Walter Lee Tatum – Benton, IL

BENTON — Walter Lee Tatum, 66, passed away Thursday afternoon Aug. 11, 2016, at his home.

He was born Sept. 2, 1949, in Sarasota, Florida, the son of Cecil Henry and Waneza (Perkins) Tatum.

He married Judy LaPorte on Sept. 9, 1977, and she survives.

Mr. Tatum was an U.S. Army veteran serving in Vietnam. He spent 9 months out of a one year tour in the field and was a track driver. He was stationed in Bin Phouc with the 9th Infantry Division. After his tour in Vietnam was over he was stationed in Hawaii where he completed Ranger Training. He was an expert marksman and was invited to shoot in competition for the Army but instead chose to return to civilian life.

He worked on the original construction of Sea World.

Mr. Tatum was a faithful member of Faith Baptist Church in Benton.

He is survived by his wife, Judy Tatum of Benton; sister, Marcella Brown of Benton; brother, George Flora and wife, Edye, of Cosby, Tennessee; son, Don Overturf and wife, Cheryl of Ninetysix, South Carolina; grandson, Joshua Overturf and wife, Andrea of Orange City, Florida; nephews and nieces, Donald Earl Tatum, Patricia Leona Wiggins, Kimberly Caylor, and Lance Flora and wife, Wendy; and special friend/brother, Vic Fedun.

He was preceded in death by his parents and by a brother, Cecil Riley Tatum.

Memorial services will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 15, in Faith Baptist Church, with Pastor Steven Flach officiating. Military Rites will be conducted by the Benton American Legion and VFW Posts.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Heartbeat International Mission.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Sudeep Nair, the yellow clinic at VA Medical Center and to Oza Cancer Center.

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

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

Brenda L. Szczeblewski – Mulkeytown, IL

Clifford Eugene Blair – Benton, IL

Clifford Eugene Blair, age 73 of Benton, died at 11:40 a.m. Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at the Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

Funeral Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, August 13, 2016 in the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton, with Rev. C.J. Easter officiating.  Burial will be in the Jackson Grove Cemetery east of Benton.  Visitation will be Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until the funeral hour at the Leffler Funeral Home.

Mr. Blair was born on July 21, 1943 the son of Jim and Eleanor Blair.  He married the former Carol Ray Mobley on July 21, 1962 and she preceded him in death on May 11, 2014.

Clifford was a Brick Mason and a member of Laborers’ Local 773.

He enjoyed fishing, collecting antiques, and yard sales.

Mr. Blair is survived by his two sons: David Blair of Logan, Randy Blair of Benton; one grandson Kevin Biggs; a great-grandson; a sister Nancy Vandom of Benton; an ex-daughter-in-law Robin Blair of Herrin; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; two sisters: Elsie and Susie; and five brothers: Mark, Bill, Gary, Jim and Ernie.

Memorial contributions may be made to the family of Clifford Blair and will be accepted at the funeral home.

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

Margaret E. Carroll – Benton, IL

BENTON — Margaret E. Carroll, 94, passed away Monday morning Aug. 8, 2016, in Helia Health Care in Benton.

She was born Aug. 21, 1921, in Benton, the daughter of Charlie and Annie (Pearce) McGuire.

Margaret married William H. Luster and he died in 1969.

She married Walter Carroll on May 20, 1972, and he survives.

Margaret was of Christian faith.

She is survived by her husband, Walter Carroll of Benton; two sons, William C. Luster and wife, Carman of Plano, Texas, James R. Luster and wife, Carolyn, of Benton; four grandchildren, Richard Luster and wife, Gina of Indianapolis, Indiana, Sabrina Jarman and husband, Greg of Richardson, Texas, James M. Luster and wife, Joy, of Benton, and Scott Luster and wife, Tarah, of Cary; nine great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her first husband and two brothers, Charles E. McGuire and James R. McGuire.

Graveside funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, in Masonic and Oddfellows Cemetery in Benton, with Pastor Karl Barnfield officiating. There will be no visitation. Those attending the service are requested to meet at the cemetery.

Morton & Johnston Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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

Julia V. Weathers — Benton, IL

BENTON — Julia V. Weathers, 84, passed away at 7:26 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016, in Stonebridge Senior Living Center in Benton.

Mrs. Weathers was born Feb. 28, 1932, to Roy and Lolita (Morgan) Vinyard in Des Plaines.

She retired after teaching art for 39 years in the Benton grade school system.

She was a member of First Baptist Church in Benton.

Julia is survived by her sons, Gene Timothy “Tim” Weathers and wife, Virginia, of Palmersville, Tennessee, and Scott M. “Stormy” Weathers of Fort Worth, Texas.

She was preceded in death by her parents and one sister, Jeanne Hitt.

Memorial services will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11 in First Baptist Church, at 201 S. Main St., in Benton, with Dave Severin officiating. Visitation will be from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the church.

Charles “Byron” Smith – Orient, IL

Charles “Byron” Smith, 58, of Orient IL, passed away on Sunday, August 7, 2016, at 3 a.m. in Benton IL.

byron Byron was born on November 4, 1957 to Charles “Dick” and Suzanne (née Stuckey) Casey in Christopher, IL. He graduated from Benton Consolidated High School in 1976. He worked for several coal mines, including Freeman Coal Co. and Amax Coal Co. Byron enjoyed swapping good jokes, cooking (and eating) savory food, and swimming in lakes and the ocean.

Byron is survived by his mother Sue Casey and stepfather Charles Casey of Benton IL; son Joshua Byron Smith and wife Lora Walsh, of Fayetteville, AR, with their son Zadok Owen and daughter Aletta Fontabel; son Alex Tyler Smith and wife Amanda, of Benton, IL, with their daughter Alivia JoAnn; daughter Anna Elizabeth Lane and husband Randy, of St. Louis, MO; brother, Scott Ralls and wife Andrea of Cordlandt Manor, NY; sister Valarie Durham of Roswell, NM; brothers Rick Casey and Randy Casey, both of Benton IL; and sister Tammy Rehbock of Romeoville, IL.

He is preceded in death by his father, Charles Richard Smith, and his stepmother, Donna Kay Smith.

In accordance with Byron’s wishes, there will be no funeral services and cremation will be held.

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

A memorial service will be held Saturday, August 13, 2016, at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church, 201 S. Main, in Benton IL.

Memorial contributions are requested to Hospice of Southern Illinois and will be accepted at the funeral home.

The guestbook may be signed at

Jason Paul Bailey – Benton, IL

Jason Paul Bailey, 43, of Benton, IL, passed away Friday, August 5, 2016 at Franklin Hospital, in Benton.

Jason was born in Benton on March 26, 1973, the son of John T. and Sharon Rose (Holman) Bailey.

Jason dearly loved his children and family.

He is survived by three children, Gaige Bailey, Holmes Beach, FL, Madelyn Kays, of Sesser, IL and Ryder Lane Bailey, of Zeigler, IL; mother Sharon Rose Burton, of Benton; sister Beth Smith and husband Scott, of Ewing, IL; two brothers, Scott Bailey and wife Leigh Anne, of Benton and T.J. Burton, of Benton.

He was preceded in death by his father John T. Bailey.

Funeral services will be held at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to the time of the service at 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

Lawanda B. (Evilsizer) Fourez – Christopher, IL

Lawanda B. (Evilsizer) Fourez, 86, of Christopher, IL, passed away on August 6, 2016.

She was born on October 15th, 1929 in Buckner, IL, to George Lucien and Goldie Mae (Shover) Evilsizer. She was united in holy matrimony to Frank “Bunny” Fourez Jr. on June 29th, 1946.

The union was blessed with seven children. Her beautiful life will forever be cherished in the lives of her children; Larry (Susie) Fourez, Rick (Yvonne) Fourez both of Christopher, IL, Randy (Debbie) Fourez of Marion, IL, Bunny Fourez of Christopher, IL, Tami (Roger) Price of Benton, IL, Rodney (Francie) Fourez, Darrin Fourez both of Christopher, IL; 14 grandchildren, Jolie (Marty) Ramsey, Larry (Gayla) Fourez Jr., Jackie Miller, Johnny (Jamie) Fourez, Eric (Stephanie) Fourez, Amy (Mike) Johnson, Cameron (Brianna) Fourez, Jamie (Troy) Randall, Christopher (Rachel) Price, Abbie Price, Meghan (Chad) Dirler, Rodney (Katie) Fourez, Jared (Alyssa) Fourez, Dylan Fourez, Zeke Fourez; 26 Great grandchildren; 4 great great grandchildren.

Lawanda also leaves a brother George Evilsizer, a sister Judy Patterson, a brother Bob (Lorain) Evilsizer, a sister Brenda (Tom) Monti, brother in law Wendell Bowlin, and one sister in law Mary Kaminski. Lawanda was preceded in death by her loving husband Frank “Bunny” Fourez Jr., her son Larry Alan Fourez, parents George Lucien and Goldie Evilsizer, 6 sisters; Doris Bowlin, Loretta Cain, twin sisters Nadine and Darlene Evilsizer, Gladys Terry, and Sharon Forgotch, one sister in law Charlotte Evilsizer and 4 brothers in law Jack Cain, Ron Terry, Sam Patterson and Julius Kaminski.

Lawanda’s wishes were to be cremated with a private graveside service. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois, and will be accepted at the funeral home.

Dorothy “Jean” Caraker – West Frankfort, IL

Dorothy “Jean”  Caraker, 87, of West Frankfort, IL passed away at  12:15 p.m., on Wednesday, August 3, 2016, at the her residence surrounded by her family.

caraker Jean was born on May 5, 1929, to Clarence “Ted” and Josie (Roseman) Moore at Patoka, IL. She worked as a Shoe Clerk for the Shoe Room. On September 10, 1948, she married Donald Caraker and he survives.

She was a member of the Patoka Christian Church and enjoyed bowling, camping and trout fishing.

 Jean is survived by her loving spouse Donald, two daughters, Sharon Kay Piercy of Sikeston, MO and Cathy Ann Eldridge of West Frankfort, IL; one son, John Charles Caraker of Fenton, MO; seven granddaughters, Robin Lynn Reid of Christopher, IL, Amy Jo Grob of Benton, IL, Wendy Kay Piercy of Marion, IL, Elizabeth Ann Lane of Sikeston, MO, Jennifer Lynne Eldridge of Logan, IL, Catherine Bast  and Coleen Caraker of Chicago, IL; one grandson, Timothy Steven Eldridge of Troy, IL; six great-grandsons, Trevor Loren Owens of West Frankfort, IL, Brandon Boner of Marion, IL, Cameron Wilson, Dustin Boner of Marion, IL, Bret Hawkins of Sikeston, MO and Dillon Nave of Sikeston, MO; four great-granddaughters, Morghan Taylor Eldridge of

Lincolnton, NC, Courtney Piercy, Lacey King of Sikeston, MO and Page Roger of Sikeston, MO; two great-great-grandsons, Bentley Patton of Christopher, IL and Austin Wright of Christopher, IL and one great-great-granddaughter, Courtney Patton of Christopher, IL; two brothers, Murval Moore of Salem, IL and Burl Moore of Mountain Home, AR; three sisters, Irene Allegrett of Salem, IL, Vivian “Peg” Williams of IN, and Velma Hassell of House Springs, MO and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was preceded in death her parents, Clarence “Ted” Andrew and Josie Elizabeth Moore; three brothers, Dane Moore, Donald Moore, and Darwin “Bud” Neil Moore; four sisters, Helen Wooden,  Beulah Matz, Iris Bawm, and Gertrude Moore; one son-in-law, Timothy Eldridge;  one great-granddaughter, Cassandra Eldridge and one great-grandson, Jacob Boner.

Memorial gathering will be held Sunday, August 7, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., at Pate Funeral Home, 301 South Main St., Benton, IL.      Per Jean’s wishes, cremation was held.

 Memorials contributions are requested to Hospice of Southern Illinois and will be accepted at the funeral home.

Online condolences can be given at

Norma Jean Helton – Valier, IL

VALIER — Norma Jean Helton, 78, passed away at 5:23 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1, 2016, at her home.

She was born Oct. 8, 1937, in Thompsonville.

She graduated valedictorian at Valier High School Class in 1955. Norma graduated from Southern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

She taught at Sesser-Valier Schools for 31 years, where she retired in 1998.

She was a devoted Christian. She loved God, her family, her students, animals, and reading. She had 12 foster children over the years that she loved and claimed as her own.

Suvivors include her husband of 56 years, Charles Edward Helton of Valier, daughter, Donna Sue Helton Davis and husband, Greg Davis of Springfield, Tennessee; and son, Charles Travis Helton and fiancée, Bobbie Browder of Valier, five grandchildren, Celeste Davis, Caleb Davis, Christian Davis, Courtney Helton and Matthew Helton; and two great-granddaughters, Natalee and Addison; sisters, Lois Jackson and Jane Carter; and brother, Kenneth Rusher.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Sherman and Mary Irene Sullivan, both ordained Free Will Baptist ministers; sister, Juanita Burzynski and brother, Vernon Sullivan.

Arrangements per her request, are graveside services which will be at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, in Mount Etna Cemetery in Thompsonville. Those attending are requested to meet at the cemetery at 1:30 p.m.

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

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