Irene (Rozenski) Wisnoski – Sesser, IL

Irene (Rozenski) Wisnoski, 95, of Sesser, IL passed away peacefully on June 17, 2020 at Winfield Woods Health Care in Winfield, IL.

Beloved wife of the late Mike Wisnoski, Irene is survived by her daughters Paula Polak (Michael) of Chicago, IL, Patricia Fiorino (Steve Shapiro) of Winfield, IL, and Charlotte Conner (David) of Champaign, IL; her six grandchildren: Lisa and Jason Polak, Katie (Matt Roberts) Fiorino and Connie (Ethan Luke) Fiorino, and Brooke (Zachariah Burton) Conner and Julie (Andrew) Ohanesian; and her four great grandchildren, Beatrix Luke, Quinn Burton, Oliver Fiorino, and Clyde Ohanesian.

Preceding her in death were her husband, Mike Wisnoski, her parents, Bill and Anna Rozenski, her brother, Paul (Edna and Lorraine) Rozenski and sister, Carolene (Michael) Powenski.

Irene was born on October 15, 1924. She and her mother owned and operated Rozenski Grocery until its closure in 1980. While he was delivering milk to her store, she met her husband, Mike Wisnoski. They married on November 2, 1946 and remained devoted to each other until his death on April 6, 2013.
Rozenski Grocery was a special place for the people of Sesser when they were struggling with unemployment or having difficult times because Irene and her mother sold food on credit for those needing the help. No interest was charged. Customers could pay their grocery bills when they went back to work.

She spent her life in service to her family. She and Mike built a home on Lucretia Street across the street from her mother’s house. In that home, they raised their three daughters and later hosted countless family gatherings with their daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren, who returned to Sesser for holiday and for Sesser Homecoming. Irene’s home was decorated with photos of weddings, birthdays, and other events, creating her own small museum of her family’s adventures throughout the years.
A devout Catholic, Irene was a member of St. Mary’s Church and was a member of the Altar Society. She was a devoted caregiver to her mother and her husband in their later years.

The family would like to thank the staff at Winfield Woods Healthcare and ALC Hospice for their compassionate care.

Private Graveside services will be held at the Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser on Saturday, June 20, 2020 at 1 pm. Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser is handling the arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital or to the Sesser-Valier Ministerial Alliance and will be accepted at the funeral home.

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Thomas Franklin Chitwood – Ava, IL

Thomas Franklin Chitwood, Sr, 61, of Ava, passed away at 5:55 p.m.on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, at Memorial Hospital in Carbondale.

He was born on July 14, 1958, to Walter “Bud” Chitwood and JoAnn (Rider) Williamson in Christopher, IL. He married Elizabeth Poe and she survives.

Thomas is survived by his mother, JoAnn Williamson; wife, Elizabeth Chitwood; two children, Tammy Bohn and Thomas Chitwood, Jr; a brother, Bobby Chitwood; two sisters, Carolina Murphy and Anita Drury; five grandchildren, Cortney, Trevor, Cody, Maddie and Abby; two great-grandchild, Wyatt and Oaklynn; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father, Walter “Bud” Chitwood and one grandson, Bradley Chitwood.

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

Per Thomas’ wishes cremation will take place.

Online condolences can be given at

David C. Smothers – Marion, IL (formerly of Sesser, IL)

David C. Smothers, 50 of Marion, passed Thursday, June 11, 2020.

David grew up in Sesser, IL. He was a Graduate of SIU, Carbondale and spent his entire career in the tire industry. He traveled extensively all over the globe and made many friends. He was an avid hunter and fisherman.

He was born on December 18, 1969 in Pinckneyville, Il to Cyril Leon and Gayla (Roberts) Smothers. He married Tricia (Bruner) Smothers and she survives of Marion.

In the past six years, he met the love of his life and gained a son, who he absolutely loved wholeheartedly. He thought he missed the window of having children, and was grateful he got to fulfill the role of father.

He is survived by his wife Tricia Smothers of Marion; son Peyton Wall of Marion; mother Gayla Smothers of Sesser; sister Pamela (Kevin) Cummings of Mt Vernon; two brother-in-law’s BJ Bruner of Collinsville, IL and Bryan (Jenny) Bruner of Marion, IL.
He was preceded in death by his father Cyril Leon Smothers.
Private graveside services will be held at Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser with Rev. Jim Slone officiating.
David kept in contact with everyone he ever met since Kindergarten. He had a great sense of humor, a gift for gab, and wore his heart on his sleeve. He will be greatly missed by so many.

In lieu of flowers, an education fund has been set up for Peyton. He was looking foward to watching him become a successful human and often discussed where he would like him to go to college.
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Marguerite Yvonne Matyi – Christopher, IL

Marguerite Yvonne Matyi, 86, of Christopher, Illinois passed away peacefully with her family by her side at 7:30 AM, Saturday, June 6, 2020.

A private funeral mass will be on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 11 AM at St. Andrew Catholic Church, Christopher, IL. Graveside services for Marguerite will be at 12 PM at the St. Andrew Catholic Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to St. Andrew Chapel Fund, 412 E. Washington, Christopher, Il or CAYA (Christopher Area Youth Association), c/o Thomas House, 403 N. Ward, Christopher, IL. Gilbert Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements. Visit our website

Marguerite was born on August 20, 1933, in Christopher, Illinois to Henry and Carmen (Maniez) Bedar. She was the sister to two brothers, Rennie Bedar and Henry Bedar Jr., whom she greatly adored. She met the love of her life Albert Matyi on a Grey Hound bus coming home from her job at General Telephone. Their romance took off and they were married on April 1, 1952. It really took off!!

She is survived by her children Mike and Jenni Matyi, Benton, Steve and Sara Matyi, Mulkeytown, Beth and Kevin Davie, Johnston City, Janie and Randy Rowland, Mulkeytown, Francie and Rodney Fourez, Christopher and David Matyi, Mulkeytown, her grandchildren Thomas and Erin House, Christopher, Bill and Jacque Matyi, Johnston City, Joe House, Murrieta, California, Kevin Davie Jr, Johnston City, Meghan and Chad Dirler, Duquoin, Lindsi and Josh Downs, Duquoin, Nick and Molly Davie, Johnston City, Rodney and Katie Fourez, Swansea, Jared Fourez, Christopher, Katie and Eric Peradotto, Pickneyville, Loghan Matyi, Christopher and her great granchildren, Drake and Will Matyi, Max and Kylie Davie, Matyi and Mallory House, Londyn and Saylor Dirler, Jack and Addison Downs, Athena Fourez, Jase and Owen Fourez, Fisher and Lainey Peradotto, and Knox Davie. So many cousins and nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly. Also her beloved God children, Debbie Kretz and Mark Kirkpatrick.

Sadly Marguerite lost the love of her life, her husband Albert Matyi on November 19, 1973 and exactly 28 years later on the same day, her beloved daughter Cheryl (Sissy) House in 2001. She was preceded in death by both of her parents and her brothers.

Marguerite, also known as GMA to many, will always be remembered as a huge Chicago Cubs fan and fortunately was able to see her Cubs win the World Series in 2016. She was a huge supporter of the Christopher Bearcats and enjoyed spending time with her classmates. She will be remembered as a loving and devoted mother and grandmother. She loved to pray her rosary daily and always made of list of those who needed special prayers. To us she was a legend in her own time.

Although she will be missed greatly by her family and friends we are comforted knowing that she is with Albert and Sissy and all of her loved ones in heaven.

Rodney L.”Bootsie” Boots — Benton, IL

Rodney L.”Bootsie” Boots, 66, of Benton, passed away at 5:40 a.m., on Thursday, June 4, 2020, at Benton Health Care and Rehab Center, surrounded by his loving family.

Rodney was born on May 29, 1954, to Herman Boots and Bessie (Boner) Lampley in Danville, IL. On August 29, 1976, he married Jenny K.Battin, and she preceded him in death.

He was a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Bootsie enjoyed being around people and had a passion for working on vehicles from mechanics to auto body. He liked singing karaoke.

Rodney is survived two sons, Jamie (Heather) Miller of Carterville and Rodney Beasley of KY; two daughters, Patti (Jim) Miller of Benton and Sheresa (Ralph) Taylor of Benton and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Herman Boots and Bessie Lampley, his wife, Jenny K. Boots, a son, Curtis Boots, three brothers, Phillip Boots, Charles Boots and Steve Boots and one sister, Twana Jacobs.

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

Per Rodney’s wishes cremation will take place. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be made to Pate Funeral Home to assist the family with funeral costs.

Online condolences can be given at

Sue Rumisek – Thompsonville, IL

Mrs. Susan Marie Rumisek, age 71, of Thompsonville, passed away at 12:36 p.m. Sunday, May 31, 2020 at her home.

Mrs. Rumsiek’s wishes were to be cremated. Burial will be at a later date at the Calvary Cemetery in Steger, IL.
The Leffler Funeral Home, of Benton, is in charge of arrangements.

Susan Marie Rumisek was born on February 22, 1949 in Chicago, IL, the daughter of Lawrence C. Fuller and Eleanor M. (Cummings) Fuller. She married Charles Paul “Chuck” Rumisek on February 11, 1967, and he survives.

She was a retired manager with Signature Group Insurance, affiliated with Montgomery Wards.

Sue was of the Catholic Faith.

She enjoyed gardening and cooking. She loved animals, especially her dogs and horses. She was a former dog breeder and even had show dogs. Sue liked trees; especially magnolia, peach and apple trees. Most of all, she enjoyed spending time with her family.

Mrs. Rumisek is survived by her loving husband of 53 years Charles “Chuck” Rumisek; two daughters: Lisa Marie DeGuido and husband Dean of Manhattan, IL, Danielle K. Marquardt and husband Jeremy of McLeansboro; five grandchildren: Nathan, Nicholas, Kyla, Stephanie, and Mia; three great-grandchildren: Rae-Lynn, Brielle, and Knox; five siblings: Michael Schodrof of Midlothian, IL, Robert Schodrof of Crown Point, IN, Dorothy Beatty of Sequin, TX, Jean Berger of Orland Park, IL, Jennifer Heemstra of Tinley Park, IL; several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and great-great-nieces and nephews; and her seven furry friends: Cabi, Missy, Hope, Chewy, Casey, Sarge, and Dancer.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a daughter Amy Louise; three siblings Karen Harris, Donald Schodrof, and Mary Schodrof.

Memorial contributions may be made in the form of planting a tree In Memory of Sue. Her favorite tree is a Magnolia.

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

Thoughts on quality, quantity and the kind words of a dying man

During a time of lock-downs, quarantines, rampant violence and troubling uncertainty I hope you will find a measure of solace in these words.

One year ago, my book “Offerings” was released, and what an exciting day that was for me. In fact, I saw a post on Facebook that June 1 was the one-year anniversary of my first book signing. A friend of mine posted some pictures of that happy day, a day filled with smiles, handshakes and pats on the back. The book is a faith-based, motivational book with 365 entries, one for each day of the year.

However, in honesty I have to say the experience with my book during the past year has been a mix of feelings – rewarding at times and very frustrating at others. It’s been exhilarating on some days, aggravating on others and at times downright confusing.

I have to admit that early-on I got caught up in the numbers game. How many books would I sell? How many books could I sell? I suppose every author, if they are honest, has let their mind wander and had those thoughts. I also had to fight through feelings that the number of books I sold somehow equated to the quality of my work, which involved a lot of hours and a lot of very early mornings. To date, I have sold approximately 1,500 books, far less than I thought I would sell. Again, the number of books sold was always on my mind, so this is where the frustration and aggravation come into play. Hindsight always being 20/20, I clearly lost my focus and direction on why I wrote the book.

I have shared these feelings and sought advice from some author friends of mine (David Kroese and Gary Moore) who both assured me that I am far ahead of the average for books sold for a self-published author. I was astonished to learn during out conversations that most people who self-publish sell less than 25 books, primarily to family members only. Based on that, I have done well, but the feelings of failure and frustration, based on the quantity of books I sold, still persisted.

I pray daily, and one of those prayers was that my book would reach the right hands, that it would bless people and that it would be successful. My logic was that if folks in my neck of the woods loved the book – and many, many tell me they do – other people across the country would too. When sales were not what I wanted them to be I was frustrated and confused because I felt like, and often spoke, that I believe the words of my book are God-given words, yet the sales never, ever measured up in my mind. I have struggled mightily with those feelings daily during the past year.

I admit to these deep, heartfelt feelings and struggles and I bare my soul a little today because of a text message I received, ironically on June 1 that left me (literally) without words after I read it.
Here’s the story.

On several occasions I have had people buy five or six books to give to friends. One of those instances was several months ago from a friend of mine who lives in the northwest part of the United States. I received a text message from my friend and he told me that one of the books he gave away was to a man he knows – a man I learned yesterday that has a terminal illness. The man, who is in the last days of his life, sent a text message to my friend and asked him to reach out to me.

My friend forwarded me the dying man’s text. Here’s what it said:
“Please convey to your friend Jim Muir how much his book and writings have meant to me. Other than “The Word” his book has helped me so much in these last days. It has truly been a blessing.”

I read his comments over and over, and in a rarity for me, I was speechless. His words have weighed heavily on my mind since I read them and certainly caused me to do some serious soul-searching, and also to ask God’s forgiveness about my petty fixation on book sales. Consider this: here is a man I will never meet in this life. I will never know his name, his family or his ‘story.’ Yet, on his deathbed he felt compelled to reach out to let me know that my humble book – the one that has sold ‘only’ 1,500 copies – has, in his words, “truly been a blessing” and helped him during his transition from this life to a face-to-face meeting with his Savior. His words make book sales seem very irrelevant … don’t they?

Without a thought about book sales, let me conclude with this thought. If all those long early morning hours, all the writing, re-writing, editing and proof-reading were accomplished solely to help this unknown man during the final days of his mortal life – then I can honestly tell you it was well-worth the effort. And while I don’t know this man, God certainly does!

In facing death, this man taught me a valuable lesson about life. That lesson is that “quality” always exceeds “quantity” and there is not a single thing more important than sharing the love and grace of Jesus and being a blessing in somebody’s life, even if it’s a total stranger.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and God Bless You!

William Arthur “Sonny” Bunton – Sesser, IL

William Arthur “Sonny” Bunton, 86, of Sesser, passed away on June 2, 2020 at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

Sonny was born Sept. 7, 1933 in Sesser to Eddie and Marie (Clapp) Bunton. On Sept. 4, 1955 he married Marjorie L. (Thompson) Bunton, to this union three children were born, W. Ralph (Cathy) Bunton, Virginia F. McCann and Mona L. (Mark) Lappin.

He was Papaw to 8 grandchildren, Rachel (Cory) Bailey, Ross (Liz) Bunton, Matthew (Brittany) Lappin, Jared Blaylock, Josh (Jenny) Bunton, Marcus (Reed) Lappin, J.B. McCann and Jake (Britt) McCann, 12 great grandchildren and 1 great, great grandchild. Sonny proudly serviced his country in Korea and Japan in the Army.

He was a lifelong member of Bear Point Free Will Baptist Church. A 62-year member of Sesser-Goode Masonic Lodge and worked at Old Ben #21 for 33 years. His high school motto was “Be willing and ready to help” served him his whole life. He never met a stranger and was a champion “roadkill” (tools, sunglasses, etc.) scavenger.

Sonny had many great friends and neighbors and the family would like to thank all those who checked up on him in past few years. He is preceded in death by his parents, his sister Darline (Harry) McNeil, and several other family members.

Private graveside services will be held at Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser. The family would like to thank the staff at SIH hospital for their compassion and care. Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser is in charge of arrangements.

For more information go to our website

Theresa Kesler-Christopher, IL

Theresa Kesler, 89, passed away on May 31, 2020 at Stonebridge Nursing Home in Benton, IL.

She was born on January 25, 1931 in Christopher, IL to Edward and Antonia (Luchiaski) Nowacki. She married Stanley Kesler in 1951 and he preceded her in death on December 5, 1998.

She is survived by her children David (Sharon) Kesler and Mary Ann Kesler both of Benton and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, two brothers Raymond Nowacki, Frank Nowacki and three sisters Gertrude Pasziewicz, Bernice Pulley and Florence Dick.

She was a member of the St Andrews Catholic Church in Christopher.

Private Funeral Mass will be held at the St Andrews Catholic Church with Father Urban Osuji officiating. Burial will be at St Andrews Catholic Cemetery.

Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher is handling arrangements.

For more information go to our website

Eddie Jones – Thompsonville, IL

Eddie Jones, 64, of Thompsonville, passed away at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, 2020, at his home, surrounded with by his family and loved ones, after a short battle with cancer.

He was born on July 23, 1955, to Ervin “Red” Jones and Goldie (Roberts) Payne in Christopher. On July 26, 1975, he married Debbie Kay Lucas, and she survives.

Eddie was a truck driver for 47 years and a true 4th generation cowboy. He was an avid team roper and passed on his love for horses and the outdoors to his children and grandchildren. He lived and loved the western lifestyle, but most of all, he loved his family.

Eddie is survived by his loving spouse of 45 years, Debbie, one son, Scott (Tami) Jones of Thompsonville; one daughter, Stacy (Josh) Pribble of Thompsonville; three grandchildren, Karley Jones, Wiley Jones and Alan Pribble; three brothers, Ty Jones of Benton, Tim (Lisa) Jones of Benton and David (Tammy) DeSpain of Thompsonville; one sister, Yvonne Fry of Thompsonville; mother and father-in-law, Steve and Judith Crane of Thompsonville; six brother and sister-in-laws, Terri Jones of Christopher, Jackie (Larry) Wyskiel of Benton, James “Bo” (Sandy) Shortland of Karber Ridge, Margie (Brian) Perkins of Louisburg, NC, Wendi Lee of Thompsonville and Ben “Doug” (Lisa) Schram of Tallahassee, FL; two uncles, Carl Roberts of Whittington and Cecil Roberts of Mt. Vernon; a very special aunt and uncle, Walter and Maxine Smith of Cahokia and many nieces, nephews and cousins

He was preceded in death by his father, Ervin “Red” Jones, mother, Goldie Payne, step-mother, Carolyn Wilson, step-father, Carl Payne, grandfather, Clarence Jones, grandmother, Estaleda “Peggy” Jones, step-grandfather, Darr Jones, father-in-law, Cletus “Red” Schram and two brother-in-laws, Ronnie Shortland and Cletus “Chip” Schram.

Services have been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home, 301 S. Main St., Benton, IL. Private graveside services will be held on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, at the Shiloh Cemetery, Whittington, with Pastor Jason Forby, officiating.

The family would like express a special thank you to Dr. Ralph Latta, Dr. Georges Tanios, LHC IL Home Health and Hospice of Southern Illinois for their guidance and kindness during Eddie’s illness.

Online condolences can be given at

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