Gerald “Jerry” Lee Mallory-Sesser, IL

Gerald “Jerry” Lee Mallory, 76, of Sesser, passed away on Thursday April 2, 2020.

He was born on June 23, 1943 in Greenville, KY to Henry Lee and Elizabeth Dola (Drake) Mallory. He married Dixie Lee (Phegley) Mallory and she survives of Sesser.

He is also survived by his daughter Janette (Nathan) Dilliner of Sesser; one sister Lenita (Eddie) Strader of Madisonville, KY and one brother Mike (Kathy) Mallory of Christopher.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister Judy Jett.
There will be a private family visitation and Graveside service at the Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser.

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Curtis L. Eubanks-Sesser, IL

Curtis L. Eubanks, 77, of Sesser, passed away on April 1, 2020.

He was born on August 24, 1942 in DuQuoin, IL to Cecil and Mary “Tincey” (Bishop) Eubanks. He married Eugenia (Somers) Eubanks on February 8, 1963 and she survives of Sesser.

He is also survived by his children Tammy (Kevin) Eubanks Bauman and Danny (Tanyah) Eubanks of West Frankfort; grandchildren Sammy (Branden) Morris, Bobbie Bauman, Hannah Eubanks and Emily Eubanks and one great granddaughter Molly Morris; two brothers Charlie Eubanks of Sesser and Cecil “Butch” Eubanks of Sesser and two sisters Carol (Fred) Seiler of Sesser and Mary Morefield of Sesser.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

The family will have a private graveside service at Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser.

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Shirley Ann Taake Chester, Benton, IL

Shirley Ann Taake Chester, of Benton, IL., departed this life on Saturday, March 28, 2020, at the Franklin Hospital, Benton, IL. She was 89 years old at her time of passing and had recently been in poor health.

Shirley was born in Zeigler, IL., on September 23, 1930, the second child of Howard and Clara (Will) Taake. Her sister, Billie Cover-Chamblin and her brother, Frederick Taake preceded her in death. Her sister, Mary Beckemeier, survives. She was married to Tom (Walter T.) Chester, now deceased. They were parents of six children, all surviving, Marcia (Larry) Hoffman of Centralia, IL., Betty (Jerry) DeCoursey of Energy, IL., Debbie (Bryan) Cadle-Foster of Evansville, IN., Brenda (Rick) Stroer of Jackson, MO., Philip Chester of Centralia, IL., and John (Carol) Chester of Marion, IL. She had seventeen grandchildren, twenty-seven great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. She was a loyal and devoted daughter, sister, aunt and cousin. This family was her joy.

She graduated from Christopher High School, a member of the Class of 1984, and until recent years, faithfully kept the scrapbooks and attended their annual class reunion. She attended Southern Illinois University and was a member of the University Orchestra. She became a Christian at an early age and was most recently a member of Marion Third Baptist Church. She was a member of the Order of the Easter Star for more than sixty years.

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

According to her wishes, Shirley’s remains were cremated. Interment will be at the Masonic and Oddfellow’s Cemetery in Benton, IL. A celebration of her life will be announced at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society, and can be mailed to the funeral home.

The family thanks the caregivers at Helia Healthcare of Benton, Ambulance and Emergency Room Personnel at Franklin Hospital, and Pate Funeral Home, for their compassion and care.
Condolences may be expressed online at

Alberto Valenzuela – Conway, South Carolina

Alberto Valenzuela passed into the arms of Jesus on March 28 at his home in Conway, South Carolina surrounded by family who loved him after a long and courageous battle with Frontal Temporal Lobe Dementia. Born in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico on December 3, 1954, Alberto was the son of the late Aldelberto and Monica Dominguez Valenzuela.

He is survived by his care giver, Dr. Barbara J. Valenzuela, whom he married on December 30, 1982 in El Paso, Texas, three step-children Dale and Richard (Kim) Kirk of Gaston County, North Carolina, a step-daughter Karla Kirk Ridling and two step grandsons, Dmitry and Andrey Ridling all of Rock Hill, South Carolina. He leaves a brother, Hector (Dot) of Bristol, Rhode Island, sisters Leticia and Olivia and brother Manuel all of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico along with several aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews. He also leaves his little Pomeranian, Penny.

In 1983, Beto came to the United States as a legal resident. He immediately began working any job he could find, first in the drill bits, then the orchards, a nursing home, and finally a good position at Wayne State University in Detroit where he put his wife through a Ph.D. program. From there, he transferred to Penn State University where he remained until his retirement 20 years later due to declining health. He learned to speak English by watching television and taking classes at the Detroit Institute of Arts. He studied diligently and on September 16, 2011, took his oath and became a citizen of the United States. People often referred to his sweet smile as he always had a smile on his face.

Beto was saved and baptized at the First Latin American Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan in November of 1988. He was never one to be out in front as a leader but he loved to serve in the church behind the scenes whether it was cleaning carpets or setting up and tearing down tables and chairs. He attended church in Erie, PA until declining health prevented him from going. He loved music, especially the old hymns and the Mexican corridos. Amazing Grace was his favorite. He gave cheerfully and graciously, giving far more than he received during his lifetime on this earth.

Beto was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, a brother and two sisters as well as five Pomeranians, Cinnamon, Abigail, Peanut, Mocha, and Nutmeg.

Funeral services have been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home, 301 S. Main St., Benton, Illinois.

A private service for the family will be held at the Pate Funeral Home in Benton, Illinois. Burial will follow in Shiloh Cemetery, Wittington, Illinois.

Memorial contributions in Alberto’s name may be made to, The East Lake Road Alliance Church in Erie, PA, Franklin Graham/Samaritan’s Purse, or a no-kill doggie rescue of one’s choice.

Online condolences may be at

Theodore Lee Shaw, Sr. – Benton, IL

Theodore Lee Shaw, Sr., age 76, of Benton, IL passed away at 10:15 p.m. Saturday, March 28, 2020 at his home.

Mr. Shaw’s wishes were to be cremated, and a Memorial Celebration of Life Service will be held at a future date. The Leffler Funeral Home of Benton; is in charge of the arrangements.

Theodore Lee Shaw was born on October 8, 1943 in Salem, Illinois; the son of Cecil Everett Shaw and Marie (Waggoner) Shaw. He would marry the former Lilymae (Wormley) Marsh on August 18, 1981, and she survives.

He worked as a stock clerk for Dyel’s IGA, and later worked as a self-employed delivery driver, delivering mail to the rural small-town post offices throughout our region.

Ted enjoyed playing BINGO and slot machines. He enjoyed traveling; and especially enjoyed spending time with his family.

He was of the Baptist faith.

Mr. Shaw is survived by, his loving wife of 38 years, Lilymae Shaw of Benton; four children: Theodore Lee Shaw, Jr. and wife Cathy of Salem, IL, David Shaw and wife Michelle of Salem, IL, Tracy Shaw of Effingham, IL,

Lowell Christopher Shaw and wife Jeannie of Salem, IL; three grandchildren: Michael Shaw, Stephanie Shaw and Siera Shaw; a great-granddaughter Lilyann; a sister Lola Fay Sipes of Shreveport, LA; a step-son Alan Marsh of Benton; a step-daughter Natalie Hall of Florida; a step-grandson Skylar Hall of Indianapolis, IN; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and nine siblings: Madelene, John, Kenneth, Fred, Jack, Delores, Betty, Emma, and Clyde.

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

Luther L. Phillips – Coello, IL

Luther L. Phillips, 62, of Coello, IL, passed away on March 29, 2020 at the Herrin Hospital.

He was born on January 6, 1958 in Coello, IL to Luther and Margaret (Swofford) Phillips Sr. He is survived by his brothers and sisters Debbie (Alan) Chapman of Coello, Abby (Danny) Hampton of Mulkeytown, Cindy (John) Monari of Buckner, Steve (Christina) Phillips and Marty Phillips of Mulkeytown.

He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters Rosie Spears and Ruby Williams and one brother Jeffrey Phillips. He was a Veteran of the United States Army. His wishes were to be cremated.

Phyllis Ann Gusentine – Macedonia, Illinois

Phyllis Ann Gusentine, age 77, of Macedonia, IL, passed away at 6:45 a.m. Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at the McLeansboro Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center.

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the family chose to cremate, and there will be no planned public services.

The Leffler Funeral Home of Benton; is in charge of the arrangements.
Phyllis was born on January 19, 1943 in Franklin County, IL, the daughter of Raymond Payne and Marcella (Waggoner) Payne.

She formerly worked in the deck rigging department at Mark Twain Boat Factory of West Frankfort; and in later years she was a healthcare attendant sitting with the sick and elderly.

Phyllis enjoyed fishing, cooking, crocheting and knitting.

She was a member of the Webb’s Prairie Free Will Baptist Church, Ewing, IL.
Phyllis is survived by her son: Jesse Ed Herndon of Macedonia, IL; two grandsons: Tyler Herndon and wife Jennifer of Knoxville, TN, and Eric Herndon of Bloomington, IN; a sister-in-law: Mary Lou Payne of Macedonia, IL; two nephews: Doug Payne and Chuck Payne.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and a brother Kenneth Raymond Payne.

To leave online condolences to the family, or to share memories of Mrs. Phyllis Gusentine, visit

Richard Ronald Foltz — West Frankfort, Illinois

Richard Ronald Foltz, age 83 of West Frankfort, IL, passed away at 11:17 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at his home in West Frankfort.

Mr. Foltz’s wishes were to be cremated. A memorial Celebration of Life service will be held at a future date.

The Leffler Funeral Home of Benton; is in charge of the arrangements.
Richard was born on March 29, 1936 in Washington, DC, the son of Zelzbur Lawrence Foltz and Margaret Cecelia (Becker) Foltz. He married the former Joyce Pugh in 1968, and she survives.

Richard was a veteran of the United States Navy.

He was a self-made handy man, and worked at various jobs throughout his life.
Mr. Foltz was a member of the Immanuel Baptist Church of Tallahassee, FL; and enjoyed worshiping and fellowshipping with his church family.
He enjoyed gardening, fishing, and especially enjoyed spending time with his family.

Richard is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Joyce Foltz of West Frankfort, IL; a daughter Tammy Wemmer and husband Bradley of West Frankfort, IL; a grandson Richard Adam Traylor and wife Kirstin of Lincoln, IL; ten great-grandchildren including, Savanah, Matthew, Cloe, Oliver, Kylie, William, Saphire, Aierel, Hunter, and Logan; five brothers: Arthur Foltz, Stan Foltz, Russell Foltz, David Foltz, Paul Wayne Foltz; a sister Joyce Foltz; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers: Vernon Foltz and Eugene Foltz; a sister Irene Foltz; and a great-grandchild Raven.
To leave online condolences to the family, or to share memories of Richard, visit

Patricia Ann Anderson — Benton, Illinois

Patricia Ann Anderson, age 61, of Benton, passed away at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, March 26, 2020 at the Benton Rehabilitation and Health Care Benton.

Private Family Graveside Services will be held Sunday, March 29, 2020 at the Jackson Grove Cemetery with Pastor Don Bullard officiating. Visitation services are Private Family only. The Leffler Funeral Home of Benton is in charge of the arrangements.

Patricia was born on August 4, 1958 in Benton, IL, the daughter of James William Booker and Wilma Fay (Summers) Booker. She married Dennis Rich on August 7, 1976 and he preceded her in death on November 17, 1998. On September 26, 2003 she married Clay William Anderson, and he survives.

She was a longtime housekeeper with Severin Intermediate Care Nursing Home (Stonebridge) of Benton, and she was a member of the West City Baptist Church.

Patty enjoyed music, especially Gospel music; working in her garden; traveling; and spending time with her family.

Surviving is her loving husband Clay Anderson of Benton; two children: Kevin Rich and wife Firlyn of Collinsville, IL, and Amanda Rusher and husband Alex of Copperas Cove, TX; her mother Wilma Fay Booker of Benton, IL; two brothers: James B. Booker of Benton, IL, and David W. Booker and wife Mona of West Frankfort, IL; a grandchild Rowan Rich; two step-children: Matthew Anderson and wife Veronica of Oklahoma City, OK, and Tara Stubblefield and husband Gabriel of Apex, NC; five step-grandchildren: Evan Stubblefield, Ava Stubblefield, Reagan Anderson, Grant Anderson, and Lincoln Anderson; father and mother-in-law: William E. and Carolyn Anderson; Clay’s siblings: Terry Anderson, Catherine Tinsley and husband Eddie, and Timothy Anderson; several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her father.

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

Robert “Butch” Spain – Waltonville, IL

Robert “Butch” Spain, 73, of Waltonville, IL passed away Thursday morning, March 26, 2020 at his home.

Mr. Spain was born in Franklin County, IL on October 2, 1946, the son of Homer & Mary Ann (Harrell) Spain. His foster parents were Harold and Louise Braden.

He married Connie R. (Hicks) on June 19, 1971.

Mr. Spain was a member of the UMWA & the Mt. Vernon Free Will Baptist Church. He was blessed with a bilateral lung transplant on June 17, 2006.

Mr. Spain is survived by his wife, Connie Spain, of Waltonville, one son, Robert “Bob” Spain, Jr. and Erica Huntman, of Waltonville; one daughter, Penny Wright, and husband Jeremy, Granite City, IL; five grandchildren, Maranda Spain, Austin Spain, Andrew Wright, Jackson Wright and Ahna Wright; great-grandson, Weston Spain-Avants; four sisters, Helen Davis, and husband, Richard, of Benton, IL, Sue McGill, and husband Gary, of Benton, Linda Taylor, of Junction, IL and Louise Minton, and husband Alan, of Christopher, IL; one brother, Charles Spain, of Benton; sister-in-law Jan Spain, of Du Quoin, IL; aunt Jenny Lee Braden, of Benton, mother-in-law Maxine Hicks, of Waltonville; brother-in-law Mike Hicks, of Waltonville; several nieces and nephews.

Mr. Spain was preceded in death by his parents, foster parents, two brothers and one sister in infancy; one brother, Paul Spain, and by his father-in-law-the Rev. Clifford Hicks.

Private Services will be held.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Spain family.
For more information or to send online condolences please visit

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