

gostoskiGraveside services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, April 21, 2016 at the Masonic & Odd Fellows Cemetery of Benton with Rev. Kent Dunford officiating.  Military rites will be conducted by the Benton V.F.W. Post 2671, Benton American Legion Post 280, and the Army National Guard from Marion.  There will be no visitation, friends are asked to go directly to the cemetery.

Arrangements are through the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

Lawrence was born on February 9, 1926 in Franklin County, the son of Stephen Gostowski and Mary (Snow) Gostowski.  He married the former Virginia Merkel on July 29, 1950 and she survives.

Mr. Gostowski was a farmer.  But many will remember him from his employment with the Benton Kroger store.

Lawrence proudly served his country during World War II, having served in both the U.S. Army and the Army Air Corps, where he attained the rank of Sergeant. During his service he earned two Bronze Battle Stars from battles and campaigns fought in Luzon.

Lawrence was a member of the Benton V.F.W. Post 2671, where he was a past commander.  Until his health failed him, Lawrence was a fixture with the honor squad, honoring veterans at military rites, Memorial Day services, and Veteran’s Day events across the area.

His favorite pastime was fishing, no matter the temperature, he just loved to fish.  For many years he supplied the crappie fillets for his church’s annual fish fry and picnic.  He loved to garden, and enjoyed sharing the fruits and vegetables that he harvested.

Most of all he enjoyed spending time with his family and attending his church.

Ellen Jean Seymour – Benton, IL

Mary Lou Lewis, West City, IL

Mary Lou Lewis, of West City, IL, passed away April, 16, 2016.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 21, 2016 at Morton & Johnston Funeral Home, in Benton, IL with the Rev. Mark Minor officiating. Burial will be at Masonic & Oddfellows Cemetery, in Benton. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

For those who wish, memorials can be made to the American Cancer Society or to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Kenneth Raymond Payne – Macedonia, IL

Ellen June Scaggs – Valier, IL

Valier, IL — Ellen June Scaggs, age 88, of Valier, passed away at 4:40 a.m. Thursday, April 14, 2016 at the Franklin Hospital Emergency Room.

scaggsFuneral Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 16, 2016 at Whittington Church, with Revs. Mark Minor and Greg Shelton officiating. Visitation will be from 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Whittington Church. Local arrangements are through the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

Graveside Services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 17, 2016 at the Murphy Cemetery in Piedmont, Missouri, with Ellen’s son, Lester White officiating. Graveside services are under the direction of the Ruegg Funeral Homes, Inc., of Piedmont, Missouri.

Mrs. Scaggs was born on May 10, 1927 in Rend City, IL, the daughter of Lester Van Buren Bailor and Lena (Beavers) Bailor. She would marry Carrol T. “Jim” Scaggs, and he preceded her in death on November 3, 1995.

Mrs. Scaggs working career included being a cook, a manager at Wendy’s restaurant, an assembly line worker at McDonnell – Douglas, having worked on Project Gemini.

She was a proud member of Whittington Church, where she was head of the Whittington Senior Meal program.

Mrs. Scaggs enjoyed mowing her lawn, birds, fishing, working with the Senior Meal Program at Whittington Church, and especially spending time with her family.

Ellen is survived by her four children: Lester “Skip” White and wife Leonda of Benton, Virginia Marler and husband Keith of Bonne Terre, MO, Judy Scaggs of Valier, Barry Scaggs of Piedmont, MO; nine grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; two brothers: Lester Bailor & J.C. “Doc” Bailor; two sisters: Ramona Bailor & Patsy Keller; two daughters-in-law: Carolyn White & Becky White; and a nephew: Jimmy Neal Carpenter.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Whittington Church, 200 West Main Street, Whittington, Illinois 62897.

To leave online condolences to the family, or to share memories of Ellen, visit, www.lpfuneralhome.com

Arrangements are with Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

Makayla Marie Bechler – Buckner, IL

bechlerMakayla Marie Bechler, 20, of Buckner, died at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in Franklin Hospital Emergency Room in Benton.

She was a homemaker.

Makayla was born May 13, 1995, in Sheldon, Iowa. Her parents are Robert and Mellissa Winemiller of Akin, Angela (Bechler) and Matt Clark of Buckner, and stepmother, Jamie Winemiller of Christopher.

She is also survived by her grandparents, Paula and Mike Krieger of Sibley, Iowa; children, Kimberly Kay Williams of Buckner, and Raiylynn Marie Bechler of Buckner; brothers and sisters, Garret Belcher, Jenna Micheletto, Stephanie Winemiller, Shianne Winemiller, Harley Winemiller and Jerry Winemiller.

She was preceded in death by one son, Dakota Mikel Bechler

A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 17, in Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher, with Pastor Marvalane Cole officiating. Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.

For more information, visit www.gilbertfuneralhomes.com.

James A. Alexander – Ewing, IL

James A. Alexander Jr., 61, of Ewing, IL passed away on April 13, 2016 at his home in Ewing, IL.

He was born on August 19, 1954 in New York, the son of James A. Alexander, Sr. and Frances (Oshier) Alexander.

He had worked at General Tire.

James married Judith Alexander and she preceded him in death on Dec. 1, 2009.

He is survived by his children, Christopher and Mandy Shurtz, of Buckner, IL and Kenneth and Anna Shurtz, of Houston, TX; grandchildren Jami Collier, Raeann Guner, Christopher Shurtz, Jr. and Kenneth Shurtz; great-granddaughter Jazzlynn Collier; two sisters, Geneva Harmon, of Ewing and Mary and Randall Gobtop, of McLeansboro, IL, two brothers John Alexander, of Ewing and Robert Eugene Alexander, of Washington.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, one sister Rita Davis and two brothers Gerald “Harry” Alexander and Thomas Gratton Alexander.

Graveside funeral services will be held on Monday, April 18, 2016 at 12 noon at Maple Hill Cemetery, in Sesser, IL.

Mr. Alexander’s wishes were to be cremated. Friends and family are asked to meet at the cemetery.

Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home, in Sesser, IL, is in charge of arrangements. For more information go to www.gilbertfuneralhomes.com.



Sidney “Sid” Bennett Page, Jr. – Benton, IL

Sidney “Sid” Bennett Page, Jr., 79 of Benton, IL passed from this earth to be with his heavenly father on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, at 11:03 a.m. at Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt Vernon, IL.  He was the son of Sidney Bennett Page, Sr. and Louise (Vaughn) Page born on July 21, 1936, in Newton, IL.

sid pageSid was a U.S. Navy Veteran in the Korean War.  He graduated from Newton High School, attended Eastern Illinois University. Sid was an outstanding athlete and was inducted in the Hall of Fame of Newton High School for his overall success in basketball and football.

He married his high school sweetheart Mary “Jane” (Newlin) Page and she survives.   He loved and treasured his dearest wife Jane celebrating 61 wonderful years together this December 26th.

He worked on a hog research farm in Pleasant Plains, IL as a sales man for Master Mix Feeds than returned back to Newton to help out his parent’s Printing & Supply business. Sid and Jane also owned a very large hunting dog and field Trial Kennel for many years. In 1976, they moved to Ewing to continue the dog business and had a very successful shooting preserve. He had very many field dog champions which were featured in Sports Illustrated.   He retired from the dog business and went to work for the Department of Conservation at Wayne Fitzgerald for 20 years and retired in 1999.  After retiring, Sid and Jane could be found at the Benton Country Club either playing golf, working at the club house, or planting flowers around the course.

Sid is survived by his wife, Mary “Jane” (Newlin) Page of Lavender Ridge nursing home. They were blessed with two sons, Doug Page  and wife Tammy of Newton, IL., and Sid Page III and wife Cindy of Benton, IL; grandson,  Luke Page and wife Lorrie of Florissant, MO; granddaughters, Jenny (Page) Kistner and husband Michael of Newton, IL., Caitlin (Page) Sudkamp and husband Jared of Teutopolis,IL; grandsons Bennett Page and Hamilton Page of Benton, IL; great-grandson Caleb Kistner; great-granddaughter Emalee Kistner; and great-grandson Jack Sudkamp.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Sidney B. Page, Sr. (Bobby) and Louise (Vaughn) Page.

Sid was a member of the Benton Country Club, Boneyard Boccie Ball Club, Olney Elks and Grace United Methodist Church.

His wishes were to be cremated. A private family service will be held on Saturday, April 16, 2016, at 10:00 a.m., at WestLawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Newton, IL., with Rev. Gary Hall officiating services. Arrangements under the direction of Pate Funeral Home, 301 S. Main St., Benton, IL.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Benton Country Club in memory of Sid. ℅ Scott Simpson, Benton Country Club,  PO Box 1504, Benton, IL  62812.

Online condolences can be given at www.patefh.com

James E. “Sonny” Swingle – Benton, IL

BENTON — James E. “Sonny” Swingle, 76, of Benton, IL, passed away Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at his home.

He was born in Benton on January 9, 1940, the son of James Edward and Mary Ellen (Roberts) Swingle.

He married Phyllis Easter Swingle on April 2, 1960, and she preceded him in death on Dec. 9, 2012.

Mr. Swingle was a member of the First Baptist Church of West City, IL. He loved gardening, fishing and woodworking.

Mr. Swingle is survived by his daughter, Monica Combs and husband Robert, of Benton; granddaughters Ashley Amber Hosick and husband Joshua, of Logan, IL, Brittany Todich and husband Matthew, of Benton and Rachel Combs, of Benton; sisters Rose Baudison, of Benton, Gloria Bruce, of Centralia, IL and Roberta Isaacs, of Carmi, IL; one brother, Benny Swingle, of Herrin, IL; great-grandchildren Hailey, Makayla and Noah Hosick and Zachary, Bailee, Sammy Jo and Rosalie Todich.

Mr. Swingle was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, a sister, Alice and a brother, Tommy.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 17, 2016 at Morton & Johnston Funeral Home, in Benton, with the Rev. Bert Mitchell officiating. Visitation will be at the funeral home after 12 noon Sunday until the time of the service. Burial will be at Masonic & Oddfellows Cemetery, in Benton.

Morton & Johnston Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.