Obituaries September, 2023

Obituaries September, 2023


David “Dave” Cerny, 77, of Granite City, Illinois, passed away on September 29th, 2023.

He was born on December 9th, 1945 to Ralph & Frances Cerny in Centralia, IL. 

Dave married Kathleen “Kathy” Welch (nee Stack) on Nov. 3, 1984. They lived together in Granite City, where they cared for Kathy’s children, Kara Welch and James “Jimmy” Welch, as well as niece Mia Stack-Carson. 

Dave graduated from Assumption High in East St. Louis in 1963. He attended Washington University, was passionate about many things. Aside from family and friends, his passions and interests included sports, especially St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and all Illini sports – if the Illini were playing, Dave was watching, whether it was football, basketball, golf, or volleyball. He was always apprised of how the Illini were doing and was as enthusiastic about the school’s teams as anyone around. Dave also loved participating in sports. He was an avid golfer and bowler and was good enough at each to match his competitive spirit. Dave loved a good meal and was a master at making the perfect prime rib. He enjoyed good wine and could captivate his company with his knowledge of sports. While enjoying a cigar and an Irish whiskey, he would mix in a perfectly-told joke to make everyone laugh. Dave did his best to keep an even demeanor, even during his stress tests. He was always ready and willing to help, especially when any of his family needed something. Dave was also extremely encouraging, never missing the right moment to take an opportunity to remind people how good they were, to encourage them, and how to believe in themselves. Most importantly, he loved life, his family, and even some of his in-laws.

He was proceed in death by his parents, Ralph and Frances Cerny and step-son James Welch.

He is survived by his wife, Kathleen “Kathy” Cerny; daughters, Cara Marie (Stephen) Gresh and Allison Leigh (Mike) Jasutis; grandchildren Cody Daech, Stephie Gresh, Abbie Gresh, Logan Jasutis, and Caden Jasutis; step-daughter Kara Marie Welch, and niece Mia Stack-Carson; brother Bob Cerny, and sisters Janet Couette and Karen Lager. 

In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Visitation will be November 3, 2023, 9:30am-11am at Saint Jerome Church in Troy, Illinois, followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 11am.

Arrangements made by Thomas Saksa Funeral Home.


Doris Ann Tucker, of Granite City, IL, born on February 9, 1947, in St. Louis, MO, died on September 28, 2023.

She is survived by her sons; Richard Tucker, Mark Tucker, and J’son Tucker; 17 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; her siblings; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Condolences may be made at www.kasslyfuneral.com.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, October 8, 2023, from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Kassly Mortuary Ltd., Fairview Heights, IL.

A 10:15 a.m. funeral procession will leave Kassly Mortuary, Ltd., Fairview Heights, IL, on Monday, October 9, 2023, to Holy Family Catholic Church, Granite City, IL, for an 11:00 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial, with Fr. Stephen Thompson officiating.

Interment will be in Lakeview Memorial Gardens, Fairview Heights, IL.


Harry Allen Briggs III, 54 of Madison, Illinois passed away on Thursday, September 28, 2023 at his home in Madison.

Harry was born on April 17, 1969 in Belleville, Illinois; the son of Harry Allen and Clabbie (Ingram) Briggs Jr. of Granite City. Basketball was a huge part of Harry’s life and as a young boy he was the two-time Elks free throw champion for the state of Illinois and in 1979 Harry finished eighth in the nation in the Elks free throw competition. Harry was a graduate of the Granite City High School Class of 1987 and had attended Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Harry was a volunteer assistant coach on the 1995 University of Southern Indiana championship basketball team. Harry enjoyed his days of playing basketball, coaching and spending time with his family and friends.

In addition to his parents, Harry is survived by and will be missed by his brother: Kyle Steven Briggs of Granite City; niece, Jordan Nichole Briggs of Granite City; aunt, Susan Sandoval of Lexington, KY; uncles, Ronnie and Patty Briggs of Granite City, Mike Briggs of Madison; cousins, Bradley and Teresa Briggs, Brandy and Jim Burkhart of Granite City and many other close family members and friends.

In celebration of Harry’s life, a private family burial will be held at Lake View Memorial Gardens at a later date.


Judge A. Andreas “Andy” Matoesian, 86, died Wednesday, September 27, 2023 in Chesterfield Missouri. Upon his retirement in 2019, he was the longest serving Judge in the State of Illinois, having served on the bench for some 53 years.

Judge Matoesian was the devoted husband of 64 years to Julia Marifian Matoesian, a schoolteacher and later Assistant States’ Attorney, who survives him. He was the cherished father of two daughters, the late Georgea Matoesian and Jane Matoesian (Dr. Al Van Amburg) of Clayton, MO.

Judge Matoesian was born on September 4, 1937 in Granite City, Illinois, the fourth of five children to the late Hamayak and Rehan Matoesian, Armenian immigrants who settled in Granite City after emigrating to the U.S. following the Armenian Genocide. 

His father was a barber and his mother a homemaker. Judge Matoesian was proud of his Armenian heritage and held steadfast to his Armenian culture and faith throughout his life. He grew up in the Lincoln Place section of Granite City. As all St. Louisans would want to know, he graduated from Granite City High School. He played center on the football team and was a member of the wrestling team. He twice reached the State tournament and lamented his second place on the referee’s decision.

He attended Illinois State University, the University of Illinois, and Southern Illinois University for his undergraduate studies. He aspired to be a football coach, but Julie convinced him to go to law school instead. He also attended the Peoria Barber College and worked as a barber with his father in The Modern Barber Shop in Granite City. Judge Matoesian kept a barber chair in his basement, and many friends, colleagues, and family regularly received haircuts over the years.

In July he gave his one-year-old great nephew Mark Edward his first haircut. Judge Matoesian graduated from Washington University School of Law in 1964 and began private practice in East St. Louis at the firm then known as Kassly Weihl Carr & Bone. He loved and lived the law throughout his life. In 1965 he was urged to apply for a Magistrate Judge position in Madison County. He was sworn in, along with his soon-to-be lifelong friend, Appellate Court Justice Thomas Welch, in November 1965.

His dedication to public service and his community led him to be retained by the voters 6 times, from 1986-2016. He also served as the Chief Judge for two separate terms. He presided over virtually every type of case with the same commitment to justice. He served on the criminal bench for many years and heard several death penalty cases. One of his most notable cases was the murder trial of Paula Sims, convicted in the death of her infant daughter. A book was later written about the case and adapted into a television movie. Judge Matoesian’s only criticism was that the actor who played him looked too old.

In addition to his career achievements, Judge Matoesian actively pursued many hobbies and was well known for his woodworking, a lifelong passion. He maintained a full woodshop at his home. A few of the items he made are gavels, pens, nutcrackers, baskets, and bottle stoppers. Many jurors serving in Madison County were given his hand-turned pens to soften the blow of their jury service.

His gavels have traveled to judges throughout the U.S., including the Supreme Court. Over his many years on the bench, Judge Matoesian was a mentor and friend to hundreds of lawyers and judges. He was known for his fairness, impartiality, and respect for the law. His legal legacy will be forever respected by those who had the privilege of appearing before him and working alongside him.

Other survivors include his brother David Matoesian and wife Janet; brother-in-law George (Nina) Marifian; brother-in-law John Marifian; brother-in-law Henry Nersesian; and many nephews, nieces, and great nephews and nieces. In addition to his parents and daughter Georgea, he was predeceased by his brothers and sisters-in-law Gregor (Kenarr) Matoesian and Robert (Mary Lee) Matoesian; sister Iris and brother-in-law Hrant Norsigian; sister-in-law Amie Nersesian; sister-in-law Barbara Marifian; and sister-in-law and brother-in-law Len and Alice Mooradian.

The family expresses its heartfelt gratitude to Drs. Kevin Konzen, Donald Busiek, Maged Haikal and Jill Oberle, and the staff of St. Luke’s Hospital. A visitation will be held on Sunday, October 15, 2023, at Irwin Chapel in Glen Carbon, Illinois, from 2 pm – 6 pm. A funeral will be held on Monday, October 16, 2023 at Holy Virgin Mary & Shoghagat Armenian Church in Swansea, Illinois at 10:30 a.m., with interment immediately after at Sunset Hills Mausoleum in Glen Carbon.

Judge Matoesian was a life-long member of the Armenian Church, and many of his creations adorn the sanctuary, including wooden crosses to commemorate its consecration. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Holy Virgin Mary & Shoghagat Armenian Church Sanctuary Enhancement Fund.


Randy Burton, October 30, 1939 – September 23, 2023

Phoenix, Arizona – Randy Burton, 83, of Phoenix, AZ, formerly of Granite City, IL, born Monday, October 30, 1939, in St. Louis, MO, passed away Saturday, September 23, 2023 at his residence in Phoenix, AZ.

Randy was a retired Loan Officer for First Granite City National Bank. He was a member of Nameoki United Methodist Church, Gothic Lodge #852 AF & AM., Scottish Rite Bodies, Ainad Shrine, Past President of Directors Staff in 1968, Past Potentate 1987, and Southern Illinois Court #86 Royal Order of Jesters.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Dorothy, nee Brooks, Burton, son, Raymond Burton III; parents, Raymond and Marjorie, nee Spannagel, Burton Sr.

Surviving are his wife, Linda Carl Bonnem of Phoenix, AZ, son, Michael (Pamela) Burton of O’Fallon, MO; daughter-in-law, Barbara Burton of Westerly, RI; step children, K. C. (Mara) Bonnem of Paradise Valley, AZ and Jed (Kate) Bonnem of Bronxville, NY. sister, JoEllyn (John) Lynn of Belleville, IL; grandchildren, Kori (Adam) Brown, Monica (Sean) Gregory, Kyle (Kayleigh) Burton, Kole Burton, Arick Burton, Austin Burton, Anna Bonnem, Sarah Bonnem, Lily Bonnem, Sophie Bonnem, and Ava Bonnem, great grandchildren, Jenny Brown, Jordyn Brown, Damion Gregory, Ezra Gregory, Oliver Gregory, Nina Siebert and Connell Burton; nieces and nephew, Jennifer (Joel) Keel, Whitney (Scott Podgorny) Lynn, Jeff (Katie) Lynn.

Express condolences at www.kurrusfh.com

Memorials: Memorials in lieu of flowers should be made to the Shriner’s Children’s of St. Louis, Missouri.

Visitation: Visitation from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Monday, October 2, 2023 at Kurrus Funeral Home in Belleville, IL. Jester walk-through will be held at 7:13pm followed by the Ainad Directors Staff and Divan. Masonic Service will be held at 7:30pm.

Funeral: Private services will be held with Pastor Allynn Walker officiating. Burial at Lakeview Memorial Gardens in Fairview Hgts. IL.


Mary Madilene Huff, 92, of Galena, MO, formerly of Granite City, IL, passed away at 8:40 p.m. Thurs. Sept. 28, 2023 in Troy, IL.

She was born July 24, 1931 in Lost Cane, AR to the late James Wade & Bessie Carlene (Parks) Bourland. She married Richard P. “Dick” Huff on Apr. 15, 1950 in Manila, AR.  He preceded her in death Sept. 30, 2014.

Known as Madilene to many, Mary was a loving mother and wife and after the kids were grown, she became a substitute teacher in the Granite City School District.  After retirement, she and her husband worked part time at Silver Dollar City for “snow skiing” funds, a hobby she and Dick took up at age 57.  

Mary had been a member of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church and Our Lady of the Cove Catholic Church.  She was an active genealogist and served as the President of the Bourland Genealogical Society.

She is survived by 4 children: Patricia (Melvin) Chester of Florissant, MO, Thomas Randall Huff of Alhambra, IL, Jeanne (Timothy) Venne of Granite City and Alan (Kathryn) Huff of Granite City; a daughter-in-law: Leah Albertson of Keller, TX; 16 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; a sister: Dianna Gunn of Carnation, WA; and many nieces and nephews, many of which considered her to be grandma.

In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by an infant daughter: Mary Louise Huff; a son: Wade Joseph Huff; a brother: Jerry Bourland; and a sister; Shirley Reid.

Visitation will be Mon. Oct. 2, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Wojstrom Funeral Home & Crematory and will begin with a prayer service at 4:00 p.m.  Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Tues. Oct. 3, 2023 at Holy Family Catholic Church with Fr. Stephen Thompson officiating.  Burial will follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or Alzheimer Association.


Thomas “Tom” Christopher Miller, age 33, of Granite City, IL, passed away on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 at St. Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, MO. Tom was born on April 13, 1990 in Granite City, IL, a son of James Miller of Granite City, IL, and the late Barbara (Koishor) Miller.

Tom was a member of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Granite City, IL. He worked as a construction manager at America’s Center Port District in Granite City, IL. Tom enjoyed cooking, camping and cycling. His greatest joy was spending time with his family and hanging out with his friends. Tom will be remembered as a loving son, brother, uncle and a dear friend to many. He will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.

In addition to his father, Tom is survived by his loving siblings, Andy (Kaitlin) Miller of St. Louis, MO and Mary Miller of Maryville, IL; proud uncle to George Miller and Wyatt Miller; extended family and many wonderful friends.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Monday, October 2, 2023 at Irwin Chapel, Granite City, IL.

In celebration of his life, a funeral mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 3, 2023 at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, Granite City, IL, with Father Alfred Tumwesigye officiating. Interment will be in Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Edwardsville, IL.

Memorial donations may be given to Granite City A.P.A. Donations will be accepted at the funeral chapel.

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


Anna Mae Mathenia, 88, of Granite City, passed away in her home Thursday, September 28, 2023 surrounded by her family.

She was born the late Areles and Mary (Stephens) Haney on February 26, 1935 in Kuttawa, Ky. Anna retired from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital after 31 years where she worked as the unit secretary. She was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Granite City, IL.

Anna is survived by a daughter: Rhonda E. Mathenia of Granite City, IL; 2 sons: Richard (Helen) Mathenia of Granite City, IL, Robert (Shari) Mathenia of Granite City, IL; 9 grandchildren; 3 great grandchildren; 2 brothers; James (Bonnie) Haney of Chaffee, MO, Edward Haney of Madison, IL; and a sister: Mary Kirkover of Kissimee, FL.

Besides her parents; Anna is preceded in death by a son: Randall Mathenia a sister; Lenora Haney and a brother in law: Richard Kirkover.

Visitation will be from 10:00 am until the time of service at 12:00 pm, Friday, October 6, 2023 at Calvary Baptist Church in Granite City, IL. Burial to follow at St. John Cemetery.


Makenna Elayne Berkbigler, 32, Of Granite City, IL, went to be with Jesus on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 surrounded by family.

She was born to Alissa Pacheco and Matt Berkbigler on August 13, 1991in Maryville, IL. Makenna was a Pediatrics Nurse at Southern Illinois Health Care in Alton. She was a very caring person, loved spending time at the beach and she was an absolute blessing to her grandparents, Poppy and Mona and was the best Auntie Kenna ever.  Makenna was blessed to experience the kindness and love of Shawn Anglin.

Makenna is survived by her parents: Alissa and Robert Downs; 4 brothers; Alexander (Rachel) Schmith, Isaiah (Taryn) Schmith, Lukas Downs, Robert Downs; a sister: Cali Retzer; grandparents:  Robert and Mona Pacheco; a niece; Isla “Cheri” and 2 nephews; Issac and Kalvin, with 2 more on the way..

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the family.

Visitation will be held at 10:00 am until the time of service at 12:00 pm, Monday, October 2, 2023 at Wojstrom Funeral Home and Crematory. Burial to follow at Sunset Hills Cemetery.

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


Virginia Lee Boxdorfer, 86, of Granite City, IL died on Monday, September 25, 2023 at her home surrounded by her family.

She was born on November 16, 1936 in Granite City, IL to John Everett DeHart and Mary Ann (Swiatek) DeHart.

Virginia married Charles Boxdorfer in St. Louis, MO on January 12, 1974.

The loving wife was active in the Girl Scouts of America when she was younger.  She was an artistic person who enjoyed reading, painting, puzzles and drawing.  Virginia also enjoyed going shopping.

Virginia is survived by her husband, 2 daughters:  Angela Milton of St. Louis, Mo and Becky Cedor of Granite City, IL; 4 grandchildren:  Jessica, Ian, Kyle and Cody and several great grandchildren.

Besides her parents, Virginia is preceded in death by a sister, JoAnn Spohr.

A private burial will be held at a later date.

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

Online guestbook and obituary available at www.wojstrom.com


Portia Ann Hogg, 76, passed away on September 19, 2023, in O’Fallon, Illinois. She was born on August 20, 1947, in Granite City, Illinois where she grew up and spent most of her life. She was one of five children to Leotis and Eleanora (Weeks) Stapleton.  


Portia married Robert Hogg on October 26, 1968. They were married for 31 years, until Robert’s passing in 1999. Over the years, she enjoyed attending church, having been a devout member of Bethel Baptist Church in Troy, Grace Baptist Church in Granite City, and lastly, at City Temple in Granite City. She was a caring homemaker, mother, grandmother and friend. She had great love for her family, she will be dearly missed. 

Portia is preceded in death by her husband, Robert; son, George; brothers Ernie and Danny Stapleton, and her cherished dog Red Red. 


Those left to cherish her memory include her children, Darrell Mitchem and Robin (Hogg) Burgett; son-in-law Seth Burgett; grandchildren Mackenzie, Benjamin, and Caleb Burgett: siblings, Candy Randolph and Claudia Stapleton.


In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in Portia’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association P.O. Box 96011  Washington, DC 20090

Services for Mrs. Portia Ann Hogg will be held at Sunset Hill Funeral Home on Wednesday, September 27, 2023. Visitation at 10:00 am, and Funeral service at noon. After service, Portia will be laid to rest next to her beloved husband Bob.    


Terry Lynn Sharp, 64 of Mitchell, IL died on Saturday, September 23, 2023 at his home.

He was born on May 18, 1959 in Anna, IL to Joe and Gloria “JoAnn” (Moad) Sharp.

The loving father and son retired from Local 520 Operating Engineers after 25 years of service.  He enjoyed trap shooting and was a member of several local gun clubs.  Terry also enjoyed riding motorcycles, hunting and fishing.

Besides his mother, Terry is survived by his companion of 5 years, Sue Louks of Chester, IL; 2 daughters: Melissa (Jason) Peach of St. Jacob, IL and Kristen Apponey and her fiance, Glenn “D.J.” Martin, of Granite City; 3 grandchildren:  Ryan Peach, Savannah Peach and Caroline Hammack and a brother, Harold Sharp of Cobden, IL.

Terry is preceded in death by his father and a brother, Barry Sharp.

A memorial visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. until time of service at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, September 29. 2023 at Wojstrom Funeral Home & Crematory in Granite City, IL.

Online guestbook and obituary available at www.wojstrom.com


Sharon Grubbs, age 72, of Granite City, IL, passed away on Thursday, September 21, 2023 at St. Mary’s Hospital in St. Louis, MO surrounded by her loving husband and children.

Sharon was born on July 9, 1951 in Granite City, IL, a daughter of the late Blythe and Gertrude (Glenville) McMurray.

On January 25, 1968, Sharon McMurray, married Daniel C. Grubbs, the love of her life at First Baptist Church in Madison, IL.

She was a girl scout leader, den mother and a lifetime member of the Granite City PTA and held office in the area council. Sharon had worked at Big Lots in Granite City, IL, where she made many lifelong friends. She was an avid St. Louis Cardinal Baseball fan and St. Louis Blues Hockey fan. She loved going to home games and watching them play on television. Her greatest joy was spending time with her family as well as her furbabies and spoiling her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Sharon will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and a dear friend to many. Sharon will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved her.

In addition to her parents, Sharon was preceded in death by a brother in infancy; and her best friend, Debbie Cundiff.

Sharon is survived by her devoted husband, Daniel Grubbs of Granite City, IL; loving children, Melissa (Jared) Inkster of Holladay, TN, Tim (Linda) Grubbs of Lakeville, MN and Michael Grubbs of New Johnsville, TN; dear siblings, James (Theresa) McMurray, Linda McMurray and Patty (Tim) Davis; proud grandmother to Natasha (Ryan) Stroderd, Whitney (Jake) Carnahan, Danielle Tindall, Faith Inkster, TJ Grubbs, Tanner Grubbs, Paige Grubbs, and Austin Grubbs; proud great-grandmother to Bentley and Beckham Stroderd, Riley and Kai Carnahan, Wrenleigh Tindall, and Bryten Marler; many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

In celebration of her life, a visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 at Irwin Chapel, Granite City, IL, with the funeral service to follow at 7:00 p.m., with Pastor Daniel Wilson officiating.

In honor of Sharon, the family request that you wear your favorite St. Louis Cardinals or St. Louis Blues attire to the visitation and service

Private family interment will be held at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, MO, at a later date.

Memorial donations may be given to Granite City A.P.A. and donations will be accepted at the funeral chapel.

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


Hazel Marie (Reeves) Modrusic, 80, of Granite City, Illinois passed away at 11:07 p.m. on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, at her home. 

She was born January 26, 1943, in Dixon, Missouri, a daughter of the late Virgil Owen and Gladys Marie (McKnolly) Reeves.

She married the love of her life, Richard Modrusic on August 16, 1975, at the Salvation Army church in Granite City and he survives.

Hazel retired in 2011 after 43 years of dedicated service as an operating room scheduler for the local hospital in Granite City. She was a member of the Granite City Eagles Auxiliary, Aerie #1126 for 33 years and the V.F.W. Ladie’s Auxiliary, Post #1300 in Granite City for the past 53 years. 

She was also a charter member of the AMVETS Ladie’s Auxiliary, Post #204 in Madison. Hazel enjoyed going to sporting activities for all the children and loved her days of camping and traveling with family and friends.

In addition to her beloved husband of 48 years, she is survived by a son, Jeffrey Richard Modrusic of Granite City; two grandchildren, Elizabeth Ann Modrusic and Anthony Joseph Modrusic; a great grandson, Jaxtyn James Modrusic; a brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Dawn Reeves of Taylorville; a sister and brother-in-law, Carolyn and Richard Gerlach of Granite City; many nieces; nephews; other extended family and friends.

In celebration of her life, visitation will be at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City on Monday, September 25, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. until time of funeral service at 12:00 noon.

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

Memorials may be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois and may be accepted at the funeral chapel.


Thomas Gerald Inman, Jr, 72, of Granite City, IL died on Thursday, September 21, 2023 at his home.

He was born on February 4, 1951 in St. Louis, Mo to Thomas Gerald Inman, Sr and Mickey Jean (Corbin) Inman.

Thomas retired from American Car in St. Louis, Mo as a welder. He enjoyed playing Scrabble and he was also an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan.

The loving brother is survived by a sister, Elizabeth “Sue” Inman of Mt. Olive, IL; a sister in law, Jean Inman of Mt. Olive and many nieces and nephews

Besides his parents, Thomas is preceded in death by a brother, Ronald Inman and a sister, Marjorie Inman.

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


Tracy L. Sanchez, 54, of Granite City, Illinois, passed away at 8:34 p.m. on Thursday, September 21, 2023, at her home.

She was born August 12, 1969, in Granite City, a daughter of the late Melba (Ireland) and Raymond E. Jones Sr. She married Eberardo Rico Sanchez on March 23, 2001, and he survives.

She was a residential assessor at the Madison County Assessor’s Office with 24 years of dedicated service.

Tracy was a member of the Mexican Honorary Commission and the Granite City Moose Lodge #272. She loved her days of playing Bingo, listening to Elvis music and enjoyed the family float trips. She cherished her grandchildren and was affectionately called Manny by many of them. She will be remembered for the love and special times shared with her family and friends.

In addition to her beloved husband, she is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Brittney and Jacob Hartman of Granite City; a son, Nicolas Sanchez of Granite City; two grandchildren, Henley Hartman of Granite City and Dylan Hartman of Granite City; a brother and sister-in-law, Raymond and Diane Jones Jr. of Granite City; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Samuel Rico and Jenna Sanchez; other extended family and friends.

In celebration of her life, visitation will be at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City on Thursday, September 28, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. until time of funeral service at 7:00 p.m. with Reverend Brian Smith officiating.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society and may be accepted at the funeral chapel.


Raymond “Ray” Edward Sparks, age 82, of Troy, IL, formerly of Granite City, IL, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at Anderson Hospital in Maryville, IL surrounded by his loved ones.

Ray was born on August 19, 1941 in Granite City, IL, son of the late Eleanor June (Bayer) Sparks and Raymond Maurice Sparks.

On April 22, 1967, Ray married Sandra “Sandy” Sue Butler, the love of his life in Granite City, IL. Ray was a highly-skilled machinist at Boeing for sixty years. He loved the challenge of crafting all the aircraft parts. 

He was a great mentor to his fellow workers and took pride in helping them learn the skill. Ray was a car enthusiast, enjoyed working in his yard and spending time with family and friends. Ray loved life, he loved to laugh and most of all he loved his family and friends. Ray will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.

In addition to his parents, Ray was preceded in death by his wife, Sandy.

He is survived by his sister, Barbara Sue Phelps, and family of Granite City, IL and his extended Cedarhurst family in Troy, IL.

In celebration of his life, a visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 26, 2023 at Irwin Chapel, Glen Carbon, IL, with the funeral service to follow at 11:00 a.m. with Father Jeff Holtman officiating.

Ray will be laid to rest at Sunset Hill Memorial Estates in Glen Carbon, IL.

Condolences may be expressed at www.irwinchapel.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ray’s name to the American Heart Association or the American Diabetes Association.


Magdelene Knipping, 98, of Glen Carbon passed away at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, at Meridian Village in Glen Carbon.

She was born December 9, 1924, in Madison, Illinois, a daughter of the late Harry and Anna (Smerek) Kopsky.

She married August James Knipping on September 18, 1954, in Madison and he passed away on January 19, 1997.

Magdelene was a faithful member of Nativity of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church in Madison. She was a member of the church choir for over 70 years and a member of The Ladie’s Sodality.

In addition to her beloved husband and parents, she was preceded in death by her siblings and their spouses, Harvey Kopsky, Olga and Ted Norakas, Sophie and John Dutko, Mary and John Tanase, Margaret and Orville Rudd and Steven and Mary Kopsky and many other dear family and friends.

She is survived by a sister-in-law, Sandra Kopsky of Collinsville; special family friend, Carol Hunter of Glen Carbon; a host of many special nieces; nephews; great nieces; great nephews; other extended family and friends.

The family would like to extend much gratitude to Vitas Hospice for the love and care given to Magdelene during her time with hospice. 

In celebration of her life, visitation will be at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City on Monday, September 25, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. until time of a Funeral Service at 7:00 p.m. A Funeral Liturgy followed by a Panikhida service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, at the Nativity of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church, 416 Ewing Avenue in Madison with Father Nicholas Finley officiating.

Burial will follow at Lakeview Memorial Gardens in Fairview Heights.

Memorials may be made to Nativity of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church.


Henry Alden Burns, Sr. (88), of Granite City, Illinois, peacefully passed away on September 18, 2023. He was born in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri on July 15, 1935.

He was the owner of Henry Burns Furniture, and along with his family, proudly served the community for many years. He was a studious Bible scholar and a fervent prayer warrior. He shared his passion for the Word of God with anyone who would listen. He was a longtime member of Gospel Assembly Church.

He is survived by Louise Burns, his wife of 68 years; his seven children, Bobbi (Larry) Haddix, Henry Burns, Jr. (Denise Cook), Phyllis Miller, Sherri Andrews, Carolyn (Jim) Gabor, Bonni (Kent) Schuette, Robin (Darren) Hlava; and his brother, Darrell Burns. He deeply loved his 14 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, who brought such joy into his life. To further his joy he has 28 step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and treasured friends.

He was preceded in death by his father, Elgin Burns, his mother, Ethel (Walton) Burns Cluster, his beloved brother, David Burns, and sisters, Barbara Jane (Burns) Menz and Margie (Burns) Totty; his infant grandson, Garald Wayne Miller, Jr., and his step-granddaughter, Erin Haddix.

He was a true gentleman, kind and generous. To those who truly knew him, he was loved and highly respected.

In celebration of his life, visitation will be at Irwin Chapel, 591 Glen Crossing Road in Glen Carbon on Friday, September 22, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. where funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 23, 2023, with Pastor Kent Schuette officiating. 

If you are unable to attend, you may join the funeral service on livestream at his tribute wall on the funeral chapel’s website.

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

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Shriners Hospitals for Children.


Orvile “Gene” Eugene Copeland, Sr of Granite City, IL died on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at Gateway Regional Hospital in Granite City, IL.

He was born on July 28, 1946 in Granite City, IL to Orvile Claude Copeland and Lillie Kathryn (Malloy) Curtright.

Gene married Della Rose Leonard in Ft. Leonard Wood, MO on October 23, 1963.

The loving husband and father retired from the U.S. Army after 30 years of service.  He did 2 tours of duty in Vietnam.

He was a lifetime member of the VFW and he enjoyed fishing, camping, trains and playing games on the computer.

Besides his wife, Gene is survived by 3 daughters:  Tammy Wilkinson of Granite City, Melissa (Lenny) Young of Granite City and Katherine Copeland and her fiancé, Keith Volkmann of St. Charles, MO; 9 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.

Gene is preceded in death by parents; a son, Orvile Copeland, Jr; a grandchild, Amanda Copeland; a brother, Harvey Copeland and a sister, Jeanette “Susie” Sechrest.

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


William Richard Curtis, 91 of Granite City passed away on Monday afternoon, September 18, 2023 at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

William was born on August 29, 1932 in Granite City; the son of the late Riley and Minnie (Mihlfeld) Curtis. William was a field representative/machinist for Barry-Wehmiller in St. Louis. He was a member of the AmVets of Illinois and of the District 9 International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers. In his early years he proudly served his country in the United States Navy during the Korean War.

 William enjoyed his days of being a skate guard at Wilson Park Ice Rink and playing amateur hockey at the Checkerdome in St. Louis. Later in life William enjoyed his days playing golf and spending time with his family, he will be remembered for all the special times they shared together.

William is survived and will be missed by his children; Lisa (Curtis) Confer and spouse Jeff Confer, Jo Ann Curtis and partner Randy Carter, Candy Bartole; grandchildren, Virginia Hoff and partner Daniel Rivera and 2 grandsons; sisters, Betty Reeves, Rita Pulley, Phillis and Jerry Walden; brothers, Roy Curtis, James and Linda Curtis; sister-in-law, Carolyn Curtis, many nieces and nephews as well as many other close family members and friends.

In addition to his parents, William was preceded in death by his sisters; Helen Schuetz, Patricia Lusby; brother, Danny Curtis; brothers-in-law, Francis Schuetz, Virgil Reeves; sister-in-law, Vivian Curtis.

A remembrance of William’s life is being planned for early December.


Harold D. Scarborough, 90 of Granite City, Illinois passed away on Monday, September 18, 2023 at Anderson Hospital in Maryville.

Harold was born on November 19, 1932 in Granite City; the son of the late Walter Samuel and Maxi (Coy) Scarborough. Harold had worked on the galvanizing line at Granite City Steel, retiring after 43 years of faithful service.

He proudly served his country in the United States Army and had the heart of a Christian.

 In his free time Harold could be found on one of the area’s golf courses or be found cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals. Most of all he enjoyed his days of spending time with his family and will be remembered for all the special times they shared together.

Harold is survived by and will be missed by his children; Deena Busse of Granite City, Robin and Randy Ballew of Granite City, Scott and Terri Scarborough of Granite City; grandchildren, Matt and Erin, Nathan, Jessica, Erin and Jeremy, Brandon and Laura, Greg and Devin, Megan, Holly and Jimmy, Luke and Miranda; 22 great-grandchildren; brother, Ronald and Kay Scarborough; sister-in-law, Kim Scarborough and many other close family members and friends.

In addition to his parents, Harold was preceded in death by his loving wife; Mary R. (Hall) Scarborough, whom he married on September 19, 1953; son, Michael Scarborough; brother, Jack Scarborough; sisters, Jenny, Dorothy and Robbie.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 21, 2023 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City. In celebration of Harold’s life, funeral services will be held on Friday, September 22, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at the funeral home with Pastor Mark Maynard officiating. Burial will follow at St. John Cemetery on Maryville Road in Granite City. Memorial donations are suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association.


Diana Louise Lynch, age 77, of Granite City, IL, passed away on her birthday, Friday, September 15, 2023 at her home, with her loving family by her side. She received the best birthday present ever by being welcomed to her heavenly home. Diana was born on September 15, 1946 in Mounds, IL, a daughter of the late Robert Buchanan and Hazel (Guy) Evitts.

In the summer of 1962, Diana Buchanan married Paul Arthur Lynch, the love of her life, and Paul passed away on March 11, 2001.

Diana will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and a dear friend to many. She never met a stranger and was always willing to lend a helping hand. Diana was a certified nursing assistant and she worked as a caretaker for many years. Her greatest joy was spending time with her family and spoiling her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Diana 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, Diana was preceded in death by her two sons, Paul Rex Lynch and David Lynch; sister, Triva Alexander; brothers, Darvin Evitts, Cecil Evitts, Carl Buchanan and Robert Buchanan; brothers-in-law, Howard Lynch, Giles Lynch, and Delbert Lynch; and sisters-in-law, Dorann Hays and Harriet Lynch.

Diana is survived by her loving daughter, Anita (David) Bailey of Granite City, IL; daughter-in-law, Shelly Lynch; proud grand-mother to Josh (Brittany) Lievens, Amber Lynch, Justin Lynch, Leandra Bailey and Hailey Bailey; proud great-grandmother to Emily, Elizabeth, Ellie, J.J., Jersey, Colton, Lakyla, Lyla, Ed Jr., Collin and Tyler; sisters, Martha Farrar, Pauline Rednour and Dorothy Timmons; brother, Vernon Evitts; brothers-in-law, Mike (Elaine) Lynch, Dennis (Carolyn) Lynch and Larry (Judy) Lynch; sisters-in-law, Sandy Lynch, Dorothy Thomas and Betty Lynch; many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Diana’s family would like to extend a special thank you to two of her sisters-in-law, Sandy Lynch, and Dorothy Lynch and her dear friend Helen Mance for the love and support given to Diana and her family.

A celebration of life gathering will be held from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 5, 2023 at Granite City Elks Lodge, 4801 Maryville Road, Granite City, IL.

Memorial donations may be given to American Lung Society or American Diabetes Association.

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


Leta Mae Miller, 95, of Granite City, Illinois went to be with her Lord and Savior at 7:17 p.m. on Saturday, September 16, 2023, at Anderson Hospital in Maryville.

She was born May 5, 1928, in Nameoki Village, the daughter of the late Clyde Alvin and Olive Mae (Range) Miller.

Leta retired as the head cashier at the age of 57, after 40 years of dedicated service at Kozyak’s Market. She was a longtime faithful member of 2nd Baptist Church in Granite City where she taught Sunday school until the age of 90. She was very devoted to her family and church, always helping to visit the homebound, attending funerals and cooking and assisting with the funeral luncheons. She always had a joke for others and left people with a smile.

She is survived by many special nieces and nephews; Lloyd Miller Jr. of Granite City; Alfred Miller of Maryville; Susan (Rudy Hokanson) Miller of Minnesota, Diane (Zeke) Rhodes of Colorado, Rob (Colleen) Miller of Missouri, Debra (Ron) Slemer of Edwardsville, Nancy Clements of New York, C of Granite City, Denise Cook of Edwardsville and Alice (Scott) McDonald of Missouri; many great nieces; great nephews; great-great nieces; great-great nephews; other extended family; her beloved church family and many friends.

In addition to her beloved parents, she was preceded in death by four brothers and sisters-in-law, Leland and Marie Miller, Lowell and Joyce Miller, Lloyd and Ruby Miller and Lester and Betty Miller; nephew-in-law, Mark Cook; niece-in-law, Eiko Miller and her dear friend, June Blevins.

In celebration of her life, visitation will be at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Visitation will continue at Irwin Chapel on Thursday, September 21, 2023, from 9:30 until time of funeral service at 10:30 a.m. with Reverend Chris Sedabres officiating.

Burial will follow at Valleyview Cemetery in Edwardsville.

Memorials may be made to 2nd Baptist Church and may be accepted at the funeral chapel.


Joshua Alexander Sprayberry, 27, of Pontoon Beach passed away in his home Saturday, September 16, 2023.

He was born to Kathleen (Holden) Sprayberry and the late James Charlie Sprayberry on November 11, 1995 in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. Josh was an over the road trucker, but when he was home, enjoyed gaming, and driving his family crazy. Josh was a loving, caring person who was always willing to help somebody in need.

Josh is survived by his mother; Kathleen Sprayberry; 3 brothers: James Davis Sprayberry, Michael Sprayberry and Robert (Bryanna Veatch) Fiedler; 3 sisters: Heather Sprayberry, Christina Sprayberry and Krysta Holden; and many nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his father; James Charlie Sprayberry.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

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


Harold D. Wright, age 83, of Granite City, IL, passed away on Saturday, September 16, 2023 at Granite Nursing and Rehab Center in Granite City, IL. Harold was born on March 2, 1940 in Mayo, SC.

Harold was a United States Army veteran who proudly served his country with honor. On August 29, 1959, Harold married Lillian Mae Barton, the love of his life in Granite City, IL, and Lillian passed away on March 13, 2020. Harold retired from Stein Steel as a separator operator after many years of dedicated service. He was an outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing. He also enjoyed vacationing at Yellowstone National Park. His greatest joy was spending time with his family. Harold will be remembered as a devoted family man who loved his family. He will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him

He was preceded in death by his mother, Mott Tabor; step-father, James Tabor; and by one sister, Thelma Scrugg.

He is survived by his loving children, Michael (Yang) Wright of Granite City, IL, James (Deb) Wright of Buford, SC and David Wright of Granite City, IL; dear sister, Sue Trotter; proud grandfather to six grand children and three great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

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

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


James “Jim” Taylor, 71 of Granite City, Illinois passed away on Friday, September 15, 2023 at his home.

Jim was born on October 7, 1951 in Granite City; the son of the late Richard and Virginia (Campbell) Taylor. Jim was a self employed IT Consultant and a member of the Granite City Elks Lodge 1063.

Jim was a huge St. Louis Cardinals Baseball fan who enjoyed his days of spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren and will be remembered for all the special times they shared together.

Jim is survived by and will be missed by his loving wife; Laura (Galbreath) Taylor whom he married on July 19, 2003; children, Sara and Jody Grotz of Granite City, IL, Leigh Wilkinson of Wood River, IL, Travis and Kaitlin Taylor of St. Louis, MO, Trenton and Tabitha Taylor of O’Fallon, MO, Tressa and Nathan Tumulty of Chicago, IL, Trierre and Mickey Shanks; grandchildren, William Abney, Molly Abney, Lilly Wilkinson, Claire Wilkinson, Skyler Grotz, Pall Sharp, Carter Tourville-Taylor, Easton Taylor, Marleigh Taylor, Maysn Taylor, Krue Shanks, Kohen Shanks; sister, Donna Harper; nephew, Gary and Rebecca Harper; great-niece, Jordan and Andrew Allsman and many other close family members and friends.

In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his brother, Richard “Butch” Taylor.

In celebration of Jim’s life, a memorial gathering will be held on Friday, September 22, 2023 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Granite City Elks Lodge 1063, 4801 Maryville Road in Granite City. Memorial donations are suggested to the American Cancer Society at www.donate.cancer.org.


Tony Joseph Turner, 64, of Granite City, IL, passed away at 9:30 a.m. Wed. Sept. 13, 2023 at Stearns Nursing & Rehab in Granite City.

He was born June 22, 1959 in Jerseyville, IL to the late Ida (Reynolds) Wilhilmy and Oscar Turner. Tony worked in the maintenance department for Gateway Christian Academy in Hazelwood, MO.

Tony is survived by a son: Anthony (Ashley) Turner; 4 sisters: Bonnie Collison, Tammy Utz, Mary Brown and Rose Hildreth all of Granite City; 2 brothers: Gilbert Hyink and James Westrich of Imperial, MO; 3 granddaughters: Loralai, Ellie and Josie Turner; many nieces and nephews and his best friend Jerry Jackson.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his son: James Josepsh Turner: 3 sisters: Sharon Turner, Marilyn Arnett and Jackie Turner; and 2 brothers: Lonnie and Jimmy Turner.


Bonnie J. (Lyerla) Bridges, 91 of Madison, Illinois passed away on Sunday, September 10, 2023 at Liberty Village in Maryville.

Bonnie was born on August 12, 1932 in Wolf Lake, Illinois; the daughter of the late Harvey and Osia Olia (Allen) Lyerla. Bonnie was a loving wife, mom, grandma, great-grandma and great-great-grandma who enjoyed her days of taking care of her family and who could often be found enjoying a good game of bowling or tinkering with ceramics.

Most of all Bonnie loved to spend time with her family and will be remembered for all the special times they shared together.

Bonnie is survived by and will be missed by her children; Kenny and Linda Harris of Salem, MO, Gale Davis of Madison, IL, Dale and Carole Bridges of Maryville, IL, Treva and John Carpenter of Madison, IL; grandchildren, Ethan, Paul, Elizabeth, Misty, Derek, Honesty, Amber; 12 great-grandchildren; 5 great-great-grandchildren and many other close family members and friends.

In addition to her parents, Bonnie was preceded in death by her loving husband; William E. Bridges, whom she married on April 12, 1951; daughters, Kathy Legate, Theresa Bridges and all ten of her brothers and sisters.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, September 14, 2023 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City. In celebration of Bonnie’s life, funeral services will be held on Friday, September 15, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home with Pastor James Massenberg officiating. Burial will follow at Sunset Hill Memorial Estates in Glen Carbon. Memorial donations are suggested to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society www.lls.org or to Liberty Village of Maryville, 6955 State Route 162, Maryville, IL 62062 in care of Memory Lane and will be accepted at the funeral home.


Harold Lee Cantlon, 78, of Granite City, IL died on Friday, September 8, 2023 at Edwardsville Care Center in Edwardsville, IL.

He was born on February 8, 1945 in Granite City, IL to Frank and Virginia (Canavit) Cantlon.

Harold served his country for 16 years in the U.S. Navy.  He was an aviation electrician for McDonnell-Douglas and other aviation companies.

He is survived by 2 daughters:  Bobbiejo Cantlon of IL and Danielle Christine May of Maryville; 3 sons:  Darrin Cantlon of Owensville, MO, Frank Cantlon of Owensville, MO and Brian Cantlon of Granite City; many grandchildren and great grandchildren; 3 brothers:  Robert Cantlon of Branson, MO, Allan Cantlon of Granite City and James Cantlon of TN; 3 sisters:  Darlene Pursell of Collinsville, Iva Van Meter of Alton and Carol Huniak of Granite City and many nieces and nephews.

Besides his parents, Harold is preceded in death by a brother, Frank Cantlon; 2 sisters:  Rosa Lee and Mary Cantlon and 2 half- sisters:  Carolyn Wood and Sherri McAllister.

A memorial visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until time of service at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at Wojstrom Funeral Home & Crematory in Granite City, IL.  Burial will follow at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, MO.


Alice Jean Rogers, 69, of Mitchell, Illinois, passed away at 7:44 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2023, at the Granite Nursing and Rehab in Granite City. 

She was born March 14, 1954, in Granite City, a daughter of the late Stella Kirkover. 

She retired from 7-Up in St. Louis after 15 years of service as a bottler. 

Alice loved her dogs, enjoyed electronics, gaming and politics and will be remembered for the love and special times shared with her family and friends.

She is survived by a sister and brother-in-law, Stacey and Ronnie Dethrow of Mitchell; two brothers, Dennis and Kenneth Kirkover; other extended family, neighbors and friends.

Memorials may be made to Renee’s Rescue Sanctuary and may be accepted at Irwin Chapel.


George T. Cook Jr., 92, of Granite City, Illinois passed away at 1:55 a.m. on Saturday, September 9, 2023, at Meridian Village in Glen Carbon.

He was born January 23, 1931, in Pascola, Missouri, a son of the late George T. and Sylvia Jewel (Cain) Cook Sr.

He married Helen Ruth (Barnett) Peterson Cook on November 28, 1975, at Suburban Baptist Church in Granite City and she passed away on April 15, 2020.

George retired from Granite City Steel in 1980 after 30 years of dedicated service as a steelworker. He then served 15 years of service with United Way until retiring in 1996. Throughout the years, he was a strong support of the union and served as a liaison with the AFL-CIO. He was a member of S.O.A.R. and enjoyed visiting with the retirees at meetings.

The United States Marine proudly served his country during the Korean War and always displayed his American pride. George was a faithful and charter member of Suburban Baptist Church now known as Unity Baptist Church in Granite City where he has served as a Deacon, Trustee, Sunday school superintendent and teacher. He was a recreation director and manager of the grounds of the Madison Count Baptist Association and helped with the many softball leagues for 20 years. He was very active in the community sports, enjoyed playing golf and softball and was a participant with the Senior Olympics. George was also known for his love of walking Wilson Park, rain or shine since 1975. He cherished his family and will be remembered for the love and special times shared with family and friends. 

He is survived by three children, Dan and Jan Cook of Collinsville, Darrell Cook of Ringgold, Georgia and Carrie and George Lyons of Murray, Kentucky; a stepdaughter, Deana Peterson of Rock Hill, South Carolina; a step son-in-law, Brad Kopitsky of Rock Hill, South Carolina; former wife and mother of his children, Doris Hayes of Granite City; six grandchildren, Karen Kopitsky, David Kopitsky, Kady Allgood, Natalie Cuzzilla, Megan Brumment and Daniel Cook; four great grandchildren, Vivien, Bodhi, Aaron and Faris; two brothers, Jack and Micki Cook of Granite City and Terry and Myra Cook of Granite City; brother-in-law, Larry Morice of Sonora, California; sister-in-law, Sandy Cook of Glen Carbon; many nieces; nephews; other extended family and friends.

In addition to his beloved wife and parents, he was preceded in death by a stepdaughter, Donna Kopitsky; two sisters, Joy and George Geggus and Judy Morice and two brothers, Mack and Loretta Cook and Lynn Cook.

In celebration of his life, visitation will be at Irwin Chapel in Granite City on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Visitation will continue at Unity Baptist Church in Granite City on Thursday, September 14, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. until time of funeral service at 11:00 a.m. with Reverend Jarad Corzine officiating.

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

Memorials may be made to Unity Baptist Church.


Gary L. Stagman, 79, of Granite City, IL died on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City, IL.

He was born on March 29, 1944 in Prairie du Chien, WI to Burnell Stagman and Willa E. (Duff) Kruempel.

Gary married Nicki Whisker in Savannah, IL on June 7, 1969 and celebrated 54 years in June.

The retired U.S. Army veteran served from 1964 to 1984.  He served 4 years with the 281st AHC (assault helicopter company) in Vietnam and was instrumental in finding and recruiting veterans from his unit.  

He was the membership memorial reunion chairman for the 281st AHC association.  Gary worked with the multi-national peacekeeping force in Egypt and he was a jack of all trades.  Gary had a gruff approach but a big heart- helping anyone who was in need.  He didn’t do “slow”- always working at something like mechanics and woodworking.

The loving husband and father is survived by his wife, 2 sons:  Ryan Stagman and Daniel Stagman; 3 brothers:  Todd Kruempel of Rogers, AR, Rodney Kruempel and Kenneth Kruempel; a sister,  Kathy Buckley of Maynard, AR; 2 sisters in laws:  Kim Bush and Jill Whisker;  many nieces and nephews and special kids:  Julian, Rocco, Carlie Jo and Sidney.

Besides his parents, Gary is preceded in death by 2 sisters:  Nancy Emery and Denise Kruempel; step- father, Walter Kruempel; mother in law, Julia Whisker, father in law F. Lynn Whisker and a niece, Elizabeth Bush.

A memorial visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 14, 2023 at Wojstrom Funeral Home & Crematory in Granite City, IL.

Burial will be at a later date at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Mo.

In Lieu of Flowers, memorials may be made to Partners for Pets in Troy, IL.


Betty Lou (Waeltz) Hamilton, 94 of Granite City, Illinois passed away on Tuesday, September 5, 2023 at Anderson Hospital in Maryville.

Betty was born on June 2, 1929 in Granite City; the daughter of the late William Frederick and Avis (Davis) Waeltz. Betty was a loving wife, mom, grandma and great-grandma who was a faithful member of Clark Avenue Church of Christ in Granite City.

Betty was a well known and a talented quilter and crafter who was always thinking of others needs. She volunteered her time and talents of making comfort bears for the kids at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Granite City and could often be found reading her favorite book or doing word search puzzles.

Betty loved her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and enjoyed taking care of her family. Betty will be remembered for her generous heart and the love of her family and all the special times they shared together.

Betty is survived by and will be missed by her children; Linda Strunk of Fenton, MO, Russell and Kathy Hamilton of Granite City, IL, Betty “B.J.” and David Toeniskoetter of Millstadt, IL, Frank and Kris Hamilton of Granite City, IL, Sherry Medley of Edwardsville, IL; grandchildren, Jason Strunk, Leslie and Jack Hill, Brian Hamilton, Stacie Griggs, Brandi and Alan Jansen, Jennifer and Robert Gratteau, Jill and Jason Mathenia, Nikki Hamilton, Erik and Marion Hamilton, Joseph Derr, Jeremy Derr; 23 great-grandchildren; sister, JoAnn Harrison and many other close family members and special friends.

In addition to her parents, Betty was preceded in death by her husband; Russell Claude Hamilton; brother, Fred Waeltz; great-granddaughter, Julia Derr; son-in-law, John P. Medley.

Visitation will be held on Monday, September 11, 2023 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Irwin Chapel, 3960 Maryville Road in Granite City. In celebration of Betty’s life, funeral services will be held on Tuesday, September 12, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home with Pastor Mike Allen officiating. Burial will follow at Valley View Cemetery in Edwardsville. Memorial donations are suggested to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital www.stjude.org/donate or to Shriners Children’s Hospital www.shrinerschildrens.org . or will be accepted at the funeral home.


Jimmy W. Ray Kie Jr., 25, of Pontoon Beach, IL passed away at 10:01 p.m. Sun. Sept. 3, 2023 at his home after a battle with Bone Marrow complications.

He was born Aug. 18, 1998 in St. Louis, MO to Schunda Hutchins of St. Louis and Jimmy R. Kie Sr. of Granite City, IL.

Jimmy was a phlebotomist and a member of First Free Will Baptist Church in Brooklyn, IL.  He loved being with his friends and famiy as well as going out for Mexican food and margaritas.

Jimmy was preceded in death by his Grandmother: Lula Kie; Great-Grandparents: Mary L. Collier, Annie Mae Brown and Theodis Brown; and an Uncle: Willie Kie III.

In addition to his Mother and Father, he is survived by: Step-Father: Preston Kitchen 4 brothers: Jarrett Hardwick, Jashon (Brittany Hostetter) Kie, Jaron (Constance) Boyd and Jordan Hutchins; 4 Sisters: Jamia Kie, Prescious Kitchen, Kyla Gerhardt and Kim Pham: Grandmother: Hannah Hutchins; Grandfather: Willie Kie Jr.; and Aunts and Uncles: Dafney Hutchins, Virginia (Frederick) Patterson, Barbara Ann (Carl) Wiley, Loretta (Stacey) Greer, Linda (Michael) Wardlow, Genevieve (Lamont) Jones, Brian (Gerrie) Kie; Scharad Hutchins, Kaplan Batchman and Jonathan Williams;

Visitation will be from 11:00 a.m. until time of a prayer service at 2:00 p.m. Sat. Sept. 9, 2023 at Wojstrom Funeral Home & Crematory.  A Repass will be held immediately following at The American Legion Post #365, 1022 Vandalia St., Collinsville, IL 62234 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.


Timothy S. Callender, 63 of Granite City passed away on Saturday, September 2, 2023 at Stearns Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Granite City.

Tim was born on May 25, 1960 in Granite City; the son of the late George Callender Sr. and to Vivian (Dixon) Callender Grimes of Granite City. Tim was a manager at Clark Oil and had worked at Shop N’ Save in the meat department.

In his free time Tim enjoyed his days of shooting pool, playing cards and could often be found bowling. Most of all Tim loved to spend time with his friends and family and will be remembered for all the special times they shared together.

In addition to his mother, Tim is survived by and will be missed by his children; Sarah Callender and fiance’ Nathan Donohue of Granite City, Jessica Callender of Washington State, Justin Doty of Granite City; brother, George and Cherri Callender Jr. of Granite City; sister, Dana and Gary Allen of Granite City; best friend, Danny Williams of Granite City and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and many other close family members and friends.

In addition to his father, Tim was preceded in death by his loving wife; Dana Callender and his grandma, Gertrude Perry.

Memorial donations are suggested to the American Heart Association at www.heart.org/donate. Family services are being planned for a later date.


Carole Elizabeth Jane Whitford, 69, of Granite City passed away in her home on September 1, 2023.

She was born to the late Jesse and Clarice (Woodward) Laws on October 20, 1953 in Paragould, Arkansas. Carole loved to read and spend time with her cat Lucky.

Carole is survived by a daughter: Elizabeth Whitford; 2 sons: Zach Whitford and Randy Whitford; a grandson: Holden Whitford; and a brother: Ronald Laws.

Besides her parents, Carole is preceded in death by a brother: Roger Laws and a sister: Kathy Laws.

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


Joshua Patrick McCunney, Born February 7, 1980, in Herrin, Illinois and died September 2, 2023, at the age of 43 in Granite City, Illinois.

Josh was preceded in death by his sister, Sarah, who died shortly after birth, his maternal grandparents, Conard and Edith Nagel, paternal grandparents, William and Betty McCunney, his step grandparents, Keith and Joyce Bennington, and his beloved dog, Precious, his constant companion.

Survived by his mom and stepdad, Deborah and Charles Bennington, his dad, Richard McCunney and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Josh attended Glen Carbon and Granite City schools before attaining an associate in applied science degree in Industrial Electricity from Southwestern Illinois College.

He worked as an Electronic Technician for Multicom, and an Electrician for Reinhold Electric, CMC Electric, Birkel Electric, Wibracht Electric and Doll Services and Engineering. He worked for the last 12 years for Union Pacific Railroad.

Josh loved sports and was a big fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. He once won a sweepstakes for an all-expense paid trip for four to spring training to watch the Cardinals.

He had a big heart and beautiful smile. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

Those wishing to make a memorial in Josh’s name may give to the Granite City A.P.A., 5227 Canham, Granite City, IL 62040 or to Pound Pets at www.poundpetsinc.com/donate.


Shirley Irene Pasley, age 88, of Granite City, IL, passed away on Friday, September 1, 2023 at Anderson Hospital in Maryville, IL. Shirley was born on September 9, 1934 in Mitchell, IL, a daughter of the late Harold and Flora (Miller) Raymond.

On October 28, 1951, Shirley Miller married Cedric “C.G” Guy Pasley in Arkansas, and C.G. passed away on September 22, 2019.

Shirley was a loving wife, mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and a dear friend to many. She was a proud homemaker who loved taking care of her family. 

Shirley was an amazing cook and enjoyed going shopping. Her greatest joy was spending time with her family. Shirley 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, Shirley was preceded in death by her sisters, Catherine Donaldson, Theresa Morgan and Peggy Raymond.

She is survived by her loving children, Melody (Robert) McElroy of Granite City, IL and Michael (Brenda) Pasley Sr. of O’Fallon, IL; proud grandmother to Rebecca, Angela, Brent, Nathan and Michael Jr.; proud great-grandmother to Brendan, Jaxon, Mia, Ashlyn and Zachary; many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

In celebration of her life, a graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 at Sunset Hill Memorial Estates in Glen Carbon, IL., with Pastor Alan Beuster officiating.


Catherine (Catie)  Amy Hutchinson, 58, of Centralia, IL passed away Saturday, September 2, 2023 In Mt. Vernon, IL surrounded by her family.

She was born to the late Robert and Judith (Winklmeier) Theis on September 21, 1964 in Granite City, IL. Catie met BJ Hutchinson, and they were married in Granite City, IL. She was a member of St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Granite City, IL. Catie loved spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren. 

The loving and caring mother also enjoyed the outdoors; she loved to garden, fish and camp. She also loved to color, put puzzles together and long conversations on the phone with her children.

She is survived by 2 sons; Brad (Kristel) Hutchinson Jr, Adam (Alyssa) Hutchinson; a daughter: Jennifer (Jessica) Hutchinson; 3 grandchildren: Brooke, Hunter and Heidi Hutchinson; 2 brothers: Joseph Theis  and Mark Theis; and 3 sisters; Gina Hasty, Judy Flanagan and Kim Reynolds.

Besides her parents; Catherine is preceded in death by her husband; Brad Hutchinson Sr; a brother; Robert Theis and a sister: Mary Theis.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.


August 2023 Obituary page