Dora L. Hutchins – Benton, IL

Dora Lee Hutchins, age 93, of Benton, went to be with her Lord and Savior at 8:18 p.m. Tuesday, July 27, 2021.

Funeral Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, August 2, 2021, at the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton, with Rev. Rod Joplin officiating. Burial will follow in the Logan Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday at the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

Dora was born on May 29, 1928, in Benton, the daughter of William Pearl Frost and Sadie Fae (Denham) Frost. She married Herman Eugene “Gene” Hutchins and he preceded her in death on July 23, 1975.

She was a former hairdresser. She also formerly worked as bookkeeper for Neal & Sons, INC of Benton; and was a former teller with Boatmen’s Bank of Benton.

She was a member of the New Life Church of God of Benton, where she enjoyed worshipping her Lord and Savior.

Dora enjoyed to crochet, use to bowl in a women’s bowling league, enjoyed baking, especially baking pies for her friends and family. Most of all she loved spending time with her family.

Surviving is a daughter Nany Kay Hutchins of Herrin, IL; a son Derek Hutchins and wife Tina of Foley, AL; grandchildren: Gina Lee Cooper of Benton, IL, Andrew Jacob “A.J.” Hutchins and wife Veronica of Schaumburg, IL, Autumn Jenae Hutchins of Foley, AL; great-grandchildren: Justin Cooper of Herrin, IL, Chelsey De Armey and husband Michael of Cambria, IL, Lauron Kirkpatrick and husband Josh of Oklahoma, Atticus Wayne Ellis of Foley, AL; great-great-grandchildren: Lydia Anne Cooper, Kai Daniel Kirkpatrick, Kora Lee Kirkpatrick; a sister Patricia Overturf of Stiritz, IL; several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; and three brothers: Woodrow Frost, Kenneth Frost, Carl Frost.

The family would prefer Memorial contributions may be made to the New Life Church of God and will be accepted at the funeral home.

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

Mamie Webb – West Frankfort, IL

Mamie Webb, 66, of West Frankfort, Illinois passed away on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at home surrounded by her family.

Mamie was born March 21, 1955. Her parents were Earl Clarence Morris and Martha Ann Lewis Morris. She married James D. Webb October 26, 1991. They shared 30 years of marriage together.

Mamie is survived by her husband, James Webb, three brothers, Charles, Marion and Terry, two sisters, Carol and Connie.

She is also survived by her children James, Tanya, Adam, Marty and Joshua.

Mamie has ten grandchildren: Brittany, Derek, Madison, Bryant, Christian, Sebastian, Nerissa, Nicholas, Ash and Halie.
She also has five great-grandchildren: Noah, Bentley, Eleanor, Nathaniel and Aubrey.

Mamie was preceded in death by her parents Earl and Martha Morris, a brother Scotty, and a child Patricia.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday July 31st at the Morton Johnston Funeral Home with Rev. Tammy Kokott officiating. Mamie’s final resting place will be in the Masonic & Oddfellows Cemetery in Benton, Illinois. Visitation will be from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. on Friday, July 30th at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Morton Johnston Funeral Home to help defray the cost of the funeral.

For more information or to send online condolences please visit

Carolyn S. Cookston – Benton, IL

Carolyn S. Cookston, 77, of Benton, passed away at 9:50 a.m., on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Benton.

She was born on January 20, 1944, to Edward and Dorothy (Stewart) Sears in West Frankfort, IL. Carolyn retired form Big Muddy Prison as a PRN. She married William Robert “Bob” Cookston and he preceded her in death on April 6, 1999.

Carolyn enjoyed helping others and loved her pet dogs. She learned sign language and taught it as well.

Carolyn is survived by her children, her daughter, Hope Ragsdale and her son, Rovin Garman.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Dorothy Sears, her husband, William Robert Cookston, her brother, Thomas Sears and her sister, Barbara Gaynor.

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

Graveside services will be held on Saturday, July 31, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. at the Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery, Benton, IL, with the Reverend Jessie Vineyard, officiating.

Memorials may be made to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Franklin County Humane Society and will be accepted at the funeral home.

Online condolences can be given at

Kenneth R. Richardson – Benton, Illinois

Kenneth Ray Richardson, age 81, of Benton; passed away at 3:27 p.m. Saturday, July 24, 2021, at the Memorial Medical Center of Springfield, Illinois.

Celebration of Life Services will be held at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, July 29, 2021, at the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton. National Guard Honors will be at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday. Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday evening at the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton. Burial will be at a future date at the Masonic & Odd Fellows Cemetery of Benton.
Kenneth was born on January 16, 1940, in a small farmhouse built by his father, approximately one mile West of Snowflake. His parents were Roy and Martha (Beaty) Richardson.

On August 2, 1957, Kenneth enlisted in the National Guard at West Frankfort. From there he would report to Fort Leonard Wood Missouri for basic training. Upon graduation from basic training, he was sent to Fort Knox Kentucky to attend supply school, where he was on active duty for six months from September 1957 thru March 1958.

After returning home he had two things on his mind: women and airplanes. He completed flight school, after six-and-one half hours of training he and his brother Donald bought their first plane (a 1943 Aeronica Champion). He had a friend get him a date with a very lovely girl Shirley Ann Gulley. Everything was going great. He had a girlfriend and an airplane. He crashed the plane and married the girl. He and Shirley were married on Sunday, June 19, 1961, had two sons Stephen on August 1, 1962, and Barry on December 29, 1963. Shirley would get sick with cancer in January, of 1972, and passed away on May 24, 1973.

After Shirley’s death, he became very lonely and sad; at the age of thirty-three with two young children to raise as well as make a living. Kenneth once wrote that this was the worst period of his life. His career would overtake his life and he would later regret not being able to be with his two sons on a regular basis.

After a couple month’s mourning, he would start dating again. A friend of his arranged a date with a friend of hers named Marleen McLain, Kenneth met Marleen, her parents and Marleen’s son Brent. Six months later, on February 14, 1974, he and Marleen would be married in the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church of West Frankfort.

His military career would continue until August 22, 1994. During this period-of-time, he held every enlisted grade in the Army up to and including Command Sergeant Major. He retired with 38 years of creditable service. He was stationed in West Frankfort from August 1957 to August 1985, where he was the Unit Administrator. In August 1985 thru August 1990, he was stationed in East St. Louis Illinois as the Battalion Command Sergeant Major and Military Personnel Technician. After five years of driving 186 miles per day, he transferred back to Mt. Vernon Illinois as the Unit Administrator. During these 38 years of service, he attended forty-five annual trainings, including Alaska in 1983, Germany in 1988, Honduras four times and Panama three times in 1990. He would receive thirty-four letters of appreciation, commendations and twenty-five military decorations. He served in fifteen different states on active- duty mobilizations, ranging from floods to student riots and civil unrest.

He would retire from the Military and relax, until February 1995 when his friend Mark Kern, President of Rend Lake College offered him a part-time job in the security department. He accepted the job and by September of 1995 it developed into a full-time job. He enjoyed his time at Rend Lake College, because he got to once again, work with young people, as well as very-good close working companions, that he never forgot.

Kenneth continued to serve in various capacities, including politics, and various boards and committees. He was the Past Chairman of the Franklin County Democrats, a member of Benton Masonic Lodge #64 A.F. and A.M., current member of the Franklin County Housing Authority Board, former member of the Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery Board, past Democrat Precinct Committeeman.
He attended the Immanuel Baptist Church

Kenneth enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s sporting events, working on projects with his family and neighbors, woodworking, and watching NASCAR. Most of all he enjoyed spending time with his wife Marleen and his family.

Surviving is his loving wife of 47 years, Marleen Richardson of Benton; three sons: Stephen Richardson and wife Sherry of Benton, Barry Richardson and wife Toni of Macedonia, Brent McLain of Benton; 12 grandchildren: Jason Richardson of Christopher, Brittany Richardson of Bloomdale, MO, Autuam Prater and husband Kyle of Princeton, IN, Colton Hiestand and wife Sierra of Kinmundy, IL, Bailey Hiestand and Corey of McLeansboro, IL, Taylor Walden of Macedonia, Gus Walden of Macedonia, Sidney Walden and fiancée Lane of McLeansboro, Amelia McLain and twin sister Madilyn McLain, Gabe McLain, Analisse McLain all of Benton; 8 great-grandchildren; a brother Dale Richardson and wife Janice of Ewing; two sisters-in-law Brenda Richardson of Benton, and Jamie Richardson of Marion; several nieces, nephews, and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents Roy and Martha Richardson; his first wife Shirley Ann Richardson; a sister Lois June Greenwood and husband Dale; three brothers: Charles Richardson, Donald Richardson, and James Richardson.

The family would prefer memorial donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Shriners Hospitals for Children.
To leave online condolences to the family, or to share memories of Kenneth, go to

“Back to School Night” at RLC slated for August 4

Before you hit the books, why not have a blast with Rend Lake College?! RLC is inviting all in-district high school student and recent graduates to its “Back to School Night” at the Aquatic Zoo in Mt. Vernon, IL on Wednesday, August 4th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Come out and have a fun night at the waterpark!

The night includes free admission and giveaways to the first 25 to enter the park. Students can also sign-up for additional giveaways as RLC will raffle off items throughout the night. There is also a chance to win tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari.

The event is limited to 450 people. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP on Facebook. We hope to see you there!

Chalk, chalk and more chalk – Benton artists plan to decorate sidewalks at Benton Community Park

The second-ever “Chalk Benton” event will be held this Saturday, July 31 at Benton Community Park.

Triston Bigham, of Benton, was busy this week advertising his second-ever “Chalk Benton” event this Saturday at Benton Park.

Triston Bigham, a Benton High School grad, initiated the first event a few weeks ago as just a way of getting a few creative friends together to draw with chalk. Bigham, who has a passion for chalk drawing, will attend Rend Lake College this fall and study graphic design. He said the first event was so successful – more than 25 showed up to show off their chalk drawing skills — that he wanted to hold another event at Benton Community Park.

The event will begin at 2 p.m., just look for a crowd with chalk in their hand and a smile on their face. You can also find more information on Facebook at Chalk Benton.

“Chalk Benton” at Benton Community Park on Saturday, July 31

Barbara Sue (Rone) Wilderman – DuQuoin, IL

Barbara Sue (Rone) Wilderman, 75, of DuQuoin, IL, passed away on Friday July 23, 2021 at her home.

She was born on June 2, 1946 in Benton, IL to Delmont “Dink” and Marcella (Coffel) Rone. She married Jerry Wilderman on September 21, 1996. She is survived by her husband Jerry Wilderman of DuQuoin; children Kendra Burgess of Sesser, Diane Goff of Benton, Melissa Higgans of DuQuoin and Shane Wilderman of DuQuoin; grandchildren Isabel Burgess, Cullen Higgans, Braden Higgans, Zachary Wilderman; and one brother Pete (Linda) Rone of Sesser.

She was preceded in death by her parents, one sister Lana Wilson and one brother Dennis Rone. A memorial visitation will be held on Friday July 30, 2021 from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM at the Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser.

For more information go to our website

Dale Allen Pinkham – Mulkeytown, IL

Dale Allen Pinkham, 54, of Mulkeytown, passed away on Thursday July 22, 2021.

He was born on December 29, 1966 in Herrin, IL to Allen and Heather (Naylor) Pinkham.

He is survived by his children Dustin Pinkham of Mulkeytown and Maddy Pinkham of Buckner; parents Allen and Heather Pinkham of Mulkeytown; five grandchildren Regan, Bronson, Gavin, McKenna and Darryl; one sister Dawn (Kevin) Brown of Mulkeytown and their children Noah and Kirsten; fiancé Sandy Voice of DuQuoin and his mother’s fur baby Daisey that Dale referred to as his sister.

Dale was an outgoing person that loved the St Louis Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys. He also loved NASCAR races, traveling and boating but most important was spending time with his family especially when him and Dustin would go dirt bike racing and watching Maddy play volleyball.

He was preceded in death by one son Brayden Scott Pinkham.

Funeral services will be on Thursday July 29, 2021 at 1 p.m. at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher with the Rev. Bill Wiggs officiating. Visitation will be on Thursday from 11 a.m. until the time of the service at 1 p.m. Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery in Mulkeytown.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the family. Checks can be made payable to Heather Pinkham.

For more information go to our website

Buy Saluki Football group tickets vs. Dayton online for $10

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Have a group of 10 or more? Starting today, tickets are available online to the Dayton game on Sept. 18 for just $10. Groups have the opportunity to send a photo and be recognized on the videoboard during the game.

Here’s the link to purchase tickets.

The Salukis enter the 2021 season ranked in the Top 10 in the Football Championship Subdivision. They open the season at SEMO (Sept. 2) and Kansas State (Sept. 11) before returning home to play Dayton. The game versus the Flyers is “Group Night” with $10 tickets available to any group of 10 or more.

When you buy tickets to Saluki Athletics events online, you skip the line and pay the same price.

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News