Margaret E. Gearhart – 95

Margaret E. Gearhart, age 95 passed away February 5, 2014 at Serenity Hospice and Home in Oregon, IL. Born October 19, 1918 in Oregon, IL, the daughter of Milton and Ethel (Hinkle) Wilde. She graduated from Oregon High School and cosmetology school. She married Kenneth M. Gearhart on November 28, 1939 in Iowa. She and her husband owned and trained harness horses. They retired in 1980.

Survived by her sister Eleanor (Gerald) Finkle of Arizona, several nieces and nephews, her special friends and her friends at Family First. Predeceased by her husband, parents, sisters; Marian Wilde and Edith Jenkins; brothers, Harold and William Wilde.

Arrangements will be at a later date. Finch Funeral Home in Mt. Morris is assisting the family.

Richard H. Bourdage – 85

Mt. Morris, IL, Richard H. Bourdage, age 85 of Mt. Morris, IL died on January 20, 2014 in his home. Richard was born on January 24, 1928 in Berlin, NH the son of M. Placid & Wilhomina (LaChapelle) Bourdage. Rich was a father, a mentor, and a teacher to many.
Rich was a carpenter at heart, loved tinkering with machinery and his garden.
Rich will be sadly missed but never forgotten especially by Rusty & Patti and Lori & Randy, and too many others to mention.
A memorial gathering will be held on May 24, 2014 at 1:00 P.M. on Moose Road.
In lieu of flowers memorial to be established.
“ Special thanks Rich! You were the dad you didn’t have to be.” Rusty.

Lois M. Scheffler – 85

Mt. Morris, IL, Lois M. Scheffler, age 85, died Wednesday January 8, 2014 in Rockford Memorial Hospital, Rockford, IL. Lois was born January 19, 1928 in Freeport, IL the daughter of Irvin & Gladys (Shrader) Zumdahl. She graduated from Mt. Morris High School. Lois married Loren E. Scheffler on April 3, 1948 in Mt. Morris, IL. Lois loved her family time baking cookies, coffee time, and ice cream parties. She loved the 4th of July family functions. Lois loved all children that visited her. She put everyone before herself. Even though Lois left the farm and moved to town, she never left the farm in her heart. Lois worked for various retails business in the area, along with working on the family farm.
Lois is survived by her Son: Donald Scheffler, Mt. Morris, IL; Daughter: Martha (Charles) Speakes, Byron, IL. Grandchildren: Sarah (Andrew) Zadlo, DeKalb, IL; Eric Speakes, Princeton, IL; Stacey (Paul) Hayenga, Mt. Morris, IL; Rebecca (Nick) Taylor, Dakota, IL; and Bryan (Stacey) Scheffler, Mt. Morris, IL. 2 Great-Grandchildren: Ashlynn and Avery Taylor, Dakota, IL. 1 Sister: Joyce (Lorin) Gatz, Polo, IL.
Lois is preceded in death by her Parents; Husband: Loren Scheffler; Sisters: Dorothy Scheffler and Carol Carr; 1 Grandchild: Megan Speakes; and1 Great Grandchild, Drake Taylor.
Funeral Services will be in Trinity Lutheran Church, Mt. Morris, IL on January 13, 2014 at 10:30 A.M. with Rev. Josh Ehrler. Burial will be in Silver Creek Cemetery, Mt. Morris, IL. Visitation will be Sunday January 12, 2014 in Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt Street, Mt. Morris, IL from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M.
Memorials to Trinity Lutheran Church and/or Pinecrest Manor Nursing Home.

Dorothy M. “Dee Dee” Hartje – 82

Leaf River, IL, Dorothy M. “Dee Dee” Hartje, age 82, died December 24, 2013 in Pinecrest Manor Nursing Home, Mt. Morris, IL. Dorothy was born December 6, 1931 in Freeport, IL the daughter of Cletus & Norvella (Eakle) Kuntzelman. Dorothy graduated from Leaf River High School class of 1949. Dorothy married William “Squirley” Hartje Jr. on October 1, 1949 in Adeline, IL. Dorothy was owner of Dee Dee’s Café in Leaf River, IL and she also worked for Kable News Company. She loved to camp, fish, her time with her family, and occasional trips to the casinos. She was a member of the Leaf River United Methodist Church, Leaf River, IL.
Dorothy is survived by her Daughter: Connie Hartje, Leaf River, IL; Sons: William “Bill” (Anne) Hartje, Rockford, IL, and Steven (Debra) Hartje, Leaf River, IL. Grandchildren: Heather (Bill) Wooten, Fort Walton Beach, FL; Will (Janell) Hartje, Winnebago, IL; Brenda Rosenbalm, Forreston, IL; Danny Rosenbalm, Mt. Morris, IL; and Brian Rosenbalm, Leaf River, IL. Great Grandchildren: Gabriella, Juliana, Stephanie, Jessica, Desiree, Bristol, Chayse, and Hudson. Brothers: Ronald Kuntzelman, Leaf River, IL; Harold “Butch” (Judy) Kuntzelman, Stillman Valley, IL; Thomas “Ted” Kuntzelman, Rockford, IL; and James (Carol) Kuntzelman, Roscoe, IL. Sister: Sandra Lindstrom, Rockford, IL. Her faithful dog “Buddy”.
Dorothy is preceded in death by her Parents; Husband: William; Brothers: Cletus Jr., Jerry, Robert, Alton “Sonny”, and Donald; Sisters: Betty Fogle, and Barbara Klapp.
Funeral services will be in Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL, on January 4, 2014 at 10:00 A.M. Private burial will be in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Freeport, IL. Visitation will be January 4, 2014 from 9:00 A.M. till service time in Finch Funeral Home.
Memorials to the Terrace in Pinecrest Manor Nursing Home and Ogle County Hospice & Home.

Brian J. Strite – 41

Mt. Morris, IL, Brian J. Strite, age 41, passed away December 20, 2013 on the Family Farm. Brian was born October 2, 1972 in Sterling, IL the son of James E. & Rogene M. (Gann) Strite. Brian graduated from Mt. Morris High School Class of 1991, and graduated from Blackhawk East College, Kewanee, IL with an Associates degree in Agriculture. Brian worked for Hog Slat, as the store manager, Rochelle, IL. He enjoyed fishing, deer hunting, playing cards, collecting miniature farm toys. He loved working with the children during the Ogle County Fair. His real love was his time with his daughter, his nephews and his time working with his father on the family farm.
Brian is survived by his Daughter: Whitney Strite, Springfield, IL, Parents: Jim & Rogene Strite, Mt. Morris, IL; Brother: Brad & Kim Strite, Oregon, IL, Grandpa Darrell Strite, Mt. Morris, IL; Nephews: Austin and Kyle Strite, Oregon, IL. Several Aunts & Uncles and Nieces and Nephews.
Brian is preceded in death by Grandma: Dorothy Strite, Grandparents: Clarence & Katie Gann; Uncles: Wayne and Frank.
Funeral Services will be Monday December 23, 2013 at 12:00 P.M. in Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL with Rev. Virginia Haney officiating. A private family burial in Silver Creek Cemetery, Mt. Morris, IL. Visitation will be Monday December 23, 2013 in Finch Funeral Home from 10:00 A.M. till service time.
Memorials to be established.

Erling H. Johnson – 85

Oregon, IL, Erling Hans Johnson, age 85, died December 6, 2013 in KSB Hospital, Dixon, IL. Erling was born April 14, 1928 in Melrude, MN the son of Fred & Irene (Lundgren) Johnson. Erling graduated from Cotton High School, Cotton, MN. Erling married LaVonne “Bonnie” Swift on December 27, 1950 in the Trinity Lutheran Church in Welcome, MN while Erling was serving in the US Army. They lived near Hibbing, MN following his discharge from the service in 1952, where Erling was employed with Terex Division of General Motors. Erling was transferred to Minneapolis where he was a service manager for Terex. He was later transferred to the Chicago area where he was a regional service manager traveling to about 25 states. Erling and Bonnie lived in the suburb of Roselle for 24 years before retiring to live in Apple Canyon Lake. It was a bit to far for the children to travel from the Chicago area to see them, so they moved in a little closer to Oregon where they lived since 1997. Erling enjoyed working with wood, making many items for their home, their children’s homes and for others. He enjoyed watching football, baseball, basketball, and hockey.
Erling is survived by his wife: LaVonne “Bonnie” Johnson of 63 years, Oregon, IL; 6 Children: RonLee (Lisa Berge) Johnson, Chana, IL, Dann (Melissa Angel) Johnson, Tampa, FL, Jennifer (Jerome) Massari, Milford, CT, Todd Johnson, Chicago, IL, Timm Johnson, Oregon, IL, Aimee (Buzz) Kilman, Chicago, IL. 7 Grandchildren: Kayden, Evryn, Jessica, Jacklyn, Kelly, Lyndsey, and Piper; and 1 great grandchild: Sophia.
Services will be Wednesday December 11, 2013 at 11:00 A.M. in Trinity Lutheran Church, Mt. Morris, IL with Rev. Josh Ehler officiating. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery, Mt. Morris, IL. Visitation will be Tuesday December 10, 2013 from 5:00 P.M. till 7:00 P.M. in Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL.
Memorial to be established.

Richard A. DeKoning – 76

Richard Allen DeKoning, 76, Mt. Morris, passed away on November 29, 2013 in Texas. He was born January 17, 1937 in Chicago, the son of Martin D. and Ester Allen Dekoning. He married Judi Cassidy St. Clair in 1985.
At a young age Dick moved to Mt. Morris, where he grew up and graduated from Mt. Morris High School. He received his electronics degree from DeVry University in Chicago. Following school, he served in the US Army and was stationed in Germany.
Dick joined Plum Electric, a Plumbing, Heating, AC, and Electrical business in Mt. Morris. He ultimately became the sole owner and retired 50 years to the month later. Dick enjoyed boating on the Mississippi for many years. His pride and joy was his 1967 Pontiac Grand Prix. In later years he enjoyed his motor home and camping with friends. Five years ago he and Judy discovered life in the Rio Grande Valley during the winter months. He thoroughly enjoyed their home there and the many friends they have made.
Although Dick had no children of his own, he was a neat step-dad to Shari (Randy) Barnhart and Steve St. Clair. When the two granddaughter’s Paige and Brittany Merrill came along, Dick was known as Grandpa Emeritis. When Paige presented him with a great grandchild, Isaac, life was complete! He taught these kids so much and adored them completely.
Dick is survived by his wife Judi; step-children Shari and Steve; grandchildren Paige and Brittany Merrill; great-grandson: Isaac Merrill; sister Doris (David) Imrie; brothers and sister-in-laws; and many nieces and nephews from both sides.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 11:00 A.M. at Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL. Visitation will be held at 10:00 A.M. till service time in Finch Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers memorials to Pinecrest Manor Nursing Home.

Nina J. Sofolo – 74

“For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” 2 Cor. 5-7.

Mt. Morris, IL, Nina J. (Moody) Sofolo, age 74, stepped into Heaven on November 21, 2013, at Pinecrest Manor Nursing Home, Mt. Morris, IL; after a faith-sustained battle with a very long and difficult illness. Nina was born on September 22, 1939 in Lynn, MA the daughter of William & Dorothy (Bruce) Moody. She married Donald Sofolo on September 15, 1966 in Dixon, IL. Nina graduated from Sauk Valley College of Nursing in 1975 and served as an RN at KSB Hospital for 28 years in the departments of Obstetrics, Cardiac Rehab, Home Health Care, and the Emergency Room. She also worked with the Center for Health Services in Oregon, IL, before retiring in 2003. Nina loved being a nurse and taking care of others. Nina was a member of the Evangelical Free Church, Mt. Morris, IL. She enjoyed Bible Studies, reading, swimming, gathering with family and friends and spending time at a cabin in Wild Rose, WI, but her greatest enjoyment was being able to touch the lives of those around her with the same love that God bestowed upon her. Nina was a role model for all who knew her.
Nina is survived by her Husband: Don Sofolo, Mt. Morris, IL; 3 Sons: Ken (Toni) Sofolo, San Jose, CA, Keith (Karen) Sofolo, Roscoe, IL, and Don (Lori) Sofolo, Naperville. 11 Grandchildren: Becky, Kyle, Julia, Savana, Clinton, Justin, Lucas, Lexi, Lindsey, Allie, and Haylee. 1 Brother: Wayne Moody, Springfield, MO and a former Daughter in Law and long time friend: Wendy Cann (Sofolo).
Nina is preceded in death by her parents, one Brother: William Moody, and one Sister: Marcia Moody.
Memorial services will be Monday November 25, 2013 at 11:00 A.M. in the Evangelical Free Church, Mt. Morris, IL, with Pastor Bruce McKanna officiating. Visitation will be before service from 10:00 A.M. till service time in the Evangelical Free Church, Mt. Morris, IL. A Luncheon and fellowship will be following the service in the Church. Cremation rites have been accorded with Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL.
In Lieu of Flowers memorials to Pinecrest Manor Nursing Home, Mt. Morris, IL.

Margaret I. Van Buskirk – 89

Oregon, IL, Margaret I. Van Buskirk, age 89, died Tuesday November 5, 2013 in the Oregon Healthcare Center, Oregon, IL. Margaret was born July 12, 1924 in Almont, Iowa the daughter of William & Anna (Cone) Miller. Margaret married Henry G. Van Buskirk on June 29, 1940 in Clinton, IA. Margaret was a very loving wife and mother.
Margaret is survived by her 5 Sons: James Van Buskirk, Kenneth (Delores) Van Buskirk, Donald Van Buskirk, David VanBuskirk, Jack (Annette) Van Buskirk; 4 Daughters: Linda (Mike) Conway, Sharon Shockey, Pamela (Rich) Personette, Karen (John) Bartman. Several Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren, and Great- Great Grandchildren.
Margaret is preceded in death by her parents, Husband: Henry Sr.; Brother: Henry Jr.
Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, IL is assisting the family with service arraignments. Prayer services will be at a later date. Thanks for all the thoughts, prayers, kindness with our mother’s illness.
A special thanks to all the folks at Oregon Rehab and Healthcare center and Serenity Hospice and Home, Oregon, IL.

Richard A. Newhausen – 56

Byron, IL, Richard A. Newhausen, age 56 died Tuesday November 5, 2013 in Park Place of Belvidere, Belvidere, IL. Richard was born July 3, 1957 in Rockford, IL the son of Harold & Anna Mae (Hoting) Newhausen. Richard married Alice Shaw on May 6, 1982 in Rockford, IL. Richard loved his copper artwork, fishing & hunting, his dog “Pink.”
Richard is survived by his Wife: Alice Newhausen, Henderson, NV; Sons: AJ (Lexie) Newhausen, Loves Park, IL and Daniel Newhausen, Byron, IL. Brother: Larry (Jody) Newhausen, Oregon, IL, Sister: Barb (Tom) Gobin, Sullivan, MO; Father: Harold Newhausen, Auburndale, FL; 1 Granddaughter: Myla Orsborn, Rockton, IL; and special friend: Patricia Hinkes, Byron, IL.
Richard is preceded in death by his Mother: Anna Mae Newhausen.
Finch Funeral Home is assisting the family with cremation rites. Memorial service will be held at a later date.