Pontiac Area


Obituaries: 85

Obituaries: 73

Obituaries: 35

Obituaries: 365

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Saturday, March 24, 1923 - Sunday, July 24, 2016

Mardelle M. Duda,93, of Dwight, formerly of Cullom and Kempton, IL passed away at 12:05 am on Sunday, July 24, 2016 at Heritage Health in Dwight, IL.

Her funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Cullom with Pastor Mauricio Vieira officiating. Visitation will be held two hours prior to the service at the church. Burial will follow services at West Lawn Cemetery in Cullom. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. John’s Lutheran Church in Cullom or Heritage Health in Dwight.

Mardelle was born March 24, 1923 in Charlotte, IL a daughter of Otto W. and Hattie (Fuss) Ommen. She married Edward Duda on March 6, 1943 in Hattysburg, MI. He passed away on January 12, 1991.

She is survived by one son: Larry Duda of Manteno, IL; one daughter: Diane (Gene) Hagberg of Morris, IL; one son-in-law: Robert Siawrys; seven grandchildren: Don (Suzanne) Hagberg, Gina (Ron) Hulbert, Tim (Kelly) Duda, Mark (Lisa) Duda, Amy (Ed) Offerman, Robert (Cindy) Siawrys, Jr., and Jodi (Dan) Goodrich; 16 great grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; one daughter: Janeice  Siawrys; one great grandchild: Trevor Hulbert; one sister: Verna (Dale) Zeller; and numerous brother and sister-in-laws.  

Mardelle was educated in the Cullom Schools. She was a loving wife and homemaker. She was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Cullom, American Legion Auxiliary, WELCA (Women’s Evangelical Lutheran Church Association), and the Royal Neighbors.

She was a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend who will be greatly missed.

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Sunday, February 25, 1940 - Sunday, July 17, 2016

Margaret J. “FaFa” King, 76 of Pontiac, IL., died Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 2:42PM at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington, IL.


Her funeral will be held on Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 11:00AM at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home, Pontiac, IL., with her brother Rev. Ken Jones officiating. A visitation will be held on Wednesday from 4:00-7:00PM at the funeral home. Burial will be in Rowe Cemetery, rural Pontiac, IL. Memorials in Margaret’s name may be made to the Livingston County Assembly of God Church or a charity of the donor’s choice.


Margaret was born on February 25, 1940 in Marissa, Il., a daughter of Albert D. and Lydia A. (Geralds) Jones. She married Joe D. King on November 25, 1959 in Pontiac, IL. Survivors include: one son: David (Paula) King of Cleveland, TX.; one daughter: Kimberly King-Jahnssen of Cornell, IL.; eleven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; four sisters: Mary Zurlinden of Ottawa, IL., Esther (William) Salvator of Pontiac, IL., Nora Harris of Pensacola, Fl. and Cora (Melvin) Starling of Humble, TX.; two brothers: Ken (Brenda) Jones of Versailles, KY. And Burley (Doris) Jones of Cleveland, TX. Margaret was preceded in death by one granddaughter: Joelle and three brothers.


Margaret attended Pontiac High School. She was a machinist at Weber Metals and Pontiac Chair Factory. She had also waitressed at several restaurants including the New Log Cabin and lately was a care giver. She was a member of the Livingston County Assembly Church of God in Pontiac, IL. Margaret was an avid guitarist and singer and had recorded three country gospel albums. She had sung at the Illinois State Fair and Heart of Illinois Fair. She previously led the Sunday morning service at the Thresherman’s Reunion. Margaret was mostly known for being the “birthday lady” on the local radio station. She loved Jesus and was sure to share his love with everyone she met.

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Wednesday, December 3, 1924 - Saturday, July 16, 2016

Maxine Elizabeth Knauer Rieger, 91, of Forrest, formerly of Strawn, IL, passed away at 9:25 pm on July 16, 2016 at Fairview Haven Retirement Community in Fairbury, Illinois.



Visitation will be on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 from 4­:00 to 7:00 pm at Calvert Martin Funeral Home in Forrest. The Rosary will be recited at 3:30 pm. Her Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 am on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at St. Rose Catholic Church in Strawn with Father Scott Archer officiating. Burial will follow at the Strawn Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to: St. Rose Church, Forrest American Legion Auxiliary or Fairview Haven Retirement Community- Memory Support Services.

Maxine was born on December 3, 1924 in Cornell, Illinois to Peter and Agnes (Koerner) Somers. She
married Glenn Knauer in Strawn on February 9, 1946. He died on September 6, 1966. On September 3, 1983, she married Harvey Rieger in Strawn. He died on January 15, 2002.

She is survived by her children: Phil (Wanda) Knauer, Paris, Illinois; Stephen (Marcia) Knauer, Fairbury; Rick (Bobbi) Knauer, Garry (Kathy) Knauer, Greg (Nancy) Knauer, Glennda Knauer all of Forrest; Sue Coleman (Mike Conrad) of Chatsworth, daughter in law Tarry Knauer (Neil) of Fairbury and five step­daughters Linda (Leon) Follmer, Savoy, Jane (Tom) Bounds, Forrest, June (Jerry) Tooley and Diane Yarish of Arizona and Sylvia (Dave) Feese of Saybrook. Her sister Inez Bowen survives in Fairbury. Maxine is also survived by many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Maxine was preceded in death by her son Neil, daughter Kathy, her parents, seven brothers and one sister.


Maxine was a strong and kind woman who loved her family and her Catholic faith. She raised her 9 children alone after being widowed at 41. She was the rock of our family, a person you aspired to be. She was active in her church, bowling league and card clubs. She liked to travel and especially enjoyed her trips to Alaska, and Hawaii. Maxine was the first female bus driver hired by Forrest Strawn Wing school district and was the first female trustee for the village of Strawn.

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Sunday, January 7, 1934 - Thursday, July 14, 2016

James R. Byrd, 82 of Pontiac, IL., died Thursday, July 14, 2016 at 5:35PM at his residence.

His graveside service will be held on Monday, July 18, 2016 at 11:00AM at Chenoa Cemetery, Chenoa, IL. with Rev. Richard Jumper of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) officiating where full military rites will be accorded. There will be no visitation. Memorials in Jim’s name may be made to Pontiac Public Library or First Christian Church of Pontiac. Calvert & Martin Funeral Home, Pontiac is handling the arrangements.


Jim was born on January 7, 1934 in Bloomington, IL., a son of Clyde A. and Cora L. (Corbett) Byrd. He married Jerriann Devore on September 12, 1964 in Chenoa, IL. She survives in Pontiac, IL. Also surviving are two sons: Richard C. (Billiejo Davidson) Byrd of Normal, IL. and Robert W. (Jill) Byrd of Fowler, IN.; five grandchildren: Trent pierce, Ethan Byrd, Kevin, Ali and Lorilye Davidson. Jim was preceded in death by five sisters and one brother.


Jim was educated in Bloomington, IL. schools. He joined the US Navy in 1951 retiring in 1970 after 20 years. He then was employed at Interlake Steel in Pontiac for 26 years. While in the Navy Jim served in Korea and Vietnam, where he was a GMG1. Jim was a member of the Pontiac VFW #886 where he served as past commander and served on the Post #886 color guard, American Legion and Amvets. He was a member of the VFW Military order of the Cooties, Disabled American Veterans, Fleet Reserve Assc., Tin Can Sailors Assc. and VFW District 7 Color Guard. Jim took the Greater Peoria Honor Flight in 2015.


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Tuesday, June 21, 1921 - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Violet M. Kyburz, 95, of Normal, formerly of Cullom, passed away at 4:30 pm on Wednesday July 13, 2016 at Advocate Bromenn Medical Center in Normal

 Her Funeral will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday July 16, 2016 at the Cullom United Methodist Church in Cullom with Pastor Jonathan Brashear officiating. Visitation will be from 9:30 am until the time of service on Saturday at the Church. Burial will follow in Chatsworth Cemetery. Memorials in Violets name may be left to the Cullom United Methodist Church or Cullom Fire & EMS. Calvert & Martin Funeral Home in Cullom is handling the arrangements.


 Violet was born on a farm near Sibley, IL a daughter of George Henry and Agnes Lucy (Stehle) Garrels. She married Dan Kyburz on March 20, 1943 at the home of Mr and Mrs. Frank Kyburz in Chatsworth, he preceded her in death on July 16, 2003. Survivors include two daughters: Linda (Gary) Roberts of Mt. Zion, IL, Susan (John) Fox of Downs, IL; seven grandchildren: Kip Harms of Cullom, Kregg Harms of Cabery, IL, Chad (Ele) Roberts of Erie, CO, Ginger (Mike) Murt of Paducah, Ky, Denver (Angie) Fox of  Heyworth, Il, Levi Fox of Austin, TX and Logan Fox of Libertyville, IL; five great-grandchildren: Savannah Murt, Corbin Fox, Drew Roberts, Lyla Fox and Ezra Fox. Also surviving are a sister-in-law Betty Kyburz of Indianapolis, IN and good friend Virginia Lee of Chatsworth, IL. She was preceded in death by her parents, her daughter and son-in-law Roy and Dana Harms and a brother, Edward Garrels.


 Vi worked for a confectionary in Forrest after graduating from Forrest High School. Vi married Dan and moved to a farm northwest of Chatsworth. She and Dan farmed, raised dairy cattle and later both worked at the Conibear Drug Store in Chatsworth.

Vi taught Sunday School at the Chatsworth Methodist Church for 18 years and was a Girl Scout Leader for 15 years. She was on the United Methodist Church and Centennial Committees. Violet was a member of the Women’s Club and Home Extension for 75 years.


Dan and Vi moved to a farm east of Cullom in 1978 to raise their two grandsons and later moved into town in June 1990. Vi eventually moved to Bloomington, IL, First in an apartment then the Blair House and finally Heartland Health Care Center.


 Vi was proud to be a homemaker and a farmer’s wife. She served the church, schools and communities of Chatsworth and Cullom. She loved her three daughters, loved to cook for her grandchildren and was happy to meet her great-grandchildren. Vi enjoyed celebrating birthdays and holidays and brought joy and laughter to all events. She will be greatly missed.



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Monday, November 30, -0001 - Monday, July 4, 2016

Margaret J. Brunskill, 81 of Naperville, formerly of Pontiac, IL passed away on July 4, 2016 at the Silverado Residence in Naperville.

Margaret is survived by her children: Mary (Grant) Cowen and Ric (Kristen) Brunskill; her grandchildren: Brett and Paige Cowen, and Jamie Brunskill; her brothers: John (Cheryl) and Bill (Sally) Gantz; and many beloved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Brunskill who was the love of her life.

Margaret grew up in DeLand, IL and attended Depauw University. She taught 2nd grade at Lincoln Elementary School in Pontiac, IL for over 25 years. She was elected to the Livingston County Board, and served on the Livingston County Mental Health Board for 14 years. She was active in the First United Methodist Church, Clionians and the DAR. She loved bridge, golf, her many friends and her dog Dudley.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 8430 Bryn Mawr, Sute 800, Chicago, IL 60631 or the Livingston County Mental Health Board, 310 E. Torrance Avenue, Pontiac, IL 61764.

A visitation will be from 11:00 to 12:30 pm at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home in Pontiac on Saturday, July 9, 2016. A memorial service will be held at 12:30 pm with Rev. Gretchen Stinebaugh officiating. Private family internment.

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Friday, March 24, 1933 - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Shirley J. Neumann, 83 of Pontiac, IL, formerly of Cullom, IL, died Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 12:30PM at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington, IL.

Her funeral will be held on Saturday, July 2, 2016 at 11:00AM at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home, Cullom, IL, Rev. Tom Goodell officiating.  Burial will be in West Lawn Cemetery, Cullom. A visitation will be held on Saturday from 10:00AM until the hour of services at the funeral home.  Memorials in Shirley’s name may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Shirley was born on March 24, 1933 in Cullom, IL, a daughter of George and Olive (Brown) Haag.  She married Charles Neumann on November 10, 1962 in Goshen IN.  He survives at Good Samaritan Home, Pontiac, IL. Also surviving are: two sons: Gregory Neumann of Couch, MO. and Lonnie Neumann of Lathrup Village, MI. one step-son: Michael Neumann of Phoenix, AZ; step-daughters: Rhonda LeCount of Goshen IN, Susan Sellers of Syracuse, IN; several grandchildren and great grandchildren; one brother: James L. Haag of Cullom, IL. Shirley was preceded in death by one son: Jeff Neumann.

Shirley was a 1951 graduate of Cullom High School. She was a homemaker and worked for H & R Block in Pontiac for several years and at About Frames in Cabery, IL.  She attended Cullom United Methodist Church.

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Tuesday, April 9, 1935 - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Esther Elaine Hansen Groce, 81, of Pontiac, IL passed away at 9:40 pm on June 29, 2016 at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL.

A graveside service will be he held at 2:00 pm on Friday, July 1, 2016 at Patty Cemetery in rural Pontiac, Illinois with Father Adam Cesarek officiating.

Esther was born April 9, 1935 in rural Pontiac, IL a daughter of Marius and Katherine (Adam) Hansen. She married Louis Groce on October 22, 1956 in Winchester, IL.

She is survived by her children: Cynthia Lou (Robert) Fritz of Fort Lauderdale, FL and Daniel Louis (Ellen) Groce of Chenoa, IL; five grandchildren: Nathaniel and Alexandra Fritz, Louis, Molly, and Samantha Groce; two sisters: Margaret Shanebrook Teske and Irma Call; and five nieces: Elaine, Kathy, Mary, Gayle and Sherri. She was preceded in death by her parents.

Esther attended the Owego one room school house for her elementary education. She then graduated from Pontiac High School.

She was a homemaker and a nurses aid her whole life. Esther was very generous, always giving to any philanthropic organization in need.

Esther had many interests that occupied her time and energies. She enjoyed listening to the inspirational music of Elvis Presley, particularly his renditions of “Amazing Grace” and “In the Ghetto”. She especially loved watching sports: baseball (The Chicago Cubs), football, and any basketball game.

With her extended family at Pontiac Healthcare and Rehab (formerly Asta Care), she participated in all sorts of activities; Pokeno, Bingo, and Uno gave her hours of joy, the same joy that she gave to so many others.

This obituary may be viewed and condolences sent to the family at calvertmemorial.com.

Memorial contributions may be made to Pontiac Healthcare and Rehab Activities Department in Pontiac, IL.

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Tuesday, June 13, 1922 - Sunday, June 19, 2016

Betty J. Dockery, 94 of Pontiac, IL., died Sunday, June 19, 2016 at OSF St. James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center, Pontiac, IL.


Betty was born on June 13, 1922, in Pontiac, IL., a daughter of Gus and Elizabeth (Beller) Grieser.

Betty worked for many years for Greenwood, Roarty and Hindman in Pontiac. She moved to San Diego, CA. in 1968 where she worked for the University of California.


Betty was a cheerful, giving and loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend to all who knew her. She will be missed for her many kindnesses and sweet smile.

Betty is survived by her sister: Myrna (Kenneth) Blagg of Bloomington, IL.; her daughter: Connie (Robert) Harkless of Florida, daughter-in-law: Paula Asper of Pontiac, IL; grandchildren: Kim (Horning) Schneeman and Eric Horning of Pontiac, IL.; Scott (Sonja) Asper, Shari (Lance) Zanett and Susie (Randy) Benzel all of Colorado. Her great grandchildren: Andrew and Emily Asper, Talia Zanett, Miranda and Marcus Benzel, Avery and Anderson Horning, Sydney and Carley Schneeman. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.


She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister Velda Reedy, two brothers: Ralph and Merle Grieser, her husbands, Keith Asper and Rudolph Dockery, and her son Larry K. Asper.

According to betty’s wishes, she will be cremated and no services will be held. Memorials in Betty’s name may be made to Evenglow Lodge or Mennonite Central Committee. Calvert & Martin Funeral Home, Pontiac is handling the arrangements.

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Tuesday, February 20, 1945 - Thursday, June 16, 2016

Mary E. McBride, 71, of Forrest, IL passed away at 11:50 pm on June 16, 2016, surrounded by her family at home.

A graveside service will be held at 10:30 am on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 at Forrest Township Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 pm Monday, June 20, 2016 at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home in Forrest, IL. Memorial contributions may be made to the Livingston County Humane Society or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Mary was born February 20, 1945 in West Frankfort, IL a daughter of Lester and Geraldine (Levault) Lewis. She married David D. McBride on September 16, 1961 in Chicago Heights, IL.

She is survived by her husband, David of nearly fifty-five years; their children: Brian (Lisa) McBride of Bradley, IL, Roy (Victoria) McBride of North Vernon, IN, Steven (Kay) McBride of Forrest, IL, Kelly (Corinna) McBride of Normal, IL, Diane McBride of Dix, IL, Mark McBride of Lexington, IL, and Tonia McBride of Cincinnati, OH; twenty-five grandchildren; sixteen grandchildren; and her siblings: Patricia Peterson of Mr. Vernon, IL, Audrey Kash of Waltonville, IL, Regina Sandviken of Goodlettsville, TN, and Larry Lewis of Kent, WA. She was preceded in death by her parents and one granddaughter.

Mary was the owner of Mary’s Miracle Gardens, co-owner and driver of D & M McBride Trucking, and was a School Bus Driver for F-S-W (Forrest, Strawn, Wing) and Prairie Central School Districts.

She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend who will be greatly missed. Mary is now resting in her heavenly garden forever more.

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