Miscellaneous Illinois Obituaries

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March 26, 2002
Neffie Alaman
MATTOON - Neffie J. Alaman, 104, of Mattoon, died at 3 p.m. Monday (March 25, 2002) at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center.
Arrangements are incomplete at Schilling Funeral Home.

Kelsey Cummins
SUMNER - Kelsey Eugene "Gene" Cummins, 75, of rural Sumner, died at 5:19 p.m. Sunday (March 24, 2002) at Good Samaritan Hospital.
The funeral will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at Beulah United Methodist Church, Sumner. Burial will be in Cresthaven Memorial Park Cemetery. Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. today at Sivert-Macey and Steffey Funeral Home, Sumner.
He was born Oct. 10, 1926, in Lawrence County, the son of Leonard L. and Nancy Smith Cummins. He married Lois Sanders in 1947; she survives.
Other survivors include two sons, Michael Cummins of Sumner and Steve Franklin of Charleston; two daughters, Patricia Franklin of Charleston and Jan Cummins of Sumner; two sisters, Christine Wagner of rural Sumner and Maxine Cummins of Sumner; three grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by two brothers.
Mr. Cummins was a retired teacher and principal, having worked in the Bridgeport and Olney school systems. He was a Navy World War II veteran, a member of Beulah United Methodist Church and Olney Presbyterian Church.
Memorials may be made to the Beulah United Methodist Church building fund.

Emma DeCesar
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Emma M. DeCesar, 84, of South Bend, Ind., formerly of Lovington, died at 12:40 p.m. Monday (March 25, 2002) at Memorial Hospital, South Bend, Ind.
Arrangements are incomplete at McMullin-Young Funeral Home, Sullivan.

Paul Hilligoss
NEW PALESTINE, Ind. - Paul Hilligoss, 78, of New Palestine, Ind., died Feb. 1, 2002, at the home of a son.
The funeral was at New Palestine Chapel. Burial was in Springhill Cemetery. Hendryx Mortuary, New Palestine, Ind., was in charge of arrangements.
He was born Jan. 13, 1924, in DuQuoin, the son of Ken and Eva Wright Hilligoss. He married Evelyn Maxine Leonard in 1942; she died in 1969. He married Lorraine Shepherd in 1975; she died in 1996.
Survivors include four sons, Gerald of Indianapolis, Frank of Brown County, Steve of New Palestine and Scott of Reelsville; one daughter, Rebecca Heflin of New Palestine, Ind.; one brother, Herman Hilligoss of Humboldt; one sister, Gladys Sanders of Mattoon; 13 grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren.
He was also preceded in death by one son, one daughter, two brothers and one sister.
Mr. Hilligoss was retired from New York Central Railroad, now Conrail, and had farmed in Illinois and Indiana.

David Hunt
JOPLIN, Mo. - David Ray Hunt, 59, of Joplin, Mo., formerly of Mattoon, died at 8 p.m. Sunday (March 24, 2002) in Joplin, Mo.
Arrangements are incomplete at Mitchell-Jerdan Funeral Home.

MARIAN BAILS MONTGOMERY
CHARLESTON, IL - Marian Bails Montgomery, age 90 of Charleston, passed away on Monday, March 25 (2002) at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center. Visitation will be from 4:00 ­ 6:00 p.m. on Friday (March 29) with Eastern Star Services to be held at 5:45, conducted by Sopha C Chapter #102. Services celebrating Marian's life will be held on Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. with Reverend Dr. Mark Prevo officiating. Visitation and Services will be held at Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive in Charleston. Interment will follow the services in Mound Cemetery.
Marian was born June 26, 1911 in Charleston, Illinois the daughter of John Melvin and Lola Mae (Francis) Bails. On July 17, 1993 in Charleston, she married Charles Joseph Montgomery.
She is survived by a sister, Anna Mae Hamilton of Charleston; two brothers, John J. Bails, Jr. and his wife Martha of Glendale, Arizona and Dick Bails of Charleston; two stepsons, John E. Montgomery and his wife Pat of Big Rapids, Michigan and Joe W. Montgomery and his wife Joan of Greenville, Illinois; nine step grandchildren, Mitch Montgomery and his wife Jan of Anchorage, Alaska, Chad Montgomery and his wife Sarah and Ben Montgomery, all of Atlanta, Georgia, Susan Montgomery of Carbondale, Illinois, Andy Montgomery of Brussels, Belguim, Mary Josef and her husband Carl, Jeanne Gardner and her husband Michael, Molly Kuffner and her husband Rob, all of the Seattle, Washington area, and Meg McMullen and her husband Steve of Spokane, Washington; eleven step great grandchildren; four nephews, Bob Cox of St. Elmo, Illinois, Mike Bails of Sparks, Nevada, Harold Robert Bails and his wife Joan of Abilene, Texas and John Melvin Bails, residing in the state of Washington; three nieces, Sue Derwort and her husband Jim of Marissa, Illinois, Gai Anthony and her husband Mike of Phoenix, Arizona and Barbara Ann Binkley and her husband Mark of Antioch, Tennessee. She was preceded by her loving husband who passed away on September 23, 2001; her parents; two brothers, Harold Bails and Donald Bails; and four sisters, Irma Bails, Helen Barth, Catherine Bails and Margaret Blunschi.
Marian was a life-long member of the Wesley United Methodist Church in Charleston, Eastern Star Sopha C Chapter #102 and White Shrine of Jerusalem Pleiades Shrine #57. Many were richly blessed with her gifts of caring and love given so generously by this very special wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She, in turn, was richly blessed with many, many friends and a family who dearly loved her. The Patients of her late husband, Dr. C. J. Montgomery (a local retired Dentist), were fortunate to have this caring woman working along side "Doc" as his Dental Assistant and Office Nurse. When time permitted, she enjoyed baking and collecting Precious Moments figurines.
Marian's family requests that memorial gifts in her honor be made to the Wesley United Methodist Church. Memorial gifts may be made at the Visitation or Services, or mailed to Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, IL 61920.

Ernest Neal
ASHMORE - Ernest L. Neal, 62, of Ashmore, died at 12:45 p.m. Sunday (March 24, 2002) at his home.
A memorial service will be 7:30 p.m. today at Harper-Swickard Funeral Home with the Rev. Robert C. Clark officiating. Visitation will be 6 p.m. until service time at the funeral home.
He was born July 27, 1939, in Charleston, the son of Ernest G. and Hazel Fritz Neal.
Survivors include his mother, Hazel Stewart of Charleston; two daughters, Lori Neal of Mattoon and Pamela Williamson of Windsor; one sister, Gloria Eddinger of Charleston; four grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his father, one son, one brother, three sisters and one grandchild.
Mr. Neal was a self-employed auto body repairman and carpet installer. He was a member of the Charleston Eagles.

Virginia Spelbring
MATTOON - Virginia R. Spelbring, age 87, of Mattoon, died at 9:04 a.m. Sunday (March 24, 2002) at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center.
The funeral will be 1 p.m. Wednesday at Mitchell-Jerdan Funeral Home with the Rev. Joseph I. Somers officiating. Burial will be in Dodge Grove Cemetery. Visitation will be noon until service time at the funeral home.
She was born Dec. 10, 1914, in Mattoon, the daughter of Charles and Bertha Stewart Baber. She married B. Ross Spelbring in 1946; he survives.
Other survivors include several nieces and nephews.
Mrs. Spelbring was a former secretary at Kuehne Manufacturing. She was a member of the First Alliance Church, and was an organist and pianist for many years.
Memorials may be made to First Alliance Church.

Victor Stevens
BETHANY - Victor Lee Stevens, 54, of Bethany, formerly of Effingham, died at 12:20 p.m. Monday (March 25, 2002) at his residence.
Arrangements are incomplete at McMullin-Young Funeral Home, Sullivan.

March 25, 2002
Viola Bechtel
SULLIVAN - Esther Viola Bechtel, 98, of Sullivan, died on Saturday March 23, 2002, at 8:05 pm in the Sullivan Health Care Center, Sullivan.
Funeral Services will be 1:30 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2002, in the McMullin-Young Funeral Home, Sullivan, visitation will be 1 hour before service time. Burial will be in the Findlay Cemetery, Findlay. Memorials: Highway Church Of Christ, Sullivan.
She was born on November 27, 1903, in Moultrie County, the daughter of George Henry and Roxie Oliver Adams. She was a member of the Highway Church of Christ, Sullivan. She married Leslie "Cherokee" Bechtel on July 29, 1951, he died on February 24, 1989.
She is survived by her step-son; Howard Bechtel of Hendersonville, N.C., Nephews; Ronnie Adams of Bethany, Robert Adams of Sullivan, sister-in-law; Helen Adams of Sullivan.
She was preceded by 2 brothers.

Mary Elliott
MARTINSVILLE - Mary E. Callahan Elliott of Martinsville died Friday (March 22, 2002) in Folsom, Calif.
Arrangements are pending at the Markwell and Son Funeral Home in Casey.

Fannie Hochstetler
ARTHUR - Fannie J. Hochstetler, 70, of Arthur died at 5:42 a.m. Sunday (March 24, 2002) at her residence.
The funeral will be at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the family residence, 189 North County Road 000 East in Arthur, with Bishop Howard Otto officiating. Burial will be in Yoder Cemetery. Visitation will be any time prior to the funeral at the family residence. Edwards Funeral Home in Arcola is in charge of arrangements.
She was born Feb. 26, 1932, in Douglas County, a daughter of Jacob F. and Katie A. Diener Herschberger. She married Perry J. Hochstetler in 1957. He survives.
Also surviving are two sons, Wilmer Hochstetler and Tobias Hochstetler, both of Hammond; one daughter, Dolores Miller of Arthur; two brothers, Menno Herschberger of Humboldt and Toby Herschberger of Sullivan; two sisters, Alta Yoder of Roodhouse and Alma Kauffman of Arcola; and one grandchild.
She was preceded in death by one infant brother.
Mrs. Hochstetler was a member of the Old Order Amish.

Oliver Jones
NEWTON - Oliver Leslie Jones, 87, of Newton died at 5:30 p.m. Saturday (March 23, 2002) at St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital in Effingham.
The funeral will at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Crain Funeral Home in Newton. Burial will be in West Lawn Cemetery with military rites by Jasper Post 20. Visitation will be from noon until service time Tuesday at the funeral home.
He was born June 20, 1914, in Jasper County, the son of John and Bess Romack Jones. He married Marjorie E. Whalin in 1941. She died in 1996.
Surviving are two daughters, Carol Ann Zurmoehle of Flossmorr and Brenda Rawlings of Mattoon; two brothers, John Jones Jr. of Hidalgo and Leo Jones of Newton; one sister, Jane Dittamore of Effingham; and two grandchildren.
He was also preceded in death by one brother.
Mr. Jones was a farmer and U.S. Army veteran of World War II. He was a member of the Newton Masonic Lodge 216 A.F. & A.M., Jasper Post 20 and the V.F.W.
Memorials may be made to the Kidney Foundation.

Cecil Neal
Cecil A. Neal, 90, of Sullivan, died at 7:02 p.m. Friday (March 22, 2002) in the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, Mattoon.
Funeral services with Masonic rites will be at 1:30 p.m. Monday at the Reed Funeral Home with the Pastor Gene Godfrey officiating. Burial will be in the Findlay Cemetery. Visitation will be from Noon until service time. Memorials are suggested to the Sullivan First Baptist Church.
Mr. Neal was born January 11,1912 in Atwood, IL, the son of Eugene and Zora Arthur Neal. Cecil worked for the Sullivan School District and the Illinois Highway Department. After Cecil's retirement, he was a handyman and "Jack of all Trades". He was a member of the Sullivan First Baptist Church and the George A. Sentel Masonic Lodge # 764.
Cecil married Mildred Scrogins on Feb. 6, 1933 in Findlay and she preceded him in death on August 17, 1979. He then married Charlene Fultz on Sept. 5, 1981 in Sullivan and she preceded him in death on March 26, 2001.
Survivors include his sons, Wayne Neal of Brownsburg, Ind. and Kenneth Neal of Liberty, Ind.; his daughter, Beverly Hutchcraft and her husband Ernie of Sullivan; and five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, two sisters and one grandson.

Ernest Neal
ASHMORE - Ernest L. Neal, 62, of Ashmore died at 12:45 p.m. Sunday (March 24, 2002) at his residence.
Arrangements are pending at Harper-Swickard Funeral Home in Charleston.

Reba Nighswander
Reba M. Nighswander, 87, of Lincoln, passed away at 12:35 p.m. Friday (March 22, 2002) in the Christian Village Nursing Home in Lincoln.
The funeral will be 11 a.m. Monday at the Lincoln Christian Church with Tim Searby and Ryan Edgecombe officiating. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until service time Monday at the church. Following the funeral services at the Lincoln Christian Church, family and friends are invited to meet at the Dodge Grove Cemetery in Mattoon at 3 p.m. for the committal service. The Holland & Barry Funeral Home in Lincoln is in charge of the arrangements.
Reba was born October 14, 1914 in Chauncy, the daughter of Charles and Augusta (Baker) Smith. She married John E. Nighswander on April 1, 1933 in Bridgeport. He survives.
Also surviving are one daughter, Nancy J. Sager of Lincoln; four sons, J. Richard Nighswander of LaGrange, Ronald S. Nighswander of Philadelphia, Pa., James K. Nighswander of Springfield and Thomas L. Nighswander of Justice; one brother, Edward B. Smith of Webster, Texas; and 17 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Nighswander was a dental receptionist and member of the United Methodist Church of Mattoon, the D.A.R. Literary Club, and the Ladies Circle. She also taught Sunday School and was a volunteer for the Salvation Army and Hospital Auxiliary.
Memorial may be made to the Christian Village Nursing Home in Lincoln.

June Sheppard
SULLIVAN - June J. Sheppard, 86, of Sullivan died at 2:45 a.m. Saturday (March 23, 2002) at Decatur Memorial Hospital in Decatur.
The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Reed Funeral Home in Sullivan with Laura Belle Wallace officiating. Burial will be at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Maple Springs Methodist Church Cemetery in Paducah, Ky. Visitation will be one hour prior to services Monday at the funeral home.
She was born June 20, 1915, in Shelburn, Ind., the daughter of Thomas and Kate Wallace Schultz. She married Clarence Harold Sheppard in 1943. He died in 1981.
Surviving is one daughter, Suzie Foster of Lovington.
She was also preceded in death by one grandson.
Mrs. Sheppard was a retired teacher at Fisher Grade School and a real estate agent. She was a member of the Sullivan First United Methodist Church, the Moultrie County Home Extension, the Order of the Eastern Star, the Stephen Decatur Chapter DAR, and the Moultrie County Retired Teachers.
Memorials may be made to the Moultrie County Beacon.

Virginia Spelbring
MATTOON - Virginia R. Spelbring, 87, of Mattoon died at 9:04 a.m. Sunday (March 24, 2002) at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center.
Arrangements are pending at Mitchell-Jerdan Funeral Home.



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