James W. Bommarito

James W. Bommarito, 90, Bloomington, died at 8:23 a.m. Tuesday (May 1, 2012) at Heartland Health Care, Normal.

Burial will be at a later date at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Elwood. Military rites will be accorded.

Memorials may be made to the Humane Society of Central Illinois or the Unitarian Church of Bloomington. Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, is in charge of arrangements.

He was born Feb. 25, 1922, in Detroit, Mich., son of Vito Bommarito and Grace Galante. He married Martha Hawes on Dec. 19, 1953, in Flint, Mich. She survives.

Also surviving are children, Frank Bommarito, Bloomington, and Debra Bommarito, Aurora; and three grandchildren, Kaemon, Elias and Amira.

He was a veteran of World War II, 103rd Infantry Division, 5th Medical Battalion and served in the European theater.

James was a longtime member of the Unitarian Church of Bloomington. 

He taught special education at Illinois State University for more than 20 years. He will be greatly missed.

Posted in Bloomington, Normal | 3 Comments

Wayne “Butch” Woellms

Wayne O. “Butch” Woellms, 66, of Bloomington died at 9:40 p.m. Monday (April 23, 2012) at his residence.

His funeral will be a graveside service at 11 a.m. Wednesday (May 2, 2012) at Park Hill Cemetery for family and friends. Donations may be made to the Diabetic Association. Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, is handling the arrangements.

He was born May 6, 1945, in Bloomington, the son of Gustave and Myrtle Gravitt Woellms. He worked for West Side Food and Beverages for 43 years.

Surviving are his son, Bobby; and two grandchildren, Courtney, 7, and Laila, 4. He is also survived by two brothers, Norman Woellms, Bloomington, and Billy Bachman, Joliet; three sisters, Alice Sylvester, Tupelo, Miss.; Shirley “Happy” Crose, Bloomington; and Henrietta “Tiny” Woellms, Normal; who was his caretaker for seven years.

He was preceded in death by his parents, five brothers and five sisters.

Posted in Bloomington | Comments Off

Esther Crook

Esther Juanita Crook, 95, Normal, died at 9:35 p.m. Saturday (April 21, 2012) at Heartland Health Care Center, Normal.

Her graveside service will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at Park Hill Cemetery, Bloomington. Dr. Ralph E. Wingate Jr. will officiate.

Memorials may be made to Heartland Health Care Center, Normal. Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, is in charge of arrangements.

She was born Jan. 31, 1917, in Weldon, daughter of Arby Ray Smalley and Bessie May Gray Smalley.

Surviving are a brother, James Gray Smalley, Morehead, Ky.; grandchildren, Regina Thompson and Cheryl Galbreath, both of North Port, Fla.; and three great-grandchildren.  She is also survived by one aunt, Virginia Reeser, Monticello. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, her two late husbands, Richard Doty and Charles Crook, who died many years apart; and one son, Richard Doty.  

Esther and her late husband, Charles Crook, worked for more than two decades for State Farm Insurance Cos., Bloomington, before retirement.

The main focus in Esther’s life was always the special occasions spent with friends and family. She will be sorely missed by all those who knew and loved her.

Posted in Bloomington, Normal | Comments Off

Mary Lee Szepcsik

Mary Lee Szepcsik, 65, Bloomington, IL, passed away April 23, 2012.
Mary was born January 29, 1947 to John and Vivian Szepcsik (deceased) in Bloomington, IL. Mary is survived by three sisters: Vivian Margis, Crivitz, WI; Josephine Daugherty, El Paso, IL; and Catherine Fisher, Bloomington, IL. Mary is also survived by six nephews and five nieces.
Mary was employed with State Farm Insurance Companies in the Systems Technology department.
Services will be held on Friday, April 27, 2012 at Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church, 1209 West Locust Street, Bloomington. The Rosary will be said at 9:00 a.m. and the Memorial Mass will begin at 10:00 a.m. A luncheon will immediately follow in the Church Hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Family House, 1339 E. Nebraska, Peoria, IL 61603, in memory of Mary Szepcsik.
Mary, you were loved by many and will be greatly missed.
Posted in Bloomington | 1 Comment

Shirley Sandage Knecht

Shirley Sandage Knecht, 40, Bloomington, went to be with her maker at 10 p.m. Sunday (April 15, 2012) at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, Normal.

A celebration of life service will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Grace United Methodist Church, Bloomington, with the Revs. Rick Kerr of Grace United Methodist Church and Mark Rowe of Foursquare Gospel Church officiating. Shirley will be cremated and requests to have her cremains scattered at a later date.

Memorials may be made to the Shirley Sue Knecht Trust for her children’s education at Anchor State Bank. Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, is in charge of arrangements.

She was born Dec. 8, 1971, the daughter of Leonard and Karen Sandage, rural Saybrook. She married Stephen Knecht on Sept. 2, 1995. He survives. Shirley and Stephen (divorced) are the proud parents of Corrisa Sue, Elaina Jaelyn and Joseph Paul. They are also parents of Ashley Erin, stillborn March 10, 1998.

Other survivors include one brother, Rodney (Susan) Sandage, Bloomington, and one sister, Lori (Joe) Bradbury, Worthington, Ind. She is the proud aunt of Katie Sandage, Dawson, Owen and Mason Bradbury.

Shirley met her soul mate, Thomas Clark III in August 2008. She shared her love with his three children, TJ (Jenn), Tyler (Corrisa) and Tiffany Clark and the Clark grandchildren, Tanner, Bo, Trinity, Teegan and Anna Marie.

Shirley was very busy throughout her high school years playing volleyball, softball and basketball, along with participating in FFA. She carried a section office position all four years and achieved the State Farmer Award. Shirley graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

She was employed by Bratcher Heating and Air Conditioning as office manager for 15 years. The employees and owner supported her 100 percent throughout her three battles with cancer. Shirley was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003.

She purchased her own Harley Davidson motorcycle in 2009. That summer she rode over 3,000 miles with Thomas and other founding members of the motorcycle group, “Guardians of Children,” which supports and works with sexually abused children.

Shirley was a member of Grace United Methodist Church and Foursquare Church, both of Bloomington. She put God first and foremost and is very thankful that Tom turned her back to the Lord. Shirley requests that even though she may be gone in body, her memory carries on.

Posted in Bloomington, Normal | Comments Off

Beverlie Cabot

Beverlie Steele Cabot, 83, of Bloomington, formerly of Oak Park, died at 2:40 a.m. Wendesday (April 4, 2012) at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington.

Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday (April 9, 2012) at Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington. Interment will be Wednesday (April 11, 2012) in Park Hill Cemetery, Bloomington. Bishop Mark DuBois will officiate. Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday (April 9, 2012) at Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Bloomington Public Library or to the Humane Society of Central Illinois. Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, is in charge of arrangements.

Beverlie was born Nov. 18, 1928, in Bloomington, daughter of Gavin Atlas Steele II and Amelia Nancy Simkins.

Surviving are nieces and nephews, Jeffrey (Cindy) Lovell, Bloomington; Sandra (Keith) Sloter, Colfax; Greg Harris, Park Forrest; Dana Hafley, Pensecola, Fla.; Donna (Dale) Workman, Indianapolis; Gavin (Jean Ellen) Steele IV, White Heath; Sue Ann Frasca, Savoy; and Lorie Steele, Anacortes, Wash.

She was preceded in death by her parents, one brother and two sisters.

Beverlie attended Rosary College in Forrest Park. She finished her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in library science from North Eastern Illinois University. She went on to work for District 44 schools in Lombard as a librarian, where she retired. After retirement and moving to Bloomington, she volunteered at Crossroads and at the American Red Cross. She loved being generous and gave continuous support to multiple charities. She loved to paint with watercolors, to read and had a special love for cats. She will be loved and missed by all.

Posted in Bloomington | 2 Comments

Larry Beutow

Larry Earl Beutow, 65, Sevierville, Tenn., formerly of Bloomington, died at 6:50 a.m. Saturday (March 31, 2012) at Leconte Medical Center, Sevierville, Tenn.

A graveside service will be at 1 p.m. today at Park Hill Cemetery, Bloomington. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington. Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association.

He was born July 23, 1946, in Bloomington, son of Paul M. Beutow and Leona Doris Carr.

He is survived by brothers, Franklin (Susie) Beutow, Bloomington; Charles Beutow, Crump, Tenn.; and Bob (Barbara) Beutow, Devils Lake, N.D.; sister, Diane (Norman) Phillips, Normal; and several nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his companion “Killer,” his Chihuahua.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Paul Beutow; and sisters, Mary Allen and Juanita Barnhill.

Larry retired from EMCO Williams in Sevierville, Tenn.

He was a veteran of the U.S. Army.

He enjoyed fishing and will be sadly missed by all.

Posted in Bloomington, Normal | 1 Comment

Thelma R. Thrasher

Thelma Rose Thrasher, 75, Normal, died at 10:05 p.m. Saturday (March 17, 2012) at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center.

Services will be at  11 a.m. Thursday (March 22, 2012) at Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington..  Burial will be in Scogin Hill Cemetery, Bloomington.  Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday (March 21, 2012) at the funeral home.

Survivors: her children, Tammy (Steve) Wilson, Bloomington; Carolyn Thrasher, Normal; Raymond (Anita) Thrasher Jr., Bloomington; Thomas Thrasher Sr., Bloomington; Mary West, Jimmy Beck, Joann Beck, Jerry Wright and Loretta Beck; stepchildren, Ronald Thrasher, Kenneth Thrasher, Betty Deavers, Evelyn Rudesill and Percila Stevenson; sisters, Vicki (Ben) Dubson, Clinton; and Betty Seeney, Bloomington; brother, Bill Welch, Bloomington; 30 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.

Posted in Bloomington, Normal | 1 Comment

Orin Reitz

Orin Eugene Reitz, 79, Bloomington, died Thursday (March 15, 2012) at his daughter’s residence in New Castle, Del., surrounded by his family.

His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday (March 21, 2012) at Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington. The Rev. Jim Gilroy will officiate. Interment will be at Park Hill Cemetery, Bloomington.

Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday (March 21, 2012) at the memorial home. Memorials may be made to Shirley Christian Church, Shirley.

He was born Nov. 9, 1932, in Normal, son of Orin A. Reitz and Eva Gainer.

He married Ann J. Rediger   on Oct. 25, 1959, in Bloomington. She passed away Aug. 28, 2005.

Surviving are three children, Orin Edward (Sue) Reitz, Hudson; Eric Reitz, Washington; and Ellen Reitz, New Castle, Del.;  five grandchildren, Kay Lynn, Kerry, Samantha and Jake Reitz, all of Hudson; and  Lydia Hernandez, Washington; and two great-grandchildren, Rylee and Colt, who were born on the same day Orin passed away.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers.

Orin was a member of Shirley Christian Church, Shirley.

Orin retired from Illinois Statue University in 1997 as a musical instrument technician.

Posted in Bloomington | 5 Comments

Frank West

Frank L. West, 79, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., formerly of Bloomington, died at 3:39 p.m. Saturday (March 17, 2012) at Hospice of West Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

His graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday (March 20, 2012) at Park Hill Cemetery, Bloomington. Father David Halt will officiate. Military honors will be conducted by Bloomington VFW Post 454. Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday (March 20, 2012) at Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of West Alabama, a not-for-profit organization.

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

He was born June 18, 1932, in Towanda, the son of Louis and Emmaline West. He married Patricia Lewis on Aug. 5, 1955, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. She passed away in 2003.

Survivors include one daughter, Lisa (Jerry) Pizzato of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; and two grandchildren, Tyler and Madison Pizzato.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers.

He served in the U.S. Army. Frank was a retired Teamster with the McLean County Asphalt Company of Bloomington.

He enjoyed his last year living at Martinview Assisted Living in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Posted in Bloomington | Comments Off