Saturday, April 25, 2015

Spencer Bayston Story

From the Pantagraph
April 23, 2015 6:30 pm • By Bruce Yentes Like most 16-yearold high school sophomores, Spencer Bayston has some classes he likes more than others. "There's a construction class that I really enjoy, where we'll actually build a house our junior and senior year," he said. Unlike most 16-year-old sophomores, Bayston also will be getting acclimated to racing a high-powered sprint car while simultaneously learning how to read a blueprint. While it's still unclear how he'll fare in pounding nails according to specifications, his attempt at building a racing career has gotten off to a resoundingly successful start. Two weeks ago, the youngster outdueled reigning series champ Zach Daum to capture a POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series feature at Belle-Claire Speedway in Belleville. He'll try to repeat the fete this weekend when the POWRi series visits Central Illinois and Jacksonville Speedway on Friday night, before competing at Macon Speedway on Saturday. While winning a national touring series event is certainly a feather in one's cap, Bayston's most impressive accomplishment may have come earlier this year. That's when he outran well over 300 entrants, many of them familiar names to the most casual of racing fans, for one of only 24 starting spots in the iconic Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Okla. That came to the delight of car owner Bryan Clauson, who also provides Bayston with some coaching and tutoring. When it comes to wheeling a midget or sprint car, Bayston would be hard-pressed to find a better mentor. Although only 25, Clauson already is a three-time USAC National Sprint Car Series champion, has been a runner-up in the NASCAR Nationwide (now Xfinity) Series rookie chase and has an appearance in the 2012 Indianapolis 500 on his resume with another on the slate a month from now. Clauson's father, Tim, serves as "crew chief" on Bayston's POWRi midget and sees some similarities between Bayston and where his son was 10 years ago. "Bryan had more experience when he was 16 than Spencer has, but I'd say there are a lot of the same characteristics," Tim Clauson said. "Speed-wise, instinct-wise, he's got that." The thing that most impresses the elder Clauson about the up-and-coming Bayston is the youngster's character and eagerness to learn. "We try to find young kids that we feel have the talent to get to the next level and we try to give them our experience, equipment and knowledge to speed up the learning curve," Clauson said. "The one thing about Spencer that sets him apart from most kids is his maturity. He understands it's a process and he never gets ahead of himself. Early on he would have flashes of brilliance, but he never got a big head and thought he was better than he truly was. That was especially good, because there would then be nights when we would really struggle." Bayston says there were indeed ups and downs in last year's season that netted him POWRi Rookie of the Year honors. "We'd have a few good nights with good finishes and then right after that I'd be awful," he said. "I'd spin out, wreck the car or make mistakes. "It could be a humbling experience, but Bryan was always there, coaching me and telling me what I was doing right or wrong. It was always in a positive way and he kept up my confidence. Tim Clauson said that after some early struggles, by mid-season Bayston began consistently running among the POWRi leaders, putting himself in a position to win. In finally happened in just the third race of his second season. Bayston first appeared on Clauson's radar as a 14-year-old when he won 10 of 15 main events and the championship in the Mel Kenyon Midget Series, an Indiana-based "spec" series. Prior to that, Bayston raced a quarter-midget and a 600cc Micro Sprint, primarily for the simple fun that it provided through a family outing for he and his father, Brett. The Baystons' fun extends beyond racing. They also enjoy spending time together in the outdoors and in the late fall and early winter they've had occasion to wend their way through the harvested corn and soybean fields of Livingston County, hunting pheasant together. The family resides in Lebanon, Ind., but Brett Bayston grew up in Chatsworth and was a member of the final graduating class at Chatsworth High School before it consolidated into the Prairie Central school district. After graduating from the University of Illinois, he took a job with the Edward Jones brokerage firm in Marion, Ind. It was in Marion that he met his wife, Shari. Spencer has an older sister, Grace, who is a senior at Lebanon High School. His grandparents, Gerald and Helen Bayston, still live in Chatsworth and frequently attend his races, as does an uncle, Bart, who lives in Jacksonville. Those races this season will include a focused foray into USAC midgets. Bayston also will split his time between POWRi midgets and some regional sprint car racing in Indiana. A move into the more demanding and powerful USAC national sprint car ranks shouldn't be too far off, but with Clauson's guidance, they're taking it all one step at a time. Bayston had his first sprint car test at Paragon Speedway in southern Indiana the Sunday after winning his first POWRi feature at Belleville. "He looked natural in it," Clauson said. "As good as he ever has." Contact Bruce Yentes at

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Obit of J. Gordon Bicket

 J. Gordon Bicket, 90, of Sun City West, Arizona, passed away April 1, 2015 in Sun City West. He was born April 11, 1924 in Sparta, Illinois. He was a U.S. Army Staff Sgt. during WW II. He obtained a Masters Degree, with honors, from the University of Illinois. Gordon was a Bank President, a Secondary School Teacher, a former Elder at Crown of Life Lutheran Church in Sun City West, a member of the Illinois Bankers Association, and a member of Sun City West Prides. He and his wife Jacqueline moved to Arizona from Danville, Illinois in 1992. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Jacqueline, his daughter Tamara (Julian) Fruhling and granddaughter Stephanie Fruhling of Scottsdale, AZ, brother Wendell W. Bicket of Sparta, Illinois, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his twin brother, John H. Bicket. Private services will be held. Memorials may be made to Crown of Life Lutheran Church, 13131 Spanish Garden Dr., Sun City West, AZ 85375.
 See photo Here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Obit of Elizabeth (Ashman) Gillette

Elizabeth “Betty” Gillette, 79, of Chatsworth, IL passed away at 8:18 pm on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, IL.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, April 11, 2015 at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chatsworth, with Jerry Gentes, Minister of Pastoral Care officiating. Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 8:00 pm on Friday, April 10, 2015 at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home, Chatsworth. Burial will follow services at Chatsworth Cemetery. Memorial contributions in Betty’s name may be made to St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chatsworth.

Betty was born March 18, 1936 in Pontiac, IL a daughter of Richard and Dorothy (Bargman) Ashman. She married Loren Gillette on June 14, 1959 in Chatsworth, IL. . He passed away on September 7, 2007..
She is survived by her three children: Richard (Denise) Gillette of Elmhurst, IL, Karl (Glenda) Gillette of Reelsville, IN, and Beth Gillette of Maplewood, NJ.; three grandchildren; Jacob Saunders, Deirdre Gillette and Maeve Gillette; one brother: Rodger (Carol) Ashman of Mt. Prospect, IL
She was preceded in death by her parents.

Betty was educated in the Chatsworth schools. She went on to graduate from Illinois State Normal University with a teaching degree. She then received her master’s degree from University of Illinois. Betty taught at Prairie Central Grade School for thirty-eight years. She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma

She was a member of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chatsworth.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Hooray for Belleville, Illinois !!

A Good Deed!
I read this in the Kankakee Daily Journal today and thought that it should be noted.
Hooray for Belleville, Illinois!!

BELLEVILLE — Acquaintances of a homeless man who died in southwestern Illinois are coming together to give him a proper funeral. The Belleville News-Democrat reported Randy Glore will be buried Monday in Belleville. Someone found the 56-year-old's body on March 27 behind a gas station dumpster. Overnight temperatures had fallen to near freezing. The official cause of death was exposure to the elements. Those who knew Glore described him as friendly and a talented singer. He'd perform at open-mic nights at an area club. The director of Mount Carmel Cemetery, Joe Hubbard, knew Glore. He supplied a gravesite. Faith Baptist Church is providing a bus for friends to attend Monday's service. Steven Mueller Florist is providing the flowers. Mueller said "nothing makes" him "sadder than someone without flowers at his funeral."