Maxine E. Highbarger – 90

Mt. Morris, IL, Maxine E. Highbarger, age 90, died Wednesday July 13, 2016 in her home with her family at her side. Maxine was born May 2, 1926 in Compton, IL the daughter of John & Mildred (Parker) Koch. Maxine worked at Kable Printing Company from 1945-1989 as a bookbinder. Maxine was a life member at the Mt. Morris Ladies of The Moose; where she volunteered on Chicken Nights and any other time they needed her. She was also a lifetime member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary. Maxine loved to be in the flower garden, and her granddaughter and great grandchildren were her world.
Maxine is survived by her son: Steven P. Embick, Mt. Morris, IL; granddaughter: Christina (TJ) Smice, Polo, IL; great grandchildren: Logyn Embick and Tanner Smice, Polo, IL; and several siblings.
Maxine is preceded in death by parents and several siblings, daughter in law, Barbara Embick.
Funeral service will be held Monday July 18, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. in Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL with Rev. Julie Bunt officiating. Burial will be Oak Knoll Memorial Gardens, Sterling, IL. Visitation will be held Monday July 18, 2016 from 10:00 A.M. until service time in Finch Funeral Home.
Memorials to Serenity Hospice & Home.

Ewell D. Gardner – 67

Mt. Morris, IL, Ewell D. Gardner, age 67, died peacefully Friday July 8, 2016, in his home with his wife by his side. Ewell was born on April 20, 1949 in Bristol, Washington County, VA, the son of Harrie W. & Mary Lee (Gilley) Gardner. He graduated from Gate City High School. Gate City, VA. Ewell married Mary Etta Heshelman on May 26, 1973 in Belvidere, IL.
Ewell moved to Belvidere in 1967 to work at Green Giant and then work for Chrysler. 1976 he moved to Mt. Morris and worked for lumber yards in Oregon and Polo. Ewell most recently enjoyed his time helping Sunset Golf Club with anything they needed.
Ewell was a member of Disciples United Methodist Church, Methodist Men, Mt. Morris Township Clerk, Board member at Rockford Bell Credit Union, active in Boy Scouts, bowled and golfed his whole life, wood working, volunteered setting up coffee hour at the church, Leap of Faith Music Ministry, and Lot 12.
Ewell is survived by his wife: Mary Gardner, Mt. Morris, IL; sons: Benjamin A. (Amy O’Saughnessy) Gardner, Des Moines, IA and Bradley A. Gardner, Forrest Park, IL; granddaughter: Hazel Gardner O’Shaughnessy, Des Moines, IA; brothers: Gale Gardner and Tony (Jenny) Gardner, Gate City, VA, Jack (Lena Jo) Gardner, Erwin, TN, Jim (Nancy) Gardner, Charlotte, NC, Phil (Teresa) Gardner, Hiltons, VA; sisters: Peggy (Don) Bays, Hiltons, VA and Lois Hurley, Sevierville, TN; brother in law: Jim (Marge) Heshelman, Woodland Park, CO; and many nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.
Ewell is preceded in death by his parents, brother: Don; and his mother and father in law.
Memorial services will be held Thursday July 14, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. in Disciples United Methodist Church with Rev. Julie Bunt officiating. Visitation will be held Wednesday July 13, 2016 from 5:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. in Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL.
In lieu of flowers memorials to Disciples United Methodist Church and/or Sunset Golf Course.
Ewell loved his family, his community, his golf friends, and he had a great sense of humor.

Wilma P. Pierce – 93

Mt. Morris, IL, Wilma P. Pierce, age 93, died on July 7, 2016 in Pinecrest Manor Nursing Home, Mt. Morris, IL. Wilma was born on December 7, 1922 in rural Polo, IL the daughter of Roy & Frances (Hoak) Reynolds.
She graduated from Polo Community High School class of 1940 and married Wayne Pierce on September 1, 1942, he preceded her in death on April 25, 2010. From September 1942 until April 1943 she was with Wayne who was at Army bases in Georgia and North Carolina, then returned to Polo. In August 1945 when Wayne returned from overseas they moved to Mt. Morris being there until her death except for winters spent in Tucson, AZ from 1985 to 2004.
Wilma was an active worker and member of the Disciples United Methodist Church belonging to the United Methodist Women and Dorcas Circle. She was a Brownie, Girl Scout, and Senior Girl Scout Leader, serving as Mt. Morris Neighborhood Chairman of the Rock River Valley Council of Girl Scouts and a Cub Scout Den mother of pack 333. She was also active in the Mt. Morris PTA and a Sunday school teacher in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Wilma was employed for 20 years at Kable Printing and Western Publishing Company in the Customer Service Department and as a switchboard operator-receptionist retiring in 1979.
Wilma is survived by her daughter: Rosalyn Southard, Crestone, CO; son: Terry (Jana) Pierce, Polo, IL; 3 grandchildren: Zachariah (Courtney) and Zara Southard, Brooks Pierce all of New Mexico; 1 great granddaughter: Malia Southard-Kante; and 4 great grandsons: Sawyer Dickerson, Zayden, Zarthan, and Zia Southard; 1 Sister: Donna (Virgil) Kannall of California and many nieces and nephews.
Wilma is preceded in death by her parents, Husband: Wayne of 67 years; and sister: Norma Doherty.
Memorial services will be held Thursday July 21, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. in Disciples United Methodist Church with Rev. Julie Bunt officiating. Visitation will be held Thursday July 21, 2016 from 10:00 A.M. until service time in Disciples United Methodist Church. Burial will be in Fairmount Cemetery, Polo, IL on Wednesday July 20, 2016 at 10:30 A.M.
Memorials to Disciples United Methodist Church and/or Mt. Morris Senior Center.

Dana A. Fichtner – 53

Dana A. Fichtner, age 53, of Janesville, WI, passed away Sunday in the Town of Primrose due to a motorcycle accident. Dana was born October 30, 1962 in Rockford, IL, the son of John and Bettie (Robison) Fichtner. He graduated from Mt. Morris High School in Illinois in 1981. After dating for seven years, Dana married Jennifer Kretschman on April 3, 2001. Dana worked for Frito-Lay as a fork-truck operator and drove school bus for Van Galder Bus Company. He moved to the Janesville area from Mt. Morris, IL in the mid 1980’s. He enjoyed riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle and had been the proud owner of different Choppers over the past several years. He was a national arm-wrestling champion and loved weightlifting, fitness and the Dallas Cowboys. He also enjoyed hunting and the outdoors, worshipped the sun and was the proud father of his golden retrievers, shih-tzu and cats. Dana is survived by his wife Jennifer of Janesville, WI; brothers David (Gail Cook ) Fichtner of Warsaw, MO, and Dan (Laura) Fichtner of Oregon, IL; father-in-law Tom Kretschman of Verona, WI; mother-in-law Carole Kretschman of Madison, WI; brother-in-law John (Michelle) Kretschman of Oregon, WI; sister-in-law Julie (Brad) Frederick of Madison, WI; sister-in-law Katie Kretschman of Madison, WI; niece Dawn (Fichtner) Jean of Libertyville, IL; nephew and niece Mateo and Natalia Kretschman of Oregon, WI; “Grandma” Mary Cullen of Janesville, WI; and dogs Fremont and Francesca. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Bettie Fichtner. A Celebration of Life service will be held also on Sunday, July 10, 2016 at the Finch Funeral Home, Mt Morris, IL from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m..

Dolores I. “Dodie” Gecan – 85

Dodie Pic for JeanetteIMG_5402 (003)

Celebration Of Life Planned
Following a private graveside service the family of Delores I. (Dodie) Gecan are having an open house and luncheon Celebrating the Life of “Dodie” from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M at the Mount Morris Moose Club on Saturday July 9th. Friends of Dodie and her family are welcome to attend to meet with Dodie’s family and share memories of our Mother, Grandmother and Great Grand Mother.
Delores passed away last August 19th in Mesa, Arizona. Below is her obituary which was published last year.
Dolores I. Gecan (85)
Mt. Morris, IL, Dolores I. “Dodie” Gecan, age 85, died peacefully in Mesa Arizona with loving family members by her side, Tuesday, August 19, 2015. Dodie was born November 22, 1929 in Polo, IL the daughter of Elmer & Margorie (Allison) Wilson. Dodie married William T. Coffman on June 10, 1950 in Polo, IL, and he preceded her in death on January 18, 1971. In November 1972 she married Edward G. Gecan, and preceded her in death on March 4, 2000.
For the better part of the past 30 years, Dodie has lived in Mesa, AZ, but has always considered Northern Illinois home. Her outgoing personality made it easy for her to make new friends, and made her 1890 Club and dress shop businesses both enjoyable and successful.
Dodie loved being around family and friends. She enjoyed cooking, socializing, and family gatherings. She especially enjoyed her 4 legged companion “Beja”.
Dodie is survived by her Daughter: Valerie Hanes, San Tan Valley, AZ. Son: William (Kathy) Coffman. Six Grandchildren: Jason Coffman, Zachery Coffman, Chicago, IL, Rebecca (Clayton) Merrill, Canton, MS, Joseph (Jenny)Hanes, Jacob Hanes, Mesa, AZ and Joshua Hanes, San Diego, CA. and 5 Great Grandchildren Katelyn and Garrett Merrill, Canton, MS and Preston, Luke and Addison Hanes.
Dodie is preceded by her Parents, Husbands William Coffman and Edward Gecan, daughter Cynthia Sue, and sons Jon Curtis, and Michael Scott Coffman.
Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL is assisting the family.
We hope to see you.

Margery L. Kump – 91

Mt. Morris, IL, Margery L. Kump, age 91, died on Monday June 27, 2016, in Pinecrest Manor Nursing Home, Mt. Morris, IL. Margery was born February 15, 1925, in Tonasket, Washington, the daughter of John B. & Freda (Stiverson) Ries. She graduated from San Bernardino High School, San Bernardino, CA. Margery married Robert H. Kump on March 5, 1944 in San Bernardino, CA and he preceded her in death on March 8, 1991. She was a secretary and bookkeeper for Kable News Company, Mt. Morris, IL, and the Mt. Morris Church of The Brethren. Margery was a member of the Mt. Morris Church of The Brethren, Women’s Fellowship with the Church, and the Ogle County Home Extension.
Margery is survived by her Daughters: Roberta “Bobbi” (Kirby) Lane, Flowood, MS and Patrice Nightingale, Streamwood, IL; 2 Grandchildren: Mark (Dana) Hollinger, St. Charles, MO and Joel (Claudine) Hollinger, Maryland Heights, MO; Great Grandchildren: Anna and Luke Hollinger, St. Charles, MO
Margery is preceded in death by her Parents, Husband: Robert; Daughter: Marcia L. Kump; Brother: Ben Ries; 4 Sisters: Helen Stockwell, Kathryn Johnson, Beulah Lane, and Phyllis Ann Paulus.
Funeral services will be held on Friday July 1, 2016 at 10:00 A.M. in The Mt. Morris Church of The Brethren, with Rev. Rodney Caldwell officiating. Visitation will be held Thursday June 30, 2016 from 6:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. in Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL. Burial will be held in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Dixon, IL on Tuesday July 5, 2016 at 10:00 A.M.
In lieu of flowers memorials to Pinecrest Community.

William R. Stoltz – 81

Dixon, IL, William Ronald Stoltz, age 81, died Saturday June 25, 2016 in his home with his family at his side. William was born July 5, 1934 in Chicago, IL, the son of William E. & Lucille D. (Czarnecki) Stoltz. William married Joan Christman on June 4, 1955 in Chicago, IL. He worked as a self-employed carpenter retiring on December 31, 1999. He built his first home in Chicago, IL at the age of 22 where he started his family. He built his 2nd home in Lombard, IL where the family resided for 43 years, and he built the home in Lost Lake where he retired. William was a member of the Lighthouse United Methodist Church, Oregon, IL, he enjoyed crafts, helping others, and he enjoyed being with family and friends.
William is survived by his wife: Joan Stoltz, Dixon, IL; Sons: William Jay (Tina) Stoltz, North Aurora, IL and Jeff (Karen) Stoltz, Franklin, NC; Daughter: Kimberly (Chris) Blount, Oakland, IL; 10 Grand Children and 12 Great Grand Children; 2 Brothers and 1 Sister.
William is preceded in death by his Parents.
Cremation rites have been accorded with Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL.

Marti (Martha) Rust

Marti (Martha) Rust of Oregon, Ii. died peacefully Tuesday, June 21 surrounded by family. Marti was preceded in death by her parents, Darwin Rust and Florence Fifer Bloomer.
She is survived by her wife, Judy Thomas, daughters Rosie Thomas, Sophia (Alex) Papadopoulos, Kimberly (Marshall) I-lackbarth and Laura Davis, as well as grandchildren, Giselle, Socrates, Shane, Eric Khristain and Giacchino.
Marti enjoyed teaching her daughters and grandchildren to fish and swim, to drive and maintain the car and to garden. Her infectious laugh warmed the hearts of family and friends.
Her big heart reached outto her family and anyone in need. She seemed unlimited in meeting challenges and motivating those she loved to do the same.
A memorial service will be held at her home.

James D. Travis – 68

James D. Travis, age 68, died Thursday, June 23, 2016 at KSB Hospital, Dixon, IL. James was born June 27, 1947 in Oregon, IL; the son of Vernon & Hannah (Suter) Travis. James attended Ashton-Franklin Center High School and later received his GED. He worked as a cook in the US Army during the Vietnam Era. James married Jennifer Westfall on February 20, 2009. He enjoyed gardening and cooking. Carpentry was a passion having personally built 3 homes. Over the course of his life, he worked in printing, installed fencing, and made many friends while employed at Oregon Subway.
James is survived by his wife Jennifer; Daughter Chelsea Niquette, Mt. Morris, IL; Brother Jerry Travis, Oregon, IL; Uncle Harry (Martha) Travis, Oregon, IL; In-laws David & Gail Westfall, Oregon, IL. Numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews; also his beloved pets, Jelly Bean, Mia, and Lily.
James is preceded in death by his parents; son Robert; brothers Percy and Richard; sister Sadie.
Memorial service will be Saturday, July 2, 2016 at 1:00 P.M. at the Mt. Morris Moose Lodge, Mt. Morris, IL. Luncheon to follow service until 3:00 P.M. Finch Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Rev. Roger E. Cheek – 87

Pastor Roger Cheek
Rev. Roger E. Cheek, age 87, died Monday June 20, 2016 in Pinecrest Terrace, Mt. Morris, IL. Roger was born March 5, 1929 in Leaf River, IL the son of Edward E. & Violet (Kretsinger) Cheek. Roger graduated from Leaf River High School. Roger married Lorraine Ellen Hartje on October 23, 1948 in Leaf River IL; served in the United States Air Force; and was employed in the tool & die industry. At age 35 he went back to school; received a Bachelor Degree from Dakota Wesleyan University and a Master’s Degree from Garrett Theological Seminary; and for 26 years, he served as a United Methodist Church minister. His ministry led them to make many communities in southeastern South Dakota and northern Illinois home. Roger and Lorraine lived in rural Galena prior to coming to Mt. Morris 18 years ago.
All who knew him will remember he was a true “Jack of All Trades”. He was passionate about cars and engines all of his life. He rebuilt countless cars, trucks, engines, and many, many pieces of equipment of all shapes and sizes. He loved camping and fishing and loved the outdoors. He built their retirement home with the help of only family and friends on a seclude spot overlooking the Mississippi River. His hands could fix or build anything and he rarely failed and never “gave up”. Mostly he loved his family and made everybody he met a friend.
Roger is survived by his wife Lorraine; 4 children: Denise & Deborah Cheek, Mt. Morris, IL; Edward (Rebecca) Cheek, DeKalb, IL; Belinda Cheek, Naperville, IL; and Marilyn Mason, Naperville, IL; 3 grandchildren: Rhonda Cheek, Heather Cheek, and Ethan (Amanda) Cheek; 1 great-grandchild: Liam Cheek.
​Roger is preceded in death by his parents; sisters Virgie (Thomas) Todhunter and Glenda King.
​Funeral services will be held on Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. in Disciples United Methodist Church, Mt. Morris, IL with Pastor Dwight Stewart officiating. Burial will be in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Freeport, IL. Visitation will be held Thursday, June 23, 2016 from 9:30 A.M. till service time.
​In lieu of flowers, memorials to Pinecrest Terrace, Mt. Morris, IL.