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Obituaries Archives for 2019-04

Lois Jean Smiley, 95, of Hoopeston, IL, formerly of East Lynn

Whatever she was doing, whether in the classroom, in her home, on the dance floor, and especially in church, Jean Smiley joyfully lived life. Jean passed away Monday, April 29 and is now living with Jesus and the saints in Heaven. She was 95.

 

A life-long resident of East Lynn in Vermilion County, she was born Lois Jean Lawrence and began excelling immediately, graduating valedictorian of her high school class and entering the University of Illinois.  She interrupted her college career to marry Arthur Smiley on July 11, 1943. He preceded her in death. While Art was overseas serving in World War II, Jean worked as a secretary at Food Machinery Corporation, taking the train each day from East Lynn to Hoopeston. During the war, she loved traveling to New York City to meet Art when he was on leave, dancing to the sounds of Glenn Miller, Harry James and Benny Goodman. Throughout their lives Jean and Art traveled world-wide.

 

After the War Jean and Art made their home in East Lynn and raised four children. Lawrence (Rachel), Indianapolis; John (Kendra), East Lynn; Ann Smiley-Oyen, Ames, IA; and Wynn, Indianapolis. Jean had nine grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.

 

Deciding to finish her degree at 38, Jean re-entered the University of Illinois earning both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. Upon graduation, she was pressed into service to help address a state-wide teacher shortage and began teaching kindergarten, half-days in Rankin and half-days in East Lynn public schools. In 1973 when Hoopeston-East Lynn consolidated school district was formed, Jean taught at John Greer Elementary School. But the majority of her 25-year career was teaching first graders at Maple Elementary School. Her passion in the classroom was helping children learn how to read.

 

Jean was an innovator in the classroom. While in graduate school, she was introduced to a program called the “Physiology of Readiness,” which focused on getting children ready to read. This program was designed on the premise that practicing movement tasks, such as walking a balance beam, simultaneously drawing circles on the blackboard with both hands, and tracking a ball swinging on a string, readied the brain for school learning, and specifically for reading. She used this program in her classroom and shared it at teacher workshops. While controversial in the 1960’s and 1970’s, current research supports this perspective.

 

She was the ultimate party planner, teaching all week and then hosting gatherings such as family Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter weekend events including cooking meals for more than thirty people. Jean’s love for parties was apparent at her 90th birthday celebration where she successfully blew out 90 candles ablaze on a coconut cream pie, her favorite dessert.  Jean’s homemade ice cream and buttermilk pancakes were two family favorites.

 

Prayer was central to Jean’s life and the fuel that ignited her joy. Her faith was energized at the United Methodist Church renewal movement, Aldersgate. The annual conference was a spiritual home for Jean, each year becoming an ever-growing reunion of loving friends she made across the country. Jean prayed for thousands of people, including every student she taught. She epitomized the scripture verse, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!” Her love for others lasted until her final days. Nurses and caregivers at Heritage Health in Hoopeston, where she was living, routinely told stories about Jean’s love and concern for them and their families.

 

Jean’s legacy includes her family, generations of children who learned to read in her classroom and the untold people whose lives were changed through her kindness, intercessory prayer and joyful love.

 

A visitation will be held 4:00 – 7:00 P.M. Friday May 3, 2019 at Anderson Funeral Home 427 E. Main St. Hoopeston, IL.  The funeral service will be held at 2:00 P.M. Saturday May 4, 2019 at the East Lynn Community Fellowship Church 41428 Main St., East Lynn, IL, with Larry Johnson officiating.  Burial will follow in the East Lynn Cemetery.

 

Memorials may be made to the East Lynn Community Fellowship Church P.O. Box 146, East Lynn, IL 60932.

 

Please visit www.anderson-funeral-home.com to view Jean’s eternal tribute page and to send the family condolences.

 

Anderson Funeral Home in Hoopeston is handling the arrangements.

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Harvey George Phillips, 83, of Alvin

Harvey George Phillips, 83, of Alvin, IL, passed away at 7:32 P.M. Wednesday April 24, 2019 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, IL.  He was born October 1, 1935, in Danville, IL, the son of Kenneth S. and Violet (Rush) Phillips.  He married Martha Marie Pettice on December 26, 1958, at the Alvin Church of God.  She survives in Alvin.

He is also survived by two sons, Casey (Janice) Phillips of Bismarck, IL and Bruce Phillips of Rossville, IL; two sisters, Joy (Ben) Day of Lafayette, IN and Latina (Ray) Hunt of Bismarck, IL; five grandchildren, Eric (Misty) Phillips of Oakwood, IL, Kurt (Miranda) Phillips of Covington, IN, Greg Phillips of Alvin, IL, Terri (Tim) Foley of Covington, IN, and Chyanna Phillips of Alvin, IL; 8 great-grandchildren and one on the way; and 11 nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Brenda; and one brother, Darrell.

Harvey retired from the Carpenters Local 243 in Champaign.  He later became the South Ross Road Commissioner for 16 years.  He was also the Sexton for Gundy Cemetery for 60 years.  Harvey served in the United States Army from July 1958 – July 1960.  He was a member of the Alvin Church of God and the I & I Tractor Club.

A visitation will be held 3:00 – 6:00 P.M. Monday April 29, 2019 at the Alvin Church of God 109 South St. Alvin, IL.  The funeral service will follow the visitation and will begin at 6:30 P.M. Monday at the church with Pastor Dan Hunt officiating.  A graveside service will be held at 10:30 A.M. Tuesday April 30, 2019 at Gundy Cemetery in Bismarck, IL.  Military rites will be accorded by the Hoopeston American Legion.

Memorials may be made to the National Kidney Foundation, 30 East 33rd Street, New York, NY 10016 or the American Diabetes Association, 2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 900 Arlington, VA 22202.

Please visit www.anderson-funeral-home.com to view Harvey’s eternal tribute page and to send the family condolences.

Anderson Funeral Home in Hoopeston is handling the arrangements.

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Elizabeth Ann "Beth" Lee, 45, of Danville, IL, formerly of Florida

Elizabeth Ann “Beth” Lee, 45, of Danville, IL, formerly of Florida, passed away at 6:20 P.M. Monday April 8, 2019 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, IL.  She was born June 25, 1973 in Danville, IL. 

She is survived by four daughters, Ashley See of Bradenton, FL, Amber See of Gary, IN, April See of Danville, IL, and Shawna See of Bradenton, FL; and three grandchildren, Jonathan Jr., Alexander, and Abigale.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Mary Lee and one brother, Larry Lee.

Cremation rites will be accorded, and no service will be held.

Please visit www.anderson-funeral-home.com to view Beth’s eternal tribute page and to send the family condolences.

Anderson Funeral Home in Hoopeston is handling the arrangements.

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Sandra Jean Heavener, 79, of Hoopeston

Sandra Jean Heavener, 79, of Hoopeston, IL, passed away at 8:08 A.M. Tuesday April 16, 2019 at her home.  She was born September 16, 1939, in Harvey, IL, the daughter of Oscar Sr. and Sophie (Stolarz) Whitney.  She married Robert L. Heavener Sr. and together they enjoyed 58 years of marriage.  He survives in Hoopeston.

She is also survived by one daughter, Edrie Heavener; two sons, Robert L. Heavener Jr., and Ray C. Heavener; 8 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren.

Sandra worked as a rehabilitation counselor for drugs and alcohol and later became the church secretary at the First Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Hoopeston.  She was a member of the Knit and Rip Club at the church and enjoyed spending time with family and friends.

Cremation rites will be accorded, and no service will be held.

Please visit www.anderson-funeral-home.com to view Sandra’s eternal tribute page and to send the family condolences.

Anderson Funeral Home in Hoopeston is handling the arrangements.

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C. Louise Barragree, 90, of Rossville

C. Louise Barragree, 90, of Rossville, IL, passed away at 10:40 P.M. Sunday April 14, 2019 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.  A visitation will be held 11:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. Thursday April 18, 2019 at Anderson Funeral Home 427 E. Main St. Hoopeston, IL.  The funeral service will follow the visitation and will begin at 1:00 P.M. Thursday at the funeral home.  Burial will follow in Rossville Cemetery.  Anderson Funeral Home in Hoopeston is handling the arrangements. 

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Jack B. Haltiwanger, 81, of Potomac

Jack B. Haltiwanger, 81, of Potomac, passed away at 9:46 p.m. Friday, April 5, 2019, at Carle Foundation Hospital, in Urbana.

Jack was born on January 28, 1938, in Gainesville, Florida, the son of Moses Paul and Daisy (Spivey) Haltiwanger.  He married Carolyn Cornell on December 5, 1961, in Rossville, Illinois.  She survives.

He is also survived by two sons - Tim (Marie) Haltiwanger and Troy (Kim) Haltiwanger both of Potomac; seven grandchildren - Cory (Nicole) Haltiwanger, Kevin Griggs, Kira (Eric) Blazquez, Stephanie Morgan, Miriah (Jacob) Haltiwanger, Alex Morgan and Cheyenne Haltiwanger; three great-grandchildren- Ava Haltiwanger, Arabella and Austin Layton; and brother- Howard Yawn of Gainesville, Florida.

He was preceded in death by his parents. two brothers and two sisters.

Jack served in the United States Air Force, from 1955 to 1957.  He worked at Eisner Grocery Warehouse in Champaign for 18 years.  After they closed, he became a bus driver for Potomac Grade School for 7 years and later worked at Jeld-Wen in Rantoul for 7 years until his retirement. Jack was a member of the Potomac First Church of Christ.  He enjoyed feeding his hummingbirds, playing golf, gardening, working in his yard and, years ago, coaching baseball.  His greatest enjoyment was spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

A Celebration of Jack Haltiwanger's Life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 10, 2018 at the Potomac First Church of Christ with Pastor Randy Walters officiating.  He will be laid to rest following the services in Potomac Cemetery.  Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday at the church.  The family has entrusted the Blurton Funeral Home to assist them in honoring Mr. Haltiwanger's life.  Memories or photos may be shared with the family on his everlasting memorial page at: www.BlurtonFuneralHomes.com.

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Vonna Mae Finley, 84, of Danville

Vonna Mae Finley, 84, of Danville, passed away at 11:22 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, 2019, at OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center, in Danville.

Vonna was born on September 13, 1934, in Rankin, Illinois, the daughter of Valmer “Bud” and Muriel (Andrews) Correll.  She was married to James Armstrong from 1951 to 1974.  She later married Gordon Lee Finley, in 1985, in Danville.  He preceded her in death in 2009.

She is survived by one daughter- Brenda (Norman) Crawford of Windfall, Indiana; one grandson- Justin (Jamie) Crawford of Kansas City, Missouri; one great-granddaughter- Everly Mae Crawford; her “little” Sister- Dorothy (Robert) Rickart of Hoopeston; sister-in-law- Joyce Correll of Goldsboro, North Carolina; brother-in-law- Harold Blackwell of Hoopeston, Illinois; best friends- Su Brooks of Oakwood and Debbie Berlin of Danville; several nieces and nephews; and her dogs- Trouble and Pete.

She was preceded in death by her parents, two husbands, two sisters- Edna Albright and Naomi Blackwell and one brother- Richard Correll.

Vonna was the owner and operator of Danville Pool Supply Co. for several years and she managed The Bowling Ball, in Danville for several years.  She later drove a semi-truck with her husband Lee from 1987 to 1995.  Vonna served as past Secretary for the Danville Women’s Bowling Association and she is a member of the Danville Bowling Hall of Fame.  She enjoyed bowling, gardening, doing crossword puzzles and decorating her house.  Vonna always said she had a very good and happy life and wouldn’t change it for anything.

According to her wishes cremation rites will be accorded.  There will be a memorial service held at a later date.  She will be laid to rest at a later date in Partlow Cemetery, in Armstrong.  Memorials may be made to the Danville Humane Society or the Donor’s Choice.  The family has entrusted the Blurton Funeral Home, in Hoopeston to assist them in honoring Vonna’s life.  Memories or photos may be shared with the family on her everlasting memorial page at:  www.BlurtonFuneralHomes.com.

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Marshall "Devo" Leslie, 65, of Hoopeston

Marshall “Devo” Leslie, 65, of Hoopeston, IL, passed away at 12:37 P.M. Wednesday April 3, 2019 at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, IL.  He was born March 4, 1954 in Warren, AR, the son of Devo Edward and Willie Mae (Lephiew) Leslie. 

He is survived by one son, Larry E. Leslie of Hoopeston, IL; one sister, Mary Coonce of Hoopeston, IL; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Betty Leslie; one brother, William Leslie; and one brother-in-law, Michael Coonce.

Marshall worked for Wallace Roofing and later worked at Vermilion Iron.  He enjoyed playing his harmonica, riding dirt bikes, smoking and fishing.

Per his wishes, he will be cremated.  A visitation will be held 11:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. Tuesday April 9, 2019 at Anderson Funeral Home 427 E. Main St. Hoopeston, IL.  Burial will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be made to the donor’s choice.

Please visit www.anderson-funeral-home.com to view Marshall’s eternal tribute page and to send the family condolences.

Anderson Funeral Home in Hoopeston is handling the arrangements.

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Dana Wayne "Chip" Gonzalez, 55, of Rossville

Dana Wayne “Chip” Gonzalez, 55, of Rossville, IL, passed away at 2:40 P.M. Sunday March 31, 2019 at his home in Rossville, IL.  He was born August 28, 1963 in Danville, IL, the son of Arthur Lee and Bonnie Lou (Bennett) Gonzalez. 

He is survived by two daughters, Kendra Gonzalez and Rachel Gonzalez; one son, Reagan Gonzalez; two sisters, Deanna (Terry) Misner and Gail (Chapman) Jones; one brother, Dennis Gonzalez; one niece and two nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Dana first worked for FMC in Hoopeston and later worked at Hyster.  He then worked for AutoZone and later worked at Quaker for 14 years.  He enjoyed reading, watching television, and playing on his tablet.  He also collected lighthouses and enjoyed working crossword puzzles and Sudoku puzzles.

A visitation will be held 11:00 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. Friday April 5, 2019 at Anderson Funeral Home 427 E. Main St. Hoopeston, IL.  The funeral service will follow the visitation and will begin at 12:30 P.M. Friday at the funeral home with Rev. Gary Milton officiating.  Burial will follow in Mann’s Chapel Cemetery in rural Rossville.

Memorials may be made to the donor’s choice.

Please visit www.anderson-funeral-home.com to view Dana’s eternal tribute page and to send the family condolences.

Anderson Funeral Home in Hoopeston is handling the arrangements.

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