Brenda May Wilson-Christopher, IL

Brenda May Wilson, 78, of Christopher, passed away on Monday June 27, 2022 at her home.

She was born on February 10, 1944 in Christopher to Albert and Fay (Wiliams) Key. She married Larry Wilson on August 15, 2012 and he survives of Christopher.

She is also survived by her children Sheila Key of Herrin and Rita Branche of Christopher; grandchildren Taylor Marks, Samantha (Conway Loy) Marks, Glenn (Breanna) Marks, Shelby Branche, Jimmy Branche and Randy Branche; great grandchildren Sadie, Aaliyah, Harleigh, Watson, Atlas, Aiden, Adriana, Orion, Amanda and Randy Jr. and one sister Sheila Smith of Christopher.

She was preceded in death by her parents, one brother Jimmy Key and one granddaughter Amanda Marks.

Funeral services will be on Friday July 1, 2022 at 1:00 PM at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher. Visitation will be on Friday from 11:00 AM until the time of the service at 1:00 PM. Burial will be at Harrison Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher to help with funeral expenses.

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

Morgan Phelps Stubblefield-Sesser, IL

Morgan Phelps Stubblefield, 25, of Sesser, passed away on Wednesday June 22, 2022 at her home.

She was born on January 17, 1997 in DuQuoin, IL to Tony and Maria (Wright) Phelps.

She married Brandon Stubblefield on December 31, 2021 and he survives of Sesser. She is also survived by her parents Tony and Maris Phelps of Valier; one brother Michael (Grace) Phelps of Sesser; two nieces Rey Madelyn Phelps and Noa Phelps; father-in-law and mother-in-law Scott and Sheila Stubblefield of Royalton; two brother-in-laws Matt (Stephanie) Stubblefield and their children Ashlyn, Gunner, and Kynsleigh and Kyle (Hannah) Stubblefield and their child Parker; grandparents Phil and Kathy Phelps, Jane Wright, Ron Diuguid, and Richard (Susan) Stubblefield.

She was loved by her many close friends and she loved her doggos Millie and Leo. She was preceded in death by her grandparents Larry Wright and Sharon Diuguid.

Funeral services for Morgan will be on Sunday June 26, 2022 at 1:00 PM at the Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser, IL with Rev. Kirk Packer officiating. Visitation will be on Sunday from 10:00 AM until the time of the service at 1:00 PM at the funeral home. Burial will be at Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois or to Chemo Buddies, envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

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

Randy F. Hammonds – Sesser, IL

Randy F. Hammonds, 65, of Sesser, passed away on June 20, 2022 as a result of an auto accident.

He was born on December 29, 1956 in Pinckneyville to Jesse and Mary Lou (Young) Hammonds. He married Robyn (McGhee) Hammonds on March 7, 1987 and she survives of Sesser.

He is also survived by his children Randy (Leah) Hammonds of Valier, Ryan Hammonds of Sesser and Teneva Johnston of Nashville, IL; one granddaughter Rynlee Mae Hammonds; four grandsons Byron Johnston, Zea Johnston, Tayron Johnston and KJ Johnston; two sisters Peggy Hammonds of Sesser and Susie (Bob) Skidmore of Christopher; mother-in-law Pam McGhee of Christopher; sister-in-law Andrea (Gary) Kelley of Christopher; three nieces Sheryl Bennet of Mt Vernon, Jamie Hammonds of DuQuoin and Alicia (Donnie) Pickles of Marion; two nephews Ricky (Stacy) Shumate of Baldwin, MO and R.J. (Jessie) Huh of Benton and several great nieces and great nephews.

Randy was preceded in death by his parents and one brother-in-law Robert McGhee.

He was a much respected truck driver for over 43 years and was employed by Todd Brown Trucking in Jonesboro, he loved his family and to make everyone laugh and he also loved his wiener dogs. He will be missed by anyone that knew him.

A Celebration of Life will be held for Randy on July 2, 2022 from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM at the Sesser VFW Hall.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the family to help with funeral expenses.

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

Keith Manzek – Benton, Illinois

Mr. Keith Allen Manzek, age 71, of Benton; passed away at 2:25 a.m. Sunday, June 19, 2022, at his home.

Celebration of Life Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, June 25, 2022, at the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton, with Pastor Brian Mixon officiating. Visitation will be from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, at the Leffler Funeral Home. Military honors will be provided by the Benton American Legion Post #280, V.F.W. Post #2671, and the Army National Guard; at the funeral home.

Keith was born on March 1, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois; the son of Robert Manzek and Elsie E. (Mannikko) Manzek. He married the former Carolyne L. Mannes on January 18, 1972; and she preceded him in death on April 28,1985.

Mr. Manzek was a U.S. Army veteran having served at Fort Dix New Jersey, from January 1971 – January 1973.

He was a retired IT-Technician with Metromail.

Keith attended the Thompsonville Church of God.

He enjoyed fishing, being outdoors, traveling, eating out, talking with people, and hosting BBQ’s. He also enjoyed online gaming, and racing his remote control cars.

Surviving are two children: Bryan Manzek of Christopher, Illinois, Aimee Perry of Gaylord, Michigan; three grandchildren Brandyn Manzek of Chicago, Illinois, Corrin and Kyle Perry of Gaylord, Michigan.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Carolyne; and his long-time companion Carole Rice of Benton.

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

Cremation arrangements are through the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

James Edward Bird – Elkville, Illinois

Mr. James Edward Bird, age 86, of Elkville; passed away at 10:25 p.m. Saturday, June 11, 2022, at the Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

Celebration of Life Services will be held at 3:00 p.m. Monday, June 20, 2022, at St. Johns V.F.W. Post #513 of DuQuoin, Illinois.

Arrangements are through the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

James was born on August 2, 1935, in Galatia, Illinois, the son of Owen Rodney Bird and Ethel (Guye) Bird. He married the former Lorine Faye Williams and she preceded him in death on November 19, 2012.

He was a retired truck driver last driving for Belson Steel in Kankakee, Illinois. He was also a retired volunteer firefighter.

He was of the Baptist faith.

James enjoyed going dancing with his girlfriend and tinkering on projects. Most of all he enjoyed spending time with his family.

Surviving are two daughters: Karla Bird of Elkville, Illinois, and Sandra Fisher and husband Terry of Herrin, Illinois; his girlfriend Sandra Phillips of Elkville, Illinois; five grandchildren: James Nathaniel Fisher, T.J. Fisher, Bruce Adam Fisher, Amy Rose Fortin, Laura Katherine Renee Fortin; five great-grandchildren: Dylan Fisher, James Fisher, Terry Fisher, Adam Fisher and Adian Fisher; three siblings: Ida Louise Webber of Louisiana, Alice Almeda Reed of Carterville, Illinois, Harold Bird of Streator, Illinois; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Lorine Faye Bird; a half-brother Wayne Bird; a brother Leroy Bird, a half-sister Helen Evans, and a brother William Harvey Bird, who died two days previous to James’ death.

Memorial contributions In Memory of James Bird, may be made to Coal Belt Fire Protective Association; and will be accepted at the funeral home.

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

Cord Fitch – Thompsonville, IL

Mr. Dennis Corbin “Cord” Fitch, age 60, of Thompsonville; passed away at 6:55 p.m. Thursday, June 16, 2022, at his home surrounded by family.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, June 20, 2022, at the Grace Awakening Community Church of Benton, with Rev. Ken Petty and Dow Smith officiating. Burial will follow in the East Fork Cemetery of West Frankfort. Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sunday, June 19, 2022, and from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Monday, June 20, 2022, at the Grace Awakening Community Church of Benton. Arrangements are through the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

Cord was born on September 11, 1961, in Benton, IL; the son of Rev. Kenneth Fitch and Dorothy Fay (Arview) Fitch. He married the former Stacey Lee Ann Steinmetz on December 31, 1999, and together they shared 22 ½ years of marriage.

Cord was a contractor and foreman with Paul Miller Construction. He was a member of the Akin Masonic Lodge #749 A.F. & A.M. of Thompsonville, and he was the President of the Southern Illinois Steel Guitar Association. He served for 7 years in the U.S. Army National Guard, and he was a member of the Grace Awakening Community Church of Benton.

He enjoyed playing steel guitars, fishing, and watching his son Corbin play basketball. He loved home cooked meals, family wiener roasts, sitting around a fire; most of all he enjoyed spending time with his family.

Surviving is his loving wife Stacey Fitch of Thompsonville, IL; two sons: Alexander Fitch and fiancé Nichole of Belleville, IL, Corbin Fitch of Thompsonville, IL; five siblings: Marlene Dale and husband Jerry of Logan, IL, Rita Graskewicz and husband John of Thompsonville, IL, Marilyn McClure and husband John of Jeffersonville, IN, Barry Fitch and wife Phyllis of Galatia, IL, Mark Fitch and wife Tonya of Thompsonville, IL; mother-in-law: Judy Steinmetz of West Frankfort, IL; two sisters-in-law: Susan Cannon and husband Brent of Pinckneyville, IL, Michelle Odle and husband Randy of West Frankfort, IL; employer and best friend Paul Miller and wife Phyllis of Thompsonville, IL; and several aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; father-in-law Jack Steinmetz; and a niece Jennifer Riley.

Charles Samuel (Sam) Bullington — Benton, IL

Charles Samuel (Sam) Bullington , 78, of Benton, IL peacefully passed away Tuesday, June 14, 2022 surrounded by loved ones.

Sam was born on June 29, 1943 to Charles C. and Maudie (Finney) Bullington in Herrin, IL.

Sam graduated from Marysville High School in 1957. On May 7, 1966, Sam married Carol Parkin Olsen in Reno, NV and together they raised two children; Son-Charles “Wayne” Bullington and Daughter-Pamela Annette Bullington.

Charles was known as “Sam” or “Bull” to almost everyone that knew him. Sam and Carol loved to travel on their motorcycles all over the U.S.; with the Smokey Mountains being one of their favorite places. He worked most of his life underground in the coal mines. Once he left the coal mines, Sam filled his time being deeply involved with church and church ministries, camping, fishing, his motorcycles, and spending time with his great-grandkids which brought him the most pride and joy throughout life.

Sam is survived by his five granddaughters: Stephanie Higginson & husband Ty of McLeansboro, IL; Samantha Parmer & husband Ricky of Metropolis, IL Amanda Kelley of Herrin, IL; Misty Kemery of West Frankfort, IL; Meagan Bullington of Savannah, GA; and 11 great-grandchildren.

Sam was predeceased by his parents-Charles & Maudie; wife of 52 years: Carol; brother: Joseph Bullington; sister: Sheila Fenoglio; son: Wayne Bullington; and daughter: Pamela Bullington.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. on Monday, June 20th at the Abundant Life Church, 707 East Webster Street, Benton, IL.

A funeral service will be held at 6:00 P.M. on Monday with Pastor Chris Hammonds officiating. Burial will be in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Rend City immediately following.

For more information or to send online condolences please visit www.mortonjohnstonfuneralhome.com

James “Jim” “Snake DR” Walls – Coello, IL

James “Jim” “Snake DR” Walls, 84, of Coello, passed away on Sunday June 12, 2022.

He was born on June 1, 1938 in Coello, IL to James Walls and Cleo (Rushing) Walls Leffler.

He is survived by his children Mischelle Dick of Coello, Kenneth (Amy) Walls of Nashvile, TN, Nicole (Jim) Morrison of Hurst and James Smejkal of Vienna; grandchildren Nicholas Walls, Alexxandra Walls, Shane Daugherty, Justin Daugherty, Sariah Daugherty, Michael Smejkal and Justin Smejkal; 16 great grandchildren and one brother Dale Leffler of Christopher.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two daughters Cathy Draper and Darla Smejkal.

He was a truck driver and had served in the United States Army during Vietnam.

Graveside service will be on Tuesday June 21, 2022 at 11:00 AM at Mound City National Cemetery. Visitation will be on Monday June 20, 2022 from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher.

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

Debra “Debbie” Kay Wilson-Johnston City, IL

Debra “Debbie” Kay Wilson, 57, of Johnston City, passed away on Sunday June 12, 2022 at the Herrin Hospital.

She was born on December 7, 1964 in Benton, IL to Norman and Sheila (Atchison) Brown.

She is survived by her two daughters, Stephanie (Jacob) Page of Benton and Sammie Wilson of Johnston City; grandson Jakson Page; her mother Sheila Brown of Marion and two sisters Pamela Sue Quinn of Barnhart, MO and Sherry Campbell of Creal Springs, IL.

She was preceded in death by her father Norman Brown.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday June 16, 2022 at 1:00 PM at the Gilbert Funeral Home with Pastor Kevin McNeilly officiating. Visitation will be on Thursday from 11:00 Am until the time of the service at 1:00 PM.

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

Constance Elaine Volz – Benton, IL

Constance Elaine Volz, of Benton, IL, passed away on Sunday, June 12, 2022. She was a caring wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend.

She was born to Aden and Anita Shepherd in Elgin, Illinois on July 14, 1926. Connie graduated from Benton High School in 1944. World War II was ongoing at the time and Connie Traveled to Oklahoma City, OK to help in the war effort. She worked for Douglas Aircraft Company as a “Rosie the Riveter” until the war was over.

On her return to Benton, Connie married her sweetheart, Robert Ewing. They had two children, Mark Ewing of The Villages, Florida and Cindy Ewing Lutgring of Evansville, Indiana. In addition, Connie is survived by her grandson, Scott Schaefer and great granddaughters Kaylee Schaefer and Brittany Henson.

Connie was preceded in death by her husband Robert Ewing and her second husband Joe Volz, parents Aden and Anita Shepherd, sister Nan Bernhard, brother Bill Shepherd, and son-in-law, Joe Lutgring.

Among Connie’s employment positions, her favorite was the Benton Evening News where she worked for twenty years. Connie’s favorite activities were gardening, dancing, and vacationing in Florida.

She will be missed.

Graveside services will be held at Knob Prairie Cemetery in Akin on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at 11:00 A.M.
For more information or to send online condolences please visit www.mortonjohnstonfuneralhome.com

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News