BENTON – Paul Austin, 85, of Benton passed away Friday morning, Jan. 11, 2019 at his son’s home in Arizona.

He was born on Feb. 14, 1933 in Zalma, MO, the son of Earl & Edith  Austin. He married Doris June (Neal) on April 11, 1953, and she preceded him in death on March 28, 2017. Mr. Austin was a Veteran serving in the U.S. Navy.

He was a member of the Immanuel Baptist Church in Benton, where he served for many years as a Deacon. He was a faithful servant of The LORD.  Mr. Austin enjoyed gardening, and was an avid fisherman.  After his retirement he spent a lot of time on Rend Lake, skillfully reeling in his catch that provided many fish dinners for his church family.

Mr. Austin is survived by his:

Daughter: Carol Austin-Dornhecker & husband Bobby Dornhecker of Portage, MI

Son: Danny Austin & wife Christine of Benson, AZ

3 Grandchildren:     Jordan Austin & wife Dominique

                                   Staci Santefort & husband Matthew

                                   Stephen Lowe

Great Granddaughter: Grace Santefort

Sister: Susie Downs of Beaumont, TX

Mr. Austin was preceded in death by his Parents, by his wife-Doris June Austin, by a Granddaughter-Naomi Ruth Austin, and by his siblings-Harry Austin, Addie Market & Virgil Austin.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday Jan. 21st at the Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton with Dr. Sammy Simmons officiating. Burial with Military Rites conducted by the Benton American Legion & VFW Posts will be in the Masonic & Odd Fellows Cemetery in Benton. Visitation will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton.

For more information or to sign the online guest register please visit www.mortonjohnstonfuneralhome.com.

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CHRISTOPHER – Paulagene Pechenino, 94, of Christopher passed away on January 15, 2019.

She was born on June 30, 1924 in Benton, IL to Paul and Louella (Ostein) Reed. She married Louis “Louie” Pechenino on November 27, 1947 and he preceded her in death on December 1, 2017.

She is survived by her son Paul (Susan) Pechenino of Trenton, IL; grandchildren Julie, Kenneth, Angela and Amy; great grandchildren Andrew, Gabby and Louie; one brother Paul Jerry (Jeanne) Reed of Colorado Springs, CO.

She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Christopher.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, one daughter Darla Lou Siegrist and one son Gary Jo Pechenino.

Funeral services will be on Friday, January 18, 2019 at 1 p.m. at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher with Brother Matt Crain officiating. Visitation will be on Friday from 11 a.m. until the time of the service at 1 p.m. Burial will be at St Andrews Catholic Cemetery in Christopher. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Heart Association or to the Christopher Public Library. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

For more information, go to our website www.gilbertfuneralhomes.com.

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BENTON – Linda L. Wilcox, 75, of Benton passed away Monday morning, Jan. 14, 2019 in Benton.

Linda was born on Sept. 17, 1943 in Benton, the daughter of Herman Lee & Dora Lucille (Hatchett) Dorris. She married Ferdie Wilcox on June 4, 1978, and he preceded her in death on April 13, 2008.

Linda loved her family and especially treasured time spent with her grandchildren. She was an avid animal lover, a great cook, and enjoyed crafts, her flowers and baking cakes. Linda had a creative sense of humor and enjoyed life to the fullest. She touched the hearts of many and was loved and cherished by all who knew her.

Linda is survived by her:

3 Children: Ronda Racic of Springfield, IL. Kevin Racic & wife Lisa of Loxley, AL. Shawn Wilcox & Wife Tammy of Benton.

5 Grandchildren: Dustin Racic, Jordan Mazor & husband Craig, Gabrielle Racic, Kelsey Wilcox, Kortney Wilcox

Sister: Pat Snow of Benton

2 Brothers: Kenny Dorris & wife Iris of Benton. Don Dorris of Benton.

Linda was preceded in death by her Parents, Husband & by a Brother Jim.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday Jan. 18th at the Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton with Rev. Mark Minor officiating. Burial will be in the Shiloh Cemetery in Whittington. Visitation will be after 11 a.m. on Friday at the funeral home.

For more information or to sign the online guest register, please visit www.mortonjohnstonfuneralhome.com.

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MCLEANSBORO – Louise Hish
Age: 84
Residence: Dale, IL
Passed Away: 3:46 a.m., Monday, January 14, 2019 at her residence surrounded by loved ones.
Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, January 17, 2019 at Harre Funeral Home, McLeansboro.
Funeral Service: 11 a.m., Friday, January 18, 2019 at Harre Funeral Home.
Clergy: Pastor Carl Wilson
Burial: Digby Cemetery, Dale, IL

Date of Birth: January 3, 1935
Place of Birth: Dale, IL
Father: Claude Harrawood
Mother: Dollie Paralee (Hutcheson) Harrawood
Marriage to: John Lewis Hish on March 18, 1955 in Mt. Vernon, IL. He preceded her in death August 19, 2011 They had been married 56 years.
Occupation: Program Assistant employed by the U.S. Government
Church Affiliation: A lifelong member of Dale Christian Church teaching Sunday School for approximately 60 yrs and played piano for both morning & evening services many years. She sang with The Sunshine Quartet traveling gospel group, going locally to sing.

Activities: Louise attended Harrawood One Room School until 8th grade and McLeansboro Twp High School graduating in 1951. She worked for ASCS office for USD Federal Government for 41 years and retired Oct. 1994. She was member of Jolly Girls 4-H group in the late 40s; was a leader over 25 years for Funny Farmers; named to 4-H National Hall of Fame in 2009; Founding charter member of Dale Ruritan Club until they dispersed. In 2012 she received the Hometown Hero Award for her outstanding service to her community. She was a member of Modern Woodmen of America. In 1988, she was named Ruritan of the Year; in 1990, she was given Outstanding Secretary Award for Ruritan District 33. She was a member of the Hamilton County Home Extension Association. After retiring from ASCS Office, she worked part time as secretary of Hamilton County Extension. She taught Thursday School at McLeansboro Church of Christ and was there for 17 years. In the 40s, she performed on The Ozark Mountain Hay Ride on WEBQ with her husband & brother and on WROY Sunday mornings before church.

Survivors:
1 Daughter: Julie Brown and husband Michael, Dale, IL
1 Brother: Caroll Gene Harrawood and wife Sherry, Shiloh, IL
2 Granddaughters: Bryanna & Kaitlyn Martin; 3 Step Grandchildren, Jaradon, Peyten & Christa Brown
1 Great Grandchild: Ryleigh Hunt.
Several Great and Great Great Nieces and Nephews
Preceded in Death by: Parents, Husband John
MEMORIALS TO: Dale Christian Church or Hospice of Southern Illinois and will be accepted at Harre Funeral Home.

HARRE FUNERAL HOME, McLeansboro, is in charge of services.
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HARRISBURG – Dolona A. Bond passed away peacefully at 8:30 a.m. on January 15, 2019 at her home in Harrisburg, IL. 

She was born in Benton, IL on October 17, 1963, the daughter of Ralph & Alberta (Fisher) Bond.

Dolona will be sadly missed by her house mates, caregivers and special furry friend “Max.” Dolona attended Coleman Tri-County Services Developmental Training in Harrisburg for many years and she will be sadly missed by staff and friends. 

Dolona was preceded in death by her parents.

A special thank you to Hospice of Southern Illinois and the great nursing team at Coleman Tri-County Services.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 17th at the Morton & Johnston Funeral Home with Johanna Moorman officiating. Burial will be in the Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser. Visitation will be after 10 a.m. on Thursday at the funeral home.

For more information or to sign the online guest register, please visit www.mortonjohnstonfuneralhome.com.

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ROYALTON – Charles “Charlie” M. Johnson, 76, of Royalton formerly of Coello passed away on January 13, 2019.

He was born on January 7, 1943 in Louisiana, MO to Mathias and Alice Marie Johnson. He was raised by his aunt and uncle, Edna and Leonard Cook.

He is survived by his children Marshall (Beth) Johnson of Christopher and Melissa (Doug) Reese of Royalton; 7 grandchildren; 9 great grandchildren. He was a meat cutter and was an auctioneer. He was preceded in death by his parents and his aunt and uncle.

His wishes were to be cremated with no services. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Gilbert Funeral Home to help with funeral expenses.

For more information go to our website www.gilbertfuneralhomes.com.

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HENDERSONVILLE, TN – Mr. John Palmer “Johnny” Hammond of Hendersonville, TN, passed away on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.

A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, January 13, 2019, at 1 p.m. at Hendersonville Funeral Home. Graveside and Entombment services will be held Tuesday, January 15, 2019, at 2 p.m. at Cypher Cemetery in Whittington, IL, where military rites will be honored by the Benton American Legion Post #280 and the Benton V.F.W. Post #2671.

Gathering of Family & Friends will be held Saturday, January 12, 2019, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Hendersonville Funeral Home and Tuesday, January 15, 2019, from noon until 1:45 p.m. at Leffler Funeral Home in Benton, IL.

Visit the online obituary www.hendersonvillefh.com.

Locally to leave online condolences to the family or to share memories of Johnny, visit www.lpfuneralhome.com.

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MCLEANSBORO – Dale R. “Sunny” Drew, Jr. 

Age: 67

Residence: McLeansboro, IL

Passed Away: 8:12 p.m., Thursday, January 10, 2019 at Hamilton Memorial Hospital,  McLeansboro, IL

Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m., Sunday, January 13, 2019,  Harre Funeral Home, McLeansboro                                                               

Funeral: 11 a.m., Monday, January 14, 2019 at Harre Funeral Home                       

Clergy: Reverend Andy May is officiating.  

Burial: Mt. Pleasant Cemetery near Blairsville, IL

Date of Birth: December 30, 1951          

Place of Birth: McLeansboro, IL

Father: Dale R. Drew, Sr.                   

Mother: Morrissine Eliza (Jumper) Drew

Marriage to: Ethel Louise (Watson) on Oct. 29, 1977 at Pleasant Union Church.                                            

Occupation: Dale was self employed with his Lawn Care business.  

Church Affiliation: Attended Crossroads Church in Norris City, IL

Activities: He loved motorcycles and “messing with lawn mowers.”

Survivors:

Wife: Ethel Drew,  McLeansboro, IL

Daughters: Cindi Drew,  McLeansboro

                    Julie Renn (husband Wes), McLeansboro

Grandchildren: Kelsi Navarez (husband Jessie)  –  McLeansboro

                          Michael Renn, Brayley Renn,  Jaclynn Rodriguez,  McLeansboro

3 Sisters: Alice Parker  –  Roanoak Rapids, NC

                 Helen Parker (husband Dwight) –  Moweaqua, IL

                 Linda Carter  –  Carmi                   

Preceded in death by: His parents and Sister Mary Parker

The Harre Funeral Home in McLeansboro is in charge of arrangements.

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MARION – Ronald Boman Rhine, 69, of Benton passed away Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at the VA Medical Center in Marion, IL.

He was born in Christopher, IL on June 15, 1949, the son of Boman Freeman & Eva (Jones) Rhine.

Mr. Rhine served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He worked in the coal mines, in construction and was a pipefitter.

He enjoyed going to sporting events & car races with his son. They loved spending time together.

Mr. Rhine is survived by his:

                Son: Casey Rhine of Benton

                Sister: Glenda Drew & husband Paul of Benton

                Several Nieces & Nephews

Mr. Rhine was preceded in death by his Parents, by 2 Sisters-Lodean Lemons & Marilyn Neal & by his Brother-Donald Rhine.

Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, January 15th at the Masonic & Odd Fellows Cemetery in Benton with Dr. Sammy Simmons officiating. Military Rites will be conducted by the Benton American Legion & VFW Posts and the National Guard Honor Squad. There will be no visitation, those attending the funeral are requested to meet at the cemetery.

The Morton & Johnston Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

For more information or to sign the online guest register please visit www.mortonjohnstonfuneralhome.com.

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BENTON – Curtis A. “Mo” Smith, 67, of Benton, passed away at 3:35 p.m., on  Wednesday, January 9, 2019, at the Select Specialty Hospital in Evansville, IN. 

He was born on September 13, 1951, to Harry and Ruth (Langston) Smith in East St. Louis, IL. Curtis was a talented bass guitar musician and a former car salesman in Southern Illinois. On July 6, 1991, he married the former Regina McNeill.

Curtis has a passion for music and well known for his musical ability. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. 

Curtis is survived by his loving spouse of 27 years, Regina Smith, two daughters, Tracy Hardcastle and Holly (Eric) Wheetley; one son, Steven McNeill; eight grandchildren, Carson McNeill, Ian Hardcastle, Brooklen Bowlin, Blake Morgan, Chaz Hardcastle, Alex Wheetley, Lauren Wheetley and Katie Wheetley; and two great-grandchildren, Brantley Lowery and August Stevens.

He was preceded in death by his father, Harry Smith; and one brother, Fred Smith.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home, 301 S. Main St., Benton, Illinois 62812.

A celebration of life in honor of Curtis “Mo” Smith will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Benton Ministerial Alliance, and will be accepted at the funeral home.

Online condolences can be given at www.patefh.com.

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VALIER – Larry Massie, 72, of Valier, passed away on Monday January 7, 2019.

He was born on December 16, 1946 in East St. Louis, IL to Fred and Rithel Louise (Sisk) Massie. He married Cindy (Cox) Massie and together they had two sons Todd and Dan. He later married Anna (Graham) Massie on August 2, 2003 and she survives of Valier.

He is also survived by his two sons Todd (Dana) Massie of Troy, IL and Dan (Stacey) Massie of Carbondale; and their mother Cindy (Cox) Massie of Carbondale; step-daughter Julie (Nathan) Birk of Waterloo, IL; grandchildren Joelle, Mikayla, Anthony, Chace, Connor and Easton.

He was a retired school teacher, teaching at Christopher Elementary School for 34 ½ years. During the summer months he also worked for the Railroad and at Rend Lake as a Ranger with the Corp of Engineers. He was an Eagle Scout, member of the Christopher Jaycees, 32nd Degree Member of the Scottish Rite, a member of The Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill, Past Master of the Christopher Masonic Lodge Post 1016, and a member of the Sesser Masonic Lodge.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one sister Nancy Massie and one brother Mike Massie.

A memorial service will be on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 1 p.m at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher with Brother Dale Burzynski officiating. Visitation will be on Saturday from 11 a.m. until the time of the service at 1 p.m. Masonic Rites will be on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers donations can be given to the American Cancer Society.  

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MCLEANSBORO – Ruth Ann Montgomery, age 84, of McLeansboro, passed away on January 7, 2019 in St. Louis, MO.

Visitation: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday,  January 10, 2019 at Harre Funeral Home, McLeansboro, IL                                                               

Funeral: 1 p.m. Thursday,  January 10, 2019 at Harre Funeral Home, McLeansboro, IL               

Clergy: Rev. Ron Lamp

Burial: I.O.O.F. Cemetery,  McLeansboro, IL

Date of Birth: July 20, 1934                     

Place of Birth: Flora, IL

Father: Joseph Carl Eckles

Mother: Edna (Shuster) Eckles  

Marriage to: James Stewart Montgomery on July 26, 1975. He passed away Oct. 28, 1999.                                       

Occupation: Ruth Ann was a business owner and was self employed.

Activities: She loved to sew and she was active in her Church “Ladies Friendship Circle”

Church Affiliation: Member of Springerton Christian Church

Survivors:

Son: Carl Richard Drake – McLeansboro, IL

Daughter: Mary Elizabeth Catron (husband Jeffery)  –  Nashville, TN

3 Grandchildren: Justin Drake, Daniel Catron (wife Kelly), Robin Ann Dean (husband Nathan)

2 Great Grandchildren: Skylar and Sloan Catron                     

Preceded in death by: Parents Carl & Edna Eckles, Husband James Montgomery.

The Harre Funeral Home in McLeansboro is in charge of arrangements.

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BENTON – Donald “ Don” Neal, age 73 of Benton, passed away on January 4. He was born July 13, 1945  in St. Louis, MO to Dean Neal and Louise Parrish. He married Kay Sluzevich on June 12, 1965.

Don loved buying and selling antiques. He had many antique shops and auctions throughout his years. He was a faithful member of Second Baptist Church in West Frankfort, IL.

Mr. Neal is survived by his wife and two daughters: Debbie Crawford and husband Doug of Benton and Cassie Gilliam and husband Tyler of Minnesota City, MN. two brothers: Earl Neal of St. Louis, MO and Darryl Neal of Hazel, KY and Mother-in-Law Frances Sluzevich of Benton.

Preceding him in death were his parents, a brother Bill Neal and sister Julie Fulton.

Funeral Services will be held at Morton and Johnston Funeral Home in Benton, Monday, January 7 at 2 p.m. with Dr. Brett Beasley and Ron Sink officiating. Visitation will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Interment will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery in Frisco. Flowers are welcomed or memorials may be made to Second Baptist Church of West Frankfort.

For more information or to sign the online guest register please visit www.mortonjohnstonfuneralhome.com.

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BENTON – Kellie Lynn Owens, 41, of Benton, passed away peacefully at 3:08 a.m., on Thursday, January 3, 2019, at her residence surrounded by her loving family. 

She was born on July 19, 1977, to Freddie D. and Katherine L. (Shaw) Higgerson in Pinckneyville, IL. Kellie worked as a Supervisor for Abbott EMS. On February 26, 2000, she married John Dean Owens, and they resided in Benton, IL.

Kellie started her career as a first responder in 1999, as an EMT, which she very much loved. She would then go on to further her education and career, and became a Paramedic. After many years of experience, she started her career in law enforcement as a Benton Police Officer, after several years she made the decision to return to her true love and passion of being a Paramedic for Abbott EMS as a Supervisor, and a part time Buckner Police Officer. Kellie deep down was a teddy bear at heart, fun and lovable. She enjoyed spending time with her husband, her two spoiled cats Johnny and June, and baking and cooking for family and friends.

Kellie is survived by her loving spouse of 19 years, John Dean Ownes; her mother, Katherine L. (Shaw) Higgerson; one brother, Michael Higgerson and wife Stacy.

She was preceded in death by her father, Freddie D. Higgerson; and one brother, Chris Higgerson.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home, 301 South Main Street, Benton, Illinois 62812.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. 

Burial will take place at Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery, Benton, Illinois.

Memorials contributions may be made to Abbott EMS of Franklin County Stuff the Truck Fund, and will be accepted at the funeral home.

Online condolences can be given at www.patefh.com.

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MCLEANSBORO – Gary Ray Nalley, age 62, of McLeansboro passed away at 1:10 p.m., Monday, December 31, 2018 at his residence.

Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, January 5, 2019 at Harre Funeral Home in McLeansboro. His funeral is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, January 5 at Harre Funeral Home in McLeansboro with  Pastor  Jacob Gray officiating. Burial will be in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery in McLeansboro.

Date of Birth:  January 25, 1956              

Place of Birth: McLeansboro, IL

Father: Eldon Ray Nalley

Mother: Shirley Rose (Johnson)  

Marriage to: Debra Heimer on July 15, 1974 at Brush Harbor Church, McLeansboro. She passed away April 27, 2018.                                         

Occupation: Retired Railroad Worker

Activities: Loved to fly his planes and ride his Harley with Debra.

Church Affiliation: He was a member of Mt. Olivet General Baptist, which was the last church he pastored.

Survivors:

Son: Marvin Ray Nalley and fiancé Jodi Harris, McLeansboro

Daughter: Staci Louise Barker and husband Shawn, McLeansboro

Grandchildren: Emily and Austin Nalley, McLeansboro. Emma and Brody Barker, McLeansboro.

3 Sisters: Sherree Hawkins (husband Bud), Harrisburg. Melinda  Nalley, Harrisburg. Lee Ann Page (husband Bruce), McLeansboro.     

Half-brother George Nalley, McLeansboro.

Preceded in death by: his parents, wife Debra and Brother Danny Nalley.

Memorials to: St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and will be accepted at Harre Funeral Home.

The Harre Funeral Home in McLeansboro is in charge of arrangements.

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MCLEANSBORO – Lanzel “Nig” Edmonds, age 98, of McLeansboro passed away at 7:16 p.m., Tuesday,  January 1, 2019 at Hamilton Memorial Nursing Center, McLeansboro, IL

Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday,  January 3, 2019 at Harre Funeral Home, McLeansboro, IL                                                                

Funeral: 11 a.m., Friday,  January 4 at Harre Funeral Home, McLeansboro, IL

Clergy: Pastor  Jacob Gray officiating

Burial: Digby Cemetery, Dale, IL

Date of Birth: January 25, 1920                    

Place of Birth:  Dale, IL

Father: Charles Allen Edmonds     

Mother: Eve (Merrill) Edmonds

Marriage to: Betty Faye (Endicott),  January 11, 1942 in Jackson, MO. She passed away March 28, 1983.                                         

Occupation: Farmer

Activities: Loved to play golf, dance, bowl, “BSing” with his friends around town.

Church Affiliation: Attended  the First General Baptist Church when able.

Military Service: U.S. Army during WW II in Argentina and Newfoundland

Survivors:

1 Son: Dennis Edmonds (wife Barbara), Lizton, IN

2 Sisters: Marie Cox, McLeansboro, IL

                 Georgetta Webb, McLeansboro, IL

2 Brothers: George Edmonds, McLeansboro, IL

                     R. Edmonds, McLeansboro, IL

Several Nephews and Nieces

A Very Special Dance Partner of 10 years: Pat Aydt

Preceded in death by: his parents,  wife,  one brother,  two sisters.

Memorials to: Charity of Choice and will be accepted at Harre Funeral Home, McLeansboro, IL

The Harre Funeral Home in McLeansboro is in charge of arrangements.

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EWING – Brian John Shaputis, age 60, of Ewing, passed away Saturday, December 29, 2018 at the SSM Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon.

Mr. Shaputis’ wishes were to be cremated. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a future date.

Cremation arrangements are through the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

To leave online condolences to the family, or to share memories of Brian, visit www.lpfuneralhome.com.