Camella M. Crandall – Benton, Illinois

Camella Marie Crandall, age 79, of Benton, IL, passed away at 8:38 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, 2024, at the SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital of Mt. Vernon, IL.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, July 20, 2024, at the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton, with Marty & Joyce Huff officiating, with burial to follow in the Alto Pass Cemetery of Alto Pass, IL. Visitation will be from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. Saturday at the Leffler Funeral Home.

Mrs. Crandall was born on May 3, 1945, in Michigan City, Indiana, the daughter of John Henry Woodrick and Inez Fay (Ackley) Woodrick.

She was a graduate of Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, having attained a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She also was a nurse for forty plus years.

Cammie enjoyed spending time with her grandkids. She also enjoyed spending time outdoors in the fresh air. She enjoyed traveling to Las Vegas with her brother. Cammie also loved the ocean and spending time at the beach. She enjoyed being with her family.

Cammie used to volunteer serving food at a homeless shelter.

Surviving are her two children: Celeste Marc and husband Mitchell of St. Charles, IL, Paul Milk and significant other Tammy Watson of Cape Coral, FL; five grandchildren: Nick Marc, Lauren Marc and Mitchell Marc, Morgan Milk and Mason Milk; a half-sister Tina L. Woodrick-Scurek of Michigan; two step-sisters: Belinda Motycka and Monica Knowles, both of Michigan; an ex-sister-in-law Jodi Milk of Kankakee, IL; and several cousins.

Mrs. Crandall was preceded in death by her parents; two husbands: Paul E. Milk and Leonard J. McWilliams; a brother John Calvin Woodrick; and a nephew John C. Woodrick, Jr.

The family prefers Memorial contributions be made in memory of Cammie, to the Wounded Warrior Project,

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

Gloria Mae Phelps – West City, IL

Gloria Mae Phelps, 91, of West City passed away on Thursday evening July 4, 2024 at StoneBridge Senior Living Center in Benton.
She was born in West Frankfort, IL on January 31, 1933 the daughter of Emilo John & Nellie (Rainey) Bechelli.
She was married to John Phelps on August 13, 1955, and he passed away on December 5, 1995.

Mrs. Phelps was a Registered Nurse (RN) and worked for the state of Illionis.

Mrs. Phelps is survived by her:
2 Daughters:
Jo Sweet & husband John of Christopher
Terri West & husband Curt of West Frankfort
2 Daughter-in-laws:
Linda Phelps
Kim Phelps

Christopher Phelps & wife Veronica
Holly Queen & husband Abijah
Stephanie Brace & husband Aaron
John David Sweet & wife Jennifer
Audra Ursini & husband Preston
Andrew West
Noah West
Nathan West
Trinity Phelps
Daniel Phelps
Israel Queen
Elizabeth Brace
Isaac Queen
Christian Queen
Tilly Sweet
Porter Sweet
Triton Brace
Eli Ursini
1 Sister: Pat Thornburg

Mrs. Phelps was preceded in death by her Parents, Husband, 3 Sons-Jon D., Mark A., & Erik D. and 1 Brother-Fred Bechelli.

Graveside services will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, July 20th at the Tower Heights Cemetery with Abijah Queen officiating. Burial will follow. There will be No Visitation, those attending the service are requested to meet at the cemetery.
“We cannot do great things. Only small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
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Martin J. Kathalynas, II – Benton, Illinois

Martin Joe Kathalynas, II, age 34, of Benton, IL, passed away at his home on Monday, July 8, 2024.

Marty was born on October 18, 1989, in Herrin, IL; the son of Martin Joe Kathalynas and Crystal (Ferketich) Kathalynas.

He was a Benton Consolidated High School Graduate of 2008.

Marty worked as a Sequencing Manager at Continental Tire of Mt. Vernon, IL. He was also a member of Rend Lake Masonic Lodge #64 A.F. & A.M. of Sesser, IL.

He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his dad and his grandpa. He and his daughter enjoyed cooking together. He also enjoyed operating heavy equipment.

Surviving is his loving daughter Raelyn Kathalynas of Benton, IL; his loving parents Cris Doxsie and husband Jeff of Benton, IL, Martin Joe Kathalynas and wife Rhonda of Benton, IL; a sister Nichole Conaway of Canton, TX; step siblings: Steven Frey of Indianapolis, IN, Brittney Doxsie of Marion, IL; maternal grandmother Lillian Ferketich of West Frankfort, IL, paternal step-grandmother Linda White of West Frankfort, IL; Raelyn’s mother Rachel Smith of Christopher, IL; and several nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles.

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents Sue and Gene Kathalynas; maternal grandfather John Ferketich; paternal step-grandfather Royce White; and a sister Felicia Doll.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, July 15, 2024, at the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton, with Rev. Bill Hottensen officiating, with burial to follow in the Masonic & Odd Fellows Cemetery of Benton, IL. Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday at the Leffler Funeral Home. Masonic Rites will be held at 12:30 p.m. Monday, prior to the funeral.

The family prefers. Memorial contributions be made in memory of Marty, to the STL Cure Sarcoma, P.O. Box 1703, Benton, IL 62812,, and will be accepted at the Leffler Funeral Home.

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

Kathy Jean (Yadloski) Ahrendt-Goreville, IL

Kathy Jean (Yadloski) Ahrendt, 64, of Goreville, passed away on Monday July 8, 2024 at her home.

She was born on September 24, 1959 in Christopher to William “Bill” and Doris (Hargraves) Yadloski. She married Chris Ahrendt and he survives of Goreville.

She is also survived by her children Zach Haithcoat of Kansas City, MO and Jennifer (Dustin) Haithcoat of Lawrence, KS; one granddaughter Sophia Haithcoat and two sisters Sue (Dave) Andress of Kansas City, MO and Lori (Roger) Gant of Mulkeytown and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, one sister Judith Shukites and one brother Chuck Yadloski.

Funeral services will be on Friday July 12, 2024 at 1:00 PM at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher with Pastor Matthew B. Crain officiating. Visitation will be on Friday from 11:00 AM until the time of the service at 1:00 PM. Burial will be at Miner’s Cemetery in Royalton.

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Joseph Paul Cook – Benton, IL

Joseph Paul Cook, 79, of Benton, IL passed away Saturday morning, July 6, 2024 at StoneBridge Nursing & Rehab Center in Benton.

He was born in Chicago, IL on November 11, 1944 the son of Joseph & Ruby (Burgess) Cook.

Mr. Cook worked for Maytag for 39 years & 3 months. He was a farmer and was of the Baptist faith.

Mr. Cook is survived by his:
Son: David Cook & wife Betty of Benton
Daughter: Janet Budnick & husband Norm of Mahomet
Brandon Cook & wife Avery of Benton
Joseph Cook of Benton
Jacob Cook of Benton
Caitlyn Cook of Benton
Ashley Cairel of Urbana
Dylan Stewart of Benton
Lauren Budnick of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Lindsey Budnick of Seattle, Washington
1 Great-Grandchild due in February
1 Brother: Ronald Cook & wife Shirley of Benton
1 Sister: Irene Cluck of Benton

He also leaves behind several Nieces & Nephews.

Mr. Cook was preceded in death by his Parents, Step-Mother-Gladys Cook, a Granddaughter-Jessica Stewart, a Sister-in-law-Peggy Cook, a Brother-in-law-Kenneth Cluck, Niece-Julie Cook and a Cousin-Eugene Fleming.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Monday, July 8th at the Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton with Rev. William Hottensen officiating. Burial will be in the Masonic & Odd Fellows Cemetery in Benton. Visitation will be from 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. on Monday at the funeral home.
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Martha Ann Curry-Sesser, IL

Martha Ann Curry, 68, of Sesser, passed away on Friday July 5, 2024 at her home.

She was born on April 19, 1956 in Sparta, IL to Delmar and Wilhelmina (Sparling) Owens Sr. She married Robert “Bob” Curry and he survives of Sesser.

She is also survived by her children Tracy (Derek) Adams of Evansville and Ryan Curry of Herrin, IL; grandchildren Amelia Adams, Owen Adams, Jordan Curry and Ariana Curry and two sisters Diana Hargis of Sesser and Michelle Davison of Carbondale, IL.

She was preceded in death by her parents, one son Robert Curry, two grandchildren Hayden Adams and McKinley Adams, one sister Donna Lynn Crews and one brother Delmar Owens Jr.

Martha’s wishes were to be cremated with no services.

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Patricia “Pat” Hollada – Benton, IL

Patricia “Pat” Hollada, 87, of Benton, IL, passed away on July 2, 2024 at her home.

Pat was born on January 26, 1937, in Benton, IL. She is a 1954 graduate of Benton Consolidated High School and was an avid Benton Rangers sports fan through the decades.

Pat attended SIUC where she obtained her bachelor’s degree, while participating in three-sports. At SIUC Pat played tennis two years, basketball four years and softball for four years.

Pat spent more than 35 years teaching at Benton High School and Sesser-Valier High School before retiring in 1993. After her retirement she worked as a part-time health-education instructor at Rend Lake College and also returned to SV and many other area schools to work as a substitute teacher.

During her teaching/coaching career, Pat served as an assistant track coach at Benton and coached basketball and track at Sesser-Valier. As a coach at SV, Pat was a pioneer in ushering in girls’ sports, which were non-existent in the early 1970s. Working to see that girls’ sports was on a level playing field with boys’ athletics was a goal and a passion that Pat worked for her entire life.
Pat also taught physical education, health and driver’s education at SV. Pat taught many SV students the driving skills they still use daily and also sat in the passenger seat for many students on their first attempt behind the steering wheel.

During her retirement Pat did not slow down, and to the contrary, actually became more active and involved. At the age of 70, Pat shined at the Huntsman World Senior Games held in St. George, Utah. One of more than 10,000 athletes from 30 nations that participated in the event, Pat competed in track and field and basketball. She won a bronze medal (third place) in the discus and she narrowly missed the medal round in the shot put, finishing in fourth place. In basketball Pat brought home a gold medal in what was called the “hot shot” – a shooting exercise where the participant tries to make as many baskets as possible during an allotted segment of time. Hollada barely missed bringing home two gold medals in basketball finishing in second place in the combined event of free throw and three-point shooting.

Pat also invented “Jett the Clown” and performed at countless birthday celebrations, holiday parties and in later years at area nursing homes. Spreading happiness and smiles as Jett the Clown was one of the true joys of Pat’s life.

Pat was also active in her community, serving as a board member at Benton Public Library and the Rend Lake Tourism Council. She was also a member of the Ladies Auxiliary at Franklin Hospital and an active member at Immanuel Baptist Church, in Benton.

Pat is survived by one brother, Bill, and wife Roberta, of Mattoon, IL.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 at Morton & Johnston Funeral Home, in Benton, with Dr. Kirk Kay officiating. Visitation will at the funeral home from 11 a.m. until the time of the service at 1 p.m. Burial will be at Masonic & Oddfellows Cemetery, in Benton.

For more information or to send online condolences please visit

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Pat’s memory to the Benton Public Library or the Franklin County Animal Shelter. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

Brian K. Brooks – Ewing, Illinois

Brian Keith Brooks, age 57 of Ewing, IL, passed away at his home on Thursday, July 4, 2024.

Brian was born on January 12, 1967, in McLeansboro, IL; the son of Donnie Keith Brooks and Vonda (Allen) Brooks.

He was a Benton Consolidated High School Graduate of 1986.

Brian worked for Lang Furniture/Lang-Taylor Home Furnishings of Bonnie, Illinois.

Brian was an outdoorsman that enjoyed fishing, hiking, coon hunting with his hound “Ole Red.” He also was an avid NASCAR fan; and every Saturday and Sunday, during race season, he could be found watching the races on the television, rooting for Kyle Busch, and in years past the late Dale Earnhardt.

Surviving is loving mother, Vonda Brooks of Ewing, IL; his son Joshua Keith Brooks of West Frankfort, IL; a grandson Joshua Keith Brooks, Jr. of Ewing, IL; special aunts Barb and Carol; and several cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father Donnie Keith Brooks on September 30, 2018. He was also preceded in death by his maternal and paternal grandparents.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, July 8, 2024, at the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton, with Rev. Ryan Overbey officiating, with burial to follow in the Opdyke Cemetery, Opdyke, Illinois. Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday at the Leffler Funeral Home.

The family prefers. Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Brian, to the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton to assist with funeral expenses.

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

Diana Lipe – Thomasville, GA (formerly of Benton, IL)

On Tuesday morning, July 2, 2024, at 9:59, Diana Gail Shew Lipe, age 81 passed away peacefully at Camellia Gardens of Life Care, Thomasville, Georgia. Diana was born on May 10, 1943, in the loving home of Jennie Loretta Thomason Shew and James Samuel Shew in Benton, Illinois. James Richard “Dick” Shew joined the family as Diana’s little brother, but later, became her protector and advocate.

Even though Diana spent her final years in Georgia, her heart never left Illinois. Diana spent her carefree childhood days in the town of Benton, Illinois. She learned to play the piano beautifully and loved playing her shiny white piano as an adult. As a student, Diana excelled in school, always achieving good grades, striving for perfection. Diana had God given talent in art and painted exquisite landscapes and still life on canvas. As a top ten outstanding senior, Diana graduated from Benton Consolidated High School in 1961. Three short years out of high school, Diana caught the affections of a Marine, Larry Kent Durham and they were married in 1964. While they both went on to remarry, they were the parents of two children whom they both adored: Michael Kent Durham and Kenneth Wade Durham.

Diana worked at Lawrence A. Lipe and Associates for 27 years. A work relationship turned into a marriage between Larry Lipe and Diana. Their marriage would last 29 years and would have gone longer had Larry not passed away in 2016. Larry lovingly cared for his bride when she had a debilitating stroke in 2004 until the time, he could no longer care for her because of his own illnesses. His selflessness and patience with her condition never wavered. Diana moved from Illinois in 2018 so she could be closer to family. She captured the hearts of those who cared for her in South Georgia. In her last days, caregivers teared up as they recounted her blowing kisses in gratitude for her care. The family remains indebted to those in Illinois & Georgia who cared for her. The next time you dance, and we hope you do, remember Diana. A stroke paralyzed her right side, but now we can joyfully celebrate that she is dancing and moving freely in heaven.

Diana was preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence Alfred “Larry” Lipe, grandson, Jasper Lipe and her parents, Jennie Loretta Thomason Shew, and James Samuel Shew. Left to cherish her memory are her children, Michael “Mike” Kent Durham (Judy Williams), Kenneth Wade Durham (Angie), grandchildren Mary Grayson Durham, Catherine “Cassie” Caroline Durham, brother James Richard “Dick” Shew (Cathy), niece Amy Shew Bosch (Dan), great niece Caroline Bosch, great nephew Braxton Bosch, nephew Matt Shew (Lynnette), great nephew Wyatt Shew, stepson Steve Lipe (Susan), grandchildren, Coco Lipe, Scarlett Lipe, stepdaughter Laura Lipe Vavrin (John), grandchildren, Sarah Vavrin and Will Vavrin.
Diana wished to be buried beside her beloved Larry Lipe in Elder S.M. Williams Cemetery in Ewing, Illinois. Although her soul is in heaven, her body will be laid to rest in the dirt she loved. We rejoice knowing that the last few words she heard on this earth were from John 14:19: “Because I live, you also will live.” Diana believed these Words and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ for her salvation, and she rests with Him now.

A visitation will be held at Leffler Funeral Home, 401 East Main Street, Benton, Illinois on Thursday, July 11, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. The service will follow visitation at 1:00 p.m. followed by the interment at Elder S.M. Williams Cemetery in Ewing, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Diana’s memory may be made to either Williams Chapel Cemetery or Brady Cemetery & will be accepted by Leffler Funeral Home, 401 East Main Street, Benton, Illinois 62812.
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Rickie A. Campbell – Benton, IL

Rickie A. Campbell, 65, of Benton, passed away at 9:00 a.m., on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, at Memorial Hospital in Carbondale, surrounded by his loving daughter, Brooke Williams and sister, Nancy Stowers.

He was born on September 14, 1958, to Charles and Wanda (Foster) Campbell in Herrin, IL. Rickie retired as an Electrician for the IBEW Local 702.

Rickie enjoyed fishing, riding his Harley and mowing the yard. He loved working and camping.

Rickie is survived by his children, Brandon Campbell of Anna, IL; Brooke Campbell-Williams of West Frankfort, IL and Ciara Clay of Johnston City, IL; his mother, Wanda L. Campbell of Benton, IL; his brother, Scott Campbell of Johnston City, IL; three sisters, Nancy Stowers of Benton, IL, Vickie Shriver of South Dakota and Cindy Ratcliff of Painesville, OH, and seven grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his father, Charles E. Campbell.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home and Crematory, 301 South Main Street, Benton, IL.
Per Rickie’s wishes, cremation will take place.

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News