George J. Spotanski Jr.-Scheller, IL

George J. Spotanski Jr., 94, of Scheller, passed away on Sunday June 4, 2023 at SSM Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt Vernon, IL.

He was born on January 17, 1929 in St Louis, MO to George Michael and Anna Rose (Kurczynski) Spotanski. He married Evelyn (Czerwinski) Spotanski on May 3, 1952 and shared 57 years of marriage until her passing in 2010.

George is survived by his children Garry (Phyllis) Spotanski, Don (Debi) Spotanski, Cheryl (Donald) Martin and Susie (Steve) Doty all of Scheller; 11 grandchildren Tara (Jarrett) Biggerstaff, Tracy Spotanski, Tiffany (Kyle) Kluck, Brandon (Kandace) Spotanski, Melissa (Tim) Bathon, Jennifer (Ryan) Blankenship, Kathy (Ryan) Lott, Tony (Jessica) Martin, Christina Martin, April (Joe) Emery and Emily DeForest and friend Corey Braden; 26 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Evelyn Spotanski and his brother Leroy Spotanski.

George was a member of the St Mary’s Catholic Church in Sesser and St Barbara’s Catholic Church in Scheller. He had worked at Wagner Electric & Dowzer Electric in Mt Vernon. He was retired from Sesser Concrete Products and was an Active Farmer. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, especially his visits with Special Friends JoAnn Butler and her daughter Patti Doerr. He especially loved seeing his Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren. He enjoyed Bowling and had a special bond with his teammates.He also enjoyed mowing grass and an occasional trip to a Casino or going with his niece Vicki to Mississippi as well as watching the St. Louis Cardinals.

Funeral Mass will be on Saturday June 10, 2023 at 10:00 AM at St Barbara Catholic Church in Scheller with Father Nick Junker officiating. Visitation will be on Friday June 9, 2023 from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM at the Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser. Burial will be at Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser.

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Jullian Graves-Sesser, IL

Jullian Graves, 12, of Sesser, passed away on May 30, 2023 at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

He was born on December 26, 2010 in Mt Vernon to David Graves and Ashley (Pedigo) Smolley.

He is survived by his mother Ashley (Blake) Smolley of Sesser; siblings Corey Pedigo, Trinity Graves and Hadley Smolley, he is also survived by his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his grandmother Brenda Pedigo.

Funeral services will be on Saturday June 3, 2023 at 1:00 PM at the Brayfield-Gilbert Funeral Home in Sesser. Visitation will be on Saturday from 11:00 AM until the time of the service at 1:00 PM at the funeral home. Burial will be at Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser.

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Charlotte Smith-Valier, IL

Charlotte Smith, 84, of Valier, passed away on May 26, 2023 in Herrin, IL.

She was born on June 15, 1938 in Herrin to Gilbert and Lois (Ross) Prather.

She is survived by her children Lisa (Cord) Girten of Valier and Kevin Colyer of Mundelein, IL; grandchildren Ryan (Krystal) Girten of Yukon, OK, Kaci (Jasmine) Girten of Collinsville, IL, Emma Colyer of Mundelein, IL and Jake Colyer of Mundelein, IL and one great grandchild Zoe Overton.

She was preceded in death by her parents and one sister Valeta Ruth Morgan.

A memorial service will be on Saturday June 10, 2023 at 4:00 PM at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher with Brother Larry Holman. Visitation will be on Saturday from 2:00 PM until the time of the memorial service at 4:00 PM.

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Clyde “Butch” Burzynski – Benton, IL

On May 27, 2023, at 88 years of age, faith became sight as Clyde “Butch” Burzynski quietly passed from this world, into the presence of his savior, Jesus Christ.
The youngest of 12, Dad was preceded in death by his parents Lawrence & Martha Burzynski, his brothers Stanley, Walt, John, Raymond and Lawrence, his sisters Helen, Mary, Ruth, Jane and Stella, and is survived by one brother, Marion.

He leaves behind his wife of 21 years, Janet, as well as his children Susan Barnhart & husband Jack, Russell Burzynski & wife Debbie, Katy Montoya & husband Gordon, Gloria Waddell & husband James, and his first wife, Donna Hardell; grandsons Aaron, Josh and David Burzynski, granddaughters Elyse Shirley, Clarissa Wells, Courtney Cimala and Stefani Waddell; and 13 great-grandchildren. Additionally, Janet has two children, Martin Lewis and Kathy Deason, and their families.
A graduate of Valier High School, Dad had many occupations – Fuller brush salesman, over-the-road truck driver, appliance sales, floral delivery, running the old Shell station on North Main Street in Benton, coal miner, school bus driver and janitor at BCHS – just to name a few. Dad loved talking to people. Seems like everywhere we went, Dad knew and was known by someone. He loved teaching Sunday School and serving in his church, playing harmonica with a band, ministering to folks in nursing homes and caring for friends and neighbors.

Any conversation you had with him would remind dad of a song lyric, and he would launch into song. And he especially loved to sing hymns. He’d sing and we’d join in. He loved watching the Cubs play on tv, and in time, when his eyesight failed, he’d tune in to the radio broadcast. He loved buying and selling cars. Every time he called one of us, he had a new joke, and told it masterfully. Nobody could tell a joke like Dad. He will forever be in our hearts and our best memories.

Visitation will take place at Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton, 410 S. Main St., on Friday, June 2, at 5:00 p.m. and Saturday, June 3, at 10:00 a.m., followed by funeral services at 11:00. There will be a graveside service immediately following. Reverends Mark Minor and Chris Hottensen officiating.

Flowers are welcomed or donations may be made to First Baptist Church of Sesser, 5422 Church Street, Sesser, Illinois 62884, in memory of Butch Burzynski.
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Judith “Judy” Espy-Christopher

Judith (Judy) L. Espy, 83, died at home Saturday from complications related to Parkinson’s.

Judy was born to the late E. D. and Treza Trogolo. Judy graduated from the Villa Duchesne high school and Maryville University in 1961. She married James R. Espy in 1961 and they lived together in Lawrence, KS. before relocating to Christopher, IL in 1963.

Judy was a homemaker, and after raising her children worked as an educator and actor. She was a proud member of the local school board for many years, and an active member of St. Andrews Catholic Church. She enjoyed bicycling and was an avid swimmer. Judy was best known as a loving and supportive mother and grandmother to her family.

She is survived by three children, James Trogolo Espy of St. Louis; Treza L. Espy (Tim) of Warrenton, MO; and Mary Ellen McCoy (Tim) of Clarksville TN. She is also survived by brothers Conrad Trogolo (Donna) of Paducah, KY, Ramon Trogolo (Barbara) of Owensboro, KY; grandson Charlie James McCoy of Clarksville, TN; 11 nieces and nephews; best friends Leslie Dolan of St. Louis, Linda Burkitt of Christopher, IL and ‘chosen’ family member Shari Arondelli of Christopher, IL.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Saint Andrews Altar Society, Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, or the Children’s charity of your choice.

Visitation will be Tuesday, May 30th at 10:00 at St. Andrews Catholic Church, with a Funeral Mass following at 11:00. Dinner will follow in Parish Center

A private burial will occur at a later date and a Celebration of Life will be planned in the future for family and friends.

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Cynthia Sue Bowlin Stover – Brockwood, AL

Cynthia Sue Bowlin Stover, 51, of Brookwood, AL, formerly of Elkville, IL, passed away May 24, 2023. Cynthia loved her Harley, cooking home cooked meals, and making memories with her grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her parents Lyle and Mandy; granddaughter Oakley Renee “Nag Nag”; Grandpa and Grandma Lucas; and sidekick Petey. She is survived by her husband Chris Stover; children Branden Lewis (Sadie), Felicia Trott (Brian), Seth Bowlin, Selina Bowlin, and Taylor Stover (Alexa); grandchildren Wyatt, Percy, Asher, Jasper, Wynter, and Declan; brother Rick Bowlin.

The visitation will be on Tuesday May 30, 2023, from 10:00 AM until 11:00 AM, at Peoples Chapel Funeral Home. The funeral service will be at 11:00 AM at the Funeral Home.

A Funeral service will be held on Friday June 2, 2023, from 11:00 AM until 12:00 PM at Gilbert Funeral Home at Christopher, IL. The Funeral service will be at 12:00 PM at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher, IL.

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Kenneth Pearce – Benton, IL

Kenneth Pearce, 91, of Benton passed away on Thursday May 25, 2023 at his home in Benton surrounded by his family.

Mr. Pearce was born in Ewing, IL on December 15, 1931 the son of Carroll Hughes & Erma Q. (Lowry) Pearce.

Kenneth married Judy (Gifford) on June 28, 1958 and she survives.

Mr. Pearce was a member of the Immanuel Baptist Church and was an Army Veteran. He was a member of IBEW 702 in West Frankfort, he enjoyed drinking coffee with his friends and was a craftsman of all trades.

Mr. Pearce is survived by his:
Wife: Judy Pearce of Benton
Son: Les Pearce & wife Vicky of Ewing
4 Grandchildren:
Levi Pearce
Kael Pearce
Isaac Goosby
Amanda Goosby

Kenneth was preceded in death by his Parents, Daughter-Malissa & Brother-Ralph.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Friday June 2nd at the Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton with Rev. RIchard Lance & Dr. Kirk Kay officiating. Visitation will be from 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. on Friday at the funeral home.

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Linda Acosta-Sesser, IL

Linda Lou (McBride) Acosta, 85, of Sesser, IL passed away on May 22, 2023.

She was born on January 8, 1938 in Sesser, IL to Lionel and Ethel (Walker) McBride. She was married to Alfonso Acosta and he preceded her in death on April 17, 2018.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, three siblings Mary Louise Ragland, Mona Lou Guziejka and Austin A. McBride, one son Donald Biard “Fonz” Acosta and one grandson Matthew Acosta.

Linda was a homemaker and caretaker for many people, but she also worked for National Battery, Olin Mills, Burns Security, Central Dispatch, Celebrity Boats and Mariah Boats.

Linda enjoyed playing cards with her grandkids and bingo with her many friends. She also enjoyed fellowship and meals with Brother Larry and Sister Linda Cook. Her kitchen was always open.

She is survived by three sons Alfonso Acosta Jr., Kevin Acosta and Dale Acosta; one daughter Susan (Acosta) Payne and her husband Harlan; seven grandchildren Anthony Acosta, Jared Acosta, Cash Acosta, Dalton Acosta, Sarah Acosta, Dillon and Tara Payne and Justin Payne and one great grandson Gavin Michael Johnson.

Graveside services will be held on Saturday June 3, 2023 at 10:00 AM at the Mitchell Cemetery in Sesser with Brother Larry Cook officiating. Family and friends are asked to meet at the cemetery.

The Family would like to thank neighbors, family and friends for their prayers, phone calls and food that they have given to the family during their time of need.

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Patricia (Pat) Ruth Miller – Benton, IL

Patricia (Pat) Ruth Miller went to be with her Heavenly Father on May 24, 2023 at 11:22 pm.

She was born to Frank and Ester (Stegman) Svanda on October 27, 1945 in Ava, IL. She graduated from Trico High School in 1963. After graduation, she moved to St. Louis and worked downtown in a bank, before moving home and becoming a bookkeeper at the Steeleville Bank in Steeleville, IL.

In 1976 she married Gene Miller on June 19, 1976. They shared 44 years of marriage during which they had two boys, Troy Gene Miller and Timothy Patrick Miller. When the boys were older, Pat became a dishwasher and eventually a cook at Lincoln School and eventually Grant School. Then she worked at the Benton Middle School before retiring. She was a devoted mother and grandmother, sister and friend who loved spending time with her family, planting flowers, craft shows and baking. Her favorite holiday was Christmas and she loved anything with snowmen. She enjoyed attending her grandchildren’s sporting events, awards ceremonies, graduation and school music events and picking them up from school. She enjoyed her daily breakfast at McDonald’s with her friends. She was extremely proud of her family and loved them more deeply and endlessly until her last breath. She was loved by many for her uplifting spirit, constant contagious smile, and the ability to talk to her about anything.

She is survived by her sons, Troy Gene Miller, wife Amanda, and their children, Matthew Gene and Isabella Lynn Miller and Timothy Patrick Miller, and wife Amy and her children, Blane, Annie and Braden.

She is also survived by four sisters: twins Carol Winscher, of Charleston, MO and Mary Bogenpohl (Jim) of St. Louis, MO; Debbie Hinkebein (Ted) of Florissant, MO; and Lisa Uffleman (David) of Murphysboro, IL and one brother, Rick Svanda (Cindy), of Ava, IL and many nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Ester Svanda and one brother, Donald Svanda, and her husband, Gene Miller.

Visitation will be on Monday, May 29, 2023 at Morton and Johnston Funeral Home at 410 S. Main in Benton, IL from 5 pm – 8pm. Funeral services will be on Tuesday, May 30 at 1 pm with the Pastor David Mitchell officiating. Burial will be at Masonic and Oddfellows Cemetery in Benton, following the service. A meal will be provided by the First United Methodist Church in Benton after the burial service. Memorial contributions can be made to the Rend City Baptist Church at the funeral home.

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Freda A. Hobbs – Benton, IL

Freda A. Hobbs, 102, of Benton, passed away at 3:35 a.m., on Saturday, May 20, 2023, at Helia Heathcare of Benton, IL.

She was born on October 19, 1920, to Cloyd and Chloe (Meadows) Foster in Denning Township, Franklin County, IL. She married Marvin Hobbs, and he preceded her in death.

Freda was a loving mother, mother-in-law and grandmother and her family meant the world to her. She loved family get-togethers and cherished that special time with her family. She loved to go to the movies, and play games, she was an avid card player. She enjoyed cooking, sewing, crocheting and making crafts.

Freda is survived by her loving son, Charles (Mary) Hobbs of Marine, IL; son-in-law, Tim Pribble of Thompsonville, IL; eight grandchildren, Jeremiah (Dana) Pribble of Goreville, IL, Amanda (Kris) Mayberry of Norris City, IL, Josh (Stacy) Pribble of Thompsonville, IL, Jacob Pribble of Thompsonville, IL, Dennis (Cheryl) Hobbs of Festus, MO, David (Christina) Hobbs of East Alton, IL, Jeffrey (Julia) Hobbs of Marine, IL and Kurt (Angie) Hobbs of Marine, IL; fifteen great-grandchildrens, Loren Pribble, Shelby Pribble, Blaire Mayberry, Marissa Mayberry, Brayden Mayberry, Alan Pribble, Casey Pribble, Courtney Pribble, Jason (Leslie) Grace, Trisha Farnam, Donnella Hobbs, Phillip (Nicole) Hobbs, Jacob (Laura) Hobbs, Justin (Rachael) Hobbs and Matthew Hobbs; fourteen great-great-grandchildren, Ryan, Lucas, Emily, Ian, Ethan, Lilly, Ava, Elizah, Erica, Kaylee, Rebekah, Lillian, Payten and Eliott; one sister, Leona Middleton of California; nieces and nephews, Fred, WM, Sherlene, Aubrielle Middleton, Mike, Mendy, Robin, Laida Hediger, Mary Beth Barnhardt, Michael, Stephanie, Taylor, Kaylee Harkness, Jacie, Mattie, Nicky, Jeanette Dorchinciz, Becky, John Gaylor and dear friend Roy Pribble.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Cloyd L. and Chloe E. Foster, husband, Marvin Hobbs, daughter, Deborah “Debbie” Kay Pribble, brothers, John Walter (Edie) Hobbs, Bobby Frost and Carl Foster; sisters, Hazel (Michael) Dorchincez and Gloria (Wayne) Hediger, brother-in-law, Buck Middleton, grandson, Charles Hobbs, great-grandson, Jonathon Hobbs, nephews, Jim Dorchinciz and Steve Dorchinciz, and her dear friend, Mary Alice Pribble.

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

Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., Thursday, May 25, 2023, at Pate Funeral Home.

Graveside services will be held on Thursday, May 25, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery in Benton with Pastor Jesse Hinds, officiating.

Memorials may be made to the Franklin County Animal Shelter and will be accepted at the funeral home.

Online condolences can be given at

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News