January 2024 Obituaries


Natalia Vencia Bartholome 37

Born August 28, 1986   
Passed of January 29, 2024 

Visitation 4 pm -7 pm February 8, 2024 Thomas Saksa Funeral Home Granite City IL

Funeral Mass 10:30 am February 9, 2024 at St. Elizabeth Church Granite City IL 

Burial 10:45 am February 12, 2024  J.B. National Cemetery St Louis MO


Dena Lovacheff, age 92, of Edwardsville, IL, formerly of Granite City, IL passed

away on Wednesday, January 31, 2024. Dena was born on August 18, 1931, in

Madison, IL, a daughter of the late Michael and Nevenka (Reezoff) Spiroff.

Dena was a faithful member of Sts. Cyril & Methody Eastern Orthodox Church in

Granite City, IL. She was also a member of Minerva Women’s Club. 

Dena was a long-time co-owner of Louie’s Market in Lincoln Place. On June 3, 1951, Dena married William Lovacheff, the love of her life and William preceded her in death on April 8, 1986. She will be remembered as a loving mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and a dear friend. Dena loved life, she loved to laugh, but most of all she loved her family. She will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved her.

In addition to her parents and husband, Dena was preceded in death by two brothers and sisters-in-law, Carl and Marcella Spiroff and Pete and Darlene Spiroff; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Virginia and Tom Calbos; and brothers-in- law, Marvin Moehle and Eric Perlman.

She is survived by her loving children, Lynne (Michael) Stelzleni of Athens, GA, William “Woody” (Cathie) Lovacheff of Deerfield, IL and Stephanie (Bob) Ferratto of Edwardsville, IL; two sisters-in-law, Evelyn Moehle of Granite City, IL and Shirley Perlman of Anaheim, CA; proud grandmother to Jennifer Stelzleni, Alex (Beth) Stelzleni, Louis Lovacheff, Philip Lovacheff, Charles Ferratto and Robert Ferratto; proud great-grandmother to Lexie Stelzleni; many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

In celebration of her life, a visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, at Irwin Chapel, Glen Carbon, IL. The funeral service will follow at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral chapel with Father Andrew Moulton officiating. Interment will be in Sunset Hill Memorial Estates, Glen Carbon, IL.

Memorial donations may be given to Sts. Cyril & Methody Eastern Orthodox Church in Granite City, Illinois or Suncrest Hospice in Northbrook, IL or the charity of your choice. Donations will be accepted at the funeral chapel.

Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.irwinchapel.com.


Kevin Lee Shaffer, 67 of Glen Carbon IL, born August 13, 1956, in Salem, IL passed away Wednesday, January 31st, 2024, at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis MO.

He lived in Salem, Granite City, and Madison, IL before moving to Glen Carbon and was a 1974 graduate of Collinsville High School, where he was a member of the school band, tennis team and Air Force ROTC program.

He played tenor sax in the local band “Novis IV” and was a member of the Troy and Granite City Community Concert Bands and the GC Swing Band.

He attended college at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) where he received a B.S. in Information Technology. While at SIUE, he was a member and officer of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, the university’s Air Force ROTC program and a dispatcher for campus police. After receiving his degree Kevin worked in the IT field as a Programming Specialist at Prairie Farms Dairy, Scott Air Force Base, West Aeronautics, Enterprise Corporation, Magellan Healthcare, Centene and eventually retiring from Prime Therapeutics in St. Louis. He was an aviation buff, loved solving the New York Times crossword puzzles, excelled at trivia matches with friends and enjoyed numerous vacation adventures with his wife and daughter. His favorite sport activities included tennis, archery, cycling, white water rafting and kayaking.

He married Cathy Ann Butler in 1985, who preceded him in death Sept. 18, 1997.

He married Alicia (Hendrickson) Popilchak on March 29, 2002, and adopted Victoria Nicole Popilchak on Aug. 19, 2002. They are members of Troy Methodist Church in Troy, IL.

Kevin seemed to know someone wherever he went and always had a positive attitude about life, even after he became ill. He was a loving and devoted husband and father, and a good friend to all. He will be sorely missed, but his legacy will live on.

He was also preceded in death by his sister Kristi E. Shaffer and father Luther “Bud” Shaffer.

He is survived by his wife Alicia Shaffer, daughters Victoria Nicole and Lauren Elizabeth, mother Sharon Sue Shaffer, sister Kathy (Irenaeus “IJ”) Siekmann, and nieces Gabrielle and Tiffani Siekmann.

Memorials are appreciated to the donor’s choice. Condolences may also be expressed online at www.irwinchapel.com.

Visitation: Friends may visit from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, February 3, 2024 at Irwin Chapel, 591 Glen Crossing Rd., Glen Carbon, IL 62034 and from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Monday February 5, 2024 at the funeral home.

Funeral: Services will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, February 3, 2024 at Irwin Chapel, 591 Glen Crossing Rd., Glen Carbon, IL 62034. Interment will be held at 11 a.m., Monday February 5, 2024 in Sunset Hill Memorial Estates, in Glen Carbon, Illinois.


Janet M. DeGonia, 81, of Granite City, Illinois passed away at 6:49 p.m. on Tuesday, 30, 2024, at LaBella of Edwardsville.

She was born August 30, 1942, in Granite City, a daughter of the late Harvey and Pearl (Wehling) Heaton.

She married the love of her life, David L. DeGonia on March 30, 1960, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Granite City and he survives. 

Janet was a devoted and loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother who cherished the special times shared with family and friends. She was a devoted member of Holy Family Catholic Church and helped many years with the funeral luncheon committee. She enjoyed her days of bowling, watching sports, activities with the Red Hat Ladies and watching and feeding the birds.

In addition to her beloved husband of over 63 years, she is survived by three sons and daughters-in-law, Michael and Rhonda DeGonia of Granite City, Donald and Joelle DeGonia of Glen Carbon and David and Erica DeGonia of Granite City; nine grandchildren and their spouses, Miriam and Delshon Matkins, Matthew and Virginia DeGonia, Mason and Lauren Rutter, Morgan DeGonia, Marc DeGonia, Zack DeGonia, Zane DeGonia, Ryan DeGonia and Jennifer and Curtis Flake; eight great grandchildren; two sisters, Lorene Christ of Collinsville and Virginia Thomas of Troy and a brother, Herbert Heaton of Bunker Hill; many nieces; nephews; other extended family and friends.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a son, Mark Christopher DeGonia; a grandson, Marshall DeGonia; a granddaughter, Michaela DeGonia; three sisters, Thelma Cuvar, Ilene Edwards and Dorothy White and four brothers, Albert Heaton, Jerry Heaton, Lawrence Heaton and Elmer Heaton.

In celebration of her life, visitation will be at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City on Sunday, February 4, 2024, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

A Funeral Mass will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church in Granite City at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, February 5, 2024.

Burial will follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Edwardsville.

Memorials may be made to Vitas Hospice, Holy Family School or to Masses and may be accepted at the funeral chapel.


Judy Smittick, 81, of Collierville, Tennessee and formerly of Madison, Illinois passed away on Saturday, January 27, 2024, in Memphis, Tennessee.

She was born May 11, 1942, in St. Louis, Missouri, a daughter of the late Gerhard “Jerry” and Jane (McClellan) Kelsch.

Judy retired from the federal government after over 20 years of dedicated service with the Postal Service. She was a true entrepreneur, loved working her resale business and rental property ventures, enjoyed antiquing and investing in the stock market. She cherished her family and will be remembered for the love and special times shared with family and friends.

She is survived by a daughter, Laura Smittick of Collierville, Tennessee; two grandchildren, Chelsea James of San Diego, California and Carlos James II of Collierville, Tennessee; two sisters, Jean Hopson of Granite City and Jerri Thaman of Ladue, Missouri; nieces; nephews; other extended family and friends.

In celebration of her life, a memorial visitation will be held at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City on Saturday, February 3, 2024, from 4:00 p.m. until time of a memorial service at 5:00 p.m. with Reverend Dwight Woods, Sr. officiating.

Memorials may be made to a charity of one’s choice.


Kenneth O. Fisher, 57, of Alton and formerly of Granite City, Illinois passed away at 10:37 a.m. on Monday, January 29, 2024, at Alton Memorial Hospital.

He was born October 3, 1966, in Granite City, a son of Ruby (Wiser) Thomas and the late Kenneth Fisher. He was employed at Specialized Services in Alton with many years of dedicated service in retail packing.

He was a former member of the First Southern Baptist Church in Alton and enjoyed his many years of participating with Special Olympics. He was an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and enjoyed his days of bowling and listening to music. Kenneth will be remembered for the love and special times shared with his family and friends.

In addition to his beloved mother, he is survived by his stepmother, Geralyn Fisher of Hawk Point, Missouri; his sister, Debbie Vinson of Granite City; two nephews, Matthew Vinson of Granite City and Andrew Vinson of Granite City; aunt, Donna Fisher of Maryville; other extended family and friends. In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by his grandparents, Victor and Minnie Wiser and Austin and Carrie Fisher.

In celebration of his life, visitation will be at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City on Friday, February 2, 2024, from 11:00 a.m. until time of funeral service at 1:00 p.m. with Rev. Dr. Tom Hufty officiating.

Burial will follow at Sunset Hill Memorial Estates in Glen Carbon.

Memorials may be made to the Special Olympics and may be accepted at the funeral home.


Uriel Carmona, 75, of Granite City, Illinois and formerly of Michoacan, Mexico passed away at 3:22 a.m. on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, at the home of his son in Granite City.

He was born August 12, 1948, in Cuizillos Cd., Hidalgo, Michoacan in Mexico, a son of the late Adolfo and Geronima (Suarez) Carmona.

He married Maria de los (Perez) Angeles and she passed away on December 30, 2011.

Uriel retired after many years of service as a truck driver. He cherished his family and will be remembered for the love and special times shared with them.

He is survived by four sons and two daughters-in-law, Angel and Edith Carmona of Granite City, Noel and Brenda Carmona of Mexico, Omar Carmona of Granite City and Nain Carmona of Granite City; eleven grandchildren; six great grandchildren; two sisters, Graciela and Emma Carmona of Mexico; a brother, Javier Carmona of Mexico; many nieces; nephews; other extended family and friends.

A visitation will be held at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City on Sunday, February 4, 2024, from 12:00 noon until 3:00 p.m. 

 He will be laid to rest back home in Mexico.

Memorials may be made to the family or to a charity of one’s choice. 

Uriel Carmona, de 75 años, de Granite City, Illinois y anteriormente de Michoacán, México, falleció a las 3:22 a.m. del miércoles 24 de enero de 2024 en la casa de su hijo en Granite City. Nació el 12 de agosto de 1948 en Cuizillos Cd., Hidalgo, Michoacán en México, hijo del difunto Adolfo y Gerónima (Suárez) Carmona. Se casó con María de los Ángeles (Pérez) y ella falleció el 30 de diciembre del 2011. Uriel se retiró después de muchos años de servicio como conductor de camiones. Apreciaba a su familia y será recordado por el amor y los momentos especiales compartidos con ellos. Le sobreviven cuatro hijos y dos nueras, Ángel y Edith Carmona de Granite City, Noel y Brenda Carmona de México, Omar Carmona de Granite City y Nain Carmona de Granite City; once nietos; seis bisnietos; dos hermanas, Graciela y Emma Carmona, de México; un hermano, Javier Carmona, de México; muchas sobrinas; Sobrinos; otros familiares y amigos. Se llevará a cabo una visita en Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road en Granite City el domingo 4 de febrero de 2024, desde las 12:00 del mediodía hasta las 3:00 p.m. Será enterrado en México. Se pueden hacer memoriales a la familia o a una organización benéfica de su elección. www.irwinchapel.com


Evelyn E. Cross, 91, of Granite City, Illinois passed away at 2:53 a.m. on Sunday, January 28, 2024, at Meridian Village in Glen Carbon. 

She was born January 15, 1933, in Joliet, Illinois, a daughter of the late Harold Oliver and Rebecca Olive (Laycock) Parish.

On December 26, 1952, Evelyn married Charles “Charley” Franklin Cross, the love of her life, in Granite City and he passed away on December 31, 2016.

Evelyn retired from the Granite City Community School District #9 after 20 years of dedicated service as an elementary school teacher. 

She was a faithful member of the First United Presbyterian Church in Granite City and enjoyed reading and her greatest joy was spending time with her family. When her grandsons were younger, Evelyn and Charley never missed a sporting event they were involved in. She will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved her.

In addition to her beloved husband of 64 years and parents, Evelyn was preceded in death by a brother, Norman Parish and a sister, Betty Krumeich. She is survived by her loving children and spouses, Brad and Judy Cross of Granite City and Kathy and Tom Schooley of Granite City; proud grandmother to Justin Schooley of Chicago, Matthew Schooley of Granite City, Ryan Schooley of Salt Lake City, Utah, Brandon and Tzu-wen Cross of West Lafayette, Indiana and Jacob Cross of Chicago; two great grandchildren, Devon Cross and Jetson Cross; extended family and many dear friends.

Visitation will be held at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 2, 2024. In celebration of her life, funeral services will follow at 11:00 a.m. with Reverend Jennifer Warren Hauser officiating.

Interment will be in Sunset Hill Memorial Estates in Glen Carbon.

Memorial donations may be given to First United Presbyterian Church or to a charity of one’s choice and donations will be accepted at the funeral chapel.


Jason N. Armbruster, 49, of Granite City, IL died on Friday, January 26, 2024 at his home.

He was born on July 15, 1974 in St. Louis, MO to Leroy and Wanda (Scallions) Armbruster.

The loving father, grandfather and brother enjoyed baseball and was a loyal St. Louis Cardinals fan.

Jason is survived by 2 daughters:  Jorden Armbruster of Troy, IL and Montana Armbruster of Belleville, IL; a son, Housten Armbruster of East Alton, IL; 2 grandchildren:  Waylon and Wrenley; 3 sisters:  Ronda Simon of Boerne, TX, Debbie Byers of Chattanooga, TN and Karen Mohme of Dayton, OH and his long time girlfriend, Anna Wedesky of Granite City, IL.

Jason is preceded in death by his parents.

A memorial visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. until time of service at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, February 2, 2024 at Wojstrom Funeral Home & Crematory in Granite City, IL.


Jack Cook, 86, of Granite City, Illinois passed away at 11:34 a.m. on Saturday, January 27, 2024, at University Care Center in Edwardsville.

He was born November 24, 1937, in Pascola, Missouri, a son of the late George T. and Sylvia J. (Cain) Cook.

He married Mickie L. (Azari) Cook on April 17, 1971, at the Trinity Methodist Church in Granite City and she survives.

Jack had worked as a certified public accountant and in banking throughout the years. He enjoyed his days of playing golf and sailing and he cherished his grandchildren. He will be remembered for the love and special times shared with his family and friends.

In addition to his beloved wife of 52 years, he is survived by a daughter, Patricia Leonard; a son, Brian (Kim) Cook; three grandchildren, Haley (Ryan) Saunders, Barrett (Megan) Leonard and Lucy Leonard; a great granddaughter, Reese Saunders; a brother, Terry (Myra) Cook; numerous nieces and nephews; other extended family and friends.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, George T. Cook Jr., Mack Cook and Lynn Cook and two sisters, Joy Geggus and Judy Morice.

In celebration of his life, visitation will be at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City on Saturday, February 3, 2024, from 10:00 a.m. until time of a memorial service at 11:00 a.m. with Reverend Sharon Autenrieth officiating.

Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association and may be accepted at the funeral chapel.


Lillian Jean Lance, 87, of Granite City, Illinois passed away peacefully on January 20, 2024
surrounded by her loving family. She was born to Jesse and Jean (Trotts) Byrd on June 30,
1936 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Lillian married Emanuel “Mac” Lance on May 15, 1954 and to this union six children were born.
Lillian was a devoted wife and mother. She was a strong, kind woman who loved to read her
Bible and pray over us all. She was a model of hard work and used her talent of sewing to
bless others.

A teacher at heart, she treated everyone with the kindness of who she was. Her
legacy of faith and family will live on in so many people.

Lillian was preceded in death by one brother Eddie Trotts and a daughter Linda Jean Lance.

Lillian is survived by her husband of sixty-nine years, Emauel “Mac” Lance, her brother Richard
Byrd, five children Alan Mac Lance, Rondel Sterling Lance, Paul David Lance, Micah Dion
Lance and Lorna Kay Redstone, eighteen (18) grandchildren and nineteen (19) great-grandchildren.

Lillian’s legacy will live on in our hearts and minds and the joy in her smile never be forgotten.

A Celebration of Life is to be held by the family at a later date.


Elena L. Bodi, 74, of Granite City, Illinois passed away peacefully at 6:58 p.m. on Friday, January 26, 2024, at her home with her family at her side.

She was born May 12, 1949, at St. Joseph Hospital in Alton, Illinois, a daughter of the late Raymond and Frances (Sanchez) Vasques.

She married Anthony J. “Tony” Bodi on December 1, 1979, in Granite City and he passed away on October 28, 2021.

Elena had worked as a supervisor with Color Process Printing Company in St. Louis for several years. She attended Holy Family Catholic Church in Granite City and had a love for animals and was known for keeping a clean and tidy home. She cherished her entire family and will be remembered for the love and special times shared with her family and friends.

She is survived by a daughter,Tina Vasques of Granite City; a son, Salvador (Roxy) Toro of Troy, Missouri; two stepsons, Mark (Terri) Bodi of Granite City and Richard Bodi of Granite City; nine grandchildren, Heather (Scott Mills) Hayes, Salvador Toro III, Gabriella Toro, Salena Toro, Jeremy Bishop, Chad Collins, Raeanna (James) Robbins, Kelsey Bodi and Tyler Bodi; many great grandchildren; two sisters, Hilda Vasques of Granite City and Lydia (Jim) Slayton of Fairmont City; a brother, Pete Vasques of Fairmont City; many nieces; nephews; other extended family and friends.

In addition to her beloved husband and parents, she was preceded in death by two sisters, Gloria Vasques and Linda Rodriguez and a brother, Richard Ramos.

In celebration of her life, visitation will be at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City on Saturday, February 3, 2024, from 11:00 a.m. until time of a memorial service at 12:00 noon with Father Steve Thompson officiating.

Burial will follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Edwardsville.

Memorials may be made to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children and may be accepted at the funeral chapel.


In Memoriam: Walter John Anders, affectionately known as “Andy”

Granite City, IL – Walter John Anders, lovingly called “Andy” by friends and family, peacefully passed away at the age of 81, leaving behind cherished memories of a life well-lived. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend, and his presence will be deeply missed.

Walter called Granite City, IL, his home, where he created a lifetime of memories with his beloved spouse Carolyn, affectionately known as Karen. Together, they built a family rooted in love and shared experiences.

He is survived by his daughters Debra Johnson, her spouse Ronald Johnson, and their children Ronnie and Lael, as well as Megan Smith, her spouse Brian Smith, and their child Camden. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews. Andy was a proud and loving father, brother, grandfather and uncle, and his legacy will live on through the generations he touched.

Walter was the son of James Anders and Harriet Mayhew Anders, and brother to Dixie Denton (spouse Russell Denton), Mary Kramer, and Pamela Hedtkamp (spouse Bill Hedtkamp). He was preceded in death by his father, mother, and sister Ruth Anders Seymour.

Walter dedicated a significant portion of his life to a fulfilling career at Mallinckrodt Chemical Plant, where he worked tirelessly and retired with pride. His strong work ethic and commitment to excellence were reflected in his professional journey.

A proud Army veteran, Walter served his country with honor and dedication. His service was a testament to his patriotism and commitment to a greater cause.

Beyond his professional and military achievements, Walter was a man of many passions. He found joy in the simple pleasures of life, including camping adventures on the Black River, endless rounds of golf, and the camaraderie of spending time with his buddies. Family gatherings were a source of immense happiness for him, and he cherished every moment spent with those he held dear.

Walter had a playful spirit, always ready for a good-hearted practical joke that brought laughter and warmth to those around him. He had a special fondness for cowboy TV shows, finding comfort and enjoyment in the tales of the Old West.

Walter was an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, and his enthusiasm for the team brought excitement to countless games. He enjoyed cheering for his favorite players and celebrating their victories.

In the kitchen, Walter found delight in teasing Karen about her cooking, especially when it came to his favorite grilled cheese sandwiches. His playful banter added a touch of humor to their daily lives and created lasting memories of love and laughter.

In honoring Walter John Anders, let us remember the laughter he shared, the love he gave, and the enduring legacy he leaves behind. May his soul rest in eternal peace, and may his family and friends find solace in the cherished memories they hold dear and the strength, peace and comfort provided by the hope we have in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.


Mary “Suzie” Cox, 86, of Granite City, Illinois passed away on Jan 21, 2024. She was born at home to Cecil Edison and Zelda (Huggins) Phelps on February 5, 1937 in Granite City.

She married Jerry Cox on March 29, 1969 and they were blessed with many happy years together. Her life’s work was at Laclede Steel in St. Louis and Alton. Mary retired from there after 42 years as a loyal and dedicated employee. She was talented with needlework and quilting. She enjoyed participating in the quilters group at 2nd Baptist Church, where she was a long-time church member. She was a passionate supporter of animals, and she loved her cats very much.

Those left to cherish Mary’s memory are her husband Jerry, niece Patti Sparks, cousin Staretta Johnson, along with additional family, friends and neighbors. She was preceded in death by her brothers Charles and Garnet Phelps and her nephew. She enjoyed spending time with family, friends and pets, she will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Services will be held at 2nd Baptist Church, 2100 Illinois Ave. Granite City, Ilinois with visitation on Saturday, January 27, 2024 at 9:00 AM and the funeral service at 11:00 am. Burial will follow at Sunset Hills Cemetery.


Michael R. Sansoucie 77, Born November 24, 1946
Passed January 21, 2024

Dearest husband of the late Barbara Jean Sansoucie Nee McDonald.

Beloved father of Tammie (Randy) Block and the late Rebecca Sansoucie. Most cherished Grampie of Mikayla Block and Max Cazares Son of the late Fred and Lillian, Sansoucie. Dear Brother of Fred (Patricia) Sansoucie and the late Sandra (A.Lynn) Meyer. Great Uncle and Great Great Uncle, Nephew, and Cousin.

His life was dedicated to the wellbeing of his family.

He was well read in History and Genealogy was also an avid collector of Cardinal memorabilia.

He retired from US steel.

Visitation is Sunday January 28, 2024 from 1 pm to 4pm
at Thomas Saksa Funeral Home 2205 Pontoon Road Granite City IL 62040

Service is Monday January 29, 2024 at 1pm
at Thomas Saksa Funeral Home 2205 Pontoon Road Granite City IL 62040

Interment at Sunset Hill Cemetery Glen Carbon IL

In lieu of flower Donation are requested to the following:

Multiple Sclerosis Association of America
375 Kingshighway North Suite B Cherry Hill 
New Jersey 08034US

NAMI care of
Gateway Regional Medical Center
2100 Madison Ave 4th floor
Granite City, Il 62040


Kristie Lynn Mathis, 64, of Maryville and formerly of Granite City, Illinois passed away at 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 20, 2023, at Kindred Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

She was born January 30, 1959, in Granite City, a daughter of the late Melvin and Thelma Roberta (Lane) Mathis.

She enjoyed her years as a substance abuse counselor at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Peter’s, Missouri. She later did household cleaning and was the owner and operator of Sparkle Bright. Throughout her life, she was always helping others in so many ways and enjoyed feeding those around her.

She had a green thumb with her many plants at her home and enjoyed music and dancing. Kristie was a loving and devoted mother and grandmother and cherished the special times spent with her grandchildren.

She is survived by her beloved significant other and best friend, Dave Agers of Maryville; a daughter and son-in-law, Carissa and Michael Dockery of Troy, Illinois; four grandchildren, Logan, Cayden, Aubree and Adalyn Dockery; twin brother and sister-in-law, Kevin and Neola Mathis of Dover, Tennessee; sister and brother-in-law, Renee and John Obenhaus of Granite City; brother, Mark Mathis of Granite City; many nieces; nephews; other extended family and friends.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Dennis and David Mathis.

In celebration of her life, a memorial visitation will be at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City on Saturday, January 27, 2024, from 4:00 p.m. until time of a memorial service at 6:00 p.m. with Reverend Eddy Bradley officiating.

Memorials may be made to the Oasis Women’s Center in Alton and may be accepted at the funeral chapel.


Craig Alan Rogers, 70, of Granite City, Illinois, passed away, Sunday, January 21, 2024 at home surrounded by family. Craig was born February 8, 1953 in Alton, Illinois to Raymond and Geraldine (Ahrens) Rogers.

Craig was a past member of First Presbyterian Church in Edwardsville, Illinois. He worked many years at American Steel and Hershey’s in Granite City, Illinois. Craig’s true passion was music and he played keyboard in many different bands over the years; most recently he played with Fire & Ice, Crossroads, and the Bobby Soxx. In addition to music, he loved spending time with family and friends. Craig was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and brother, who will truly be missed by all who knew him.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Geraldine Rogers and his brother-in-law, Jack Miller.

Surviving to cherish his memory are his loving wife Coleen Kay (McDaniels) Rogers, of Granite City, Illinois; his children, Brent (Stela Srabova) Rogers, of Bath, Pennsylvania, Sean Rogers, and Heather (Alex) Morel, both of Sarasota, Florida; his step children, Heather (Larry Guthrie) McKean, of Alton, Illinois, Penny (Scott) Amos, of Wentzville, MO, and Kelly Elliff, of Wood River, Illinois; his grandchildren, Evelyn Morel, Daphne Morel, Chase Morel, Carlie Sies, Samantha (Dylan) Braizer, Morgan Kitsmiller, Audrey Price, Abigail Riti, and Georgia Elliff; his great grandchildren, Max, Colton, Miles, and Jaxxon; his siblings, Richard (Lynn) Rogers, Gail Miller, and Lorna (David) Reisner; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Memorials are appreciated to the Shriners Hospitals for Children or the American Cancer Society. Condolences may also be expressed online at www.irwinchapel.com.

Visitation: Friends may visit from 10 a.m.to 12 Noon, Friday, January 26, 2024 at Irwin Chapel, 591 Glen Crossing Rd, Glen Carbon, Illinois.

Funeral: A Memorial Service will be held at 12 Noon, Friday, January, 26, 2024 at Irwin Chapel, Glen Carbon, Illinois with Pastor John Hembruch officiating. Inurnment will be held at a later date in St John Cemetery, Granite City, Illinois.


Wilma ‘Bernice’ Szczepanik, 86, of Granite City IL, born January 21st, 1937 in Granite City, died Saturday, January 20th, 2024, at her residence, surrounded by her loving family. 

Bernice was raised in Bourbon MO and moved back to Granite City at the age of 18, where she became a secretary at a local law office. She left there and worked as a typist at General American Insurance Company for many years. She married the love of her life and became an amazing wife, mother and homemaker.  She was a member of Calvary Baptist church in Granite City, IL.

Bernice was preceded in death by her parents, Clara Harper Noe and Fred Noe; her loving husband, Joseph S. Szczepanik Sr.; one son, Michael D. Mathenia; one grandson, Michael G. Szczepanik; two sisters, Ruth M. Black and Delores P. Carson and two brothers, Kenneth W. Noe and Linn T. Noe. 

Surviving is her sister Sandra P. Williams; her children, Joseph (Cindy) Szczepanik, Belinda Brunk (Dave Otting), Michael (Angela) Szczepanik; 7 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and cousins who will all miss her dearly.

Visitation and Services will be held on Friday, January 26th, 2024, at Sunset Hills Funeral Home in Edwardsville, IL.
Visitation will begin at 11 AM.
 Funeral services will be immediately following at 12 PM with Bro. Wesley Hahn officiating. 
Graveside services will be held at 1 PM at Sunset Hills Memorial Estates in Edwardsville, IL. 
Memorials may be made to the APA in Granite City, IL or the American Cancer Society. 


Teresa Marie Marzluf Johnson, 78, of Granite City, Illinois passed away at 8:06 a.m. on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

She was born December 31, 1945, in Granite City, Illinois, a daughter of the late Charles Joseph and Lillie Belle (Hon) Marzluf.

She married Robert L. “Bob” Johnson on November 7, 1975, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Granite City, Illinois and they were happily married for 41 years until he passed away on August 25, 2016.

She is survived by her two daughters and sons-in-law, Christine and Charles Oettle of Granite City, Illinois and Candice and Christopher Valencia of Bloomington, Indiana; granddaughter, Ava Valencia of Bloomington, Indiana; two sisters and a brother-in-law, Juliana and Gary Giuka of Goreville, Illinois and Elizabeth Marzluf of O’Fallon, Illinois; sister-in-law, Karen Marzluf of Granite City; many nieces; nephews; other extended family and friends. In addition to her beloved husband and parents, she was preceded in death by three brothers, Phillip Marzluf, Joseph Marzluf and Walter Marzluf. Teresa was lucky to find love again and is survived by her beloved partner of five years, David King of Granite City.

Teresa was a 1963 graduate of Saint Teresa Academy High School in East St. Louis, Illinois. She joined Adorers of the Blood of Christ Convent in Ruma, Illinois following graduation, where she developed her passion for teaching and made many lifelong friends. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from St. Louis University and Master’s of Arts in English from the University of Illinois. Teresa had a career in education spanning nearly 40 years as a language arts instructor, media specialist and English Department Head at Southwestern Illinois College and Granite City High School North and South. She retired from the Granite City School District in 2007. She was a member of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church Parish in Granite City and New Bethel United Methodist Church in Glen Carbon. She was a loyal supporter of many charitable and environmental organizations throughout the years and had a special love for animals. She enjoyed her days reading, cooking, traveling, gardening, spending time at her Pinnacle Lake Estates cabin, and staying abreast of political news and current events. Teresa will always be remembered for her devotion to her family, friends, and precious pets, and her passion for traveling, which is evident in her eclectic collections of art, books, and many decorative touches throughout her home.

In celebration of her life, a memorial visitation will be held at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City on Saturday, January 27, 2024, from 11:00 a.m. until time of a memorial service at 1:00 p.m with Rev. Dr. Penelope H. Barber officiating.

Memorials may be made to Renee’s Rescue Sanctuary, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, or your local animal shelter and may be accepted at the funeral chapel.


Steven Ellis Kuehnel, 65, of Caseville, IL passed away Monday, January 15, 2024 at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, IL.

He was born to Rosalie (Boone) Berning and the late Everett E. Kuehnel on June 8, 1958 in St. Louis, MO. Steven loved to watch comedy shows and laugh. He was a good person and loved helping people.

Steven is survived by his mother Rosalie (Douglas) Berning, a brother; Joe Kuehnel and many loving nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his father: Everett Kuehnel, 2 brothers: Daniel Kuehnel, Gene Kuehnel; a sister: Laurie Young and his best friend of 40 years Mike.

A visitation will be held Monday, January 22, 2024 from 4:00pm until 7:00pm at Wojstrom Funeral Home.

Funeral Service will be held Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at 10:30am at Wojstrom Funeral Home. Burial to follow at St. John Cemetery.

Online information and guestbook May be found at www.wojstrom.com


Brian Wayne Thorndyke, 61, of Granite City, IL, passed away at 7:55 p.m. Tues. Jan. 16, 2024 at home.

He was born Aug. 28, 1962 in East Moline, IL.

Brian had worked as a driver for Brandt Truck Line.

He is survived by his mother and step-dad: Sandy (Stagner) and William Taylor of St. Louis, MO; a son: Justin Zagar of Crystal City, MO; a daughter Mistie Mueller of Imperial, MO; 4 grandchildren: Wyatt, Dawson, Tristan and Waylon; a brother: Nick Patrick of Berkley, MO; his former spouse and friend: Vijcki Zagar of Imperial, MO; and a dear friend and caregiver: Cindy Cotton of Granite City.

Memorial services are pending.


Linda A. Smith, 74, of Granite City, Illinois passed away at 5:55 p.m. on Monday, January 15, 2024, at DePaul Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

She was born March 3, 1949, in Granite City, a daughter of the late John and Alice (Bargen) Ballhorn Sr.

She married Charles E. “Skip” Smith Jr. on July 20, 1968, at Concordia Lutheran Church in Granite City and he passed away on November 5, 2019.

Linda worked as an executive secretary and retired in 2003, as a member of the Board of Directors with ten years of dedicated service at Madison Mutual Insurance Company in Edwardsville. She had also worked 20 years with Central Bank in Granite City. She was a lifelong member of Concordia Lutheran Church in Granite City, had a love of nature and enjoyed watching the birds and deer. Linda cherished her grandchildren and Shih Tzu, Charlie and will be remembered for the love and special times shared with family and friends.

She is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, Jason and Stacie Smith of Granite City; six grandchildren and spouse, Josh Niles, Jacob Niles-Smith, Patricia Niles-Smith, Nathan Niles-Smith, Maryssa and Troy Glendening and Bryce Norton; nieces and nephews, Christine and Terry Collins, Lori Skinner, Julie and Jim Dean, Clay and Marla Nowicki and Stacy and Brad Kneedler; great nieces; great nephews; other extended family and friends.

In addition to her beloved husband and parents, she was preceded in death by a son, John C. Smith and a brother, John Ballhorn Jr.

In celebration of her life, a memorial visitation will be at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City on Saturday, January 20, 2024, from 2:00 p.m. until time of a memorial service at 4:00 p.m. with Pastor Alan Beuster officiating.

Private burial will be at Sunset Hill Memorial Estates in Glen Carbon at a later date.

Memorials may be made to the Smith family and may be accepted at the funeral chapel.


Caleb John Brousseau, 27, passed away on January 14, 2024. He was born on October 17, 1996 in Granite City, Illinois.

Caleb enjoyed outdoor activities of all kinds. His favorite pastimes were fishing, spending time with loved ones, barbecuing, bonfires, and horseshoes. He was a talented woodworker, and also enjoyed collecting arrowheads. Caleb loved being outdoors and with nature, where he truly felt connected and found joy. He was fond of animals and all creatures that he came across. He was sensitive and deeply caring to those that were close to him. Caleb was loving and kind, he will be deeply missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Those left behind to cherish Caleb’s memory are his sons Raeydon Geane and Zakariah Clayton of Indiana, wife Hailee Elizabeth of Indiana, father BJ (Christine) Brousseau of Murphysboro, IL, grandparents Becky Childerson of Granite City, IL, Marvin Reeves of Granite City, IL, William (Marty) Brousseau Sr. of North Carolina, brothers Tristan Childerson of Granite City, IL, Trenton Willman of Granite City, IL, Bryce Davis of Mt. Vernon, IL, Dominic Thebeau of Granite City, IL, Sam McCullum of Indiana, Chrysanthemum Chepely of Granite City, IL, sisters Brooklyn Thebeau, Annika Thebeau, Kennedi Thebeau, Kerigan May, and Jaymi Kyle – all of Granite City, IL, along with many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins to whom he meant the world.

Caleb was preceded in death by his mother Crystal Thebeau, grandmothers Robin Marsh and Karen Sanders, best friend Clayton Veninga, and aunt Kelly Reeves.

A visitation will be held from 5:00 to 8:00 pm on Thursday, January 25, 2024 at Sunset Hill Funeral Home, 50 Fountain Dr. Glen Carbon, Illinois. As we bid farewell to Caleb, let us remember the warmth, love, and positivity he brought to our lives.


Jewell E. Backs, 98, of Granite City, Illinois passed away at 8:45 p.m. on Friday, January 12, 2024, at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

She was born February 10, 1925, in Edwardsville, a daughter of the late Vern E. and Eva M. (Marti) Nilsson.

She married Robert E. Backs on December 20, 1958, and he passed away on February 16, 1989.

Jewell was a loving and devoted homemaker and cherished the special times shared with her husband, son and daughter-in-law and grandchildren. She enjoyed her years of serving so many others through volunteering with many organizations. She loved her years with the Children’s Home and Aid, United Way and Gateway Regional Medical Center. She was also a member of the Granite City P.E.O. and played in two Bridge clubs. Jewell had quoted, “I have had a marvelous life and I want to be able to give back to others because I’ve had it so good in my life.”

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Ronald and Judy Backs; a grandson, Michael Backs; a granddaughter, Annie Backs, all of Ballwin, Missouri; nieces; nephews; other extended family and friends.

In addition to her beloved husband and parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers and sisters-in-law, Joyce and Dorothy Nilsson and Norm and Mary Nilsson.

In celebration of her life, visitation will be at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City on Thursday, January 18, 2024, from 11:00 a.m. until time of funeral service at 1:00 p.m. with Reverend Sharon Autenrieth officiating.

Burial will follow at Sunset Hill Memorial Estates in Glen Carbon.

Memorials may be made to United Way or to Children’s Home and Aid and may be accepted at the funeral chapel.


Eldon F. “Mike” Geske, 79, of Granite City, Illinois passed away at Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City at 12:51 p.m. on Saturday, January 13, 2024.

He was born November 2, 1944, in Calhoun County, Illinois, a son of the late Samuel and Vera (Kress) Geske.

He married Phyllis A. (Richter) Geske on February 19, 1966, in Granite City and she survives.

He retired as a millwright in 2007 from Granite City Steel after 44 years of dedicated service. The United States Army veteran proudly served his country during the Vietnam War.

He was a member of S.O.A.R. and an avid fan of the St. Louis Blues. Mike loved his days of hunting and fishing and was always looking for the one that got away. He took much pride tending to his meticulous yard and home and kept his F150 shining. He had a special love for his dogs, Sandy and the late Brownie and loved walking them and talking to everyone along the way. He cherished his family and will be remembered for the love and special times shared with them.

In addition to his beloved wife of nearly 58 years, he is survived by three children and their spouses, Michael and Karen Geske of Granite City, Tonya and Dustin Horn of Troy and Steven and Dawn Geske of Dupo; eight grandchildren, Shelby Geske, Savannah Geske, Aaron Horn, Brandon Horn, Kelsey Horn, Cole Vetter, Summer Geske and Skylar Geske; two great grandchildren, Asher Brown and Oaklynn Vetter; three sisters and a brother-in-law, Lela Ulery of Wood River, Lois and Gerald Scott of Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Leona Barnett of Alton; sister-in-law, Caroline Geske of Napa, California; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Gilbert and Nancy Richter of Prescott, Arizona; many nieces; nephews; other extended family and friends.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a grandson, Joshua Michael Horn; two brothers and a sister-in-law, Edward F. and Bettie Geske and Earl F. Geske and three brothers-in-law, Richard M. Barnett, Norman P. Richter and Robert Ulery.

In celebration of his life, visitation will be at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City on Thursday, January 18, 2024, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. where funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 19, 2024, with Pastor Tim Filkins officiating. Military honors will be rendered and cremation will follow according to his wishes.

Memorials may be made to a charity of one’s choice or to support a local animal shelter in his memory.


Rawleigh Dee Armes, Jr, 87, of Granite City, IL died on Friday, January 12, 2024 at Gateway Regional Hospital in Granite City, IL.

He was born on September 29, 1936 in Granite City, IL to Rawleigh  Armes, Sr and Marie (Lundy) Jaeger.

Rawleigh married Anita Frentzel in Granite City on August 29, 1981.

The U.S. Marine corps veteran was a member of St. John Lutheran Church in Granite City. Rawleigh retired from the Rexxall drug factory after 21 years of service.  He enjoyed fishing and camping.

Besides his wife, Rawleigh is survived by 2 daughters:  Corine Harris of Granite City and Dianne Armes of Granite City; a son, Rawleigh III (Jeanne) Armes of FL; 8 grandchildren:  Jason (Anna) Armes of Chicago, Ryan Armes of St. Louis, Nicole Gebhardt of St Louis, Cara (Cole) Mattice of Granite City, Lindsey Armes of Farmington, MO, Shane Armes of Granite City, Baileigh Armes of FL, Rawleigh Armes IV of FL and 6 great grandchildren:  Penelope Armes, Isla Armes, Brian Groboski, Lucas Armes, Tyler Bukowski and Abbey Mills.  Also surviving are a step son, Daniel Hunziker, Jr; 3 brothers:  Gene (Carol) Armes of FL, John (Christi) Jaeger of CA and William “Bill” Armes of CA and  a sister, Vicki (Steve) Davis of CA. Also, many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

Besides his parents, Rawleigh is preceded in death by a daughter, Linda Armes; a grandson, Brandon Bukowski and a sister, Italine Lipscomb.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project.

Professional services entrusted to the care of Wojstrom Funeral Home & Crematory in Granite City, IL.

Online guestbook and obituary available at www.wojstrom.com


Alma Ethel “Sally” (Shaw) Maeras, 96, of Granite City, Illinois, passed away Wednesday, January 10, 2024, at Anderson Hospital in Maryville, Illinois. She was born November 1, 1927, in Perry County, Missouri, to William August “Gus” and Nellie Elvira (Keelin) Shaw.

Sally was a faithful member of Gracepoint Church in Granite City, Illinois. She was also a longtime member of the Croatian Fraternal Union of America.

She enjoyed bowling, bingo and playing cards with family and friends. She was a loving mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, who will truly be missed by all who knew her.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her daughter, Janet Fletcher; her granddaughter, Kensley Dowdy; her siblings, Edith Killian, Clifford Shaw, Lavada Smith, Levila Shaw, Lavern Shaw, Geri Illi, and Jerry Ray Shaw; and her former husband, Jerry Maeras.

Surviving to cherish her memory are her daughter, Tammy (Ken) Dowdy, of Granite City, Illinois; her grandchildren, Josh Dowdy and Jordan (Josh Gunther) Dowdy; her great grandchildren, Lileigh Anna Barton and Logen Henry Gunther; her sister, Anita Henson; and many other nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.

Memorials are appreciated to your local APA. Condolences may also be expressed online at www.irwinchapel.com.

Visitation: Friends may visit from 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, January 17, 2024, at Irwin Chapel in Granite City, Illinois.

Funeral: Services will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, January 17, 2024, at Irwin Chapel in Granite City, Illinois with Rev. Terry Mims officiating. Interment will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, January 18, 2024, at Sunset Hill Memorial Estates in Glen Carbon, Illinois.


Billy Joe Voss
Date of Birth :December 17, 1934
Granite City, IL

Date of Death :January 7, 2024

Visitation
4pm -7pm January 10, 2024 
Thomas Saksa Funeral Home
Granite City, Illinois

Funeral Service
Noon January 11, 2024 
Thomas Saksa Funeral Home
Granite City, Illinois

Officiating
Rev. Bill Hale

Interment
Sunset Hill Cemetery
Edwardsville, Illinois
 


John Laurk, age77, of Madison, IL, passed away on Tuesday, January 9, 2024 at Saint Louis University Hospital, St. Louis, MO, with his loving family by his side. John was born on June 6, 1946 in St. Louis, MO.

On December 19, 1966, John married Letitia “Tish” Ann Riggs, the love of his life in St. Louis, MO. Tish passed away on December 23, 2023, after fifty-seven years of marriage.

John will be remembered as a devoted family man who loved the Lord. John retired from U.S. Ring Binder Company after many years of dedicated service. John believed in hard work and his family was the most important thing in his life. 

John never met a stranger and he was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. He was a faithful member of Word of Life Tabernacle in Granite City, IL. John enjoyed going fishing on a sunny day, playing foosball, weight lifting and boxing in his younger years. His greatest joy was spending time with his family, whom he loved dearly. John will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.

In addition to his wife, John was preceded in death by a daughter, Letitia “Tish” Lockwood; and by his parents, Anna (Laurk) Smentkowski and Raymond Smentkowski.

John is survived by his loving daughters, Cathy Laurk of Granite City, IL and Jill (Timothy) Banta of St. Louis, MO; dear sister, Catherine Smentkowski of St. Louis, MO; proud grandfather to Alisha Lockwood, Melissa Lockwood, Lauren Lockwood, John McLaughlin, BreAnna Spink, Raymond Scott, Jarad Bailey and Natalie Banta; sixteen great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

In celebration of his life, a memorial visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 20, 2024 at Word of Life Tabernacle, Granite City, IL. The memorial service will follow at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, with Pastor Brian Crippen officiating.

The family wishes to thank the doctors and nurses at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital for their care of John.

Memorial donations may be given to Alzheimer’s Association or American Cancer Society.

Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.irwinchapel.com.


Letitia Ann “Tish” (Riggs) Laurk , 73, of Madison, Illinois, born February 3, 1950 in St. Louis, Missouri, passed away tragically on Saturday, December 23, 2023, in Granite City, Illinois.

Tish was a faithful member of the Word of Life Tabernacle in Granite City, Illinois. She loved God and she loved everything about Elvis, even naming her red Husky, after the singer.

She enjoyed going shopping, catching a movie, or eating out at restaurants. She never hid her feelings and always told you how it was. 

She was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother, whose absence will be deeply felt by all who had the privilege of knowing her.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph O. and Ruth A. (Fetzer) Riggs; her daughter, Letitia “Tish” Lockwood; and her siblings, Nancy Riggs, Barbara Bell, Norma Whistler, Clifford W. Riggs, and Sandra Short.

Surviving to cherish her memory are her husband of 57 years, John Laurk, of Madison, Illinois; her daughters, Cathy Laurk, of Granite City, Illinois, and Jill (Timothy) Banta, of St. Louis, Missouri; her grandchildren, Alisha Lockwood, Melissa Lockwood, Lauren Lockwood, John McLaughlin, BreAnna Spink, Raymond Scott, Jarad Bailey, and Natalie Banta; her 16 great-grandchildren; siblings, Clifford M. Riggs, Michael Riggs, William Riggs, Christine Sthair, and Nancy Diamond; her sister-in-law, Catherine Smentkowski; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Memorials are appreciated to the Alzheimer’s Association or the American Cancer Society. Condolences may also be expressed online at www.irwinchapel.com.

In celebration of her life, a memorial visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 20, 2024 at Word of Life Tabernacle, Granite City, IL. The memorial service will follow at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, with Pastor Brian Crippen officiating.


Billy Joe Sullivan, 83, of Granite City, Illinois, passed away Tuesday, January 9, 2024, at Evelyn’s House in Creve Coeur, Missouri. Billy was born April 9, 1940, in Buckner, Illinois to Burl Sullivan and Elta (Jones) Brothers.

Bill retired in 1996, as a foreman with Granite City Steel, after 30+ years of service and worked part time for Riverside Refactors until 2010.

During the course of his life, he was active in church, remodeled homes, enjoyed woodworking, and gardening. He loved going to auctions and finding the diamonds in the rough. 

His desire was to be remembered for his sense of humor, his love for his Lord and Savior, and his love for family. Bill will truly be missed by all who knew him.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 52 years, Marion “Remona” (Bone) Sullivan; his two sons, William Brian Sullivan and Bentley Jason Sullivan; his siblings, Robert Sullivan, Joann Hamm, and Mary Gimbel; and his parents.

Surviving are his children, Brad J. (Theresa) Sullivan, of Granite City, Illinois, Caryn M. (Mike) Drew, of Bethalto, Illinois, and William Sullivan, of Granite City, Illinois; his grandchildren, Brian James Sullivan Cook, of Bakersfield, California, Joseph (Rachel) Drew, and Cailey (Gary) Clark, both of Bethalto, Illinois; his great grandchildren, Noah and Michael Clark; and many other relatives and friends.

Memorials are appreciated to Evelyn’s House or the American Heart Association. Condolences may also be expressed online at www.irwinchapel.com.

Visitation: Friends may visit from 4 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, January 16, 2024, at Irwin Chapel in Granite City, Illinois.

Funeral: Services will be held at 6 p.m., Tuesday, January 16, 2024, at Irwin Chapel in Granite City, Illinois with Pastor Mark Maynard officiating. A Graveside Service will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, January 17, 2024, at Tower Grove Cemetery in Murphysboro, Illinois.

Bill’s Favorite Poem and Saying:

“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart and I’ll stay there forever.” – Winnie the Pooh

“Remember to stop and smell the roses.”


Steven Arthur Lewis, 60, of Madison, IL died on Tuesday, January 9, 2024 at Willow Rose Rehab & Health Center in Jerseyville, IL.

He was born on December 12, 1963 in St. Louis, MO to James A. and Marilyn F. (Cain) Lewis.

The U.S. Marine veteran enjoyed the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Blues.  He loved his family and friends and enjoyed spending time with them.

Steven is survived by a son, Dylan Lewis of Granite City and a brother, Jim Lewis of Troy, IL.

Besides his parents, Steven is preceded in death by 2 sisters:  Carmon Lewis and Julie Knight.

The family will hold a Celebration of Life at a later date.

Professional services entrusted to the care of Wojstrom Funeral Home & Crematory in Granite City, IL.


Murphe Sky Dixon, “My little Peach”, went to be with the angels on Saturday, January 6, 2024. 

She was the precious daughter to Marissa Anne Casey and was born July 12, 2023, at Anderson Hospital in Maryville.

She was a very happy little 5 month old, always with a big smile and loved her snuggle time. She adored her sissies, playing with her rattle and jumping in her jumper.

In addition to her mommy, she is survived by four siblings, Ava Roselyn Belsky, Bellamy Jo Belsky, Lance Chavez Dixon and Annaliese Rose Dixon; her grandparents, Heather and Greg Bixler of Granite City and Rosa L. Stufflebean of Carlinville; uncle, Kenneth Jacob Casey of Granite City; other extended family and many friends.

In celebration of her life, a visitation will be held at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City from 3:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Friday, January 12, 2024.

Memorials may be made to the family and may be accepted at the funeral home.


Joyce (Joy) Alice, nee Rogers, Carper, Hall, 89 of Glen Carbon, IL born July 22, 1934 in Granite City, IL passed away on January 1, 2024 at Meridian Village, Glen Carbon.

Joyce worked at Little Lamb Children’s shop for her mom for 3 years after her father passed. She then spent 2 years as an Office Clerk at Massey Diary and then 18 years at Prairie Farms Dairy in Accounts Receivable and Purchasing.  

Before retiring, she worked for her sister at Shirl K Floral Design in Granite City for 9 years.

Joyce served as a preschool teacher at the Presbyterian Church in Mitchell.

Before they closed, she attended the Bethel Evangelical Free Church for 20 years.  She was a Deaconess, Treasurer and part of the Choir. Shé also handled the set up and arrangements at Bethel for funerals, fellowship and holiday dinners.  She would accompany the Pastor to visit newcomers to the church as well as help out at the soup kitchen at the Community Center in Granite City.   

She was a current member of the First Baptist Church of Maryville for 20 years where she was a member of the choir.  She would decorate the worship center and foyer for the seasons.  Some of her ministries, in service to God and others, included creating basket arrangements and presenting to the ill as well as creating baskets and visitation for newborns.  She also made baked goods as a ministry for the Assisted Living at Meridian Village, the families of the Hospice Hospital in Edwardsville and funeral dinners held at First Baptist. 

Joyce was preceded in death by her parents Harold and Margaret, nee Smith, Rogers Scott and her husband of 44 years, Timothy Hall.  She was also preceded in death by her two sons Richard and Rodger Carper; her grandson, Richard Dale; and her sisters Haroldine Ross Seibert, Margaret MacZura, and Shirley Kibort. 

She is survived by her daughters Gayle (Carper)(Dale) Harbaugh and Brenda (Carper) McCormick.  She leaves four grandsons, seven granddaughters, seven great-grandsons, and 2 great granddaughters.

 In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to Shriner’s Childrens Hospital or the First Baptist Church of Maryville. Donations will be accepted at the funeral home. Condolences may be expressed to the family below the obituary at https://www.herrfuneral.com/obits

Memorial Service will be held at Sunset Hill Funeral Home, 50 Fountain Dr. Glen Carbon, IL on Feb 3, 2024 at 2 p.m.


Lafayette “Sonny” Hochuli, age 93, of St. Louis, MO, formerly of Granite City, IL, passed away on Friday, January 5, 2024 at his home with his loving family by his side.

Sonny was born on September 21, 1930 in Alton, IL, a son of the late Frederick and Anna (Mansholt) Hochuli.

On August 23, 1958, Sonny married Naomi “Ruth” Peters, the love of his life in Granite City, IL. He was a faithful member of Hope Lutheran Church in Granite City, IL.

Sonny had worked for Tri-City Grocery for twenty-five years. Then he worked for and retired from Surefine Grocery as a supervisor after many years of dedicated service.

Sonny enjoyed bowling, traveling the country with Ruth, driving his antiques cars and keeping his cars spotless, both inside and out.

Sonny also had a love for animals, and he loved spoiling his cat Lilly. His greatest joy was spending time with his family whom he loved dearly. Sonny will be remembered as a loving husband, father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and a dear friend to many. He will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him. In addition to his parents, Sonny was preceded in death by his son, Don King; brother, Bud Hochuli; sister, Dorothy O’Neill Ledford; and by a son-in-law, Mike Slemmon.

He is survived by devoted wife, Ruth Hochuli of St. Louis, MO; loving daughters, Cyndi (Derek) Maag of St. Louis, MO and Debbie Slemmon of California; daughter-in-law, June King of California; dear sister, Joan Weeke of Garland, TX; proud grandfather to Lauren (Josh) Opperman, Michael Maag, Donny King, Christy King, Jamie King and Michael King; proud great-grandfather to Sarah Opperman, Savannah Opperman, Elia Maag and Axel Maag; many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

In celebration of his life, a visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 11, 2024 at Hope Lutheran Church, 3715 Wabash Avenue, Granite City, IL. The funeral service will follow at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, with Pastor Alan Beuster officiating. Interment will be in Sunset Hill Memorial Estates, Glen Carbon, IL.

Memorial donations may be given to Hope Lutheran Church. Donations will be accepted at the funeral chapel.

Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.irwinchapel.com.


Robert Lee Ellsworth, 83, of Granite City, Illinois, passed away at 9:10 p.m., Thursday, January 4, 2024, at Anderson Hospital in Maryville, Illinois. Robert was born August 11, 1940, in Malden, Missouri to George and Opal (Gidcumb) Ellsworth.

On October 27, 1958, in his hometown of Malden, Missouri, Robert was united in marriage to Wilma Joy Baker, who preceded him in death on June 18, 2022. They were married for 63 years before her passing. Robert and his late wife, Wilma, moved to the St. Louis/Metro-East Illinois area, finally settling in Granite City, Illinois in 1967 to raise their family and their union provided 4 children, Timothy, Robin, David, and Rebecca.

Surviving to cherish his memory are his children, Tim Ellsworth, of Williston, Florida, Dr. Tabitha Robin Ellsworth, of Granite City, Illinois, David (Tracy) Ellsworth, of Fairview Heights, Illinois; and Rebecca (Jose) Brackins, of Granite City, Illinois; his grandchildren, Stephanie McBride, Sidney Ellsworth, Dylan Ellsworth, Emily Ellsworth, Austin Brackins, Haley Brackins, and Sierra Brackins; his two great grandchildren, Zoey McBride and Chase McBride; his siblings, Bonnie Akridge, of Campbell, Missouri and Edmond Ellsworth, of Cape Girardeau, Missouri; and many other nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

Memorials are appreciated to the National Autism Association. Condolences may also be expressed online at www.irwinchapel.com.

Visitation: Friends may visit from 5 to 7 pm, Wednesday, January 10, 2024, at Irwin Chapel, Granite City, Illinois.

Funeral: Services will be held at 7 pm, Wednesday, January 10, 2024, at Irwin Chapel, Granite City, Illinois. A graveside service will at Rosewood Cemetery in Malden, Missouri at 12 Noon, on Thursday, January 11, 2024.


Barbara “Barb” Jo (Dutko) Lilley, age 77, of Granite City, IL, passed away on Friday, January 5, 2024 at St. Luke’s Hospital, Chesterfield, MO. Barb was born on June 1, 1946 in Oakland, CA, a daughter of the late Kelly and Shirley (Thomas) Dutko.

Barb was passionate about her family and friends. She loved to gather people at her home and make them feel like family. Her home was always full of love, laughter and delicious food. Barb was both a party planner … and the life of the party. Her arrival in Heaven was full of joy and fanfare – most likely planned by her.

Barb loved to travel with Jerry. Together, they saw all 50 states and dozens of countries. She especially loved Hawaii and never passed up the opportunity to walk on a beach. Her Florida home was a special place and she made so many new friends there. Barb also enjoyed her time at the Lake of the Ozarks and owned a condo there for nearly 30 years.

Barb was very active with her church and the Knights of Columbus. She worked tirelessly to raise money for Lupus research. Barb enjoyed St. Louis Rams football as a season ticketholder and the St. Louis Cardinals also were at the top of her list. Barb was a Human Resource Director in the financial services industry for decades assisting financial planners getting their careers started and maintained. She was also the Director of Entertainment and darn good at it.

“Non-stop” is a great description of Barb. She loved music and dancing, and she always lit up the room with smiles. She could walk into a room of strangers and within minutes have people around her laughing.

Barb was unique, inspiring and a great example for everyone. Her advice to all of us: hold your family close to your heart and never give up on them, and don’t leave anything on the table of life.

In addition to her parents, Barb was preceded in death by a nephew, Salvatore Carrabino.

Barb is survived by her devoted husband, Jerry Lilley of Granite City, IL; loving children, Lisa (Brian) Mulhall, Christopher Lilley and Kevin (Karla) Lilley; sister, Carla Carrabino; proud grandmother to Taylor Mulhall, Carlie Mulhall, Thaddeus (Courtney Johnson) Lilley, Katie (Patrick) Blair and Nicholas (Juliana Delurgio) Lilley; seven great-grandchildren; extended family and many wonderful friends.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 14, 2024 at Irwin Chapel, Granite City, IL.

In celebration of her life, a funeral mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, January 15, 2024 at Holy Family Catholic Church, Granite City, IL. Barb will be laid to rest at Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Edwardsville, IL.

Memorial donations may be given to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Donations will be accepted at the funeral chapel.

Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.irwinchapel.com.


Frances Ann Nelson, 83, of Granite City, IL, passed away at 8:27 a.m. Thurs. Jan. 4, 2024 at her home surrounded by family and friends.

She was born July 19, 1940 in Dover, TN to the late Sally Ann (Gafford) Kimbrell and Trenton Robert Nelson.

Frances had been a beautician and worked in Housekeeping at Gateway Regional Medical Center for 23 years.

She is survived by a daughter: Jeannean Braden; 2 grandchildren: Danielle Turner and Jason Glen Anderson; 5 great-grandchildren; a brother: Eddie Brunell Ray; and 2 sisters: Claudell Mitchell of and Wilda Jean Tedford; and many friends.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by 2 brothers: Trenton Robert Nelson and Carlton Leroy Nelson; and 3 sisters: Lucille Ray, Bonnie Lou Nelson and Betty Jo Ray.

Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. until time of services at 1:00 p.m. Tues. Jan. 9, 2024 at Word of Life Tabernacle.  Burial will follow at St. John Cemetery on Nameoki.

Arrangements with online information and guestbook through Wojstrom Funeral Home & Crematory may be found at www.wojstrom.com.


Bernardo “Barney” Rios, age 89, of Granite City, IL, passed away on Thursday, January 4, 2024 at St. Louis University Hospital, St. Louis, MO. Barney was born on May 20, 1934 in Forth Worth, TX, a son of Manuel and Catalina (Ramirez) Rios.

Barney will be remembered as a devoted family man who never met a stranger. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. On April 23, 1955, Barney married Jean Olive Worley, and she passed away on January 29, 1964. After, Jean’s passing Barney took loving care of his five daughters by himself with the help of the Catholic Children’s Home in Alton, IL. Then on October 17, 1986, Barney married Rose Ann (Shambro) Kismer Richardson, and she passed away on February 8, 2014. Barney retired from the maintenance department at General Motors Corporation after many years of dedicated service. He was a faithful member of Holy Family Catholic Church in Granite City, IL. Barney enjoyed listening to classic country music and going to church to serve the Lord. His greatest joy was spending time with his family. Barney loved life, he loved to laugh, but most of all he loved his family. He will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.

In addition to his parents and wives, Barney was preceded in death by two daughters, Helen Gonzalez and Mary Jane Rios; four brothers, Jesse, Joe, Jack and Danny; and by his sister, Romona.

He is survived by his loving children, Victoria (Antonio) Jacinto of Irvington, IL, Katherine (Vidal) Guerrero of Glen Carbon, IL, Josephine Rios of Springfield, MO and Jean Marie Rios of Granite City, IL; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 11, 2024 at Irwin Chapel, Granite City, IL.

In celebration of his life, a funeral mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, January 12, 2024 at Holy Family Catholic Church, Granite City, IL, with Father Stephen Thompson officiating. Barney will be laid to rest next to Jean at Mt. Carmel Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, IL.

Memorial donations may be given to Holy Family Catholic Church or to Catholic Charities. Donations will be accepted at the funeral chapel or church.

Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.irwinchapel.com.


Mark Joseph Zerlan, age 65, of Granite City, IL, passed away on Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at his home. Mark was born on April 28, 1958 in St. Louis, MO, a son of the late Rudolph Joseph Zerlan and Vincine (Sortor) Zerlan.

Mark will be remembered as a loving brother, uncle, cousin and friend. He enjoyed riding his bike, listening to music, playing his guitar and working in his yard. Mark will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Mark is survived by his sister, Mary Zerlan of Edwardsville, IL; nephew, Colin Kuehnel of Bellevue, ID; extended family and friends.

Mark requested to be cremated and to have no formal services.

Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.irwinchapel.com.


Winston Ray Mayes, 80, of Granite City, Illinois, passed away, January 3, 2024, at home surrounded by family. Winston was born September 10, 1943, in Venice, Illinois, to Melvin and Jimmie (Moats) Mayes.

Winston was a faithful member of Calvary Life Church in Granite City, Illinois. He enjoyed playing pool and was a member of many leagues over the years. He loved going to stock car races and watching NASCAR. Winston really enjoyed going out with family to a good restaurant. In his later years, he followed the Kansas City Chiefs and loved when the kids came over to watch the game. 

 He was a loving father and grandfather, whose absence will be deeply felt by all who knew him.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife, Sylvia Eve (Srnek) Mayes; and his siblings, Herman Mayes, Donald Mayes, Peggy Mayes, Nellie King, Dormalee Peach, and Willowdeen Walker.

Surviving to cherish his memory are his children, Dena (Daniel Juedemann) Mayes, of Glen Carbon, Illinois, Derek (Susie) Mayes, of Granite City, Illinois, Devin Mayes, of McKinney, Texas, and Darletha (John) Lesar, of Granite City, Illinois; his grandchildren, Ava Mayes, Eliana Mayes, Brooke Mayes, Lauren Mayes, Ashley Pejakovich, Samantha Rydgig, and Nicholas Lesar; his great grandchildren, Layla Rydgig, Carter Rydgig, Gracie Lesar, and Bridget Lesar; his siblings, Gary (Bev) Mayes and Rosalee King; and many other relatives and friends.

Memorials are appreciated to Calvary Life Church in Granite City, Illinois. Condolences may also be expressed online at www.irwinchapel.com.

Visitation: Friends may visit from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon, Monday, January 8, 2024, at Irwin Chapel in Granite City, Illinois.

Funeral: Services will be held at 12 Noon, Monday, January 8, 2024, at Irwin Chapel with Pastor Mark Maynard officiating. Interment will follow in Sunset Hill Memorial Estates in Glen Carbon, Illinois.


Mark Clyde Barnfield, 55, of Granite City, IL, passed away at 10:43 p.m. Tues. Jan. 2, 2024 at Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City.

He was born Apr. 25, 1968 in Granite City to the late Clyde & Charlene (Ballard) Barnfield.

Mark was a truck driver for Cornerstone Logistics.  In his spare time he loved cooking and was known for his barbecue abilities and catering with his business, Barney Q BBQ.  Mark also loved shooting pool and played on the APA Pool League.

Survivors include 2 children: Megan (Josh) Nelson and Shay Barnfield; and a granddaughter: Nellie.

Services are private.


James “Jim” Michael Noeth, age 67, of Granite City, IL, passed away on Monday, January 1, 2024 at his home with his loving family by his side.

Jim was born on November 17, 1956 in Granite City, IL, a son of Mildred (Papp) Noeth of Granite City, IL and the late James Eugene Noeth.

On February 27, 1982, Jim married Pattie (Cline) Clutts, the love of his life in Granite City, IL. Jim was a faithful member and deacon of Meadow Heights Baptist Church in Collinsville, IL. 

He retired from Wells-Fargo as a programmer after thirty-eight years of dedicated service. Jim enjoyed woodworking, making stained glass windows, tinkering with electronics and spending time with Pattie at Lake Sallateeska. He was an active member with Campers on Mission, disaster relief and endorsed Chaplain of NAMB. Jim was also a Ham Radio Operator and enjoyed talking with people from all over the world. His greatest joy was spending time with his family, whom he loved dearly. Jim will be remembered as a devoted family man who never met a stranger. He was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. Jim will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.

In addition to his mother, Jim is survived by his loving wife, Pattie Noeth of Granite City, IL; dear children, James (Nicole) Clutts of Granite City, IL and Christina (Matt) Bennett of O’Fallon, MO; siblings, Elaine (Bruce) McInally, Jerry (Lisa) Noeth and Janice (Mike) Fernandez; proud grandfather to Trenton Clutts and Brynleigh; nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Memorial visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, January 12, 2024 at Meadow Heights Baptist Church, 1498 Vandalia Street, Collinsville, IL.

In celebration of his life, a memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 13, 2024 at Meadow Heights Baptist Church, Collinsville, IL, with Pastor Brock Vandever officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to BJC Hospice, Lake Sallateeska Baptist Camp or Meadow Heights Baptist Church. Donations will be accepted at the church.


Mildred Lee “Millie” Spahn, 96, of Granite City, Illinois passed away at 1:20 a.m. on Tuesday, January 2, 2024, at her home with family by her side.

She was born July 29, 1927, in St. Louis, Missouri, a daughter of the late Everett Hopper and the late Blanche (Oliver) Neckerman.

She married Paul Lawrence Spahn on September 20, 1947, in St. Louis and he passed away on June 21, 1990.

Millie was a loving wife, mother and grandmother whom cherished special times shared with her entire family and many friends. She was a faithful member of Holy Family Catholic Church and enjoyed days of reading, playing cards, bowling and traveling.

She is survived by five children and their spouses, Paula Thouvenot of Granite City, Kathleen and Jay Taylor of Brandon, Florida, Christopher and Beth Spahn of Collinsville, Jeanne and Mike Patton of Edwardsville and Elizabeth Kaufenberg of Granite City; daughter-in-law, Sonja Spahn of Alexandria, Louisiana; fourteen grandchildren and their spouses, Christy and Greg DeLuca, Tricia Thouvenot, Jason and Windy Taylor, Bryan and Allison Taylor, Melanie Spahn, Ryan and Alissea Spahn, Christopher Spahn, Holly and Jeremy Nixon, Charles Atkins, Paul Atkins, Andrea Patton and Matthew Maddox, Hannah and Grant Petrie, Amanda Patton and Kelly Kaufenberg; sixteen great grandchildren; many nieces; nephews; other extended family and friends.

In addition to her beloved husband and parents, she was preceded in death by a son, Geoffrey Spahn; a daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Charles Atkins; two grandsons, Daniel “Danny” Patton and Dean Spahn and three sisters, Gwen Hempen, Gerri Neckerman and Janice Grove.

In celebration of her life, visitation will be at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City on Tuesday, January 9, 2024, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

A Funeral Mass will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church in Granite City on Wednesday, January 10, 2024, at 9:30 a.m. with Father Steve Thompson as celebrant.

Burial will be Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.

Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and may be accepted at the funeral chapel.


December 2023 Obituaries