Mary Ellen Whitney Sassaman – 100

Mary Ellen Whitney Sassaman, 100, passed away peacefully on March 30, 2018, after a long and full life. She was born October 29, 1917 on a farm between Davis Junction and Stillman Valley. She was delivered during a blizzard with snow so deep that her father had to take a horse and cutter over the fences to fetch her grandmother. Mary Ellen was the daughter of Timothy and Mattie Bear Whitney. She had one sister, Bette Lace, who preceded her in death in 2007. On March 19, 1938, Mary Ellen married Howard Sassaman at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Oregon, IL. They raised 4 children, Timothy, Twins Patrick and Michael, and Bridget.
Aspiring from an early age to become a nurse she achieved that goal at the age of 52. She graduated from Sauk Valley College of Nursing Program in 1970, finally able to pursue the career she had dreamed of as a teenager. She worked 10 years as an obstetrics nurse at Rochelle Hospital, and the remaining years at the Oregon Nursing Home. At the age of 88 she hung up her nursing hat. Previously before nursing she had been a secretary at Rockford College and Whitney Buick Sales.
Mary Ellen was president of Stillman Valley Grade School Board, President of Stillman Valley Women’s Club, Secretary of Ogle County Federation of Women, Ogle County Jr. Red Cross Chairman, Grand Regent Catholic Daughters, Charter Member and President of PEO Chapter IU, listed in Who’s Who of American Women 1976. She attended Browns Business College of Rockford, Rockford Liberal Arts College and Sauk Valley Jr. College.
Mary Ellen’s fun-loving spunky personality, wisdom and kindness to all she met will be greatly missed. She was a lover of cats and birds, enjoyed bridge, golf, genealogy, antiques and loved all the dances she had with her husband Howard. Her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren were all a source of immense pride and happiness.
She is survived by her son Timothy (Donna), Hot Springs, AR and daughter Bridget (Bernie) Bodoh Rockford, IL and many grand children, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren and nieces and nephews. Family and friends joined in a Celebration of Life for her 100th birthday in October. According to her wishes cremation was granted at Finch Funeral Home, Mt. Morris. A private family gathering will be held in July. Special thanks to the caring staff at Oregon Living and Rehabilitation.

Eva Marie Armbruster – 100

Mt. Morris, IL, Eva Marie Armbruster, age 100, passed away Saturday March 31, 2018 in Pinecrest Manor Nursing with her children by her side. She was born in Chicago, IL on March 17, 1918 the daughter of Frederick & LaVona (Green) McCready. Marie moved to Rockford, IL in 1933 and graduated from Rockford Senior High School class of 1935. After graduation she moved back to Mt. Morris where she resided ever since. Marie married Lloyd Armbruster on August 12, 1937 in Mt. Morris, IL; Lloyd preceded her in death in 1981. She was an active member of the Mt. Morris Christian Church serving as church treasurer and teaching Sunday school for 34 years. In her later years she attended West Branch Church of The Brethren. Marie worked at Kable Printing, Abstract Office, Hollie Guist Insurance, and in later years at the Mt. Morris Dry Goods. She enjoyed doing volunteer work, served as a Girl Scout Leader for 12 years, and was a SHIP volunteer for 8 years.
Marie is survived by a daughter: Cheryl (Robert) Gilmour, Rockford, IL and son: Charles (Sandra) Armbruster, Oregon, IL; 5 grandchildren: Christine (Lance) Summey, Charlotte NC, James Gilmour, Rockford, IL, Justin (Anne) Armbruster, Springfield, IL, Jodi (Mark) Leary, Oregon, IL, Joshua (Jessica) Armbruster, Oregon, IL; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Marie is preceded in death by her parents; husband: Lloyd; brother: Donald McCready; and 2 sisters: Vernie Hanes and Ethel Benoche.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday April 3, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. in Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery, Mt. Morris, IL. Visitation will be held Tuesday April 3, 2018 from 10:00 A.M. until service time in the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers memorials to Pinecrest Manor Nursing Home and/or West Branch Church of The Brethren.

Eugene Robert Gann – 74

Mt. Morris, IL, Eugene Robert Gann, age 74, passed away Wednesday March 28, 2018 in Winning Wheels, Prophetstown, IL. Gene was born on June 5, 1943 the son of Clarence W. & Kathryn (Friemuth) Gann. He graduated from Oregon High School class of 1961. Gene served in the US Army during Vietnam. He was a life long resident of the Mt. Morris and Oregon Area. Gene worked as an Ink Man at Quebecor Printing Company in Mt. Morris for 18 years. He was a member of the Ink Handlers Union.
There will be a private family burial at a later date. Finch Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Joseph R. Humphrey – 51

Mt. Morris, IL, Joseph R. Humphrey, age 51, passed away suddenly in his Mt. Morris home after returning from Alaska. Joe was born January 25, 1967 in Dixon, IL the son of Ray “Doc” Humphrey & Kay Slater. Joe graduated from Mt. Morris High School, class of 1985 and loved being a Mounder. Joe filled this world with love, laughter and enthusiasm for every moment. He had an unbelievable and unconditional love for his family and friends. He loved living in Alaska, and was passionate about building his cabin home in Healy, Alaska with his family. A piece of paradise that they will be able to enjoy forever. Joe loved coming home to Mt. Morris, IL where it was always a treat for those of us still living here to get to see him. He was so proud that he got to play, camp, take hikes, teach, nap and cook with and for, his family and friends. Joe was always willing to help family and friends with projects. He always wanted to experience life as an adventure, living in the moment in every day. He wanted his children to experience that same adventure but was most proud of being a Dad and Grandpa Joe.
Joe is survived by his children: Cody Humphrey, Juneau, AK; Paige Humphrey (Stephen Baxter) , Machesney Park, IL; grandchildren: Carson and Parker Baxter, Machesney Park, IL; parents: Ray Doc (Brenda) Humphrey, Dixon, IL and Kay (Terry) Mageland, Janesville, IL; brothers and sisters: Gina (Eric) Siefert, Kenosha, WI, Susan (Mark) Meyer, Milton, WI, Bob (Carla) Humphrey, Bedias, TX, Fred (Stephanie) Butler, Janesville, WI, Bucky (Ashley) Humphrey, Dixon, IL, Tanya (Pat) Bushman, Polo, IL, Kim Toliver-Crawford, Dixon, IL. Numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews; and his band of brothers that was his family outside his family.
Joe is preceded in death by his: Grandmothers: Caroline Humphrey and Kathryn Giblin; Aunts: Ginger Britz and Paula McCarns; Cousin: Roxanne Johnson.
Celebration of life will be held Saturday March 31, 2017 from 1:00 P.M. until the last to leave at the White Pines Dude Ranch, Oregon, IL. Cremation rites have been accorded with Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL.
In lieu of flowers memorials to be determined.

Sherwood J. Drumheller – 67

Mt. Morris, IL, Sherwood J. Drumheller, age 67, passed away on March 17, 2018 in KSB Hospital, Dixon, IL. Sherwood was born June 26, 1950 in Rockford, IL the son of Kenneth & Mae (Hass) Drumheller. He graduated from Mt. Morris High School class of 1968. He joined the US Navy on August 7, 1968 serving 7 years; he served in Vietnam from 1969 – 1970. Sherwood married Trudy Osborne July 5, 1969 in Mt. Morris, IL. He worked for Kable Printing Company as a Technical Supervisor retiring in 2011. Sherwood was an avid Steelers fan, hunter, fisherman, woodworking, and spending many hours with his family.
Sherwood is survived by his wife: Trudy Drumheller, Mt. Morris, Il; children: Jay (Penny) Drumheller, Forreston, IL, Troy (Machele) Drumheller, Louisville, IL, Megan (Sean Robinson) Hultquist, Mt. Morris, IL; 9 grandchildren; 5 great grandchildren; brother: James (Michelle) Parks.
Sherwood is preceded in death by his Parents and a Brother.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday March 24, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. in Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL with Rev. Josh Ehrler officiating.
Memorials to be determined.

Christa M. Schmadeke Heitter – 38


Mt. Morris, IL, Christa M. Schmadeke Heitter, age 38, was a cancer fighter for over 5 years, passed away peacefully from metastatic breast cancer to be with the Lord on March 18, 2018 in Serenity Hospice & Home, Oregon, IL. Christa was born on March 12, 1980 in Cherokee, Iowa the daughter of Bruce & Anna (Rupp) Schmadeke. She graduated from Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn High School in Marcus, Iowa class of 1998. She graduated from University of Northern Iowa with degrees in Elementary Education, Early Childhood, and Early Childhood Special Education in 2002. Christa met her soul mate, Seth Heitter, on the internet and they were married on June 1, 2002 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. They moved to North Carolina where they both taught school. While they were in North Carolina she had two children, Jarren and Brenna. She moved to the Mt. Morris area in 2007, where she taught in the Oregon School District for 3 years before opening her own licensed “Little Gems” daycare. The children brought joy to her life. Christa was known to be a loud soccer mom, best birthday planner ever, true Green Bay Packer fan, kitchen dancing mom, addicted to amazon, who loved God and “enjoyed the little things in life” while spending time with her friends, family, and dogs. Christa was a member of the RiverStone Christian Church, Oregon, IL.
Christa is survived by her husband: Seth Heitter, Mt. Morris, IL; children: Jarren and Brenna Heitter, Mt. Morris, IL; parents: Bruce & Anna Schmadeke, Marcus, IA.
Christa is preceded in death by her grandparents: Edwin & Dorothy Schmadeke, grandmother: Herta Rupp; aunt: Sharon Rupp; and many cancer sisters.
Funeral service will be held on Thursday March 22, 2018 at 12:00 P.M. at Trinity Lutheran Church, Mt. Morris, IL with Pastor Craig Arnold and Rev. Josh Ehrler. Following services in Mt. Morris there will be a luncheon in the Mt. Morris Moose Lodge #1551.
Burial will be in Marcus Amherst Cemetery in Marcus, Iowa at 10:30 A.M on Saturday March 24, 2018 with Pastor Larry Ostercamp officiating. Visitation will be held on Thursday March 22, 2018 from 10:00 A.M. until service time in Trinity Lutheran Church.
Following the graveside service there will be a light luncheon gathering from 11:30 A.M. until 1:30 P.M. held at the Meriden Evangelical Free Church, Meriden, Iowa
Please in lieu of flowers, please donate to Metavivor.org, memorial fund for the children, or RiverStone Christian Church.

Betty M. Mayberry – 60


Leaf River – Betty Maxine Mayberry (60) passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loved ones, on March 10, 2018, at Serenity House in Oregon. She was born to Francis and Carol Bral (Druien), on October 25, 1957, in Princeton, IL. She is survived by her husband Richard Mayberry, son Daniel (Pearl) Mayberry, daughters Christina Mayberry, Mary (Chad) Reuter, Tiffany (Grant) Lawson, step-daughter Rebecca (Brad) Cottle, family friend Phillip (Lindsay) Reuter, father Francis Bral, brother Paul (JoAnn) Bral, sisters Tina Bral, Barb (Mel) Peterson, grandchildren Jasmine and Skyler Engle, Kaitlyn Barnhardt, Arianna Kissick, step-grandchildren RobbieLee, Kalib, Addison, and Braxton. She is preceded in death by her mother Carol Bral, sister Sharon Engle, and brother Phillip Bral. Betty was a loving wife, daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend. She loved spending time with her family and had an avid love for gardening, birds, and anything outdoors. A Celebration of Life will be held March 31, 2018 from 3pm – 5pm at the Bertolet Building in Leaf River. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Serenity House in Oregon. A special thanks to the amazing staff at Serenity House Hospice.

Berniece Sepesy – 90

Oregon, IL – Berniece Sepesy, 90, formerly of Virden, IL passed away on March 3, 2018. Her sons, Gerald (Linnea Vogl) Sepesy, Lawrence (Teresa Thorne) Sepesy; granddaughter, Corrinne (Jeffrey) Gale; Susan (Nick) Glenn, their children Anthony Buntjer, Trevor Glenn, and 3 siblings survive her. Preceded in death by her husband George and 8 siblings.

Mike W. Johnson – 69

Oregon, IL, Mike W. Johnson, age 69, died Wednesday March 7, 2018 in his home. Mike was born on May 15, 1948 in Wausau, WI the son of Richard & Elizabeth (Lake) Johnson. He graduated from Wauzeka High School. Mike was an engineer during Vietnam in the US Army. Mike married Linda Buntyn on January 5, 2009 in Oregon, IL. Mike worked on the railroad bridge crew for Burlington Northern Railroad retiring in 2008. Mike is a member of the Rochelle VFW Post #3878 serving as Quarter Master and he was a past Commander.
Mike is survived by his wife: Linda Johnson, Oregon, IL; children: Loran Johnson and Michelle Johnson; several grandchildren; sisters: Diane (Mason) Evans, Sandra Johnson, and Susan (Steve) Ariss.
Mike is preceded in death by his parents and previous wife: Nancy.
Cremation rites have been accorded with Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL.

Richard R. Voss – 68

Mt. Morris, IL, Richard R. Voss, age 68, passed away Thursday March 1, 2018 in Freeport Memorial Hospital, Freeport, IL with his family by his side. Richard was born July 15, 1949 in Hope Arkansas the son of Basil & Lilly Voss. Richard married Patricia Shook on May 8, 1989 in Oregon, IL. Richard worked many jobs helping many businesses and people. Richard enjoyed fixing and repairing lawn mowers, tractors, doing puzzles, western movies, fishing, throwing horseshoes, his pets, and most of all spending time with his family and friends. Richard was a member of the Mt. Morris Church of the Brethren.
Richard is survived by his wife: Patricia Voss, Mt. Morris, IL; children: Richard E. Voss, Dora May Henarie, Jeremy Voss, and Megan Voss; sister: Elgie Carter; several nieces and nephews.
Richard is preceded in death by his Parents and sister: Shelby.
Memorial service will be held on March 9, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. in the Mt. Morris Church of The Brethren with Rev. Virginia Haney officiating. Burial of cremains will be held at a later date. Visitation will be held on March 9, 2018 from 10:00 A.M. until service time in The Mt. Morris Church of the Brethren.
Memorial to be determined.