Scott Mitchell – Benton, IL

December 10, 1959 – March 15, 2024

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved Scott, a loving father, devoted papa, and an exceptional basketball coach. He left this world on March 15, 2024, leaving behind a legacy of love, laugher, and nicknames to last a lifetime.

Born on December 10, 1959 to Gene and Gladys Mitchell, Scott embraced life and touched the hearts of all who knew him. His love for his children and grandchildren was immeasurable, and he cherished every moment spent with them. As a father, he provided unwavering support and guidance, always very engaged in their sports growing up.
Scott’s true passion could be found on the basketball court. For a decade, he selflessly devoted himself to coaching the Thompsonville Tigers basketball team. With an 84% winning percentage and over 200 victories under his belt, Scott was not only a remarkable coach but also a mentor to countless young athletes, even giving each one a nickname. His ability to inspire and bring out the best in his players was unparalleled, and his impact on their lives extended far beyond the court.

Coaching was not just a job for Scott; it was his true calling. He poured his heart and soul into every practice, every game, and every player. His love for the sport was infectious, and his dedication was unwavering. Through his coaching, he instilled in his players the values of teamwork, perseverance, and sportsmanship, leaving an indelible mark on their lives.

Beyond his coaching career, Scott had a zest for life that was truly extraordinary. He approached life with a genuine joy that was contagious to all those around him. His boundless energy and endless stories are a blessing to everyone who had the privilege of knowing him.
Scott will be deeply missed by his children, grandchildren, extended family, friends, and all those whose lives he touched. His memory will forever live on through the countless lives he impacted, both on and off the basketball court. Today, we celebrate his life, his love, and his remarkable journey.
He is survived by his former wife Beverly Mitchell; Children Scott (Heather) Mitchell, Duke (Brooke) Mitchell, and Destiny Mitchell; Grandchildren Josie, Braison, Reese, Maddox, Siersha, and Colton; Sister in laws Kim Mitchell, Juanita Mitchell, and Debbie Mitchell; Mother in law Mary Jane Tasky; Dawson Mitchell, along with many other nieces and nephews; His best buddy Clifford (his dog)

Scott was preceded in death by his beloved mother Gladys Mitchell and father Gene Mitchell; Brothers Bill Mitchell, Gene Mitchell, and Jeff Mitchell; Father in law Joe Tasky

The family is kindly requesting donations to help with funeral expenses due to not having life insurance. Donations may be dropped off at Morton and Johnston Funeral Home or to the GoFundMe set up by the family.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Thursday, March 21st at the Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton with Rev. Dean Severin officiating. Burial will be in the Masonic & Odd Fellows Cemetery in Benton. Visitation will be after 11:00 A.M. on Thursday at the funeral home.
For more information or to send online condolences please visit

Robert “Bob” Boles-Sesser, IL

Robert “Bob” Wayne Boles, cherished husband of Patsy Ann Boles, peacefully passed away at the age of 75 on March 17, 2024 in Sesser, Illinois.

Born in Duquoin, Illinois on November 12, 1948, Bob’s life was defined by his love for his wife, enthusiasm for his passions and work, and his dedication to the dogs he rescued. Bob was very proud to be a union coal miner and worked tirelessly at this for 34 years before retiring. In his retirement he spent his time constructing computers, online gaming with his virtual community, and working with his hands. Most significantly his talent for woodworking was a testament to his skill and craftsmanship.

Bob spent years pouring his heart into creating beautiful woodworking pieces that will be treasured by his loved ones for years to come. Bob is survived by his wife Pat, his sister Billie Carpenter of Du Quoin, his children: James (Julie) Boles of Sesser, Yolanda (Todd) Larew of Newburg, WV, Shannon (Minnie) Boles of Waynesburg, PA, and his children through marriage Brad (Cathy) Bradley of Murphysboro and Melinda (Alan) Montgomery of Salem. Bob had many grandchildren: Brittany Larew, Savannah Boles, Seth Boles, Bill Bradley, Ashley (Lucian) Chandler, Natasha Montgomery, Justin (Megan) Montgomery, Mikaela (Peter) Waring, Maci Montgomery, Meesha Montgomery, Makoa Montgomery, Micah Montgomery, and Josiah Montgomery. He also was blessed with 16 great-grandchildren.

With gratitude for the time we all had together, we say goodbye to Bob. Words cannot fully capture the depth of our loss, may the love and memories we have all shared bring us comfort in the days ahead. Per Bob’s wishes no public services will be held. The family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider a contribution in his memory made to the Franklin County Humane Society.

For more information go to our website

Lonnie Holten Conner – Logan, IL

Lonnie Holten Conner, 68, of Logan, IL, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, the 12th day of March, 2024, at Herrin Hospital, surrounded by his loving wife of nearly 48 years and family.

He was born on September 7, 1955, to Lonnie and Geraldine (Bandy) Conner in Benton, IL. He was a chaplain and an avid member of the New Life Church of God in Benton, IL.

Lonnie was a loving husband, father and papa. He enjoyed spending time with his family and his church family too. Lonnie never met a stranger and enjoyed spreading the word of the Lord.

Lonnie is survived by his loving wife, Terri, his two daughters, Misty (Travis) Kays, Kassidy (Jeremy) Pearce; his grandchildren, Hunter (Maggie Cook) Creamer, Noah (Quincey Montoya) Kays, Kennedy (Sissy) Creamer, Holten Horn; his parents, Lonnie and Geraldine Conner; his brother, Terry (Billy) Conner; his sister, Susie (Mike) Mayberry and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his great-grandmother, Golden Miner, his brother, Perry (Red) Conner and his brother-in-law, Joe Padavic.

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

Visitation will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2024, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Logan Church of God, 16888 Lowry Ave., Logan, IL.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2024, at 12:00 p.m., the Logan Church of God, in Logan, with Pastor Jeremy Joplin, officiating.

Following the funeral service, burial will take place in the Logan Church of God Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois and will be accepted at the church.

Online condolences can be given at

Jennifer Dawn Schelsky-Thompsonville, IL

Jennifer Dawn Schelsky, 50, of Thompsonville passed away on March 11, 2024 at her home.

Jennifer was born in Herrin, IL on May 26, 1973, the daughter of Robert & Mellodee (Pfantz) Fox.
She married Adam J. Schelsky on April 16, 2001.

Jennifer loved camping, fishing, hiking outdoors, music, family get togethers and cows. She loved her animals; they were like her children. Especially her dog Nug Nug. She also referred to her granddaughters, Angelina and Piper, as “her Angels” She loved her kids and grandkids; she loved her family in general. She was an amazing wife, mother, daughter, and sister. Loved and missed beyond belief.

Mrs. Schelsky is survived by her:
Husband: Adam J. Schelsky
5 Children:
Zachary Wickliff
Sebastian Pfantz
Nerissa Schelsky
Ash Schelsky
Nicholas Schelsky
2 Grandchildren: Angelina & Piper
4 Siblings:
Chris Fox
Amber Tarrence
Andrew Fox
Anthony Fox
Aunt: Merrilee Terry
Several nieces, nephews, great-nieces & great-nephews

Visitation will be from 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. on Thursday, March 14th at the Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton with a Memorial Service to start at 1:00 P.M. .
For more information or to send online condolences please visit

Dennis James Gunter-Christopher, IL

Dennis James Gunter, 65, of Christopher, passed away peacefully on Sunday March 10, 2024 at his home with the love of his life by his side. Dennis was born on January 2, 1959 at Miner’s Hospital in Christopher, IL to Albert and Leona (Van Hoye) Gunter.

Dennis loved taking road trips with his wife Dawn. Dawn lovingly named him “Go Boy.” They were working on a houseboat to take down the river. They loved traveling in their motorhome. He loved to cook and have all their friends over in the garage.

Dennis married Dawn in 1992 after dating since 1975. They were lifelong partners. Dennis graduated from Christopher High School and started working at Blue Bell Packing House. He later worked at the Hoe Supply and 5 Star Roofing. Dennis retired in 2021 from the City of Christopher as a Supervisor for 30 years.

Dennis is survived by his loving wife Dawn, his brothers Allen (Dianne) Gunter of Orient, Garry (Dori) Gunter of Christopher and Donnie Gunter of Benton.Sisters Brenda Gunter of Christopher and Linda Wink of Mulkeytownand his father-in-law David Bearden of Christopher, IL. He is also survived by several very special nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father, two brothers Frances Gunter and Herschel Gunter and his mother-in-law Laurel Bearden.

Graveside Services will be on Friday March 15, 2024 at 1:00 PM at the Mulkeytown Cemetery with Brother Larry Cook officiating. Visitation will be on Friday from 11:00 AM until 12:30PM at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher. Burial will be at Mulkeytown Cemetery.

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

Special thanks to Marty and Vicki Gunter.

For more information go to our website

Lyle Wyant = Macedonia, IL

Lyle Dean Wyant, age 66, passed away peacefully on Friday evening March 8, 2024.

He was born January 30, 1958 in Chicago to William (Bill) and Delores Wyant. As a small child his family moved to Macedonia, IL, where he resided until he went home to be with his Lord and Savior.

Lyle is survived by his wife of 31 years, Debra Duncan Wyant, daughters Lyla (Triston) Thele and Marissa (Brent) Hess, grandsons Layton and Briar.

He is also survived by two sisters, Judy (John) Overturf, Renna Pritchard (Pete) as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and special lifelong friends.

He enjoyed hunting with his friends and family.

Lyle was an award-winning barrel racer. In 1998 he went to the NBHA National Finals, as one of his many accomplishments as a renowned barrel racer.

Later in life he found enjoyment, spending time trail riding on his beloved horses, as well as spending weekends wagon riding with his many family members, and friends.

He attended Grace Awakening Church in Benton, IL.

He was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Thompsonville, IL for 23 years.

Lyle was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers Mike Wyant and Billy Wyant, his sister Carolyn Wyant Johnson and parent figures Mae and Evan Smith.

Services will be held Wednesday March 13, 2024 at the Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton, IL at 1:30 p.m. with Rev. Ken Petty officiating. Visitation will be after 11 p.m. until the funeral hour. Masonic Rites will be conducted.

Burial will be at a private family cemetery, in Macedonia.

Lyle loved to joke and make people laugh. He will be missed by his family and many friends.

For more information or to send online condolences please visit

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lyle Dean Wyant, please visit our floral store.

Donald “Don” Atchison-Sesser, IL

Donald “Don” Atchison, 93, of Sesser, passed away on Saturday March 9, 2024 at his home.

He was born on March 31, 1930 in Chicago Heights, IL to Lloyd Atchison and Helen (Baggott) Johnson. He was raised by his grandparents Jack and Ella (Stover) Atchison. He married Barbara (Stewart) Atchison and she survives of Sesser.

He is also survived by his children Donna (Richard) Yunkus of Benton, Dena (Alan) Fox of Sesser, Larry (Delisia Steele) Atchison of Sesser, Ron (Michele) Atchison of Spring Hill, FL and Darin (Angie) Atchison of Sesser; grandchildren Alicia (Darin) Wuebbles, Lindsey (Andrew) Darnell, Ethan Atchison, Melissa (Nathan) Way, Brittany Atchison, Dailyn (Trey Sharp) Noble, Jayden Fox, Natasha Fox, Alan Fox Jr., Cody Atchison and Phillip Atchison; nine great grandchildren; one sister Diane Stahl of Mulkeytown and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, one sister Betty, one brother Jack Atchison and one aunt Essie Atchison Smith Hayse.

Don was a Truck driver and a Coalminer, he had worked at Freeman #3 mine in Waltonville. He was a Dallas Cowboys fan and a Jeff Gordon fan, he loved to tell stories and from his days driving a truck he was like a human GPS.

His wishes were to be cremated. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday March 30, 2024 from 11:00 AM until 3:00 PM at the Sesser VFW.

For more information go to our website

Fred Robert Ruettiger Jr. – Christopher, IL

Fred Robert Ruettiger Jr. passed away at the age of 87 on Monday, March 4, 2024, in his Christopher, Illinois home. His wife, five children, nine grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren were all able to tell them they loved him and to say goodbye.

Fred was born in Joliet, Illinois, grew up in Rockdale, Illinois, and attended Joliet Central High School. He proudly served in the National Guard for six years. He then spent forty-one years working as an engineer for the E.J.& E. Railroad. He lived in Plainfield/Joliet, Illinois for almost 30 years. He retired and moved to Christopher, Illinois where he enjoyed Rend Lake on a pontoon boat for a few years. He enjoyed vacationing in Wisconsin, fishing, watching Western TV shows and movies, especially John Wayne movies, completing Sudoku puzzles, and cheering on the Chicago Cubs. He had a great sense of humor.

He loved his wife of fifty-seven years Rosemary (née Breen) Ruettiger of Christopher, Illinois; his children: Cynthia Guilmette of Boise, Idaho; Bonnie (Kevin) Ketter of Plainfield, Illinois; Fred (Teresa) Ruettiger III of Crown Point, Indiana; Sherry Ruettiger of Plainfield, Illinois; and Donna Ruettiger of Herrin, Illinois. He also took great pride in his grandchildren: Allison (Ryan) Brown, Melanie (Alex) Warren, Jake (Jenny) Ruettiger, Bridget (Joy Bryant) Ketter, Ashley Guilmette, Martin Ketter, Kelli Guilmette, Serena Ketter, and Addison Ruettiger. Fred was also recently blessed with two great-grandchildren: Mia Ruettiger and Liam Brown. He also leaves behind several loving sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws.

He was preceded in death by his mother Mary (née Jonish) Ruettiger, his father Fred Ruettiger, his sister Rita Blazer, his father-in-law Joseph Breen, and his mother-in-law Muriel (née Pemble) Breen.

The family will have a celebration of life get-together deep in the spring season, which will include one of his favorite things, a bonfire. Details are pending and will be announced here as they become available. Family and friends are encouraged to remember Fred in your own way, reflecting on the moments shared and the impact he had on your life.

Maxton-Rosado Funeral Home in Du Quoin is honored to have been called to serve the family. For more information, or to leave an online condolence for the family, please visit or call 618-542-2020 for more information.

Stephen B. Hopkins, Jr. – Benton, IL

Stephen Buxton Hopkins, Jr., age 82, of Benton, Illinois; died Tuesday morning at his home.

His wishes are to be cremated with a Celebration of Life to be scheduled at a future date.

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

He was born on January 12, 1942, in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Stephen Buxton Hopkins, Sr., and Margaret (Simpson) Hopkins. His father passed away when he was six years old. His mother would later marry Bert Blow. Stephen was raised by his stepfather and mother.
Steve was a graduate of SIU – Carbondale. He was a U.S. Army Veteran, serving during the Vietnam War time.
His working career consisted of being a Nursing Home Administrator for over 35 years. He last worked for Stonebridge Nursing Home of Benton.
Steve was a renown CBJ (Certified BBQ Judge) with both the Kansas City Barbecue Society and the Memphis Barbecue Network. He also assisted with the Veteran Honor Flight in both Marion and Effingham, Illinois.

He was a past member of the Rotary Club and was a member of the Illinois Nursing Home Administrator’s Association where he was a past recipient of Administrator of the Year. He was a Christian and was associated with the Free Will Baptist denomination.

Steve also supported the Red Cross by being a blood donor, he enjoyed BBQ Judging, working on his lawn, golfing, and walking. He was an avid SIU football fan and was a season ticket holder. He also loved to watch Alabama football “Roll Tide.” He loved baseball especially the St. Louis Cardinals and locally he was a season ticket holder with the Southern Illinois Miner’s baseball team. His family said he would set aside 90 minutes per day to read books. They said he would watch FOX News and was a Republican.
He is survived by his loving wife Loretta (Robinson) Hopkins of Benton, IL; a daughter Lynsey Hopkins of Benton, IL; two step-daughters Brandy McClintock of Benton, IL, and Caroline Morgan of West Frankfort, IL; two grandchildren: Kaven Eston Pense and Aubrie Dawn Pense; step-grandchildren including: Brandon, Emily, Allyson, Mia and Zelda; two step-great-grandchildren Kyree and Harmony; in-laws that include: Leon Robinson of West Frankfort, IL, Lottie Toler of Marion, IL, Randall Ross Robinson and wife Brenda of Birmingham, AL, Nancy Lare and husband Jim of West Frankfort, IL, Barbara Innis of West Frankfort, IL; and several nieces and nephews.

Mr. Hopkins was preceded in death by his father Stephen Buxton Hopkins, Sr., his mother and stepfather Margaret and Bert Blow; a brother Thomas Simpson Hopkins (former announcer for the Kansas City Chiefs); his father and mother-in-law Millard and Geraldine Robinson; two brothers-in-law Frank Robinson and Richard Robinson; and a sister-in-law Moetta Robinson.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Veteran Honor Flight of Southern Illinois ( or to the Wounded Warrior Project (

To leave online condolences to the family, or to share memories of Mr. Hopkins, visit

Steve Pate – Troy, IL

Steve Pate, Sr., 84, of Troy, IL, passed away 6:00 p.m., on Monday, March 4, 2024, in Liberty Village Nursing Home in Maryville, IL, surrounded by his loving wife and children.

He was born on September 8, 1939, to Loyd and Ethel (Riecan) Pate in East Saint Louis, IL. Steve worked as a tool and dye maker at Marsh Stencil in Belleville, IL, and was a member of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 9 . On April 4, 1959, Steve married Sue Crowe and she survives.

Steve was a United States Navy Veteran.

He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. Steve enjoyed his time at the Lake of the Ozarks and taking his family on rides on the pontoon boat, listening to Cajun music and fishing. He loved watching his St. Louis Cardinals and he was a member of Troy Methodist Church in Troy, IL.

Steve also enjoyed watching his all of his granchildren participate in various events they participated.

Steve is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Sue; two sons, Steve Pate, Jr., and wife, Becky and Paul Pate, and wife, Caroline; and daughter, Michelle Pate-Noyes, and husband, Matt; five grandsons, Steven Pate, Ian Pate, Gorman Pate, Michael Pate and McGrady Noyes; four granddaughters, Elise Pate, Lara Pate, Mattie Noyes and Morgan Noyes: sister-in-law, June Dublar: brother-in-law, Richard Crowe and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father and step-mother, Loyd and Roanne Pate, his mother and step-father, Ethel and Adam J. Smolik and his sister, Jane Chinn.

Services have been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home, 301 South Main Street, Benton, IL and Richeson Funeral Home, 205 Edwardsville Road, Troy, IL.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, March, 7, 2024, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Troy Methodist Church, 407 Edwardsville Road, Troy, IL.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 8, 2024, at 10:30 a.m., at the Troy Methodist Church, with the Reverends Dan Perry and Bonnie Abel, officiating.
Following the funeral service, burial will take place in the Lake View Memorial Gardens Cemetery, with military rites by the Navy Honors Team.
Memorials may be made to the Troy Methodist Church or Heartland Hospice and will be accepted at the church.

Online condolences can be given at

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News