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James “Jim” Kersey

James “Jim” Edward Kersey, age 68, of Mattoon passed away at 4:15 a.m. on Friday, September 23, 2016 at Mattoon Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.

A Memorial Service for family and friends will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at Schilling Funeral Home. Military Rites will be performed immediately following the service at Dodge Grove Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service on Saturday at the funeral home. The family requests casual attire.

Jim was born on February 2, 1948 in Monmouth, IL the son of Ova and Marie Kersey. He married Becky Grayson in 1974. She passed away in 2011. He later married Deborah K. Peak. She survives.

Survivors include his children, Lee (Kristy) Kersey of Covington, TN, Wendy (Craig) Greeson of Hanover Park, IL, Amy (Doug) Baker of Neoga, IL, Bobby Kersey of Neoga, IL, Andrew (Michelle) Kersey of Neoga, IL and Rick (Gwen) McTeer of Neoga, IL; 19 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Jim was also preceded in death by his parents and daughter, Mary Rose Kersey.

Jim attended Monmouth High School. He served honorably in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. Jim was a sniper scout in a forward observation unit from 1968-1969. He was an outdoorsman and enjoyed shooting sports and fishing. Jim had a great love for Chow’s and had several over the years. He will be greatly missed by all those who knew him.

Memorial donations in his honor are suggested to Lincolnland Hospice.


Ruby Tucker

Ruby Jean Tucker, age 81, of Mattoon passed away at 11:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center.

Funeral services for family and friends will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at Schilling Funeral Home with Pastor Richard Eident. Burial will follow at Dodge Grove Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the service on Tuesday at Schilling Funeral Home.

Ruby was born on September 1, 1935 in Owensboro, KY the daughter of William and Ethel (Stone) Alsip. She married R.L. Tucker on April 27, 1976. He preceded her in death.

Survivors include her children, Harold (Terri) Decker of Long Creek, IL, Sue (Mark) Beel of Owensville, IN, George (Maxine) Smith of Princeton, IN, Danny Smith of Mattoon, IL, Debra Hays of Greenup, IL, Henry (Lori) Smith of Mattoon, IL and Bob (Brenda) Tucker of Windsor, IL; grandchildren, Bill Hernandez of Neoga, IL, Patty Decker of Long Creek, IL, Brandon Smith of Princeton, IN, Jason Hernandez of Mattoon, IL, George Smith Jr. of Princeton, IN, Star (Ross) Johnson of Casey, IL, Mariah Smith of Princeton, IN, Brianna Smith of Roswell, NM, Terrah Smith of Roswell, NM, Dustin Smith of Effingham, IL, Dennis Butler of Mattoon, IL, Adam Carter of Lerna, IL, Jackie Carter and Katie Baker; 18 great grandchildren and 9 great-great grandchildren; brothers, David (Pat) Alsip of Owensboro, KY and Tommy (Doris) Alsip of Owensboro, KY; sisters, Brenda (Don) Crabtree of Owensboro, KY, Gladys (Jerry) Koller of Philpot, KY and Virginia Wheet of Hawesville, KY; and numerous nieces and nephews. Ruby was preceded in death by her parents, husband, 1 brother and 1 sister.

Ruby worked at the Monahan Broom Factor for 10 years and was a homemaker. She collected rooster figurines and loved animals. She enjoyed life to the fullest and cherished time spent with her grandchildren. Ruby will be remembered by her children as a very loving mother and will be greatly missed by all those who knew her.

Memorial donations in her honor are suggested to the family.


Scott Lauwers

Scott H. Lauwers, age 72, of Mattoon passed away at 12:25 p.m. on Thursday, September 15, 2016 at his residence.

Memorial services for family and friends will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, September 19, 2016 at Salisbury Church, 2350 Madison Avenue, Charleston, IL. Schilling Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Scott was born on August 5, 1944 in Peoria, IL the son of Marcel and Ruth (Munson) Lauwers.

Survivors include his loving sons, Doug (Jeanna) Lauwers of Mattoon, IL, Adam (Jorden) Lauwers of Warrenville, IL and Whit (Amber) Lauwers of Charleston, IL: grandchildren, Mason and Kenzie of Charleston, IL and Owen and Lilly of Warrenville, IL; siblings, Barry (Jan) Lauwers of Yorkville, IL, Ruth Rankin of Mattoon, IL and Tom Tull of Windsor, IL; nieces, Stephanie Flohr of Grand Rapids, MI and Lindsey Garvin of Findlay, IL. Scott was preceded in death by his parents; grandson, Hudsen Lauwers; step-fathers, John Tull and Ray Hester; second parents, George and Mary Nelson.

Scott graduated from Yorkville High School. He served honorably in the United States Navy from 1962-1965. After over 30 years of dedicated service, Scott retired from Howell Asphalt. He also owned and operated a lawn mowing business for over 40 years. Scott loved his hometown of Mattoon, IL and knew everyone no matter where he went in town. He was an avid Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears fan, enjoyed going out to eat and using metal detection to find coins.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donation in Scott’s honor are suggested to a local veteran’s organization or animal shelter of your choice.


Joseph Pike

Joseph Albert Pike, age 86, of Mattoon passed away at 4:45 p.m. on Sunday, September 11, 2016 at Carle Foundation Hospital.

Mass of Christian Burial celebrating his life will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 15, 2016 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.  Burial with Military Rites will follow at Calvary Cemetery.  Visitation for family and friends will be held from 2:00 p.m. until time of service on Thursday at the church. Schilling Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Joseph was born on March 20, 1930 in Mattoon, IL the son of Hubert and Catherine (Verdyne) Pike. He married Frances Elliott on September 6, 1958. She preceded him in death in 1995.

Survivors include his loving children, Hubert (Lori) Pike of Toledo, IL, Kay (Mike) Starwalt of Dacono, CO and Chris Pike of Freeport, TX; grandson, Joseph Pike of Mattoon, IL; step-grandchildren, Davida Allison of Effingham, IL, Katarina Shaw and Alita Pinal both of Mattoon, IL; eight great grandchildren; special friend, Jan Starwalt of Mattoon, IL. Joseph was preceded in death by his parents; a stillborn baby boy; grandson, Shane Starwalt; sisters, Mary Rickleman and Loretta Houser.

Joseph served honorably in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict and retired from the military with the rank of Master Sergeant. He worked at and retired from Anamet where he was a forklift operator. Joseph was a member of the Eagles Club and V.F.W. In his younger years, he enjoyed fishing and boating. Joseph was an accomplished woodworker and created many beautiful projects over the years. Every morning, Joseph had a routine. He would drink coffee with his group of friends at the mall and then head to Wal-Mart to visit more friends.

Memorial donations in his honor may be given to the Mattoon V.F.W.


Whitley Jo Eaton

Whitley Jo Eaton, age 26, of Mattoon passed away at 5:55 a.m. on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at her residence.

Funeral services for family and friends will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at Schilling Funeral Home with Pastor Brad Brown officiating. Burial will follow at Dodge Grove Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the service on Tuesday at the funeral home.

Whitley Jo was born on August 5, 1990 in Mattoon the daughter of Keith Eaton and Lori (Newby) Eaton.

Survivors include her parents, Keith (Aline) Eaton of Kingman, AZ and Lori Eaton (Marvin Leech) of Mattoon, IL; brothers, Garen (Mandy) Eaton of Sullivan, IL and Jerrod Eaton (fiancé, Kelcie Sanders) of Mattoon, IL; stepbrother, Samuel Parker of Denver, CO; stepsister, Kelly (Patrick) Harris of Gilbert, AZ; grandparents, Ronald Newby of Charleston, IL, Michael (Sharon) Eaton of Cooks Mills, IL; nieces and nephews, Aidan, Parker, Erin, Landen, Cameron, McKinly and Maddy Jo; best friend of 18 years, Jenna Bennett of Mesa, AZ; and her dog, Bella. Whitley Jo was preceded in death by her grandmothers, Margaret Newby and Betty Jo Eaton.

Whitley Jo loved life and entertaining people. She had an infectious smile that she shared throughout her entire life. Whitley Jo had a heart of gold and never met a stranger – touching so many lives. She was very loved by Tammy Gordon and Angi Hirsch, who were always there for her. She will be remembered as the world’s best sister and aunt. Whitley Jo will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved her.

Memorial donations in her honor are suggested to the Ronald McDonald House or Camp New Hope.


Kenneth Hilligoss

Kenneth “Kenny” Edward Hilligoss, age 69, of Mattoon passed away at 3:16 p.m. on Saturday, September 10, 2016 after a courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by his loving family at home.

Funeral services for family and friends will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 15, 2016 at Schilling Funeral Home with Pastor Lou Butler and Pastor Johnny Aseltine officiating. Burial will follow at Dodge Grove Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at Schilling Funeral Home.

Kenny was born on August 4, 1947 in Tuscola the son of Leslie B. and Mary Frances (Cook) Hilligoss. He married Kathie Marie Strohl on February 12, 1967.

Survivors include his loving wife, Kathie Hilligoss of Mattoon, IL; daughter, Kinda M. (Kelly) Helms of Mattoon, IL; grandchildren, Nicolas Helms, Gracie Helms and Jackson Edward Helms all of Mattoon, IL; sister, Judy Bennett of Effingham, IL, brothers, James “Jim” (Mary Barb) Hilligoss of Humboldt, IL, Ben (Marsha) Hilligoss of Tolono, IL, Randy (Rhonda) Hilligoss of Effingham, IL; special brother-in-law, Steve (Sandra) Strohl of Liberty, MS; and numerous nieces and nephews. Kenny was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Nicole “Nikki” Hilligoss and brother-in-law, David Bennett.

Kenny worked since the time he was 8 years old. He graduated from Mattoon High School in 1965 and was employed by the Illinois Central Railroad. Kenny served honorably in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War and was an electrician’s mate in the Navy, serving on several Navy vessels. Following his time in the service, Kenny was employed by the IBEW 146 in Decatur. He also worked as an electrician at Eastern Illinois University, retiring in 2006 after 25 years of dedicated service. Kenny loved the Lord and attended Central Community Church in Mattoon. He was an avid golfer and delighted in spending time with his golf buddies, who were like family. Kenny was a devoted husband, father and grandfather and especially enjoyed spending time with his daughter and grandchildren. Being with family was his greatest joy. He will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved him.


Jack Evans

Jack Evans, age 78, of Mattoon passed away at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at Douglas Rehabilitation.

Graveside services for family and friends will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, September 16, 2016 at Evans Cemetery in Vandalia, IL. A visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 15, 2016 at Schilling Funeral Home.

Jack was born on February 16, 1938 in Vandalia, IL

Survivors include his daughters, Amy (Jerry) Fairbanks of Neoga, IL and Erin (Brian) Evans of Nakomis, IL; grandchildren, Dalton Fairbanks, Blake Fairbanks, Ashland Fairbanks, Nicole Kugel, Haley Kugel and Brittany Kugel; great grandchildren, Hunter Daniel and Brantley Daniels; brother, Richard Wade of AL; sister-in-law, Linda Evans. Jack was preceded in death by his first wife, Dorothy Evans in 1995 and his second wife Hazel Evans in 2016; brothers, Ron Evans, Jerry Evans and Doug German.

Jack was guiding eyes for the blind and had seven canines throughout his life. He enjoyed playing bingo, listening to country music and collected die-cast cars. Jack never knew a stranger, had a great sense of humor and was known for being a cut-up. He will be greatly missed by all who loved and knew him.


Sunny Dole

Sunny Louise Dole, age 64, of Gays passed away at 5:36 a.m. on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at Carle Foundation Hospital.

A Memorial Service for friends and family will take place at a later date. Schilling Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Sunny was born on November 28, 1951 in Mattoon, IL the daughter of Noble and Edith (Sexton) Wines. She married Joe Dole on September 4, 1999.

Survivors include her husband, Joe Dole of Gays, IL; son, Troy (Dawn) Clark of Mattoon, IL; daughter, Becky Vanmatre (Dan Harris) of Neoga, IL; grandchild, Clayton Krutsinger of Neoga, IL; three brothers and five sisters. Sunny was preceded in death by her parents and one sister.

Sunny was employed at R.R. Donnelley’s for over 15 years. She enjoyed fishing, boating, biking, spending time at the lake and working in her garden. Sunny loved her two dogs, Miley and Toby. She was very active and enjoyed life to the fullest, never knowing a stranger. She will be greatly missed by all those who knew her.

Memorial donations in her honor are suggested to the American Diabetes Association.


Portia Becker

Portia Ann Becker, age 73, of Dieterich, IL passed away at 3:43 p.m. on Monday, September 5, 2016 at Carle Foundation Hospital.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at the Lifespan Center, 11021 East County Road 800 North, Charleston with Pastor Rickey Ferguson officiating. A visitation for family and friends will be from 9:00 a.m. until the Celebration of Life on Saturday at the Lifespan Center. Schilling Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Portia was born on September 16, 1942 in Shelby County, IL the daughter of Owen “Odie” Edward and Dorothy May (Allison) Griffith. She married David Becker on April 8, 2000. He preceded her in death on Sunday, September 4, 2016.

Survivors include her loving children, Shawn (Tamara) Pruitt of Arcola, IL, Sandy Bayles and better half, Carey Paxton of Mattoon, IL and Shawn Becker of AL, grandchildren, Natalie Jo Pruitt, Madison Bayles and Blayne Bayles; brother, Bill (Sara Lee) Griffith of Effingham, IL; nephew, Steve Griffith of Effingham, IL; sister-in-law, Donna (John) Juszcyk of Chicago, IL.

Portia retired from General Electric after 35 years of dedicated service. She was artistic and enjoyed crafting. Portia would often paint David’s woodworking projects. She and David loved to travel. They attended many car shows in the “Rat Truck” and met many friends throughout the country on their journeys. Most of all, she loved spending time with her family, attending grandchildren’s soccer games, volleyball games and band concerts. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Memorial donations in her honor are suggested to the Humane Societies of Mattoon and Effingham or the St. Anthony’s Women’s Wellness Center, 900 W. Temple Ave., Effingham, IL 62401.


David Becker

David Richard Becker, age 63, of Dieterich, IL passed away at 8:41 a.m. on Sunday, September 4, 2016 in Jewett, IL.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at the Lifespan Center, 11021 East County Road 800 North, Charleston with Pastor Rickey Ferguson officiating. A visitation for family and friends will be from 9:00 a.m. until the Celebration of Life on Saturday at the Lifespan Center. Schilling Funeral Home is assisting the family.

David was born on March 8, 1953 in Hamilton, OH the son of Elmer and Eileen (Bergin) Becker. He married Portia Ann Griffith on April 8, 2000. She passed away on Monday, September 5, 2016.

Survivors include his loving children, Sandy Bayles and better half, Carey Paxton of Mattoon, IL, Shawn Becker of AL and Shawn (Tamara) Pruitt of Arcola, IL; grandchildren, Madison Bayles, Blayne Bayles and Natalie Pruitt; sister, Donna (John) Juszczyk of Chicago, IL; brother-in-law, Bill (Sara Lee) Griffith of Effingham, IL; nephew, Steve Griffith of Effingham, IL.

David retired from the City of Charleston after 28 years of dedicated service. He was a member of the Patriot Guard, enjoyed the outdoors, riding his motorcycle, fishing and camping. David was a talented woodworker and enjoyed whittling and carving wood. David and Portia loved to travel. They attended many car shows in the “Rat Truck” and met many friends throughout the country on their journeys. Most of all, he loved spending time with his family, attending grandchildren’s soccer games, volleyball games and band concerts. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Memorial donations in his honor are suggested to the Humane Societies of Mattoon and Effingham or the St. Anthony’s Women’s Wellness Center, 900 W. Temple Ave., Effingham, IL 62401.