Andrew James Smith – 33

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Andrew James Smith, 33 years old, Oregon, IL

Andrew Smith, beloved son and brother, passed away unexpectedly at his home on January 18, 2017.

Andrew was born on September 7, 1983, in Rochelle, IL. He is survived by his parents, James and Shirley (Toppe) Smith, of Oregon, IL; his sisters Sarah (Adam) Kennay, of Ashton, IL; and Joanne (Chris) Moan, of Lockport, IL. Andrew was the beloved uncle of one niece, Evelyn, and three nephews, Soren, Wyatt and Clayton. He was the cherished nephew of many aunts and uncles: Virginia Toppe, Mt. Morris, IL; Susan and Aaron Hurliman, Rockford, IL; Marie and Bill Oelklaus, Dodgeville, WI; Carolyn Toppe, Oregon, IL; Tim and Gwen Toppe, Big Lake, MN; Michelle and Jim Busse, St. Louis, MO; Kenneth and Lorna Smith, Eureka, IL; Tim and Teresa Smith, Dixon, IL, and one great-uncle, Paul Harvey, Rockford, IL. Andrew was also a dear cousin to many.

Andrew was predeceased by his grandparents, Viola and Ben Smith, of Oregon, IL and Margene and Vernon Toppe, of Malta, IL.

Andrew graduated from Oregon High School in 2002. He attended DeVry University in Addison, IL, and Motorcycles Mechanics Institute (MMI) in Phoenix, AZ. As a machinist, he worked for F.N. Smith in Oregon, IL. Since 2011, Andrew worked in the body shop at the Chrysler Corporation Assembly Plant in Belvidere.

Andrew’s sense of humor brightened our lives, and he was a vibrant part of our family. He will be greatly missed by his beloved cats, Fluffy and Bobby. His love of animals, technology, history and trains will be remembered and treasured.

To live in the hearts of those we love is never to die.
Services will be held at Finch Funeral Home, Mt. Morris, IL.
There will be a visitation on Saturday, January 21st at 10:00am. A memorial service will follow at 11:00am. Lunch will be served at 12:00pm at Disciples United Methodist Church in Mt. Morris.
There will be a private family burial.
Memorials may be directed to Rosecrance, the Mt. Morris Ambulance and/or Police Department and the Oregon Train Depot Project (

Kenneth L. Neslund – 85

Dad Marion funeral (1)

LEAF RIVER, IL, Kenneth LeRoy Neslund 85, passed away on January 14, 2017 surrounded by his children who loved him so much. Born to Axel and Amanda Berg Neslund on February 16, 1931 in Superior WI, the youngest of 7 children. Ken graduated from Superior Central High School in 1949. He enlisted in the US Army in 1952. Married Shirley June Riley Oct 23, 1954.
Ken loved sports. In high school, he excelled in baseball and basketball and won a state championship in 1948.
Ken started his career with Sundstrand Aviation in 1955 retiring in 1986. He was a master machinist and set-up man. He also worked for the Leaf River Telephone Company in his earlier years as a lineman. Ken and Shirley moved to Leaf River in 1956 and were thankful to raise their 4 children there.
Ken was a lifelong outdoorsman. He loved all of nature and taught his family to appreciate it through camping and exploring the U.S.
Ken was a member of UAW Local #592, Mt Morris Moose Lodge, Leaf River American Legion and former member Lucky Leaf Square Dancing Club.
Ken is predeceased by his parents, beloved wife Shirley, siblings Adelaide, Marion, Arvid, Ordway, Lillian and Wallace. He is survived by fiancee Molly Hoag, sister in-law Roberta Neslund, children Kim Dickinson, Kathy (Kerry) Wickler, Kelly Neslund and Kirk (friend: Marianne) Neslund. 9 grandchildren Derrik (Jennifer), Justin (Martyna), and Jake (friend: Ashley) Dickinson, Heather (Chris) Higgins, Jerrod (Britney) Wickler, Megan (Erik) Gunnarsson, Kaylee, Korey, and Kody Neslund. 4 great-grandchildren, Mason, Reese, Embry and Asa.

Memorial to be established

Thomas D. Messer -71

Mt. Morris, IL, Thomas D. Messer, age 71, died Friday December 23, 2016, in St. Anthony Medical Center, Rockford, IL. Tom was born the son of Kenneth & Mildred (Pettenger) Messer. He graduated from Mt. Morris High School Class of 1964, where he played football for 3 years. Tom worked at Steve’s Body Shop, and he did many odd jobs. Tom cared for his mother for many years until she passed away. Tom loved his cats. Tom liked all kids, where helped them with giving them bikes if they could not afford to buy one.
Tom is survived by his brothers: Arnie (Betty) Messer, Stillman Valley, IL and Doug (Sandee) Messer, Rockford, IL; 1 sister: Linda (Clarence) Bechtold, Mt. Morris, IL; and many nieces and nephews.
Tom is preceded in death by his parents and brothers: Jim, Charles, Darrell, Kenneth Jr., Glen, and William.
Visitation will be held Tuesday December 27, 2016 from 10:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. in Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL followed by graveside services will be held Tuesday December 27, 2016 at 11:15 A.M. in Oakwood Cemetery, Mt. Morris, IL. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery, Mt. Morris, IL.
Memorials to establish.

Deane E. Rowland – 69

Deane E. Rowland, 69, passed away Wednesday, December 21, 2016 in the comfort of his own home surrounded by loved ones. In 2014, Deane began his long hard battle against cancer. He stayed mostly positive when the quality of life was poor, and most recently was diagnosed with lung cancer, which took his life Wednesday morning.

Deane was a lifelong resident of Mt. Morris, until moving to Oregon in 1997 with his wife of 19 years, Delores (Dee) Rowland. He was born November 23, 1947, the son of Harry and Velma (Zellers) Rowland. Deane is a 1965 graduate of Mt. Morris High School. Following high school he started his printing career with Sundstrand in Rockford, IL. In 1970, he opened his own printing company in Mt. Morris. Deane was the proud owner of Rowland Printing for 40 years before retiring in May 2010, and selling his print shop to Maggie’s Idle Hour for their expansion.

In his younger years, Deane enjoyed coaching baseball, attending his children’s sporting events, weekly dinners at Ciminos with friends, and Friday night pinochle games. He was a long time member of Sunset Golf Club and enjoyed many of his days golfing, participating in the men’s league, senior’s tournaments, and even got two hole in ones! If Deane wasn’t golfing, he enjoyed cruising in his 55 t-bird and keeping his mind sharp by playing sudoku and words with friends. Deane enjoyed spending time with friends at the Peppermill and Maggie’s sitting in front of a slot machine with a PBR in hand. He was a diehard Chicago Bears and Cubs fan forever cheering them on, no matter how terrible their season was. The Cubbies brought him great joy by winning the World Series this year.

Deane is survived by his wife, Delores (Dee) Rowland, his daughter Christy (Andy) Egyed of Oregon, a son Dale (Jen) Rowland of Mt. Morris, and two step sons Jeff (Laurie) Burke and Darren (Tammy) Burke of Oregon. As well as seven grandchildren: Erica, Josh, Stacia, Travis, Tyler, Johnna, and Tate. Deane especially enjoyed visits from the grandkids after school. Deane also leaves behind three siblings, a sister Maryls Todd of North Carolina, a brother Dennis (Millie) Rowland of Florida, and his sister Peggy (Gregg) Stark of Iowa.

Most of us will remember Deane for his sense of humor and love for Pabst Blue Ribbon. Cremation rites have been accorded with Finch Funeral Home. A visitation will be held at Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris on Monday, December 26th from 10am – 12pm. In honor of Deane’s wishes, please join the family for a gathering after the visitation at Maggie’s, in Mt. Morris, for a celebration of Deane’s life with a toast of PBR in the place he spent most of his years, Rowland Printing.
Memorials to Sunset Golf Club.

Patsy “Pat” Onken – 81

Oregon, IL, Patsy “Pat” Onken 1935-2016, passed December 19, 2016. Pat was a life long resident of Oregon, IL. She was the daughter of John Miles & Beulah Arends. Pat lost her battle with cancer.
Pat is survived by her children: Dana Calhoun, Mt. Morris, IL; Sue Calhoun, Mt. Morris, IL; and Peggy Janssen, Mt. Morris, IL; granddaughters: Sonia Calhoun-Gilroy who was her caregiver; Stephanie Lopez; and Nicole Durkee; and many other grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her great friends: Doris Rosenbalm and Karla Farr.
Pat is preceded in death by her brother: John Miles; 5 Sisters: Oda, Rogene, Betty, Gladys, Mary, and Rita; son: Butch Janssen.
Cremation rites have been accorded with Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL. Memorial services will be held at later date.
Thanks to Serenity Hospice and Home for all they do.
Cards can be sent to Sue Calhoun, 415 South Ogle Apt. 12, Mt. Morris, IL 61054.

Michael W. “Mick” Hokanson – 63

Michael W. “Mick” Hokanson, age 63, of Mt. Morris, IL, passed away on Sunday December 18, 2016 at Serenity Hospice & Home in Oregon, IL after a long battle with cancer. Mick was born on August 10, 1953 in Oregon, IL the son of Arthur & Dorothy (Wolfe) Hokanson. Mick married Lori Wolff on March 24, 2016 in Oregon, IL. He graduated from Mt. Morris High School class of 1971. Mick served his country in The United States Air Force from 1976 to 1984. He worked security and drove trucks over the road before retiring. He loved his Chicago Bears and LA Dodgers.
Mick is survived by his wife: Lori Wolff, Mt. Morris, IL; brother: Jeff (Patricia) Hokanson, Port Byron, IL; niece: Erin (Tim) Wagner, Madison, WI; nephew: Erich (Jenny) Hokanson, Port Byron, IL; 4 great nephews: Jamie, Logan, Joseph, and Hugo.
Cremation rites have been accorded with Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL. A military service and gathering of family and friends will be at the Mt. Morris Moose Lodge at a later date. A celebration of life will also take place in Janesville, WI at a later date.
A big thank you to Serenity Hospice and Home for all the compassion they provided.

Elizabeth “Betty” J. Patterson – 94

Mt. Morris, IL, Elizabeth “Betty” J. Patterson, age 94, died Tuesday December 13, 2016 in Pinecrest Manor Nursing Home, Mt. Morris, IL. Betty was born June 8, 1922 in McConnellsburg, PA the daughter of Thomas W. & Wava (Garber) Patterson. Betty graduated from Polo High School class of 1940. She received a degree in home economics in 1944 from University of Illinois and she also graduated from the Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing, Freeport, IL in 1955. Betty worked for Kable News in Mt. Morris for 7 years, and her career as a nurse spanned 32 years in California and Illinois. She moved back to Illinois in 1977. Betty retired in 1987, and then spent the next 12 years touring the states in her travel trailer.
Betty is survived by one sister: “Pat” Mary Ellen Kroh; and she was a beloved aunt to 6 nieces and nephews, 17 great nieces and nephews, and 19 great-great nieces and nephews.
Betty is preceded in death by her parents, brothers: Thomas and William, and 2 nephews.
She was a very intuitive, nurturing, witty person. Her interests were broad and varying, and she often put much thought and energy into those areas, whether it was travel, art, knitting, sewing or bridge. She was an enthusiastic student of politics and human relations.
Memorial services will be held at a later date.
Memorials to Pinecrest Manor Nursing Home.

Thomas L Simpson – 73

Oregon, IL, Thomas L. Simpson, age 73, died Monday November 28, 2016 in Swedish American Hospital, Rockford, IL. Tom was born December 12, 1943 in Rockford, IL the son of Charles & Muriel (Alberts) Simpson, Tom was raised by Royal & Marian Holden. He graduated from Oregon High School class of 1961 and he received his Associate of Science Degree in 1997. Tom married Diane Bunnell on February 10, 1968 in Orangeville, IL. Tom was a Rural Mail Carrier for Byron Post Office retiring in 2010. Tom served in The US Army from 1962 to 1965.
Tom is survived by his wife: Diane Simpson, Oregon, IL; Theresa Garcia, Mahomet, IL and Deanna Kyker, Dixon, IL; 4 granddaughters: Alyssa and Angela Garcia, Mahomet, IL, Nicole Kyker, Dixon, IL, and Aleshia Kyker, Polo, IL; great grandson: Riley James McPhillips, Polo, IL; 4 brothers: Stan Simpson; Art Simpson; Jack (Patricia) Simpson, all of Rockford, IL; Carl (MaryEllen) Simpson, Champaign, IL, 2 sisters: Margaret Livengood, Milledgeville, IL and Judy (Mike) Smith, Rockford, IL.
Tom is preceded in death by his parents; son-in-law: Estaban Garcia; and brother-in-law: Sheldon Livengood.
Memorial service will be held Saturday December 10, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. in Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL with Rev. Mike Hoffman officiating. Burial will be at later date. Visitation will be Saturday December 10, 2016 from 10:00 A.M. until service time in Finch Funeral Home, Mt. Morris, IL.
Memorials to be established.

Kenneth I. Heeren – 77

Mt. Morris, IL, Kenneth I. Heeren, age 77, died Wednesday November 23, 2016 in Pinecrest Manor Nursing Home, Mt. Morris, IL. Ken was born December 10, 1938 on the family farm in Shannon, IL, the son of Alvin & Gertrude (Fuls) Heeren. He farmed with his father both in Shannon and later on the ancestral farm in George, Iowa. Ken loved tractors and did repair work for area neighbors as well as milk their cows when they were away. Ken and his family moved back to Illinois in the early 1960’s and decided to give printing a try, working at Kable Printing Company, Mt. Morris, IL; becoming a journeyman and eventually a purchasing agent. During this time he found his true love of photography. Ken began doing outdoor portraits on his rural Brookville farm. His photography became well known and the studio became his full time profession. Ken later operated Villa Image in Freeport, IL, and in 1987 moved the business to his home in Mt. Morris, IL. Ken’s clients became long time friends. Ken won many state and national awards and one of his portraits appeared on the cover of the Professional Photographers of America magazine. He was a humble man who listened more than he spoke. He loved his family and his animals, especially his cats, Sabrina and Monroe. Ken was an open-minded person who didn’t judge others and was always ready to listen to your concerns and opinions. Ken’s happiest times were traveling the back roads of Wisconsin with his wife Jan on his motorcycle and MG sports car. He loved traveling to far away places, beaches, camping in the woods, and having a beer with his good friends. He always strived to do his best no matter what the endeavor.
Ken is survived by his wife: Janet Heeren, Mt. Morris, IL; daughter: Laurel (Doug) Bergren, Mt. Carroll, IL; two sons: James Heeren, Beloit, WI and Jason Heeren, South Beloit, WI; two step-daughters: Laurie Hongsermeier, Mt. Morris, IL and Cindy Deming, Evansville, WI; 7 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren.
Ken is preceded in death by his parents; two brothers: John Heeren and Harold Heeren; one sister: Dorothy Bomgarden; brother-in-law: Ralph Bomgarden; and sister-in-law: Edith Heeren.
Memorial service was held Saturday November 26, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. in Pinecrest Manor Nursing Home, Mt. Morris, IL. Burial of cremains will be held at a later date. Services were handled by Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL.
Memorials to Pinecrest Terrace.

Helen E. Borneman – 92


Helen Elizabeth Borneman,92, of Leaf River,died Tuesday, November 22, 2016 at Pinecrest Manor in Mt. Morris. She was born December 30, 1923 in the family home in Mt. Morris, Illinois,the second child and only daughter of Roy and Beulah (Conrad) Baker. She graduated from Mt. Morris High School in
1941and attended one year at Northern Illinois State Teachers College before starting her banking
career. Helen retired from Amcore Trust Company (originally Citizens State Bank of Mount Morris) on
December 31, 1993 as Vice President and Trust Officer after 51years of employment.

In her younger years,Helen was active with the Ogle County Rural Youth organization, Mt. Morris Junior Women’s Club,Ogle County 4-H Foundation and the Mt.Morris 4th of July Planning Committee. More recently she served on the Highland Community College Foundation Board, Pinecrest Auxiliary and Pinecrest Foundation Board of Directors. As a lifelong member of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mt. Morris, she worked with the Luther League youth and was a longtime member of the Dorcas Women’s group,Stewardship committee and TWELCA organization. In -addition, she served as the church’s Financial Secretary for 40 years.

In her youth,Helen enjoyed square dancing and roller skating. On September 20, 1953,she married Emerson Henry Borneman of Leaf River at Trinity in Mt. Morris. They were married 47 years and lived on the family farm north of Mt. Morris until his death on Christmas morning in 2000. As a farm wife she planted a large garden and canned or froze the produce. She enjoyed baking pies,hunting morel
mushrooms,sewing, traveling, ice cream and playing “42”. She and Emerson frequently hosted sledding parties, hayrides or class trips to see the baby animals.

Helen is survived by her five children, Louise (Craig) Suttman, Forreston, Paul (Mary) Borneman, Yorkville, Linda Borneman (Gary Melvin), Forreston,Mary Jo (Daniel) Dilbeck, Winnebago, David Borneman, Ann Arbor, Michigan; grandchildren, Lisa Suttman, Monroe, WI, Peter Suttman, Chaska, MN, John Borneman,Chicago,Sarah (David) Gray,Yorkville, Andrew (Miranda) Borneman, Bartlett,Timothy Borneman, Yorkville,Carolyn Dilbeck, Winnebago, Molly & Tess Borneman, Ann Arbor,Ml; 3 great­ grandchildren;1step-grandchild and 3 step-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents;husband;brother,Conroy Baker and one granddaughter,Rebecca Dilbeck.

A visitation will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday November 27, 2016 at the Finch Funeral Home in Mt. Morris. Funeral services will be held at 10a.m. Monday, November 28th at Trinity Lutheran Church in Mt. Morris. Interment will take place at West Grove Cemetery in rural Forreston. The family thanks Pinecrest Manor and especially the Wing 3 staff for their excellent and compassionate care given to Helen. In lieu of flowers, memorials should be directed to Trinity Lutheran Church or Pinecrest Manor, Mt. Morris.