Barbara A. “Barb” Rich – Benton, IL

Barbara “Barb” A. Rich, 74, of Benton, passed away at 3:11 p.m., on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, at the Herrin Hospital.

She was born on November 18, 1944, to Lewis and Verna (Clouse) Miles in Vandalia, IL. On May 26, 1967, she married Charles “Frank” Rich.

Barb was a loving mother, grandmother and sister. She was a member of the Benton Elks Lodge 1234, where she was also employed as a cook. She received the honor of being named the 2015-2016 Elks Lady of the Year. Barb was a Cub Scout leader for many years. She was a dear friend to so many and had a heart of gold. Barb was an avid Benton Rangers fan and would quite frequently be seen at many sporting events.

She is survived by her loving sons, Steve (Cindy) Rich and Scott (Jackie) Rich; four grandchildren, Bryn Rich, Brock (Jenna) Rich, Carson (Morgan) Montgomery and Jake Rich; two great-grandchildren, Remington and Oliver; three brothers, Irvin (Linda) Miles, Dean Miles, Allen (Betty) Miles; five sisters, Carol (Bob) Patterson, Betty Phillips, Beverly (Jim) Eldridge, Nancy (Tom) Sieveking and Eva Rexroad; three brother-in-laws, Donald (Karen) Rich, Ronnie (Terralee) Rich, Loren (Sheila) Rich; and one sister-in-law, Verlia Dobsch.

Barb was preceded in death by her parents, Lewis and Verna Miles; her loving husband, Charles F. “Frank” Rich; a sister-in-law, Beverly Miles; and two brother-in-laws, Jay Phillips and Bill Dobsch.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home, 301 South Main Street, Benton, IL.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, August 24, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., at Pate Funeral Home, Benton, IL. Funeral services will be held at 12:00 p.m., on Saturday, August 24, 2019, at the Pate Funeral Home, Benton, IL.

Burial will take place in the Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery, Benton, IL. Memorial contributions may be made to the Benton Elks Lodge 1234, and will be accepted at the funeral home.

Online condolences can be given at

Shirley J. Phillips — Benton, IL

Shirley Jean Phillips, age 82, of Benton, passed away at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at the SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon.

Graveside services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, August 25, 2019 at the Phillips Cemetery of Ewing, with Rev. Don Bullard officiating. Visitation will be held privately for the family only. Friends are asked to meet at the cemetery.

Shirley was born on January 22, 1937 in Bessemer, MI, the daughter of Leo Connor and Edna Mabel (Miller) Connor. She married Robert C. Phillips on September 7, 1957, and he preceded her in death on March 29, 1996.

Mrs. Phillips was a homemaker and formerly attended the Jackson Grove Missionary Baptist Church of Benton.

Shirley enjoyed reading her Bible, listening to Roadhouse Country Music, watching Fox News, and especially enjoyed spending time with her family.

Mrs. Phillips is survived by her children: Edna Marie Jackson of Eldorado, IL, Gail Poole and husband Larry of Benton, IL, Jeffrey Phillips and wife Alicia of West Frankfort, IL, Bryan Phillips and wife Jessica of Akin, IL, Michael Phillips and wife Jennifer of Sesser, IL, David Phillips and significant other Debbie of Sparta, IL; 13 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; siblings: Mary Silkwood and Judy Willis, both of St. Louis, MO, John Connor of Benton, KY, Gary Connor of Moline, IL, Dennis Connor of Alton, IL, Joyce Galioto of Buffalo, NY; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; a son Robert D. “Sonny” Phillips, 2 sisters, and a brother.

Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Mrs. Shirley Jean Phillips, to the American Heart Association or to the American Diabetes Association.

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Dorothy Jean Lipe – Sesser, IL

Dorothy Jean Lipe, 81, of Sesser, passed away on August 20, 2019.
She was born on May 11, 1938 in Sesser to William and Alma (LeVault) Reiger. She married Kenneth Lipe and he survives of Sesser.

She is also survived by her children Mark Lipe of Texas, Steve (Joni) Lipe of Arizona, Suzanne Lipe of DuQuoin, Carl (Julie) Lipe of Denver, CO and Marvin Lipe of Marion; 11 grandchildren and several great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and 11 brothers and sisters Charley Reiger, Lawrence Reiger, Glenn Reiger, Kitty Santay, Bonnie Reiger, Alma Reiger, Irene Newell, Emma Smith, Luther Reiger, Lonnie Reiger and Bill Reiger.

Funeral services will be on Monday August 26, 2019 at 1:00 PM at the Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser with Brother Larry Cook officiating. Visitation will be on Monday August 26, 2019 from 11:00 AM until the time of the service at 1:00 PM. Burial will be at the Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser, IL.
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Donald Lee Reed — Sesser, IL

Donald Lee Reed, 83, of Sesser passed away on August 19, 2019.

He was born on February 11, 1936 to Elmer and Hessie (Bowlin) Reed. He married Karin (Klonz) Reed on April 9, 1968 and she survives of Sesser.

He is also survived by three sisters Margie Reed Heifner of Benton, Beth Ann (Ron) Hilliard of Camorilla, CA and Edith (Lindell) Smothers of Murfreesboro, TN; also survived by several nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and four brothers Maurice Reed, Harold Reed, Tom Reed and one infant brother Kenneth Reed.

Don was an avid fisherman and golfer. He was known for his “fish fry’s”, and also known as the best fish fryer in Southern Illinois. Furnishing and cooking fish for up to 60 people many times.

A memorial service will be on Saturday August 31, 2019 at 7:00 PM at the Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser with Brother Larry Cook officiating. Visitation will be on Saturday August 31, 2019 from 5:00 PM until the time of the memorial service at 7:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Sesser-Valier Food Pantry. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

For more information go to our website

Reva Lynnette Shockley Warren-Christopher, IL

Reva Lynnette Shockley Warren, 54, of Christopher, passed away on August 19, 2019.

She was born on April 2, 1965 to Virgil “Red” Shockley and Connie (Kelley) Odum. She is survived by her mother Connie (Tim) Odum of Christopher; her children Jason James Warren of Thompsonville and Chelsea Anne Trusty of West Frankfort; three grandchildren Connor James Warren, Cain Gabriel Trusty and Kalvin Xavier Trusty; brothers and sisters Dennis Johnston, Latausha Bullington, Victor Shockley and Kara Hobbs.

She was preceded in death by her father. Visitation will be on Wednesday August 21, 2019 from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher. Her wishes were to be cremated after the visitation with burial at Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser at a later date.

For more information go to our website

Phyllis Ann Kopin

Phyllis Ann Kopin. was born in Nashville, Illinois on July, 16, 1934, to parents Edward A. and Frieda G. Evilsizer. One of five children.

Phyllis grew up during the depression, times were hard, but due to the large garden and hunting done by her father and mother, the family always had enough to eat and a proper home. Phyllis learned the value of hard work from her parents. At a young age Phyllis went to work cleaning a doctor’s office. Later on, while she was attending high school, she worked at the Miner’s Hospital in Christopher, Illinois. There she worked and saved money to pay her way through Nurse’s College. Phyllis graduated Nurse’s College as a Registered Nurse. She later worked as a surgical nurse, the hospital pharmacy director, and eventually became the administrator of the Miner’s Hospital in Christopher.

Phyllis married John Kopin in 1959, and on June 6, 1962 gave birth to her only child, Andrew J. Kopin. Shortly after the birth of Andrew, John and Phyllis purchased some empty farmland and began construction of their home, where she and John raised Andrew, and both lived, until the present day.

Phyllis enjoyed her work as a nurse and was a super homemaker. She enjoyed decorating her home for every holiday and hosting formal dinners. Phyllis was a skilled baker, making picture perfect pies and cakes. She was also a highly skilled in her ability to crochet. When she entered her crochet quilts at the DuQuoin State Fair, and she won First and Second place that year.

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

Visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, at Pate Funeral Home.

Funeral service will be 2:00 a.m., on Wednesday, August, 21, 2019, at Pate Funeral Home. Burial will follow services at the Saint Andrew’s Cemetery, Christopher, IL.

Online condolences can be given at

The Sly Ol’ Fox – SISC Goes One-on-One with Curt Reed

“Coach Haile didn’t cut me any slack at all, but it wasn’t just me. It didn’t matter if it was Jerry Sloan or David Lee you were expected to be at practice on time.” — Curt Reed

By Jim Muir

Dressed in a green wind suit – McLeansboro’s favorite color Kelly green of course – Curt Reed is a man in perpetual non-stop motion.

Only minutes before a scheduled SISC interview Reed entered the Hamilton County High School gymnasium in full stride carrying a handful of papers that he said (as he hurried past) he had to take to another part of the school. With the quick and sure gait of a man half his age the 66-year-old Reed vanishes out of sight but quickly returns, slapping a couple of students on the back and making small talk as he glides past.

“OK boys,” he says as he approaches the photographer, videographer and reporter never slowing his stride. “Let’s get going.”

SISC Cover from November 2008.
Photo by Ceasar Maragni

Through the storied annals of McLeansboro basketball lore you have to believe that many young men have heard that same exact sentence, perhaps not quite as mild-mannered as it was delivered on this day.

Unique, one-of-a-kind, a one-owner, contrary, tough, disciplinarian, hard-nosed, hard-headed, a cut-up, cantankerous and sly are all words that have been used to describe Reed who is set to begin his 44th season of coaching.

While Reed might be different things to different people the one constant that nobody can argue with is that he’s a winner and a coach that has the distinctive ability to demand and then extract the utmost talent from his players. The fact that he’s notched more than 700 wins in his career is testament to his coaching skill, but the fact that he’s done it oftentimes with less talent than the opposition is a testament to Curt Reed the man.

Like him or don’t like him, Curt Reed is his own man, period.

Part Macedonia grit, part homespun humorist and 100 percent McLeansboro toughness Reed is, as he phrases it, “chomping at the bit” for the 2008 round ball season to begin, his 21st as head coach at his alma mater, Hamilton County High School.

Never at a loss for a quip, a quote or a seasoned anecdote, ask Reed how he’s doing and this might be the answer you get.

“I’m doing just about like a Missouri sharecropper with a broken hoe leading a blind mule … but that’s better than a John Deere tractor in a half-acre field trying to plow a farrow lined with steel. You can’t plow steel but I can take that old, blind mule by the nose and get him from one end of that field to the other. So that old mule ain’t so bad after all.”

Translated, that means Reed is doing just fine, thank you.

Many Southern Illinois basketball purists know Reed only as the demanding, intense, sometimes glowering and oftentimes intimidating coach that prowls the sidelines of Foxes’ games. But understanding Reed’s less-than-humble beginning, the poverty, hardships and daily difficulties that he had to overcome just to get to school each day certainly provides a glimpse about why he is not at all bashful about making demands of his players and those around him.

Reed grew up dirt poor in Macedonia, a small farming community located on Route 14 between Benton and McLeansboro – 12 miles west of McLeansboro and 12 miles east of Benton. His boyhood home had no indoor plumbing and no electricity for a good portion of his high school days and his parents never owned an automobile.

Reed is quick to point out that the location of the small frame home where he grew up also played directly into his future.

“If I’d lived on the other side of the road,” Reed notes pointing to the Macedonia Road, the dividing line between Hamilton and Franklin counties “I would have been in the Benton school district and I might be wearing maroon (Benton school colors) right now.”

But, Reed lived on the Hamilton County side of that old blacktop, a stretch of road that he says he walked “a million times” and his wardrobe is predominately Kelly Green.

The house where Reed grew up as the youngest of six children is locate approximately 1-1/2 mile south of Route 14 and from that point it’s another 12 miles east to the old McLeansboro High School. In a family that had no means of transportation other than walking, that 13-1/2 mile distance must have looked like 1,000 miles many mornings for Reed as he tried to get to school during basketball season for a 7 a.m. practice.

“I’d walk that mile-and-a-half stretch on the Macedonia Road and it didn’t matter what the weather was – raining, sleeting, snowing – just to get to the highway. There was mornings when my hair was frozen,” said Reed. “And then when I’d get to the highway I’d stick my thumb out, we called it ‘thumbin’ back then, and I’d try to hitch a ride to McLeansboro and make it to practice on time. I’d be down at the highway between 5:30 and 6 o’clock in the morning and some days I’d end up walking half way there before I’d get a ride.”

Reed said there were instances when he didn’t make it to practice on time, something that drew the attention but not the sympathy of then McLeansboro Coach Gene Haile, described by Reed as “a tough disciplinarian.”

“Coach Haile didn’t cut me any slack at all, but it wasn’t just me. It didn’t matter if it was Jerry Sloan or David Lee, you were expected to be at practice on time,” said Reed. “I mean he didn’t threaten to kick me off the team or anything, but he told me there were players that were putting the time and the effort in and they were the ones that were going to play. He let me know that regardless of the situation he expected me at practice on time, period.”

Reed said that warning from his coach registered and prompted him to have his thumb out a little earlier the following morning and also provided somewhat of a Godsend.

“The very next morning I hitched a ride from a lady and I was telling her about what my coach had told me,” recalled Reed. “She told me she worked at a dress factory and came down that road every morning. She told me that if I’d be there at the highway she’d give me a ride. And from that day on she gave me a ride to practice a lot of mornings. All I know about her is that her name was Mrs. Miller … but I say God bless Mrs. Miller.”

Reed said coming up with lunch money each day was a struggle during his high school days but laughed as he explained how his competitive nature and a little innovation helped him secure a mid-day meal in the school’s cafeteria.

“Back in those days it cost 35-cents to eat lunch at school and there were many, many days that I didn’t have the 35-cents,” Reed said. “But, if I had a nickel or two I would go back behind the church with a group of boys and we’d draw a line in the dirt and pitch nickels to the line. The closest to the line got to keep all the nickels. That’s probably not very good to tell that story but it’s the truth and that’s how I ate lunch most days.”

Reed said he never felt sorry for himself but instead used the poverty he grew up in as a motivator.

“I’d have to draw water from a well and then boil it to take a bath before school, we didn’t have a television and we had an old battery operated radio we used until we got electricity,” Reed recalled. “But you know, walking that old Macedonia Road, getting your thumb out and going through those hard times made me a better man and made me appreciate what I have. I know what it’s like not to have the things you want and sometimes the things you need. I remember when I was a player and we’d finish practice and I’d see my teammates get in a car and drive off I’d think, ‘boy if I ever get a car to drive that would be the sweetest thing in the world.”

Reed was asked if he sometimes recalls the effort he had to make to get to practice when today’s players, most with their own vehicle, fail to be on time.

“I still recall Coach Haile’s comments to me that day quite frequently,” Reed said. “I’ll be honest with you, it irritates me when somebody’s late and I know they have a vehicle and live right here in town. Yeah, it gets under my skin and I do think about what I had to go through to get to practice.”

Reed makes no apologies for his tough and disciplined coaching style but quickly points out that without a support system his coaching philosophies wouldn’t be successful.

“I’ve had great support here at McLeansboro from the administration, the parents, and the fans. They’ve backed us 100 percent,” Reed said.

The longtime Foxes’ coach was asked how Curt Reed the player, the kid that hitchhiked from Macedonia to practice, would have liked to play for Curt Reed the coach, the disciplinarian and taskmaster.

“It would have been tough on Curt Reed the player,” he said. “In fact, it would have been tough on me and David Lee and Jerry Sloan when we were in high school to play for Curt Reed the coach. But, I’ll guarantee you one thing, we’d have gotten it done and we’d have gotten it done pretty good.”

Reed said players today are required to know and absorb much more than during the era when he played in the late 1950s.

“We might prepare for 20 different things that the other team is going to use and we might only use one of them. We go over every in-bounds play, every press, every offensive set that the other team will run,” said Reed. “When I played we ran three offensive plays – one, two and five. Number one was screen down, number two was screen across and number five was to clear for either David Lee or Jerry Sloan. That was it and we won using those three plays.”

A 1960 graduate of McLeansboro High School, Reed was a four-sport athlete playing basketball, baseball, football and track. Despite the fact that he lists basketball as his “first love” and has notched more than 700 wins as a coach he says football probably would have been his best opportunity in college. Reed related a humorous story about his football career that also gave more insight into the world where he grew up.

“Until I got to high school I had never even seen a football,” said Reed. “Now somebody might say, well where in the world did you grow up, but you have to remember that as a kid my world was Macedonia, we had no television, no transportation, shoot, I didn’t know where Benton was.”

Obviously, once Reed got to high school and did see a football he figured out very quickly how to run and carry the pigskin at the same time. A bruising runner at 6-feet-3 and 205 pounds, Reed scored 122 points (20 touchdowns) during his nine-game senior season.

“I could have gone further in football and I really liked track but my love was basketball, I just love basketball,” Reed said. “I remember back in the fifth grade I wrote an essay for a teacher that my ambition was to be a basketball coach. Back then I never dreamed that I would be able to do that and the only reason I did get an education and get to become a coach is because of athletics. Do you think my parents could have sent me to college? There was no way, absolutely no way. If I hadn’t gotten an athletic scholarship I’d have never been able to go to college. It’s much more than just a ball bouncing, basketball has provided me with a livelihood and with everything I have.”

Reed said despite his hardships growing up he never considered himself to be poor.

“As far as monetarily, we didn’t have a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out of and there’s many a time I’ve gone from the house to the outhouse and got flogged by a rooster,” Reed said. “But, I had the most precious thing a person can have, my mother’s love …so no … I was not poor.”

Reed received a basketball/football scholarship to Southern Illinois University where he played one year before transferring to McKendree College, in Lebanon, where he had a stellar career and is a member of the school’s hall of fame.

After short coaching stints at Wyanet (50 miles north of Peoria) and Tremont (near Morris) Reed returned to his roots coaching at the McLeansboro Junior High in 1975. He later became an assistant at the high school before taking over the head coaching position in 1986.

Reed listed being an assistant on the undefeated 1984 McLeansboro team, a 28-3 team in 1992 and his 1991 Foxes’ team that went 0-5 in the Benton Invitational Tournament and then finished third in state as some of his most memorable coaching experiences.

“It was just an unbelievable experience to be associated with that 35-0 team in 1984, and then as head coach, the 1991 and 1992 teams were very special to me,” Reed said.

Reed often talks about “coaching to give his team a chance to win.” He was asked to define that particular phrase and also to list the single greatest reason for his success.

“First, it’s called preparation,” said Reed. “When we go into a game we’re going to know everything that team is going to do, on in-bounds plays, press, defenses, offenses, everything they do. It’s like if you have a ‘C’ student and that student has the right preparation and goes over and over and over the material, there’s a much greater chance they’ll do better on the test. In basketball the preparation is practice and the test is the game. Focus, detail and preparation, that’s how we give ourselves a chance to win.”

Reed was asked what he enjoys most about coaching and what he enjoys least.

“I enjoy the games, there’s no question about it, but I love practice, it’s where you prepare for the test,” said Reed. “As far as what I enjoy the least, that’s easy … riding the bus. I’ve been riding buses for more than 50 years.”

While Macedonia might have been the extent of Reed’s world as a kid growing up once he bought his first car – a 1953 Ford without a heater – he quickly showed a flair for exploration.

“I worked all summer after I graduated high school for $2 an hour and finally got enough to buy that old car,” said Reed. “There was four or five of us from Southern Illinois that were going to McKendree and when I’d come home I would never go the same way back to Lebanon twice. Sometimes I’d take blacktop roads, sometimes highways and sometimes gravel roads. There are more ways to get from Macedonia to Lebanon than you can imagine. That old car didn’t have a heater and I carried a bunch of blankets in the trunk and in the winter time when you got cold you just wrapped up in a blanket.”

His coaching skills also allowed Reed to expand his boundaries even more. In 1997 Reed was hire by Tourney Sport USA to coach basketball in Hawaii and was later hired by Brigham Young University to coach a college team during the summer in China.

“I’ve been to Hawaii 10 times and to China three times,” said Reed. “If my mom and dad were alive they wouldn’t believe that.”

Entering his 44th coaching campaign in a few weeks Reed said he has not lost any of his drive or desire and said he has no plans to retire.

“If you’re coaching young men and you don’t still get excited and fired up you’re not worth your salt,” Reed said. “As far as how long I’ll coach, I’ll coach until they either fire me, I don’t enjoy it or I’m not able to do it. Right now I still get excited just talking about it, I love coaching, I love basketball and I love kids.”

Rick L. Thomas, Logan, IL

Rick L. Thomas, 67, of Logan, passed away on August 13, 2019.

He was born on August 9, 1952, to Chester and Viola (Kirk) Thomas in Herrin, IL. Rick was the owner of T & T Carbide, Inc. On July 11, 1971, he married Nancy Pope. To this union they had two children. Rick and Nancy lived in Logan, IL.

Rick was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend to many in which he will be dearly missed by many. He loved to work outside, playing with his grandkids and grand babies.

He is survived by his loving spouse of 48 years Nancy Thomas; one daughter, Audra Thomas; one son, Adam Thomas and wife Jane; ten grandchildren, Kailey McCain and husband Dave, Mikah Nance and husband Asa, Shay Vick, Addyson Morgan, Remington Thomas, Lincoln Thomas, Sawyer Thomas, Ellie Price, Matilda Thomas, Witten Thomas; seven great-grandchildren, Lil Dave, Keegan, Zaedyn, Roxzyn, Lynlee, Titus and Kipling; three brothers, Garry Thomas and wife Sharon, Tim Thomas and wife Annette, Alan Thomas and wife Beth; one sister-in-law, Marilyn Kearney and husband Gary; one brother-in-law, Ferrell Winemiller and wife Kathy; his special puppies, Rocky and Shiloh; and also survived by many more family and friends.

He was preceded in death his parents, Chester L. and Viola Marie Thomas; a nephew, Travis Thomas.

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

Visitation will be held Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at Pate Funeral Home, Benton, IL.

Memorial services will be held on Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 7:00 p.m., at Pate Funeral Home, Benton, IL, with Mark Minor, officiating.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Franklin County Second Chance Animal Rescue, and will be accepted at the funeral home.

Online condolences can be given at

Charles D. “Charlie” Goff – Benton, IL

Charles “Charlie” D. Goff, 66, of Benton, passed away at 9:12 a.m., on Thursday, August 15, 2019, at the SSM Good Samaritan Hospital, Mt. Vernon, IL.

He was born on July 25, 1953, to Charles and Martha (Hatchett) Goff in Taylorville, IL. On December 8, 1978, he married Dennecia Burgess. Charles was a United State Air Force Veteran serving during the Vietnam War.

Charlie was a member of the American Legion Post 280, VFW Post 2671 and the Benton Eagles. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend to many. Charlie enjoyed hunting, fishing, and loved playing golf.

Charles is survived by his loving spouse of 40 years, Dennecia Goff; three children, Deena (Bryson) Shepard, Chad (Jessica) Hutchinson and Clinton (Sara) Goff; nine grandchildren, Seth (Kari) Arnett, Amber (Josh) Farris, Kacie (Bryan) Koker, Lexie Hopkins, Hailey Shepard, Lane Hutchinson, Mercedes Goff, Sebastian Goff, Harrison Goff; ten great-grandchildren; one great-great grandchild; and two sisters, Kaye Mullins and Rebecca (Mark) Mueller.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles E. and Martha Lee Goff: and one brother, Lawrence E. Goff.

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

Visitation will be held Monday, August 19, 2019, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at Pate Funeral Home, Benton, IL.

Funeral services will be held at 7:00 pm.m, on Monday, August 19, 2019, at the funeral home, Benton, IL, with the Rev. Kent Dunford, officiating. Military rites will be performed by the Benton American Legion Post 280, VFW Post 2671 and the United States Air Force Honor Team.

Memorials may be made to St. Judes Children’s Hospital or to the Wounded Warrior Project, and will be accepted at the funeral home.

Online condolences can be given at

Nick Kniffen – Whittington, IL

Nick Kniffen, 85, of Whittington passed away Thursday morning, Aug. 15, 2019 at the Mt. Vernon Health Care Center.

He was born in Spring Garden, IL on Feb. 7, 1934, the son of Ray & Mary Ellen (Friar) Kniffen. He married Mary Lou (Harmon), and she preceded him in death on June 25, 2012.

Mr. Kniffen was a lifetime resident of the area. He loved working in timber and fishing. Mr. Kniffen is survived by his children, Terald Kniffen, and wife Deborah, Bill Kniffen, and wife Susan, Michael Kniffen, and wife Janice and Debbie Walls, and husband Jerry; grandchildren Cody Kniffen, and wife Jessi, Michael Kniffen, and wife Stacy, Michelle Featherstun, and husband Sean, Daniel Kniffen, Jennifer Burnett, JoAnn Atkins, and husband Tommy, Julie Vaupel, and husband Keith, Jackie Kniffen, Colt Walls, Makayla Walls, Billie Walls; great-grandchildren Nathaniel, Josie, Ezra, Seth, Hunter, Seth, Jessica, Andrew, Daniel, Christian, Samuel, Isabella and Hayden; great-great-grandchildren Elizabeth, Vivian and Marcus and several nieces and nephews.

Mr. Kniffen was preceded in death by his parents, wife, by a son-Jeffery Glenn, by a brother, Harold Kniffen & by a sister, Thelma Maxine.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M. Saturday, Aug. 17th at the Johnston Funeral Home in Ina with Bro. Mike Kniffen officiating. Burial will be in the Hams Grove Cemetery, in Belle Rive. Visitation will be after 11 A.M. Saturday at the Johnston Funeral Home in Ina.
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