Barbara Wyant- Benton IL

Mrs.  Barbara J. Wyant, 81, of Benton IL, passed away at 9:45 p.m., Friday,  November 25, 2016, at Helia Healthcare of Benton.

She was born on October 11, 1935, to William “Willie” and Ida Mae (Poynor) Heifner in Macedonia, IL.  Barbara was self employed as a babysitter and caretaker. She married John J. Wyant and he preceded her in death.

She was a member of Plasters Grove Free Will Baptist Church in Thompsonville, IL. Barbara was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was known to take care of children she had claimed to be her own. She would always make time to spend with her family and friends. If you left her home hungry it was your own fault.

Barbara is survived by her children, Jack Wyant and wife Jackie of Akin, IL, Ron Wyant of Dale, IL, Carla Dare and husband Jeff of Freeman Spur, IL and Beverly Wyant and Susie Minton of Herrin, IL; one brother, Jim Heifner and wife Patty of Akin, IL and one sister, Darlene Roberts and husband John of Dale, IL;  and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, William Martin and Ida Mae Heifner, husband, John J. Wyant, three brothers, John Heifner, Carlton Heifner and Charles Heifner and two grandchildren, Jeffery Conner and Tommy Sullivan.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home.

Visitation will be held Monday, November 28, 2016, from 4:00 p.m. to  7:00 p.m. at Pate Funeral Home, 301 S. Main St., Benton, IL.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 10:00 am at the Pate Funeral Home, Benton, IL, with the Reverend Willie Huffine officiating.

For more information, please visit the website


Mr. William “Bill” Daniel McPhail-Royalton

Mr. William “Bill” Daniel McPhail, 73 of Royalton, IL passed away on November 23, 2016 at Herrin Hospital.  He was born on December 28, 1942 in Royalton, IL to December 28, 1942 in Royalton, IL to Pete McPhail and Eva (Hammett) McPhail,who preceded him in death.

He had worked in retail for over 30 years, and then served as librarian and director of the Royalton Public Library.  He was a member of the St Aloysius Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Royalton In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to the Royalton Public Library or the St Aloysius Ladies Sodality.

Survivors include one sister in law, Jessica McPhail of Florida; Neices and Nephews; Raylene (Carl) Stafko of Royalton, Danny Jerrells of Royalton, Greg (Robyn) McPhail of Florida, Kathy Towers of Christopher, Ronda (Forrest) Moreland of Florida, Michele (Scott) Fry of Florida, Dianna (Frank) Stubits of St Louis, Sharon (Jerry) Zilske of St Louis and many great and great great nieces and nephews.

Also surviving was a special friend Kathy Beegle of Benton

Also preceding him in death were; brother Tom McPhail, sisters Sue Carol McPhail, Ruth Jerrells, sister and brother-in-law Jean and Tom Towers, brother-in-law and his wife Ray and Roberta Jerrels, two nieces Vicki Kincade and Carolyn Jerrells, and one nephew Ricky Towers.

A memorial mass will take place on Saturday December 3, 2016 at 11:00 A.M., at the St Aloysius Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Royalton.  Father Urban Osuji will be officiating.  Interment will follow at Miners Cemetery in Royalton.

Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher, IL was entrusted with the arrangements. For more information, please visit their website



William “Bill” Doctorman — Christopher, IL

William “Bill” Doctorman, 89, of Christopher, IL, died November 22, 2016, in Herrin, IL.

Bill was born November 18, 1927 in Christopher to Owen and Ruby (Willis) Doctorman.  

He lived a full and productive life even though he was paralyzed from a bullet that pierced his spine in a hunting accident when he was 16 years old.  He was then home schooled, he spent time repairing televisions and radios and became a HAM radio operator until he went to Kabot-Kaiser Institute in Santa Monica, CA, a rehabilitation complex for polio and paraplegic patients.  It was there, seated in a wheelchair, that he met Margaret Flynn, also in a wheelchair, who had been diagnosed with infantile paralysis.  They fell in love and despite some misgivings from family and friends as to how they would manage, they were married July 23, 1955, at St. Mary Magdalen Church in Camarillo, CA, where they made their home. 

Their wedding was covered by local as well as national press.  Bill worked full-time at the Point Mugu naval facility for 20 years. After retirement, with Bill at the wheel of his hand-controlled car (controls designed by his dad soon after his accident), they made summer round-trips to Christopher, trips to other parts of the country, and in 1982 went on a Caribbean cruise. He was a past president and active member of the Lion’s Club as well as a strong supporter of the Boys and Girls Club.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and two sisters, Dorothy Crnokrak and Shirley Gersbacher.  He is survived by his brother Dean Doctorman and wife Sue of Ullin, IL, special caregiver Gloria, and many nieces and nephews, other relatives and a host of friends,

Bill led a very full life with no complaints and always with a positive attitude.  He was truly an inspiration to all who knew him.  He is already missed.

A visitation will be on Sunday November 27, 2016 at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher, IL, from 1:30 P.M. until 3:30 P.M.  Burial will be in Santa Clara Catholic Cemetery in Oxnard, CA, where he will be laid to rest next to his loving wife.

For more information go to our website at

Batiste John Regis – Christopher, IL

Batiste John Regis, 94, of Christopher, IL passed away November 19, 2016 at his home.

He was born March 28, 1922 in Marseilles, IL, the son of Joseph Regis and Rosa (Edile) Regis.

John was a graduate of Royalton High School.

John married Pauline (Varga) Regis on November 15, 1947 and she survives of Christopher.

He is survived by his daughters Paula Ann and Ron Ryan, of Mt. Olive, IL, Janet Regis and Kerry Sprimont, of St. Louis, MO; grandchildren Kristin Edile and Carl Crawford, of Austin, TX, Eric John and Nicky Ryan, of Elburn, IL and Megan Anne Regis Sprimont, of St. Louis, MO; great-grandchildren Catherine, Corinna, Alyssa, Ethan, Addison, Krysten, Julia and Jerry. He was preceded in death by his parents, one sister Catherine Rowland and two brothers August “Beb” Region and Marion “Mio” Regis.

John was a retired supervisor for CIPS. he was a former mayor of Christopher. He was a member of the IBEW, Christopher Lions Club, Christopher Knights of Columbus and the American Legion. He was a member of St. Andrews Catholic Church, in Christopher.



Ronald Gene Kirkpatrick – formerly of Sesser

Ronald Gene Kirkpatrick was born in Sesser, IL on November 29, 1938, the son of Roy Wardener Kirkpatrick and Ethel Elkins Kirkpatrick.

He moved to Chicago Heights in 1957 where he graduated from Bloom Township High School and went to work for Ford Motor Company for the next 40 years. Gene and his wife Barbara moved to Arkansas in 1992, following his retirement. Gene passed away at home on November 20, 2016 after a lengthy illness.

Gene loved hunting, fishing and bowling. After moving to Arkansas he began farming, hiring himself out to cut and bale hay for many friends and neighbors. He eventually realized his childhood dream of having his own horse, his beloved Sox.

He is survived by his wife Barbara Burdette Kirkpatrick, eldest son Steven Peterson and his wife Linda, daughter Rhonda Kirkpatrick Sims, son Dennis Peterson and son Michael Linville. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Jill Peterson Criner, Ron Sims, Charlotte Martz and Candace Esquivel, and five great-grandchildren, Darrell Stearly, Jenna Criner, Abbygail Clark, Ziva Martz and Addilyn Esquivel.

Gene is survived by his brother James Kirkpatrick and his sister Patricia Gross. Gene was preceded in death by his son Roy Herman Kirkpatrick and two granddaughters, Laura Elizabeth Peterson and Sara Jeanne Gall.

Graveside funeral services will be on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 at 3 p.m. at Horse Prairie Cemetery, in Sesser, IL. Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser has been entrusted with local arangements.Ronald Gene Kirkpatrick was born in Sesser, IL on November 29, 1938, the son of Roy Wardener Kirkpatrick and Ethel Elkins Kirkpatrick.

Mary Francis (Cypher) Barton – Benton, IL

BENTON — Mary Francis (Cypher) Barton, 95, went to Heaven on Nov. 18, 2016, to be with her Heavenly Father. She was surrounded by her loving family.

barton“She was clothed with strength and dignity; she laughed at the days to come. She spoke with wisdom and faithful instruction was on her tongue, Her children arise and call her blessed.” Proverbs 31

Mary was born June 21, 1921, to Jasper and Eunice (Reisner) Cypher of Benton.

She married the love of her life, Clarence Edward Barton, on May 3, 1941.

Together, Clarence and Mary were co-owners of the Barton and Collins Furniture Store in Benton for 35 years.

Mary was a rare and inspiring mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother. All who knew Mary can testify to her humility, generosity and dedication to God and family. Her wisdom, strength, and gentle spirit serve as an example that will endure in the lives of those who knew and loved her.

She was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church.

She leaves loving memories to be cherished by her children, David (Linda) Barton of Palm Coast, Florida, Peggy (Kirk) Harris of Benton, Judy (Steve) Keelen of Belvidere, and Rick (Janet) Barton of Decatur; 11 grandchildren, Richard (Cristy) Barton of Riverside, Missouri; Kim (Ed) Narvaez of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Greg Swinney of Benton, Heather (Michael) Franklin of O’Fallon, Sara Holman of Benton, Trent(Kris) Harris of Reno, Nevada, Natalie (Kit) Elam of Mesa, Arizona; Nick Keelen of DesPlaines, Ashley (Eric) Workman of Plainfield, Bryan (Ashley) Barton of Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, and Chris Barton of DesPlaines; 17 great-grandchildren, Knick (Erin) Narvaez of Fallon, Nevada, Sydney and Kobe Narvaez, Emma Kotowski, Kaylee and Jacob Franklin, Dash, Charlie and Josie Holman, Lachlan and Isla Elam, Grayden, Addelyn, Braylon, and Peyton Workman, Layla and Jack Barton; and one great-great-grandchild, Lukas Narvaez.

She was predeceased by her husband, parents, brothers, sisters and a son

Services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, in Morton and Johnston Funeral Home in Benton, with Dr. Sammy Simmons and the Rev. Eddie Paul Davis officiating. Burial will be in Masonic and Oddfellows Cemtery in Benton. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or Immanuel Baptist Church.

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

James Carl Johnson, Jr. – Christopher, IL

James Carl Johnson Jr., 93, of Christopher, IL, passed away November 13, 2016 at his home.

johnsonHe was born on July 20, 1923 in Helena, Montana, the son of James Carl Johnson and Eunice (Kenny) Elliot and step-father Bob Elliot.

He married M. Geraldine (Overturf) Johnson on November 6, 1953 and she preceded him in death on October 31, 2013.

James is survived by his children Jennifer Carol Johnson, of Christopher and James Carl and Shanna (Bailey) Johnson III, of Goreville, IL; grandchildren James Carl Johnson IV and Evan William Johnson.

James was a master electrician at the Burning Star Mine.

James proudly served in the US Navy from July 1942 to February 1946 as an Aviation Fire Controlman during World War II, in the US Coast Guard from May 1949 to June 1955 as a Fire Controlman, and the US Air Force from September 1955 to April 1965 as an Aircraft Control and Warning Radar Technician.  He retired as a Master Sergeant. His awards included Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign with 2 Stars, WWII Victory Medal, National Defense with 1 Star, Air Force Commendation Medal, three Air Force Good Conduct Medals and a Navy Unit Commendation.

He loved to travel, fish and garden.

James was preceded in death by his father, mother, step-father, one son Kenneth Lawrence Johnson, one daughter Mary Francis Johnson, and one brother Kenneth Lawrence Johnson

Graveside funeral services will be held Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 2 p.m. at Smith Cemetery in Buckner with Rev. Dr. Lauren Lambert officiating. Burial will be at Smith Cemetery in Buckner, IL.

There will be no visitation friends and family are asked to meet at the cemetery.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Christopher American Legion. Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher, IL is in charge of arrangements.

For more information go to

Alberta Marie Walter – Decatur, IL

Alberta Marie Walter, 50, of Decatur, IL, passed away November 11, 2016.

She was born July 18, 1966 in Eureka, CA, the daughter of Clarence VanHoorebeke and Jane (Baxter) Tucker.

She is survived by her children Robert Province, of Christopher, IL and Janie Kerns, of St. Joseph, Mo; one grandchild Jace Weston Kerns; one brother Dolph VanHoorebeke, of Buckner, IL and one sister, Angie Smith, of Benton, IL

Her wishes were to be cremated with no services.

She was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, Raymond VanHoorebeke.

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




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