Janice Faye Overton – Sesser, IL

Janice Faye Overton, 75, of Sesser, passed away Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at her home.

Mrs. Overton’s wishes are to be cremated with no public services.

Cremation arrangements are with the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

Janice was born on April 21, 1946, in Jefferson County, Illinois; the daughter of Orland Miller and Thresa (Tweety) Miller. She married William Alva Overton on April 26, 1968, and he preceded her in death on April 10, 2013.

She was a homemaker and a member of the Church of Christ of Sesser.

Mrs. Overton enjoyed spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren. She also enjoyed taking drives in the car around the lake, while enjoying some ice cream.

Surviving are six children: Anne Muncie and husband Michael of Jacksonville, FL, Kent Miller and wife Tammy of Sesser, Brian Overton and wife Angie of Sesser, Regina Miles and husband Michael of Sesser, Rebecca Ellison and husband Chad of DuQuoin, and David Overton of Sesser; 17 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren; a brother Edward Miller and wife Clara of Sesser; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; a beloved grandson William Vincent Overton; a brother Wayne Miller; and a sister Joyce Merkel.

Memorial contributions may be made In Memory of Janice, to the Church of Christ of Sesser.

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

Ernest “Harvey” H. Olson, Jr. – Marion, IL (formerly of Benton, IL)

Ernest “Harvey” H. Olson, Jr., 80, of Marion, formerly of Benton, passed away at 12:24 a.m., Tuesday, November 30, 2021, at Herrin Hospital.

He was born on August 3, 1941, to Ernest and Lilah (Hawkins) Olson, Sr., in Chicago, IL. Ernest served in the United States Navy as a Naval Air Reservist. He retired as a General Contractor after working over forty-five years on major construction projects. On May 5, 1962, he married the former Louise M. Stubbings in Miami, OK. To this union they had three children.

Harvey was a loving son, husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle. He was a board member of the Hill City Water District in Benton for 15 years. Harvey enjoyed sailing, woodworking and carpentry. Through the years, Harvey has been the mentor to many individuals assisting them in teaching them how to start up their own construction businesses. He really took pride in making hand holding Crosses, and sharing them with many families and individuals.

He is survived by his loving spouse of 59 years, Louise M. Olson; three children, Mark A. (Lynne) Olson, Curtis M. (Lori) Olson and Karen L. (Kevin) Luebke; four grandchildren, Anna (Lucas) Stefan, Luke Olson, Erin (Anthony) Fund and Brandon Olson; two brothers, Paul E. (Ingrid) Olson and Fred O. (Lynn) Olson; sister, Caryl L.Damiani; two sister-in-laws, Nicole Olson and Patricia (John) Armstrong; aunt, Phyllis (John) Geschwind; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Harvey was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Lilah Olson, Sr.; brother, Philip L. Olson; sister, Donna M. Waltrip; and brother-in-law, Art Damiani.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home, 301 S. Main St., Benton, IL.

Per Harvey’s wishes cremation will take place and a celebration of his life will be held at a later date.
Memorials contributions may be made to the St. Jude’s Hospital for Children by visiting www.stjude.org, Hospice of Southern Illinois by visiting www.hospice.org or the First Christian Church in Benton and will be accepted at the funeral home.

Online condolences can be given at www.patefh.com.

Beth Mandrell-Mulkeytown, IL

Beth Mandrell, 66, of Mulkeytown, passed away on Thursday, December 2, 2021, at Deaconess Midtown Hospital in Evansville, IN after a lengthy battle with COVID pneumonia.

Beth was born June 15, 1955, in Du Quoin, IL to Gene and Marian (Inabnit) Flint. Being of a nondenominational faith she pledged her life to the Lord at the age of 12. She attended Mulkeytown Grade School and graduated as the valedictorian of her class in 1973 from Christopher High School. She attended Rend Lake College after high school and earned a licensed practical nurse (LPN) certificate. She worked as an LPN at Marshall Browning Hospital until 1977. She met her husband, Vernon in 1976 and they were married on December 22nd of that year. She was a housewife and mother until their youngest went to school and then she returned to the workforce as an aid in the Christopher Elementary School. While at CES she found her passion for libraries and she continued her work as a librarian for the remainder of her career.

She is survived by her loving husband of 45 years, Vernon Mandrell of Mulkeytown, children; Kara (Brad) Avis, Mt. Pleasant, IA, Aaron (Danielle) Mandrell, California, MD and Leah (Matt) Rolando, Ursa, IL, grandchildren; Peyton, Jacob, and Riley Mandrell, Carter and Audrey Rolando, mother, Marian Flint, DuQuoin, IL, brothers; Dave Flint, Mulkeytown, IL, Don (Angie) Flint, Mulkeytown, IL, and sister, Charlotte (Lance) Smith, Carlyle, IL, many nieces, nephews, cousins, beloved aunt and uncle, Martha and Glen Bauman, Sesser, IL, and special friends, Alvin & Doris Lloyd, Sesser, IL

She was preceded in death by her father, Gene Flint, brother and sister-in-law, Alan and Alpha Flint.

An avid gardener, Beth loved being outdoors working in her garden during the warmer months. A gifted seamstress and cake baker, Beth was extremely creative and loved sharing her gifts with others. She enjoyed resale shopping with her daughters to find treasures to repurpose or renew. A proud military parent, she loved to tell others about her son’s journeys as a part of the US Navy. Spending time with her grandchildren was one of her biggest joys in life. She loved vacationing with family each year and especially enjoyed going to the beach. She had recently retired from Rend Lake College after working for 21 years as a reference librarian. Her love of helping others could be seen in the care she took when assisting students, teaching classes, reading to children, and helping to grow the LRC through fundraising and grant writing. A firm believer in education, she worked tirelessly to obtain both her bachelors and master’s degrees after she turned 40.

The world was a brighter place with her in it. She was ‘Momma Beth’ and ‘Miss Beth’ to many people and touched those who were fortunate to have her in their lives. She found joy in helping and giving to others. Whether lending a listening ear or giving her time, she was always willing to take the time to be there for others.

Services will be held at Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral home in Sesser, IL. Visitation will be held from 5-8 pm on Sunday, Dec. 5 and funeral will be held on Monday, Dec. 6 at 10 am with Scott Potter and Jon Knochenmus officiating. Burial at Mulkeytown Cemetery and luncheon at Mulkeytown Grade School will follow. Attendees are asked to wear a mask during this difficult time to protect our family and friends.

For more information go to our website www.gilbertfuneralhomes.com

William K. Owens – Herrin, Illinois (formerly of Sesser, IL)

William Kelly Owens, son of Charles and Ruby Owens, was born on July 02, 1946, and departed this life November 28, 2021.

Bill grew up in Sesser, IL and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1963. He trained at the MCRD in San Diego, CA and was then stationed at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside ,CA.

Bill served three tours of duty in Vietnam with the 1st Battalion 1st Marines 1965-1966 and was wounded three times receiving the Purple Heart.

A New York Times bestselling book titled “A Rumor of War,” was written and published in 1977 by his Lieutenant, Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Caputo. The book detailed Bill’s Platoon’s Vietnam War combat experiences during that first tour amidst tragic circumstances surrounding the capture of the Viet Cong enemy. In 1980, A Rumor of War became a TV movie/ miniseries that aired on CBS.
Bill’s second tour was 1968-1969 and his final tour stationed him at the US Embassy in Saigon where he was the personal bodyguard to the US Ambassador, Ellsworth Bunker. Bill was awarded the Medal of Accommodation which is presented for sustained acts of heroism and meritorious service. His classification was Military Intelligence Chief. Richard Nixon gave Bill a gold Marine Corp ring for providing impeccable security while at Nixon’s west coast home in San Clemente, CA and during meetings in Saigon. Bill was very proud of having President Nixon recognize him simply as “Owens”.

He was stationed at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, CA three times and Cherry Point, NC as part of the Military Police Force and later as Duty Warden at the Brig.

Bill married Ruth Ann West on September 04, 1964, in the Baptist Church in Oceanside, CA. To this union was born two sons William Joseph- 1967 and John Dean- 1971. Both sons were born on the Camp Pendleton Marine Base.

Upon returning to civilian life, he served as the Police Chief in his hometown, Sesser, IL as well as organizing several local civic organizations.

Returning to Southern California, he served as Street Supervisor for Los Angeles, CA, Hollywood precinct for many years until his retirement. As a young man he learned about heavy equipment, diesel trucks and tractors, from his father, Charles. That knowledge would pay off later when Bill’s primary job function was the purchasing of heavy trucks and equipment for the City of Los Angeles.
He maintained a second job as Firearms Instructor for the Los Angeles Police Academy- LAPD where he trained new police recruits how to properly use firearms. He also returned to the Marine Corp Reserves for a short stint as a Gunnery Sgt Drill Instructor.
After his retirement he served as the Illinois State President of the Vietnam Veterans Association and donated a lot of his time to help Disabled American Veterans.

Bill lived many of his years at his High Desert California ranch home which overlooked Edwards Air Force Base, located in the Antelope Valley. From his home, He had a front row seat for many of the Space Shuttle landings at Edwards. AFB. In his private life he truly enjoyed a good fishing trip to the Pacific, Colorado River, Lake Castaic, or a secluded farm pond tucked away in the countryside. He was an avid coin collector. He was also very passionate about riding his motorcycles which allowed him to tour the country extensively including many trips with fellow Viet Nam Veterans. In his younger days he, alongside wife Ruth Ann, he even toured Hawaii on a motorcycle.

He loved the camaraderie with his brother veterans, was always quick to pull a prank or tell a joke, and always was available to provide support.

In a tribute to Bill, his nephew Donn stated,

“He toughened me up at a time in my life when I needed it. He took me along on many adventures which aided me in years to come.”
The charisma and fun-loving nature he always brought to family gatherings will be missed.

Most importantly, he will be remembered for his military service to his country as a Marine. Semper Fi Marine!
William was of the Baptist faith, and attended the Mt. Olive Free Will Baptist Church of Benton, received a BA from the University of Illinois for Criminal Justice.

He leaves behind his sons Bill and John of Benton, grandchildren Kylee and Erik Owens of McKinney, TX. Brother Richard Owens of Christopher, sister Lana Wymer of Ocala, FL, and companion and friend Donna Serritt of Herrin, IL. Was preceded in death by his parents Charles and Ruby Owens, brother Leon Baker, and daughter-in-law Kellie Owens.

Bill would insist that donations be made to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots, in lieu of flowers.
Graveside services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, December 3, 2021, at the Masonic & Odd Fellows Cemetery of Benton, with Rev. Alan Minton officiating. Per Bill’s request, Military honors will be provided by the United Staes Marine Corps. Family and friends are asked to meet at the cemetery.

Funeral Arrangements are through the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

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

Terry L. Ray – Benton, IL

Terry L. Ray, 73, of Benton, IL passed away Thursday, November 25, 2021 at the Franklin Hospital.

He was born in Benton, IL on August 10, 1948, the son of James and Edith (Lane) Ray.

He married Rhonda (Wilkerson) on February 14, 2007.

Mr. Ray worked for Benton Township for over 40 years, and when he retired he was Highway Commissioner. He had also served as Assistant

Fire Chief for Ewing Northern Station #3 for several years. He loved fishing, camping and motorcycle riding.

Mr. Ray is survived by his wife Rhonda Ray, of Benton, children Keith Ray, of Thompsonville, IL, Edith Marie Johnson, and husband Todd, of Thompsonville and Olivia Ray, of Steel City, IL; grandchildren Allison Colp, Tyler Peerbolte, Courtney Wilson, Aubrey Wilson, Seiger Wilkerson, Elijah Burgess, Josalyn Burgess, Blake Morgan, Riley Weidig, Maddox Davis; four great-grandchildren and three step-children; Alesha Atwood, Whitney Atwood and James Hall.

Mr. Ray was preceded in death by his parents, by a son, Terry Wayne Ray, by a sister, Wanda and by six brothers: George, Ray, Bob, Sam, Clyde and Paul.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at Morton & Johnston Funeral Home, in Benton, IL, with Bro. Dan Wilkerson officiating. Visitation will be after 11 a.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home.
For more information or to send online condolences please visit www.mortonjohnstonfuneralhome.com

Gary Peters-West Frankfort, IL

Gary Peters, 73, of West Frankfort, IL, passed away on Saturday November 27, 2021.

He was born on December 2, 2021 to John and Louella (Tramell) Peters.

He is survived by his former wife Vickie (Shadowen) McDonald; two sons Guy Eugene Peters of West Frankfort and Gregary Jay Peters of West Frankfort; grandchildren Nathan Charles Peters, Gunner Jay Peters and Gabriel Peters; step children Jimmy, Amy, Ryan, Shawn and Chris; step grandchildren “TT” Thomas, “Baby Girl” Cheyenne, Erica, Landien, Graclyn, Madison and “Country Girl”; two sisters Judy Sawyer of Moline, IL and Joan Tice of Missouri; two brothers Johnnie Peters of Missouri and Michael Shawn Peters of Missouri and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one step daughter Ashley and one step grandchild Hunter.

He was a truck driver for Fred Norman Trucking in Murphysboro, IL and he was a Veteran of the United States Army serving in the Vietnam War.

A memorial visitation will be held on Friday December 3, 2021 from 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher.

For more information go to our website www.gilbertfuneralhomes.com

John David Zimmerman – Sesser, IL

John David Zimmerman, 74, of Sesser, passed away on Saturday November 27, 2021 at Deaconess Midtown Hospital in Evansville, IN.

He was born on July 25, 1947 in Sesser, IL to Donald and Margaret (Pearson) Zimmerman. He married Linda (Prior) Zimmerman on June 8, 1968.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years Linda Zimmerman of Sesser; two children Mark Zimmerman of Sesser and Amanda (Eric) Tindall of Sesser; grandchildren Haleigh Zimmerman, Mackenzie Tindall, Mackayla Miller and Kade Zimmerman and one great granddaughter Hadley Tindall.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and two brothers Harold Zimmerman and Jack Zimmerman.

He was an outdoorsman, loving to hunt, fish and play with his dogs. He also loved to talk about guns and collect guns, but most important was his family and he loved to watch all of his grandchildren play sports.

He was a member of the Bear Point Free Wil Baptist Church and had worked at Old Ben #26.

Funeral services will be on Wednesday December 1, 2021 at 1:00 PM at Bear Point Free Will Baptist Church in Sesser with Brother Gowdy Cannon and Brother Larry Cook officiating. Visitation will be on Wednesday from 10:00 AM until the time of the service at 1:00 PM at the church. Burial will be at Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser.

For more information go to our website www.gilbertfuneralhomes.com

Earl Dee Buckner – Buckner, IL

Earl Dee Buckner, 69, of Buckner, IL, passed away on Thursday, November 25, 2021, at his residence.

He was born on January 23, 1952, to Logan and Faye (Overturf) Buckner in Christopher, IL. Earl attended Rend Lake College. He retired from his family farm, Farm Supply and from being an over the road truck driver.

Earl enjoyed watching band competitions and attending local basketball and football games.

Earl is survived by his two sisters, Lana (Danny) Vukadinovich and Elva Jane Martin; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by parents, Logan and Faye Buckner; and brother, John Buckner.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home, 301 S. Main St., Benton, IL.

Per Earl’s wishes cremation will take place and a private burial will be held at the Masonic & Oddfellows Cemetery.

Memorial Contributions may be made to the donor’s choice and will be accepted at the funeral home.

Online condolences can be given at www.patefh.com.

Dorothy Johnson – West Frankfort, IL

Mrs. Dorothy Mae Johnson, age 96, of West Frankfort; passed away at her home and went to be with her Lord and Savior at 4:20 a.m. Thursday, November 25, 2021.

Funeral services will be held at 12 noon Monday, November 29, 2021, at the Abundant Life United Pentecostal Church of Benton, with Rev. Chris Hammonds officiating. Burial will follow in the Masonic & Odd Fellows Cemetery of Benton. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. to Noon on Monday at the Abundant Life United Pentecostal Church of Benton.

Arrangements are with the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

Dorothy was born on September 7, 1925, in Lyndell, Pennsylvania, the daughter of George Allen Kaiser and Elsie Mae (Osbourne) Kaiser. She married Arnie Leon Johnson, Sr. on September 21, 1942, and he preceded her in death on December 18, 2004.

She formerly worked as a CNA at Sanford Rehabilitation Center of Sanford, North Carolina.

Mrs. Johnson was a member of the Abundant Life United Pentecostal Church of Benton.

She enjoyed cooking for her kids and grandkids. She also loved family and church gatherings. Her family said she enjoyed working with her hands; including painting, remodeling, and she use to raise farm animals.

Surviving are six loving children: Rosa Lee Decker and husband Bob of Chester, IL, Carl Johnson and wife Merry of Sanford, NC, Virginia Diamond and fiancée Jerry Cramer of Mack’s Creek, MO, Kenny Johnson and wife Krista of Sanford, NC, David Johnson of Sanford, NC, Margaret Morris and husband Jeff of West Frankfort, IL; 30 grandchildren; 42 great-grandchildren; 8 great-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Mrs. Johnson was preceded in death by her parents, husband; two sons Arnie Johnson, Jr. and Peter Daniel Johnson; two grandchildren Amy Johnson and Michael Wayne Harris; two sisters Effie and Grace, and a brother Sonny.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Abundant Life United Pentecostal Church.

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

Christina Maria Pearson – West Frankfort, IL

Christina Maria Pearson, of West Frankfort, passed away peacefully in her sleep at home on November 23, 2021 after her long battle with cancer. She was 44 years old, born July 17th, 1977.

Her wishes are to be cremated with a future Celebration of Life Service.

The Leffler Funeral Home of Benton, is in charge of the cremation arrangements.

Christina was baptized at North Benton Baptist Church, and later went to church at Immanuel Baptist Church until she graduated high school and served in the Navy. She was stationed at Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii, where she met and married her first husband and where her first child was born.

She leaves behind her three loving children: Tristan Carter, 24; Serenity Pearson, 16; and Lucas Pearson, 14. Also her mother Debra Kays and her husband Marion; her sisters Marie Staggs and Toni Ray; her father Stewart (Bill) Edwards and his wife Viola; her estranged husband Billy Pearson; her step sisters Brenda, Tammy, Debbie, and Elaina; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and other family and friends.
Proceeding her is her ex-husband Tracy Carter, her grandparents Rose Edwards and Lois and Robert Key, and her great grandparents Bertha and Ed Uselton.

Memorial contributions may be made to assist the family with expenses, payable to the Leffler Funeral Home, 401 East Main Street, Benton, Illinois 62812.

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

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News