Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Obit of Timothy Alan Agner

Timothy Alan Agner, 64 of Chatsworth, went to be with the Lord at 1:15 pm on Monday, October 28, 2013 at Fairview Haven Retirement Community in Fairbury.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 am on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at the Chatsworth United Methodist Church with Rev. Frank Silas officiating. Visitation will be held from 4:00-8:00 pm on Friday, November 1, 2013 at the Chatsworth United Methodist Church and one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday. Burial will follow services at Chatsworth Cemetery. Memorial contributions in Tim’s name may be to the Make-A-Wish Foundation; the Chatsworth United Methodist Church; The Prostate Cancer Foundation (; or a charity of the donor’s choice. Calvert & Martin Funeral Home in Chatsworth is handling arrangements for the family.
Tim was born January 7, 1949 in Patterson, New Jersey a son of Charles and Blanche Maurie (Wood) Elliott of Chatsworth. He married his High School sweetheart, Priscilla Ann Lang on May 17, 1970. They celebrated 43 years of marriage in May of 2013. She survives in Chatsworth.
Also surviving is his daughter: Kathy (Bruce) Robertson of Gibson City; his beloved grandchildren: Kallen and Kacely Robertson of Gibson City; one sister: Patricia (Dave) Hubly Cutting of Rockford; one brother: James Elliott of Chatsworth; his mother-in-law: Veva Lang of Chatsworth; his sisters-in-law: Betty Lang, Dian (Gerry) Shubert, Gloria (Dick) Hitchens, Debbie (John) Sterrenberg, Karen (Danny) Freehill, Beverly (John) Ulitzsch and Linnea (Galen) Donley; his nieces and nephews: Lynn (Tom) Momberger, Karen (Bill) Lynch, Lara Morrison, Mark Elliott, Michael (Kim) Elliott, Micah Hill, Jill (Ryan) Petersen, Amy (Andy) Dunbar, Jack Sterrenberg, Kristi (Chad) Ramer, Jason (Sarah) Freehill and Deena (Jay) Folz; and several great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; father-in-law: Carl Lang; maternal grandparents: George and Neva Wood; paternal grandparents: Charles and Elsie Elliott; and one brother-in-law: Carl Lang Jr.
Tim graduated from Chatsworth High School in the Class of 1967 and later from Southern Illinois University’s Vocational Technical Institute in Carbondale with a degree in Automotive Technology. He operated Tim’s Shell Service in Chatsworth from 1970-1987 and worked in the manufacturing industry from 1987 until his illness. He was a member of the Chatsworth United Methodist Church.
Tim was known for his gentle and caring ways and his desire to help others. For years, he was instrumental in creating and constructing the Annual Heritage Days float for the Citizens Bank of Chatsworth. In recent years, he also constructed a go-kart entry for Kallen and Kacely to participate in the parades that included: the Batmobile, Iron Man, M&M cars and a Race Car for Kallen’s 5th birthday; and most recently a “Shellmobile” to commemorate his seventeen years of service to the community. The family often wore T-shirts, caps and other attire to keep with each theme as they traveled the parade route. He often had small notebooks, pencils, bracelets, key rings, and of course, treats for his grandkids to throw out to the children along the parade route. Tim served on various committees at the Unite Methodist Church and helped there with the maintenance and Christmas decorating. He also volunteered his time to work in the Chatsworth Mini Park with trimming and mowing. He was a loving husband, father, papa, son, brother, and uncle to his family. He especially enjoyed attending events and activities for his grandchildren and encouraged them to always put forth the best effort whatever they did and always enforced a positive attitude towards life.
The family wishes to thank all the individuals who provided care, support, prayers, and other help for Tim and his family during his three and a half years battle with prostate cancer. We know that God has welcomed home a faithful servant. He will be greatly missed.
See photo here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chatsworth Township Library Update


Groundbreaking is Sunday, Nov. 10

Please plan to attend to enjoy the program and experience a

once in a lifetime happening for Chatsworth.

See newpaper story here.

Button 4 (for dark backgrounds)

Check this out!!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Obit of Birdie Hoogstraat

Birdie Hoogstraat, 72, of Chatsworth, passed away at 12:00 pm on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at Piper City Rehab and Living Center.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, October 25, 2013 at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home in Chatsworth. Visitation will be held from 9:00 to 11:00 am on Friday, October 25, 2013 prior to the service. Burial will follow services at Chatsworth Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to The Arthritis Foundation.
Birdie was born April 15, 1941 in Golconda, IL a daughter of Harlow and Mary (Barger) Roberts. She married Robert Hoogstraat on December 10, 1977 in Chatsworth, IL. He survives.
Also surviving is her son: David (Carolyn) Roberts of Forrest; one step son: Randy (Pam) Hoogstraat of Piper City; three grandchildren; four step grandchildren; one sister: Sue (Bill) Jones of Kankakee; and one brother: Charles (Shirley) Roberts of Texas. She was preceded in death by her parents, three sisters, two brothers, and one step daughter: Rebecca Lynch.
She was born and raised in the Golconda area. Birdie worked for over 25 years at Homeshield in Chatsworth, where she started as an operator and became a receiving clerk.
Birdie enjoyed collecting beanie babies and putting puzzles together. Most of all, family was important to Birdie; she went to every game of her grandchildren and loved spending time with each one of them. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend who will be greatly missed.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Obit of Nelda Eileen (Wait) Sims

FORREST — Nelda Eileen Sims, 97, Forrest, passed away at 9:20 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 15, 2013) at Eastern Star Home, Macon.
A graveside service of her cremated remains will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at Sunny Slope Cemetery, Saunemin. A memorial service will also be held at a later date. Dawson & Wikoff Funeral Home, Macon, is assisting the family with arrangements. Memorials can be made to Eastern Star Home, P.O. Box 317, Macon, IL 62544, or to Forrest Public Library, 301 W. James St., Forrest, IL 61741.
Mrs. Sims was born May 18, 1916, in Forrest, the daughter of Ora and Elizabeth Gagnon Wait. Nelda graduated from Fairbury High School in 1934. She married Milford Sims on Oct. 17, 1936, and lived in Chatsworth. Shortly after Milford passed in 1983, Nelda moved to Fairbury. She remained in Fairbury until 2004, where she moved in with Scott and Connie Wait in Forrest, before deciding to move into the Eastern Star Home in Macon on Feb. 1, 2013.
She was initiated to Eastern Star on May 4, 1939, in Chatsworth. Nelda was a 74-year member. She devoted most of her life to Eastern Star, especially after Milford passed. She was worthy matron in 1981, and several times after that in the Chatsworth chapter. She was the grand representative in New Hampshire in 1986, as well as in Missouri in 1996. She is currently a member of Felicity Chapter 387 of Normal and a dual member of Royal Chapter of Watseka 217. She continued to meet with her 1981 Eastern Star friends until she entered the Eastern Star Home in Macon.
Nelda is survived by Larry (Carol) Wait, Quincy; Scott (Connie) Wait, Forrest; Tom, Bloomington; Julie (Joe) Plattner, Bloomington; Colleen (Karl) Doering, Hudson; Susie Wait, Flower Mound, Texas; Chester (Sandy) French, Dixon; Lyan (Gary) Rausch, Sauk City, Wis.; Bill (Yvette) Yake, Manassas, Va.; Liz (Brian Nash) Yake, Salt Springs Island, British Columbia, Canada; Gordon (Barb) Yake, Rockwood, Ontario, Canada; Richard Yake; Tim (Jodi) Wait, Franklin, Tenn.; John (Linda) Wait, Granville, Ohio; Kevin (Denise) Wait, St. Johns, Fla.; and Richard (Sue) Faust, Dwight; one stepgranddaughter, Linda Saye; one stepgrandson, Steve Rabe; two stepgreat-grandsons; one stepgreat-great-grandson; one stepgreat-great-granddaughter; 13 great-nephews; 25 great-nieces; nine great-great-nephews; and 13 great-great-nieces.
Nelda was one of a kind. She was a LADY to her very core. Her passing marks the end of an era.
Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at
See Photo here.

Obit of Ida Lou (Miller) Scher

NORMAL — Ida Lou Scher, 88, Liberty, Ky., mother of a Normal resident, passed away at 3:20 a.m. Saturday (Oct. 12, 2013) in her home.
The daughter of John and Opal Smith Miller, she was born in Bourbon, Ind., on Feb. 2, 1925. She graduated from Plymouth High School. She joined the Women’s Army Corp. in 1945, and worked as a clerk during World War II.
Ida married Jacob T. Scher on July 20, 1946, in Walters, Okla.
In 1955, the couple and their family moved to Illinois. There, she was a member of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary and the United Methodist Church. She also worked in a grocery store owned by their good friends, the Costellos.
Jacob’s job caused him to travel a lot and Ida took over many household duties. But, she was a natural homemaker. Ida enjoyed quilting, sewing, crocheting and was a great seamstress. She handmade all of her children’s clothes growing up. She was a fabulous cook and liked to can. She also collected bears of all kinds. The family traveled all over the states together.
Ida is survived by her husband, Jacob, and their children, Margaret Whitney, Liberty, Ky.; John Scher, Normal; Barbara Hassan, Morganton, N.C.; Jerry Scher, Sylacauga, Ala.; James Scher, Liberty, Ky.; and Janet Whitney, Birmingham, Ala. She has eight grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
Her surviving siblings are Virginia Block, Liberty Mills, Ind.; Marshall Miller, Silsbee, Texas; and Orland Miller, Camas, Wash.
She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, John, Edison and Robert Miller and Katherine Crum.
Her funeral will be at noon today at New Oak Hill Cemetery Chapel, Plymouth, Ind., with the Rev. Ed Friberg officiating. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until the time of service at the chapel. Burial will follow in New Oak Hill Cemetery. Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, Plymouth, Ind., is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of Lake Cumberland, 100 Parkway Drive, Somerset, KY 42503.
The sharing of memories and notes of condolence may be sent at
See Photo here.

Obit of David Thomas Lawless

SPRINGFIELD - David "Dave" Thomas Lawless, 68, of Springfield, died at 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12, 2013, at his home after a courageous battle with esophageal cancer. Dave was born on August 6, 1944, in Fairbury, IL, the son of Joseph P. and Marjorie E. (Ashley) Lawless of Sibley, IL. He married Karen June Preckwinkle on August 8, 1970. They celebrated their 40th anniversary in August 2010 with a trip to the northwest, which included a cruise to Alaska. After his father returned from WW II, Dave lived on farms near Strawn and Chatsworth, IL. In 1952, he moved to Camp Grove and then in 1954 to Chillicothe, IL, which Dave considered to be his hometown. In 1960, he moved to Rockford with his mother and sisters and graduated from Rockford East H.S. in 1962. From 1966 to 1968 he served in the U. S. Army. Dave attended Bradley University and later graduated from SIU-C. He enjoyed a 30 year career traveling through Illinois providing seminars for the Illinois Department of Revenue Training Division, retiring in 2002. Dave's passion for life was best seen through his various interests. For many years, Dave was an accomplished auto-racing photographer, concentrating on sprint cars. He was a 3-time winner of the Dale Mueller Memorial Photography Award and worked as a track photographer at Eldora Speedway in Ohio. His racing photo collection was donated to the Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2012. Dave also won awards for his fine art and nature photography, including the local "On Your Own Time" contest. Throughout Dave's life, he had an uncanny ability to put his handprint on everything he was involved in. Dave proudly belonged to American Legion Post 32 where he built the Memorial Walkway and enjoyed helping take care of the grounds. He also built and maintained the Val-E-Vue Memorial Park in his beloved neighborhood. He was a cofounder of the Lawless Family Association and helped organize multiple "Lawless Family and Friends Reunions." He was a longtime member of the ACLU, the Nature Conservancy, and a number of national conservation and historical societies. Dave was also a member of the Reisch Brew Crew and built a treasured collection of breweriana. Dave was also avidly involved with Springfield youth baseball for several decades. In 1993, he founded the American Legion Post 32 Springfield Pride Baseball Team. For eleven years, the Pride played against American Legion baseball teams in top tournaments throughout the Midwest. In honor of his years of commitment to youth baseball, the Springfield Park District named a local park associated with youth baseball the "David T. Lawless Park" in October 2012. Dave will also be inducted into the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame – Friend of Sport category in April 2013. Dave was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend to many. His pursuit of knowledge was never ending and he enjoyed numerous hobbies including gardening, backyard birding, reading, traveling, genealogy and volunteering his time to various causes. He was preceded in death by his mother and his father. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Karen; two sons: John and Ryan (wife, Colleen) Lawless and granddaughter, Sydney, all of Springfield; grandsons: Neil and Nick Lawless of Mt. Olive; sisters: Marjo Schmidt of Springfield and Janita Kemnitz of Elk Grove. He also leaves a wonderful extended family of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, in-laws, cousins, and friends. Cremation service was accorded by Butler Cremation Tribute Center prior to ceremonies. Memorial Gathering: Family will receive friends from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Monday, March 18, 2013, at Kirlin-Egan and Butler Funeral Home, 900 S. 6th St., Springfield. Memorial Ceremony: 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at Kirlin-Egan and Butler Funeral Home with Celebrant Judy Woerner officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Ridge Cemetery with military honors. Memorial Contributions may be made to the David Lawless Park Fund – Springfield Park District, c/o Bank of Springfield, P.O. Box 19301, Springfield, IL 62794 and/or St. John's Hospice, 800 East Carpenter, Springfield, IL 62769. Please visit to offer your condolences. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Obit of Vicki (Beller) Schlabowske


Vicki Diana (Beller) Schlabowske, 65 of Pearl, IL, formerly of Dwight, IL, passed away Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at her home. Vicki was born May 29, 1948 in Pontiac, IL, a daughter of Victor and Maude Maniott Beller. She married the love of her life, Leon F. Schlabowske on August 27, 1966.

Leon and Vicki worked side by side for over 35 years styling hair as the owner of Final Touch in Dwight, IL; but they didn’t call it work; “Spending time with old friends making them look and feel good about themselves.” Vicki was a friend to everyone that sat in her barber chair and has celebrated happy times and helped with difficult times to each and every person she met. She was a very upbeat and positive person that knew just what to say to make someone feel better. She gave great advice, and was a fantastic listener. She had many special qualities about her that makes her very memorable and we will all cherish her memory in our hearts. She will be greatly missed; the world was truly a better place with her in it.

Vicki enjoyed spending her free time with her grandkids. The often baked cookies, went for walks, played games, went camping, and spent time outside. She has been the best role model anyone could ask for and was always there for them, making them into the wonderful young men and young ladies they are today. Vicki enjoyed the company of her cats, and you would often leave the garage door cracked if there was a poor stray in need of a few days of food and water. She especially enjoyed spending time with their closest friends, Cindy and Duane Rients of Pontiac, exploring wineries and dancing.

She is survived by her husband, Leon of Pearl; two sons, Stephen (Paula) T. Schlabowske of Dwight, IL and Jeffrey S. Schlabowske of Morris, IL; four grandchildren, Nicholas Connor of Chenoa, IL; Ryan Schlabowske of Dwight, IL; Hayley Schlabowske of Dwight, IL; and Carli Schlabowske of Dwight, IL. Vicki is also survived by one sister, Jeanette (Ron) Dodson; two brothers, Jack (Sharon) Beller and DeWayne (Trudy) Beller, all of Pontiac, IL.

Vicki considered Leon’s family her family too. Surviving her from Leon’s family is her step mother-in-law, Mary Schlabowske of California; sister-in-laws, Andrea Dalton of Michigan; Donna (Ray) Offill of Centralia; Debbie (Bob) Weber of Pittsburgh; Teresa Antwine of St. Louis and Kim (Mark) Baker of California. Brother-in-laws surviving are Rodney (Becky) Schlabowske of Chatsworth; Dave (Renae) Schlabowske of Sherman; Jeff Schlabowske, of California; Mark (Lori) Gibson of California and many nieces and nephews all over the United States. Preceding her in death were her parents, Victor and Maude Beller of Pontiac, IL.

Vicki has asked for no memorial services and any contributions can be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF) in honor of her two grandchildren that are battling diabetes. Her family welcomes online condolences at “Keep on Dancing”.

Obit of Rev. Father Richard Eugene Raney

From the Fort Myers News-Press

Rev. Richard Eugene Raney
October 11, 2013 Rev. Richard E. Raney, a Roman Catholic priest of the Diocese of Peoria, IL and chaplain to the Poor Clare Nuns of San Damiano Monastery of St. Clare on Fort Myers Beach, FL passed away peacefully on Oct. 11, 2013, only eight days before his 101st birthday. Father Raney was the youngest of three children of William and Loretta Raney and grew up in Peoria, IL. He attended St. Bernard's Grade School and the Spaulding Institute in Peoria, St. Bede's College in Peru, IL and Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, MO. Fr. Raney was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria on June 5th, 1938. His long years of service as a devoted pastor of souls began at Holy Trinity Church in Bloomington, IL and continued at St. Mary's Church in Ottawa and Sts. Peter & Paul Church in Chatsworth; then to St. Edward's Church in Chillicothe and finally to Sacred Heart Church in Moline, IL. During these years, Fr. Raney celebrated many thousands of Masses, responded to numerous sick calls, often in the wee hours of the night, and heard countless confessions. He coached football, basketball and track teams. He also built a church, a school, a rectory and a convent at St. Edwards Parish. In 1980 Fr. Raney retired for reasons of health and moved to Fort Myers Beach, Florida where he had vacationed for many years with his friends Jim and Chris Baldwin. In 1988, when the Poor Clare Nuns founded a new monastery on Fort Myers Beach, Fr. Raney offered to say Mass for the sisters. He endeared himself to everyone who attended his Masses. All who met him were moved by his gentle love, the example of his life, and the simplicity of his message of love for God and one another. In 2010, the Year of the Priest, at the request of the Sisters, Fr. Raney was affiliated to the Order of Friars Minor of Holy Name Province for his many years of service to the Poor Clares. Fr. Raney is survived by his niece, Mary Ann Muller, his nephews, William Muller and Steven Nelson-Raney, many cousins and countless near and dear friends from the north and in Florida. He is pre-deceased by his brother, William Raney and his sister, Gertrude Muller. Fr. Raney will be waked in the chapel of San Damiano Monastery at 6029 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach, FL on Sunday, October 13 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Mass of Christian burial will be held at Ascension Catholic Church, on the same grounds as the monastery on Monday, October 14th at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Poor Clare Nuns. Arrangements are being handled by Shikany's Bonita Funeral Home. -