Pontiac Chapel

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Wednesday, September 29, 1920 - Monday, August 7, 2017

Margaret E. Steinbach, 96 of Pontiac, IL, died at 7:15 am on Monday August 7, 2017 at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington, IL.

Her Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, August 11, 2017 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Pontiac with Father David Sabel officiating. Burial will be in South Side Cemetery in Pontiac. A visitation will be held on Friday from 9:30 - 10:45 am at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home, with the rosary being recited at 9:15 am. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Margaret’s name may be made to St. Mary’s Catholic Church or Pontiac Public Library.

Margaret was born on September 29, 1920 in Lowery City, MO, a daughter of Ernest and Anna J. (Gray) Ocean. She married Leo L. Steinbach on July 29, 1950 in Pontiac, IL. He preceded her in death on May 2, 1981. Survivors include: one son: Roger (Rhonda) Steinbach of Springfield, IL; two grandchildren: Ryan (Stephen English) Steinbach of Chicago, IL and Sara (John) Kooima of Villa Park, IL; three great grandchildren: Natalie, June and Leo Kooima; one sister-in-law: Birdie Ocean of Pontiac, IL; one nephew: Dan Ocean of Pontiac, IL; two nieces: Judy Davenport of Vineyard, NJ and Lisa (Derek) Schaefer of Antioch, IL. Margaret was preceded in death by one brother: Donald E. Ocean.

Margaret was educated in Missouri and Owego Township Schools and was a homemaker. She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and St. Mary’s Women’s Guild.

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Monday, July 20, 1931 - Monday, July 31, 2017

E. Berniece Folk 86 of Pontiac, IL. died Monday July 31, 2017 at 12:16PM at Pontiac Healthcare and Rehab Center, Pontiac, IL.

Cremation rites will be accorded and a graveside service will be held on Saturday August 5, 2017 at 11:00AM at Swygert Cemetery, rural Pontiac with Pastor Andy Fuqua officiating. Memorials in Berniece’s name may be made to Relay for Life or Pontiac Bible Church.

Berniece was born on July 20, 1931 in Odell, IL., a daughter of John and Elva (Davis) Branz. She married Robert E. Folk on July 2, 1955 in Pontiac, IL. He preceded here in death on November 1, 2004. Survivors include: four sons: Steven (Maria) Folk of Cornell, IL., Robert (Suzanne) Folk of Forrest,IL., Paul (Diana) Folk of Pontiac, Il. and Dennis (Jeannette) Folk of Tucson, AZ; one daughter: Lori (Calvin) Jones of Kankakee, IL.; five sisters: Mary (Alvin) Austin of Emington, IL., Dorothy (Bill) Richison of Pontiac, Il., Ruth (Ralph) Sancken of Saunemin, IL., Myrtle (Jerry) Bressner of Pontiac, IL. and Donna (Jim) Hooley of Iowa; fifteen grandchildren and twenty-two great grandchildren. Berniece was preceded in death by her parents, two sisters, two brothers and one great grandson.

Berniece was educated in Saunemin schools and had been employed at Carter Bakery and then for thirty-two years at Morton Printing in Pontiac, Il. She was a member of the Pontiac Bible Church.

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Thursday, December 28, 1950 - Saturday, July 29, 2017

Dateline Flanagan

Barbara A. Retoff, 66, of Flanagan, Passed away at 4:26 am on Saturday July 29, 2017 at her residence.


Graveside services will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday August 2, 2017 at Memorial Park Cemetery, Pontiac with Rev. Paul M. Lellelid officiating. Memorials may be made to the Sterile Feral Foundation in Bloomington. Calvert & Martin Funeral Home in Pontiac is handling the arrangements.


Barbara was born in Vina, Alabama on December 28, 1950 a daughter of Michael C. and Burma L. (Clanton) Gist. She married William A. Retoff on September 15, 1974, he survives. Also surviving are two sisters: Ouida (Don) Cornish of Pontiac and Brenda (Rodney) Carstens of Flanagan; many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister and brother in law doris and Chuck Hensley and niece, Melissa Ledford.


Barbara Graduated from Red Bay High School in Alabama. She excelled in Computer Technology.


This obituary may be viewed and guest book signed at www.calvertmemorial.com

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Saturday, December 9, 1939 - Saturday, July 22, 2017

Barbara Sharon Harston, 77, of Pontiac, IL passed away at 9:31 pm on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at her home in Pontiac.

All services will be private. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Pontiac Public Library. Calvert & Martin Funeral Home in Pontiac is handling arrangements for the family.

She was born on December 9, 1939 in Pontiac, IL a daughter of Roy and Marjorie (Klein) Stamps Fitzgerald. Barbara was educated in the Pontiac schools graduating from Pontiac High School. She went on to attend Bradley University in Peoria, where she received her Bachelor’s in Science for Accounting. Barbara was a longtime resident of Pontiac and married Edmund Harston, of Witt, IL, on May 7, 1965 in Pontiac, IL. She used her degree to work at Pontiac Correctional Center in the business division followed by the Illinois Farm Bureau, where she worked for eighteen years until her retirement.

Barbara was an avid reader, enjoyed gardening and crossword puzzles. She was not just a wife and mother, but a best friend and confidant to her husband and children, always teaching them to do and be their very best.

She is survived by her husband, Edmund, of 52 years; their three children: Peggy (Dale) Graham of Harper Woods, MI, Brian (Mary) Harston of Midland, MI, and Chris (Philene) Harston of Plainfield, IL; seven grandchildren: Sarah, Mikayla, Kevin, Maggie, Madison, Lauren and Jason.

Barbara was preceded in death by her parents.

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Monday, November 14, 1921 - Monday, July 24, 2017

Sarah "Sally" Phillips 95, of Pontiac, II passed away peacefully at 7:30 am on Monday, July 24, 2017 at Tjardes Health Care Center of Evenglow Lodge in Pontiac.

She was born November 14, 1921 in Myrtle, Illinois, the daughter of Conrad and Katherine (Humburg) lls. In 1913 her parents immigrated here from Walter, Russia with great determination to become successful farmers.   She grew up a farmer's daughter in the German Valley, Illinois area with her seven siblings. She explained it was love at first sight when she met and then shortly after, married Webster E. Phillips on September 28, 1946, in Chicago. They were able to celebrate 65 wedding anniversaries before he preceded her in death on May 18, 2012. She was also preceded in death by her beloved daughter, Martha K. Bedford on July 21, 2016, as well as her parents, her four brothers: John, George, Theodore and Joseph lls and three sisters: Amy Ruter, Margaret Gardner and Marie Kerchner. Surviving is her son Webster P. Phillips (Kelvin Pollard) of Baltimore, MD; son-in-law, Jack Bedford of Springfield; granddaughter, Sharri (Robert) Pfaff of Pontiac; great grandchildren, Justine Pfaff of Normal, Madison Pfaff and Conrad Pfaff of Pontiac; sister-in-law Doris lls, Lena, IL; brother-in-law’s: Cletus (Connie) Phillips, Camano Island WA, Wayne Phillips, Yuma, AZ and many nieces and nephews.

Sally was a homemaker and supported her husband through various career paths that led them in different areas of Illinois through the earlier years of their marriage. In 1965, they relocated to Pontiac because they were wanting to live closer to Webster's new job at the Pontiac Correctional Center. They loved this community. Here she became a member of the First United Methodist Church and was active in the Women's Society for Christian Service. She was also a member of the Pontiac Women's Club, The Pontiac Elks Club, Bridge Club and Dance Club. Together with her husband, they were office holders of the local AARP, and helped organize the first showbus. She enjoyed baking delicious pies and cakes, gardening and canning, playing cards and games, sewing, quilting and visiting with neighbors, especially the kids that grew up around her on South Mill Street. She will be remembered as a devoted Wife, loving Mother, Grandmother, and Great Grandmother.

Her funeral will be held at 2:00 pm on Thursday, July 27, 2017 at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home in Pontiac with Rev. Gretchen Stinebaugh officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the services at the funeral home. Burial will follow services at Patty Cemetery in rural Pontiac. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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Friday, May 21, 1937 - Monday, July 17, 2017

Patricia A. Martin 80 of Pontiac, IL. died Monday July 17, 2017 at 12:15AM at Good Samaritan Home, Pontiac, IL.

Her memorial mass will be held at a later date at St. Mary’s Church Pontiac, IL. with Fr. David Sabel officiating.  A visitation will be held on Thursday July 20, 2017 from 5:00-7:00PM at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home Pontiac, IL. with the rosary being recited at 4:30PM.  Cremation rites will be accorded following the visitation. Memorials in Patricia’s name may be made to her family or St. Mary’s Church.

Patricia was born on May 21, 1937 in Chicago, IL., a daughter of Felix and Sylvia (Polifka) Kurecki. Survivors include: one daughter: Amber (Paul) Hernandez of Gridley, IL; five grandchildren: Pamela, Michael, Kimberly, Kyle and Kale; one brother: Ralph (Vera) Kurecki of Chicago, Il.  Patricia was preceded in death by one daughter: Deborah Bauder, one brother: Donald and two sisters: Paulette and Dorothy.

Patricia was educated in Catholic schools in Chicago.  She was a certified nursing assistant and had retired from Evenglow Lodge. She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church-Pontiac, IL.


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Wednesday, February 6, 1924 - Friday, July 14, 2017

Rubye Russell (née Simpson), of Pontiac, IL went to be with her Lord on Friday, July 14, 2017. She was 93 years old.


Rubye is survived by her loving husband of 64 years, George; children, Donna Diehl (Jimmy) of Bloomington, IL, Wesley Russell (Connie) of Joliet, IL, Daniel Russell (Joni) of Pontiac, IL; 5 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren; one brother, Julian Simpson (Christine) of Lexington, KY. Her brother, Woodson Simpson and her parents, Hedger and Myrtle Simpson, preceded her in death.


Rubye was born on February 6, 1924, in Maud, KY to Hedger and Myrtle Simpson. She married George Russell on June 6, 1953 at the Methodist Church, Mackville, KY. Rubye graduated from Asbury College, Wilmore, KY in 1947, returning later to do some graduate work. Upon graduation she worked as Song Evangelist and Youth Worker. She also worked as a substitute teacher.


After marriage she and her husband pastored several churches in Kentucky until moving to Illinois where they continued as pastors. She also attended Garrett Theological Seminary. She served as pastor for several local churches at Verona, Mazon, New Salem and Odell, IL. From 1993-1996 Rubye served as the first Chaplain at Evenglow Lodge in Pontiac, IL retiring in 1996. After retirement she continued to volunteer at Evenglow and Woodridge Retirement homes, Livingston County Food Pantry, as well as preaching at local churches as needed. In 2014 Rubye and George received the Pontiac Citizen of the Year Award and Pontiac Volunteer Award in 2016.


Rubye and George were members of NOMADS, a volunteer organization of the United Methodist Church, serving people, day care centers and churches. Rubye participated in 36 projects in Florida and Alaska and 10 projects at Evenglow Lodge. She also served on mission trips to McCurdy School in New Mexico and in Mexico. From 1999 to 2014 they used their skills making life a little better for many people.

One of her churches said of Rubye, “She walked in love for God and for others.”


A memorial service is scheduled for Sunday, July 23 at 3:00 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Pontiac, with a reception to follow in the Fellowship Hall. Pastor Tom Goodell and Rev. Gretchen Stinebaugh will officiate the ceremony. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Rubye’s life. In lieu of flowers preferred memorials may be to the Pontiac United Methodist Church, Livingston County Food Pantry, Evenglow Lodge, and United Methodist NOMADS, P.O. Box 3508 Shawnee KS 66203.

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Friday, February 24, 1961 - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Charles R. “Randy” McWhorter, 56 of Pontiac, IL. died Wednesday June 28, 2017 at 6:00AM at OSF St. James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center, Pontiac, IL.

His funeral will be held on Monday July 3, 2017 at 12:00 Noon at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home, Pontiac, IL. with Rev. David Heath officiating.  Cremation rites will be accorded after services.  Inurnment will be in Patty Cemetery at a later date.  A visitation will be held on Monday from 10:00am until the hour of services at the funeral home.  Memorials in Randy’s name may be made to the family or Livingston County Humane Society.

Randy was born on February 24, 1961 in Pontiac, IL., a son of Charles Roy and Karen Ruth (Jones) McWhorter.  He married Connie Cole on August 29, 2001 in Pontiac.  She survives in Pontiac, IL.  also surviving is his mother: Karen Houchin of Colfax, IL; one brother: Steve (Sue) McWhorter of Colfax, IL; one sister: Sherry Sparks of Portland, OR; one step-son: Travis Salvator of Pontiac, IL; many nieces and nephews and his dog Charlie. Randy was preceded in death by his father.

Randy was educated in Pontiac schools.

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Saturday, October 1, 1932 - Saturday, June 24, 2017

Donovan Francis Gardner, 84, of Bloomington passed away peacefully Saturday, June 24, 2017 at Heritage Health in Bloomington.


A Celebration of Life service and reception will be held on Sunday, July 2, 2017, at the First United Methodist Church in Pontiac at 3 p.m. with Pastor Tom Goodell officiating. Calvert & Martin Funeral Home in Pontiac is handling the arrangements.


Donovan was born on October 1, 1932 at home to Francis Raymond and Hazel Blair Gardner of Toledo, Illinois.  He graduated from Cumberland County High School in 1950. On July 5, 1952 Donovan married Barbara Anne Dey at Greenville, Illinois. Donovan and Barb had three children, Brian (Trish) of Moscow,ID, Timothy, and Todd (Sarah) of Melbourne, Australia. Barbara passed away in 1990. Donovan married Carol Rickgauer Shaffer on December 30, 1996. Donovan accepted with open arms Carol’s three children Julie (Nicolas) Houzeau, Mons, Belgium; Kelley (Kent) Erhardt, St. Charles, MO; and Dyke (Kendra) Shaffer, Farmer City, IL. Together there are seven grandchildren who were the light of Don’s life. Donovan was preceded in death by his parents, wife Barbara, and son Timothy.


In 1952 he joined the US Air Force serving at stations in the US and in French Morocco. He left active duty in 1956 with the rank of Buck Sergeant. 

Donovan and Barbara came to Pontiac in 1960 when Donovan became President & CEO of the Chamber of Commerce. In 1962 he was named Administrator of Evenglow Lodge. A position he held for over 20 years. He furthered his career as a United Methodist Senior Living Consultant traveling and working to improve care facilities across the US as well as in Kazakhstan and Cuba. This work earned him respect in the nursing home industry. As he moved into retirement Donovan returned to Evenglow as a member of the Board. One of the accomplishments during Donovan’s tenure was the creation of the Memory Care Building, Evenglow Inn. For two years he again served as the Interim President & CEO of Evenglow. 


He was active in the United Methodist Church serving on the Conference Council on Ministries and the District Committee on Nominations. He served on the Illinois Great Rivers Conference Board of Trustees, the Personnel Committee and as a lay delegate.


Don and his sons became involved in the Boy Scouts. Don took on a leadership role becoming Scoutmaster of Pontiac Troop 175 for several years and being actively involved in the W.D. Boyce Council. His devotion to scouting lasted the rest of his life. During these years he discovered a passion for outdoor sports including camping, backpacking, bicycling and canoeing. A passion he shared with friends and family. He enjoyed tennis and basketball.

He was appointed to the Illinois State Health Facilities Planning Board by the governor. He participated in local government as a member of the Livingston County Board, Livingston County Historical Society and most recently the Pontiac City Council. He played a key role in developing Pontiac’s Route 66 attractions and was instrumental in securing the historic Strevell House. He created the ‘32ers Club’ for local men born in 1932.

Donovan’s many years of giving to others through his profession and his spirit of volunteerism in his church and community will remain as an example to all.


Memorials may be made in Don’s name to the Evenglow Lodge, 215 E. Washington St. Pontiac, IL 61764, the Pontiac First United Methodist Church, 219 N. Chicago St., Pontiac, IL 61764, or to the charity of your choice.

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Monday, January 24, 1949 - Monday, June 26, 2017

Michelle A. Ocean, 68, of Pontiac, IL passed away at 9:28 pm on Monday, June 26, 2017 at OSF St. James – John W. Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac, IL.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Pontiac, IL on Saturday, July 1, 2017 with Father Adam Cesarek officiating. A visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 pm on Friday, June 30, 2017 at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home. A rosary will be recited Friday at 4:30 pm at the funeral home. Burial will follow services at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Cullom, IL. Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Michelle was born January 24, 1949 in Pontiac, IL a daughter of Donald and Mary R. “Jean” (Kerrins) McCaughey. She married Daniel Ocean on August 25, 1973 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Pontiac, IL. He survives.

She was educated in the Pontiac schools and went on to study education at Winston Churchill Junior College in Pontiac, IL. Michelle then went to Des Moines Area Community College for her Hotel Restaurant Management degree. She ran a catering business, J and M Catering, for many years. Michelle also did a correspondent class from Minnesota to receive her Certified Dietary Management (CDM) degree. She went on to work as the Dining Services Supervisor at Meadows Mennonite Home in rural Chenoa for fourteen years.

Michelle was a devout member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Pontiac, IL, making sure she always attended mass. Michelle enjoyed life and loved her Lord and was proud to be Irish.

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