Robert F. Beck

Robert F. Beck, 89, Bloomington, was called to the lord at 7:15 p.m. Friday (Nov. 11, 2011) at Heritage Manor, Bloomington.

A memorial graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday (November 17, 2011) at East Lawn Memorial Gardens, Bloomington, with the Rev. Robert Malone officiating.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society. Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, is in charge of arrangements.

Robert was born Dec. 14, 1921, at Bloomington, Ind., son of David Edward and Edith Fishel Beck. He married Ruth Henson on Sept. 5, 1944, at Bloomington, Ill. She died Nov. 24, 2003.

Surviving are children, Carol Beck, Bloomington; Chester Howard (Wanda) Beck, Cambridge; and Judy (Jerry) Kinnison, Bloomington; two grandchildren, Stacie (Bob) Lehman, Bloomington, and Jason (Savilla) Kinnison, Normal; and two great-grandchildren, Tara Lehman and Wade Lehman, both of Bloomington

His parents and six brothers preceded him in death.

“Robert was always willing to help out anyone. He was a hard worker and a very loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He will be greatly missed but not forgotten.”

Posted in Bloomington | 2 Comments

Bryan J. Girard

Bryan J. Girard, 30, Normal, lost his six-year battle against cancer at 3:47 p.m. Nov. 10, 2011, at his home.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday (November 19, 2011) at Cross Pointe Church of God, Bloomington. Cremation rites will be accorded. The Rev. Kevin Summers will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Heartland Bank for the Bryan Girard Memorial Fund.

Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, is in charge of arrangements.

He was born April 10, 1981, in Bloomington, son of Edward Girard and Patricia Girard.

He married Shannah Slinker on Sept. 8, 2006, in Bloomington. She survives.

Also surviving are his parents; children, Jayden J.S.E. Girard and MaKayla C. Rodrick; and one brother, Bradley E. Girard.

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Edward Girard and Mildred Girard; maternal grandparents, Ed Rediger and Vauna Rediger; and uncle, Michael Rediger.

Bryan enjoyed being a father and watching his children participate with the Black Knights Youth Football Team.

The family would like to send a special thank you to Dr. Jeong and OSF Hospice for their support and care for Bryan.

Posted in Bloomington, Normal | 8 Comments

Kenneth Fletcher

Kenneth E. Fletcher, 83, Bloomington, died at 2:25 a.m. Friday (Nov. 11, 2011) at Bloomington Rehabilitation, Bloomington.

Service: 2 p.m. Saturday (November 19,2011), graveside at McLean Cemetery, McLean, with the Rev. Carla Fletcher officiating.

Burial: McLean Cemetery, McLean. Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, is in charge of arrangements.

Survivor: brother; Doug Fletcher, Hazelwood, Mo.

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Larry Dillenburg

Larry Wayne Dillenburg, 54, passed away Saturday (Nov. 5, 2011) at Springfield.

There will be a small memorial at 10 a.m. Saturday (November 12, 2011)  in Funks Grove at the Chapel in the Trees.

Larry was born Dec. 30, 1956, in San Diego, Calif., son of Herbert and Oletha Dillenburg.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Daniel Wilson; and sister, Joey Cope.

Larry is survived by his three children, Gabriel, Cory and Carly Dillenburg.

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Michael Ryburn

Michael Dean Ryburn, 58, Bloomington, died suddenly at 7:49 p.m. Monday (Nov. 7, 2011) at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, Normal.

Cremation has been accorded as he had requested. Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, is handling arrangements. A celebration of life service will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday (November 16, 2011) at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 454, 1006 E. Lincoln St., Bloomington.

Michael “Mike” was born July 3, 1953, in Bloomington, son of Harry E. Ryburn Sr. and Ruth Williams Ryburn. He married Cathy Nalley, and they have a son, Jeremiah Ryburn. He later married Mary Veselak. She survives.

Also surviving are his children, Jeremiah, Normal; Connor Ray and Haven, both of Bloomington; stepson, Michael Perschall; his grandchildren, Alex and Madison; sisters, Nancy Valentine, Bloomington; Sally (Ken) Wagner, Downs; and Jeri (David Wood) Ryburn, Normal; brother, Harry E. Ryburn Jr., Two Rivers, Wis.; sister-in-law, Barbara Carr, Mount Dora, Fla. He is also survived by two nephews, Bob Ivy and Paul Turner, both of Bloomington, who were like brothers; his “best friend,” Marty Patrick; and many nieces and nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins, many of whom live in the area.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Jo Ann Ryburn and Dixie Gelsthorpe; and brother, Kenneth Ryburn.

Mike graduated from Bloomington High School in 1971. He attended Illinois State University after serving his country in both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy. Over the years, he worked as a union carpenter, service station manager for Freedom Oil, but most memorably and currently, he was the warehouse/salvage coordinator for the Old House Society, a position of which he was most proud and passionate.

The Michael D. Ryburn Memorial Fund has been established at Freestar Bank, 1218 Towanda Ave., Bloomington. The family is requesting that donations be made in lieu of flowers. Mike preferred not to cut flowers, but to let them grow and bloom as nature intended. All contributions to the memorial fund will go toward his final expenses and his young children’s future.

When Mike was on the roof top of the Old House Society building trying to garner contributions for repair of the roof of the warehouse, he talked to passersby, played his guitar and sang, “Rain or shine, he’s a one-man band with a homemade stand and a tear in his eye.” Now the tear is in our eyes, Michael, dear husband, father, brother, uncle, cousin and friend.

Everyone who knew Mike will miss him so very much.

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Richard B. Owen

Richard was born in those wonderful days preceding Christmas on December 23, 1937.  He was the first child of three that were to be born to the union of James Wesley Owen and Marie Theresa Kruse Owen.

He expired from his earthly body on November 4, 2011 at his residence and will be laid to rest at Park Hill Cemetery, Bloomington, IL next to his loved ones.

Visitation will be held at Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington on Tuesday November 8th from 3:00 pm-7:00 pm.  Services will be held at the memorial home with the Rev. Maurice Hilt officiating on Wednesday November 9th at 11:00 am.

He is husband to Frances (Link) Owen and father to Matthew (Tracy) Alsman, Deanne (Jeffery) Colledge, Brent (Anastasia) Alsman, Andrea (Bradley) Beyer and his devoted companion Grizzly.  He is Grandfather/Papa to Trey, Tyler and Anthony Alsman, Katana Colledge and Emalee and Elle Alsman.  He IS the best, sweetest and most caring husband, father and grandfather a person could ever have.

Also surviving are his brother Robert (Margaret) Owen and their children of Phoenix, AZ and a nephew Michael Higgins of Bloomington, IL.

He is preceded in death by his parents and his sister Cynthia Owen Higgins.

He graduated from Bloomington High School in 1955, University of Illinois with a BS in 1959 and an MS in horticulture from the University of Illinois in 1961.

Richard was president and CEO of Owen Enterprises which includes seven mail order nursery companies, four nursery retail stores, a flower shop, mail order jewelry company, ad agency and retail linen and bath store.  His life’s work has been spent developing the garden center, floral shop and mail order nurseries into what they are today.

He thoroughly enjoyed being a current member of the Board of Directors for Grundy County National Bank in Morris, Illinois and former board member for Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois and Prairie State Bank in Bloomington, Illinois.

Some of his other great achievements include being a member of the Sigma XI and the American Association of Nurserymen, receiving the Marketing Pioneer Award in 1994 and the Joseph F. Warner Golden Redbird award from Illinois State University in 2006.  He was also a member of The Heritage Registry of Who’s Who.  Richard was inducted into the Bloomington High School Hall of Fame in 2008 and became an honorary member in the Varsity “I” Association at the University of Illinois in 2010.

Richard also started the Owen Foundation in 1995 which allowed him to give to the community as well as charities to support medical research and various educational institutions.

We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to Tracey Cochran for her special loving care.  We would also like to thank Dr. Sucha Nand at Loyola Cancer Center for his excellent care during Richard’s 18 year journey with Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia and most recently Dr. Pankaj Kumar for his concern for Richard over the last year during his battle with cancer.

Donations may be made in Richard’s honor to the Owen Foundation or the  International Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia Foundation (IWMF).

Posted in Bloomington | 9 Comments

Hazel “Betty” McGrew

Hazel Elizabeth “Betty” McGrew, 86, Bloomington, passed away at 8:23 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 22, 2011) at Heritage Health Therapy & Senior Care, Bloomington.

A prayer service will be at 1 p.m. Friday (October 28, 2011) at Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington. The Rev. Gregg Petri OFM will officiate. Visitation will be from noon to 1 p.m. Friday (October 28, 2011) at the memorial home. Private interment will be in Park Hill Cemetery, Bloomington.

The family suggests memorials be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Betty was born Aug. 31, 1925, in Bloomington, the daughter of Loren and Hazel Marie Daly McGrew.

Surviving are one brother, Loren “Jr.” (Mildred) McGrew, Bloomington; two sisters, Phyllis Marie (Peter) Throckmorton, Normal, and Mary Louise McGrew, Bloomington; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, Edward Boyd McGrew.

Betty graduated from nursing school at Rockford. She had worked as a nurse at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria, for many years until she retired.

She enjoyed reading,  traveling and collecting dolls. She will be missed by all who knew her.

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Beulah H. Clark

Beulah “Bea” H. Clark, 94, Bloomington, died at 3:44 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 23, 2011) at Manor Care of Bloomington.

A graveside service will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday (October 25, 2011) at Funks Grove Cemetery, Funks Grove. The Rev. Chad Sparks will officiate. Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, is in charge of arrangements.

She was born May 6, 1917, at Prophetstown. She married Joseph Cecil Clark on Feb. 13, 1943, at Bloomington. He passed away Jan. 6, 1989.

She is survived by her son, David (Julie) Clark, Bloomington, and grandchildren, Brad and Todd Clark, both of Bloomington.

She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers and one sister.

She was of the Christian faith.

One of her favorite pastimes was fishing with her husband.

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Lydia C. Sutton

Lydia C. Sutton, 72, Bloomington, died at 1:16 a.m. Tuesday (Oct. 11, 2011) at her residence, Bloomington.

At her request, cremation rites have been accorded. Memorials may be made to Community Cancer Center or CISAR. Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, is in charge of arrangements.

She was born April 13, 1939, in Hodgenville, Ky., daughter of Joseph Allie Blair and Sidney Ethel Graham. She married Ronald L. Sutton on June 17, 1972, in Lincoln. He survives.

Also surviving are her children, Tony (Sally) Lancaster; Rose (Bill) Robertson, Lincoln; Vernon Lancaster, Bloomington; and Victor (Dee) Lancaster, Colfax; nine grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; sisters, Marie (James) Coffey, Kentucky; Reba (Eddie) Bateson, Clinton; and Dora Sutton, Auburn; several brothers- and sisters-in-law and nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her beloved dogs, Buddy and Kelly, and her special friends, Joe and Sharon Zwanzig.

She was preceded in death by her parents; son, Marty Lancaster; two brothers; and four sisters.

Lydia was a nurse’s aide for more than 50 years. She worked at Mary Henry Nursing Home in Lincoln, then at Mennonite on Main Street in Bloomington. She also worked for Hawthorne Lodge, Bloomington. She then retired, but her love of the elderly was so great she became a private caregiver for several Bloomington residents. She enjoyed going to the casino, scratching her lottery tickets everyday and putting puzzles together.

Posted in Bloomington, Normal | 2 Comments

Margaret Esposito

Margaret L. Esposito, 88, of Normal died at 7:30 p.m. Friday (Oct. 14, 2011) at her residence in Normal.

Her funeral Mass will be at 11:30 a.m. Thursday (October 20, 2011)  at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Bloomington. Monsignor Doug Hennessy and Father Carl Lopresti will officiate. Burial will be in Park Hill Cemetery, Bloomington. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday (October 19, 2011) at the Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, with a prayer service at 8 p.m. and one hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made to Poulton-Mitchell Scholarship Fund at Heartland Community College, Normal; The Salvation Army, Bloomington; the Community Cancer Center, Normal; and the Humane Society of Central Illinois.

Margaret was born July 5, 1923, in Bloomington, the daughter of Charles A. and Gladys L. Mitchell Poulton. She married Santine Esposito on Oct. 17, 1942, in Fort Worth, Texas. He died in May 1960.

She is survived by one daughter, Linda K. Lambrecht, Normal; one son, Stephen A. (Judith) Esposito, Normal; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and Kate Barr, a special family friend and helper.

She was preceded in death by parents and her two brothers, Winston and Raymond Poulton.

Margaret received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State University, Normal.

She was the Extension adviser home economics for the McLean County Extension Service from 1962 until her retirement in 1992. She authored the book “Places of Pride,” which was a pictorial history of the founding of Extension in McLean County.

Margaret was a founding board of trustees member from 1991-2003 at Heartland Community College, Normal. She was a longtime Salvation Army board member. In 1990, she received the Women of Distinction Award in McLean County. She hosted the McLean County Home Extension Program on WJBC Radio for many years.

Margaret was an avid supporter and contributor to the history of McLean County through her association with such organizations as McLean County Historical Society and the David Davis Mansion. She was a member and officeholder of multiple professional associations and honorary societies. Margaret was a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Bloomington.

Posted in Bloomington, Normal | 16 Comments