Pontiac Area


Obituaries: 80

Obituaries: 68

Obituaries: 31

Obituaries: 341

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Thursday, August 18, 1938 - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Rita J. Watson, 78 of Pontiac, IL., died Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 8:00PM at her residence after having courageously fought a 30-year battle with non-Hodgkins lyphoma.  Cremation rites will be accorded and a graveside service will be held at a later date at Memorial Park Cemetery, rural Pontiac, IL. with Rev. James O. Wolfe III officiating. Memorials in Rita’s name may be made to the First Baptist Church Pontiac, IL.  Calvert & Martin Funeral Home, Pontiac is handling the arrangements.


Rita was born on August 18, 1938 in Pontiac, IL., a daughter of Oscar and Nellie (Bratt) Marker.  She married Ronald C. Watson on December 2, 1955 in Bloomington, IL.  He survives in Pontiac.  Also surviving is one daughter: Inge (James) Telford of Pontiac, IL.; two sons: Ronald E. (Lynn) Watson of Pontiac, IL. and Chuck (Kathy) Watson of Pontiac, IL.; five grandchildren: Ryan, Kevin, Jake and Grace Watson, and Cody Corrigan; two great grandchildren: Parker Watson and Cameran Corrigan; one brother: Ronald Marker of Pontiac, IL.; four sisters: JoAnn Miller, Carol Brill, Judy Barnard, and Marcia Harder all of Pontiac, IL.


Rita was educated in Pontiac schools.  She worked as a waitress, worked in the jewelry business with her husband in Champaign, the Hi-De-Ho and Rita's Gift Shop in, was a teacher's aide in Special Education at Central School, and most recently owned and operated Watson Tire in Pontiac for 15 years.  She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Pontiac, IL.



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Wednesday, January 22, 1930 - Sunday, October 23, 2016

Gerald E. “Ole Horse” Hillyer, 86 of Pontiac, IL., died Sunday October 23, 2016 at 4:45PM at Evenglow Inn, Pontiac, IL.


His funeral will be held on Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 1:30PM at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home, Pontiac, IL., with his son, Rev. Michael Hillyer officiating. A visitation will be held on Saturday from 4:00-6:00PM at the funeral home. Cremation rites will follow services and a private inurnment will be held at South Side Cemetery at a later date. Memorials in Jerry’s name may be made to Evenglow Inn.


Jerry was born on January 22, 1930 a son of Pinckney and Gladys (Harris) Hillyer. He married Carol Hillyer in 1950 in Peoria, IL. He later married Sara Farrell in 1974. Survivors include his children: Patricia Elliott of Carson City, NV, Michael (Carolyn) Hillyer of Pontiac, IL., Mary Jo (John Mayer) Hillyer of Bloomington, IL., Barb Hillyer of Bloomington, IL, Karen Gourley of Pontiac, IL.; one son in law: Rich Salwierak of Oak Forest, Il.; step-son: Don Farrell of Mississippi; step-daughter: Lisa Willis of Peru, IN. 20 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren. Jerry was preceded in death by one daughter: Kathleen Salwierak, one son In law: Sam Gourley and one step-son: Jim Farrell.


Jerry was educated at Peoria Woodruff High School and Browns Business College. He owned and operated the New Log Cabin restaurant in Pontiac for 20 years. He was also an electrician. Jerry served our country in the Illinois National Guard from 1948-1953 serving in active duty in Okinawa Japan from 1951-1953. He was a member of St. Mary’s Church-Pontiac, Il. and a life time member of the Pontiac VFW Post #886.

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Thursday, July 29, 1937 - Thursday, October 20, 2016

Betty L. Hall, 79 of Stoneville NC, formerly of Pontiac, Il., died Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 8:00PM at Moses H. Cone Hospital in Greensboro, NC.


Her funeral will be held on Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 2:00PM at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery, rural Pontiac, IL. A visitation will be held on Wednesday from 5:00-7:00PM at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home, Pontiac. Memorials in Betty’s name may be made to COPD Foundation 3300 Ponce de Leon Blvd. Miami, Fl. 33134


Robert Betty was born on July 29, 1937 in Pontiac, IL., a daughter of John L. and Virginia E. (Ramsey) Garland. She married Robert S. Hall Jr. on October 5, 1955 in Indiana. He preceded her in death in 1997. Survivors include children: Colleen Maglone, Mark (Deanna) Hall, Kathy (Kenny) Shelton; grandchildren: Matthew (Amanda) Hicks, Joshuah (Molly) Shelton, Jacob (Emerald) Shelton; many great grandchildren; one sister: Marsha (Bill) Halpin; four brothers: Ole (Connie) Homme, Bob (Mary) Garland, Jerry Garland and Gary Garland; many nieces and nephews. Betty was preceded in death by two granddaughters: Amanda Elizabeth Hicks and Sarah A. Shelton; two brothers: Bill Garland and Tom Homme and one sister: Barbara Jean Garland.


Betty was a retired homemaker and a member of the Embroiders Guild of America.

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Thursday, January 18, 1940 - Saturday, October 22, 2016


Sharon C. Wittenberg, 78 of Pontiac, IL., died Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 6:30PM at her residence.

Her funeral will be on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 10:30AM at the First Lutheran Church, Pontiac, IL., with Rev. Dr. Richard Riley officiating. Burial will be in West Lawn Cemetery, Cullom, IL. A visitation will be held on Tuesday evening from 5:00-7:00PM at the church. Memorials in Sharon’s name may be made to Livingston County Relay for Life. Calvert & Martin Funeral Home, Pontiac, IL. I is handling the arrangements.

Sharon was born on January 18, 1940 in Pontiac, IL., a daughter of Merle George Haag and Carol Yvonne Margaret Berlett. She married Ralph Edgar Wittenberg on August 17, 1958 in Rantoul, IL. He preceded her in death on August 14, 1992. Survivors include: three sons: Randall (Kim) Wittenberg of Colfax, IL.; Michael (Pamela) Wittenberg of Pontiac, IL. and Timothy (Kristi) Wittenberg of Galveston, IN.; eight grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren; one brother: Larry Haag of Bloomington, IL.; two sisters: Carol Lynn Baker of Stone Mountain, GA. And Susan Haag of Pontiac, IL.

Sharon was a graduate of Cullom High School and was the office manager for Wittenberg Farm Service for 25 years. She was a member of the First Lutheran Church, Pontiac, IL.; Pontiac Lions Club and honorary member of the Iron Pig. Sharon loved her family and her dog Heidi.

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Sunday, April 18, 1954 - Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Gary E. Fitzpatrick, 62 of Pontiac, IL., died Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 10:33AM at Carle Foundation Hospital, Champaign, IL.

His funeral will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 12:00 Noon at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home Pontiac, IL. with Pastor Daryl Evans of the Fairbury Baptist Church officiating. Burial will be in Camp Humiston Cemetery, rural Odell, IL. A visitation will be held for one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Memorials in Gary’s name may be made to the Livingston County Cancer Fund.

Gary was born on April 18, 1954 in Pontiac, Il., a son of Robert and Dorothy (Finkenbinder) Fitzpatrick. He married Margaret Dunlap. Survivors include: two sons: Matthew (Kristen) Fitzpatrick of Bradenton, FL. and Sam (Jody) Fitzpatrick of Pontiac, IL.; four grandchildren: Chase Evans, Eli, Connor and Emily Fitzpatrick. In addition he is survived by close friends Maggie, and his almost brother Dennis Legner. Gary was preceded in death by his parents and one brother: Rick Fitzpatrick.

Gary was educated in Pontiac schools and a graduate of Pontiac Township High School. He was employed by the Illinois Department of Transportation and had retired.

Gary enjoyed both coaching and watching his kids and Grandkids during their sporting events. He also was an avid Chicago Cubs and Bears fan. He loved to watch Bears games with the Legner's, and going to Mario's Pizza every Friday with his best friend Denny. He and Denny were inseparable and rarely seen somewhere without the other. Gary always helped out whenever his kids needed something and made sure their needs were taken care of, even before his own.

Gary always stayed busy even during his retirement. He spent a lot outside doing yard work and took pride in his yard. He also kept busy making sure his Corvette was always clean.  

Gary also loved traveling to Florida with Maggie to visit his Grandchildren. Maggie and Gary were previously married but remained very close friends. They frequented Florida to visit their grandchildren stopping along the way to visit numerous attractions like the Corvette Museum, and whatever other adventures Maggie had in mind. Maggie was there to take care of him during his painful battle with cancer.

Gary was also a collector of Corvette and The Beatles memorabilia, and loved his antique Corvette.

The family would ask that the attire for the service be casual. The family and friends will be dressed in their favorite Cubs, and Bears attire as Gary wanted.

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Saturday, February 11, 1928 - Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Velda J. Eckel, 88, of Streator, formerly of Pontiac, passed away at 7:02 am Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at her residence in Streator, IL.

Cremation rites will be accorded and a graveside service will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, October 21, 2016 at South Side Cemetery in Pontiac. Calvert & Martin Funeral home in Pontiac is handling the arrangements.

Velda was born on February 11, 1928 in Minonk, IL a daughter of Fred and Elsie (Mosback) May, she married Andy Eckel II on March 9, 1969, He preceded her in death on March 8, 1985.

Surviving is one sister: Joyce (Ron) Christmann of Streator, IL; two step-sons: Andy (Shirley) Eckel III of Pontiac, IL and David (Beth) Eckel of Tallahassee, FL. She was preceded in death by her parents.

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Sunday, June 26, 1994 - Sunday, July 3, 2016

Stefanie Ann Garland, 22, of Canton, formerly of Pontiac, IL passed away at 8:46 am on Sunday, July 3, 2016 at Renaissance Care Center in Canton, IL.

A graveside memorial celebration will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, October 21, 2016 at Memorial Park Cemetery in rural Pontiac, IL with Father Adam Cesarek officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria, IL. The family requests casual attire

Stefanie was born June 26, 1994 in Pontiac, Illinois a daughter of Robert and Rhonda (Richardson) Garland. They survive in Pontiac, IL.

She is also survived by her brother: Kyle Garland of Pontiac, IL; her grandparents: Bob and Mary Garland of Pontiac, IL; her uncles: John Garland of Bloomington, IL and Maurice Richardson of Colfax, IL; one aunt: Tina Steffens of Pontiac, IL; many great aunts and uncles; and close family friends: Dick and Marilyn Todd of Pontiac, IL.

Stefanie loved her music, being talked to, and her quietness.

She was a loving daughter, sister, niece, and friend who will be greatly missed.

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Wednesday, November 26, 1930 - Thursday, October 6, 2016

Betty J. Ingram, 85, of Pontiac, IL passed away at 3:28 pm on Thursday, October 6, 2016 at her daughter’s home in Pontiac, IL. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, October 14, 2016 at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home in Pontiac with Rev. Tom Goodell officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the services at the funeral home on Friday. According to the family’s wishes, cremation rites will be accorded. Burial of ashes will take place at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Dwight. Betty was born November 26, 1930 in Streator, IL a daughter of John and Nellie Alberts Walters. She married Robert Edward Ingram in Norcross, GA in 1984. He passed away in 2003. She was also preceded in death by her daughter: Patricia Pence; one son: James Redd; brothers: Ronald Milazzo; Robert Walters; and one sister: Rose Katanich. She is survived by her daughter: Barbara (Joseph) Young of Pontiac, IL; one son: Randall Pence of Virginia; step daughters: Cynthia Ingram of Georgia and Pamela Kalachnick of Indiana; 16 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; three brothers: Richard Milazzo of Illinois, Roy Rodgers of Illinois, and Jack Walters of Streator, IL; three sisters: Patricia Loudenback of Streator, IL, Barbara Rogers of Peoria, IL, and Margaret Salsbury of Louisiana; and best life-friend: Wonda Westmoreland of Joliet, IL. Betty attended school at Park Ridge for girls in Chicago. She worked at Streator Owens Illinois Glass company and Joliet Arsenal then moved to Auburn, GA and was a professional house keeper. She loved traveling, painting pictures, painting crafts, and embroidering. Betty played softball, was in a bowling league, and a great swimmer. Betty loved her grandchildren and her dog, Saddie. Her charity of choice is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, she loved children.

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Tuesday, June 2, 1931 - Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Clifford E. Smith, 85 of Pontiac passed away Wednesday (October,5, 2016) at OSF Medical Center in Peoria after a courageous seven-week battle with the MRSA virus.

There will be a celebration of life at the Pontiac Elks Club from 3-5pm on Saturday October 8, 2016.

Cliff was born June 2, 1931 in Earlville, Il. Survived by his wife of 64 years, Donna; son Jeffrey (Irvine, Ca) daughter in law Feng; and 2 granddaughters Judy and Kathy. Cliff is also survived by his sister Lois (El Cajon, Ca) and brother Lester (Leland, Il).

Cliff graduated from ISU in 1953 and received his Master’s Degree in Education in 1960. His senior year in college he was captain of the track team running the 100 yard dash in 9.9 seconds. He also ran the 220 yard dash and anchored the 440 relay team.

After college Cliff spent 2 years in the Marine Corp earning the rank of 1st Lieutenant.

Cliff taught in Coal City, Wilmington and at Thornton Township High School in Harvey Il. He was head football coach for 10 years and head golf coach for over 20 years. Cliff was also the director of Thornton’s driver education program.

He was a member of Lincolnshire Country Club, serving as president in 1975. Upon retirement, Cliff and Donna relocated from South Holland to Pontiac. Cliff was a life member of the Elks Club. He especially enjoyed his weekly golf foursome of many years at the Elks golf course. Cliff carried his passion for golf to their winter home in Port St. Lucie, Florida with his regular foursome. Cliff made golf trips to Ireland and Spain as well as a fishing trip to Alaska.

Memorials to be made to the First United Methodist Church of Pontiac or the Elks Scholarship Fund.

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Friday, December 29, 1916 - Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Donald L. McCaughey, 99, of Pontiac, IL, passed away at 9:48 pm on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at OSF St. James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac, IL. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 am on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Pontiac with Father David Sabel officiating. A Rosary will be recited prior to mass at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home at 9:30 am. Christian burial will follow mass at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Cullom, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Don’s name may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Don was born December 29, 1916, a son of Ray and Lottie (Brown) McCaughey. He married Mary R. “Jean” Kerrins on May 17, 1947 in Cullom, IL. She passed away on July 8, 2009. He is survived by his daughter: Michelle (Daniel) Ocean of Pontiac, IL; and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by two brothers. Don was educated in the Cullom schools, graduating from Cullom High School. He proudly served our country during WWII era in the United States Army Air Corp from 1942-1945 in the Carribean and Iro Jima. Don was a mechanic all his life, working on International Harvesters, Olds and Cadillacs, as well as farming. Later in life he became quite a baker and cake decorator, taking pride in his work. Don was instrumental in setting up the Cullom Fire Protection District and served as the first Fire Chief from 1956-1962. He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Pontiac, a 4th Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus, and the oldest member of the Skinner-Trost American Legion Post #122 in Cullom. Don was a loving father and uncle who will be greatly missed.

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