Lavonne A. Rasmussen – 99

Oregon, IL, Lavonne A. Rasmussen, age 99, Died Thursday February 9, 2017, in Oregon Living and Rehabilitation Center, Oregon, IL. Lavonne was born December 3, 1917 in New Bedford, IL the daughter of Herbert & Pearl (Potts) Yonk. She married Wesley Rasmussen and he preceded her in death. Lavonne and Wesley farmed for several years in Dixon and Oregon Area. She moved to Oregon in 1964, where she worked at Ganymede Restaurant and Laredo Taft campus as a cook. Once her husband passed she ran the gun business in Oregon until March 2011.
She is survived by her son: Edward (Gail) Rasmussen, Rochelle, IL; several grandchildren and great grandchildren; sister: Melva Gibson, Walnut, IL; and several nieces and nephews.
Lavonne is preceded in death by her parents, husband: Wesley; sons: Vernon and Jerry; infant son: Dean; 2 sisters: Darlene Hartz and Maizie Durham.
A visitation will be held on Tuesday February 14, 2017 in Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL, from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. with prayers following. Burial will be in Greenville-Fairfield Cemetery at a later date.
Memorials to Oregon Living and Rehabilitation Center.

William “Bill” Whitmore – 60

Mt. Morris, IL, William “Bill” Whitmore, age 60, died Friday February 3, 2017 in his home in Mt. Morris, IL. Bill was born March 8, 1956 in Oregon, IL the son of Jack & Alice (Bellows) Whitmore. Bill served in the US Army. He enjoyed riding motorcycles, puzzles, and being with family and friends.
Bill is survived by his brothers: John R. Whitmore, Mt. Morris, IL and David Whitmore, Florida; sisters: Barbara (Bobby) Hendrickson, Maryville, TN and Allison (Al) Gonzalez, Sterling, IL; nephews: Joe Dunavan, Al Gonzalez Jr., and John Gonzalez; nieces: Ellen (Terry) McClure and Jessica Gonzalez.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Cremation rites have been accorded with Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL.

Barbara J. Towns Flocker – 88

Mt. Morris, IL, Barbara J. Towns Flocker, age 88, died Friday February 3, 2017 in Pinecrest Manor Nursing Home, Mt. Morris, IL. Barb was born July 5, 1928 in Cedar Rapids, IA the daughter of Harold & Salome (Marshall) Marchant. She graduated from Mt. Morris High School. Barb married Lyle Towns on March 29, 1952 in Mt. Morris, IL; Lyle preceded her in death on July 28, 1986. Barb then married Robert Flocker on January 31, 1992 in Mt. Morris, IL; Robert preceded her in death on February 7, 2007. Barb was secretary for Jim Watt at Watt Publishing for several years. Barb like picnics and fishing trips, liked to travel, spending time with her grandchildren. Barb was a member of the Mt. Morris Women of The Moose, VFW Auxiliary #143, and Mt. Morris Disciples United Methodist Church.
Barb was survived by her Children: Darcey Hanson, Doree Towns, both of Mt. Morris, IL; and Doug Towns, Stewart, FL. 9 Grandchildren and 7 Great-Children.
Barbara was preceded in death by her Parents, Both Husbands: Lyle Towns and Robert Flocker; and Son: Danny Towns.
Cremation services have been accorded with Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL. A private service will be held a later date.
Memorials to Mt. Morris Fire Department and NCS Youth Home, Freeport, IL.

David E. Proud – 94

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David Eugene Proud, age 94, died on January 28, 2017. Born on September 18, 1922 in Chicago, he was the third son of Richard and Gladys Proud. Physically active, intellectually curious, articulate, witty, and civic-minded, Dave Proud touched the lives of many people in his family, church, and community.

He graduated from Morton High School (Cicero, Ill.) in 1940 and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943, serving as a B-24 radio operator and bombardier in the 15th Air Corps in Italy. His plane was shot down and he was interned as a P.O.W. until 1945. After the war Dave earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees at Western Michigan University through the G.I. Bill.

In 1947 Dave married Ann Lung in Kalamazoo, Mich., and the couple moved to Grand Rapids in 1950. Dave taught history at East Grand Rapids High School and later worked as a textbook editor at the Fideler Co. In 1961 the family moved to Lisle, Illinois, in suburban Chicago. Dave was an editor at Scott, Foresman and Co., director of educational services at Britannica Films, and director of continuing education for the American Society of Clinical Pathologists. He retired in 1986 and moved to Mt. Morris, Illinois in 1992.

Dave threw himself into volunteer and leadership roles in church, Boy Scouts, Lions clubs, and senior centers. In his years in Lisle he served on the Heritage Society, Youth Association, Park District, School Board, Community Chest, Friends of the Lisle Library, Lisle Planning Commission, and he was chairman of the Lisle Sesquicentennial Committee (1982). Dave was known as someone who could be counted on to get things done. He was once described as adding “more to the community than 30 or 40 other people.” In 1986 Dave was honored as Lisle Park District Senior Citizen of the Year and as V.I.P. Man of the Year by the Lisle Heritage Society. He continued his volunteer activities into his late 80s.

A lifelong avid reader, he loved books, history, softball, music, and travel. He sang with the Chicago Welsh Choir at age 17 and toured with the North American Welsh Choir at age 79. At age 60 he acquired a flying license, in defiance of his wartime experience being shot out of the sky. He also hunted and fished, and was never happier than when he drove a tractor, helping his brother-in-law F. N. Lung during harvest time.

David Proud was preceded in death by his parents, Richard Proud and Gladys (Erler) Proud, and his siblings Richard, Philip, and Eleanor (Vastrick). He is survived by his wife Ann, son Danny Proud (Robin), Madison, Wis.; daughters Kathryn Reynolds, Mt. Morris, Ill., Cynthia McDonald (John), Broken Arrow, Okla., and Margaret (Peggy) Proud-Edwards (Tim Edwards), Aurora, Ill.; and by 7 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 200 South 5th Street, Oregon, Illinois on February 4, 2017 at 12:00 P.M., with Rev. Karen Gerhard-Conner officiating and Rev. Eric Heinekamp assisting with the service. Visitation will be held 11 a.m. on February 4th prior to the service in the church. Burial will be a private burial in Silver Creek Cemetery, Mt. Morris, IL.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the Mt. Morris Library are suggested by the family.

Eleanore Lundgren – 94

Byron, IL, Eleanore Lundgren, age 94, died Monday January 23, 2017 in Generations at Neighbors, Byron, IL after a short illness. She was born November 25, 1922 the daughter of Chester & Ethel Grimme. Eleanore enjoyed entertaining, was volunteer for 10 years at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, on the pediatric floor. She was active in her church in the ladies circle, and she was an avid knitter.
She is survived by son: Larry Lundgren; daughter: Susan Fry; grandchildren: John (Anne) Scott, Timothy Scott, Marcie (Hal) McDaniel, Tess Lundgren, Jesse Lundgren, and several great grandchildren.
Eleanore is preceded in death by her parents, and her husband: Weikko Lundgren.
Memorial services will be held in May 2017. No exact date has been established at this time.

Margaret L. Blake – 88

Mt. Morris, IL, Margaret L. Blake, age 88, died Friday January 20, 2017 in Pinecrest Manor Nursing Home with her family by her side. Margaret was born June 11, 1928 in Rockford, IL the daughter of John & Cora (Ballard) Conway. She graduated from Mt. Morris High School class of 1946. Margaret married Harlan Blake December 27, 1950 in Mt. Morris, IL. Margaret worked for Kable News Company, Kable Printing Company, and Wood Brothers in Oregon, IL, where she was a time -keeper. She was a life member of the Mt. Morris Church of The Brethren, women’s fellowship, women of woods, Ogle County Home Extension where she was homemaker of the year in 1990, Mary Martha Club of Leaf River, IL, 4-H leader for many years, she planned many bus trips for various groups, she taught many to knit, crochet, and sew, and she loved many different types of crafts which include: weaving baskets, making porcelain dolls, caning chairs and refinishing furniture, jewelry making, teddy bear making, marquetry (wood inlays), arraigning flowers, and doing ceramics. She loved to travel visiting all 50 states, all of Canada, and several European Countries. Margaret spent many hours canning and cooking her Sunday Family Dinner.
Margaret is survived by Daughter: Sharleen (Rick) Rand, DeKalb, IL; 2 Grandsons: Bryan (Renata) Rand, DeKalb, IL and Kevin Rand, DeKalb, IL; 2 Great Granddaughters: Aliyah and Kayden Rand, DeKalb, IL.
Margaret is preceded in death by her parents, husband: Harlan Blake in 2016.
Funeral services will be held Thursday January 26, 2017 at 11:00 A.M. in the Mt. Morris Church of The Brethren with Rev. Virginia Haney officiating. Burial will be in Silver Creek Cemetery, Mt. Morris, IL. Visitation will be held Thursday January 26, 2017 from 9:30 A.M. until service time in the Mt. Morris Church of The Brethren.
Memorials to Mt. Morris Church of The Brethren, Silver Creek Cemetery and/or Pinecrest Manor Nursing Home.

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

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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.