By Cynthia Grau/WJEZ News
WJEZ would like to welcome Dana Bell to the staff.
Dana is a native of Chatsworth, currently living in Pontiac and has joined the crew as our new building assistant.
She said she's looking forward to learning everything about the station, as it's her first job in radio.
"Just diving into radio in general-I've never had any experience in it, so it's definitely something different and challenging for me, and that's what I'm most excited about," Bell said.
From the Pontiac Daily Leader
By Luke Smucker
Posted Aug. 12, 2016 at 1:42 PM
Chatsworth, Ill. She grew up in Chatsworth, graduated in Chatsworth and now, she’s been working at Citizens Bank of Chatsworth for 40 years. Nancy Gerdes-Hibsch, a loan officer and vice president at Citizens Bank of Chatsworth, considers the bank to be her second home and the customers to be friends and family. “People that know me, know I’m not one to boast,” Gerdes-Hibsch said. “But, I’m pretty proud of working at one place for 40 years. In this day and age, there probably aren’t many people who have been at the same job for 40 years. “I’m not saying it’s not a good move, but for me, it was a good choice to stay here. I grew up in this area, my first husband was from this area, my family was from this area — so it was perfect to have a job right here in town.” An open house will be held on Aug. 16 to commemorate her years of service. She started at the bank as a drive-up bank teller. Although she has taken other positions throughout her years with the bank, she said the teller position is one that she still holds in high regard. “I like a challenge, so every chance that they gave me to advance, I looked at it as, ‘I’m going to conquer that challenge,’” Gerdes-Hibsch said. “I knew, with each position I moved to, there was much more to learn about banking. That’s not to say that being a teller isn’t important, I have a lot of respect for tellers because they are the ones who make a difference when customers come in.” She worked as a teller for a few years before being offered a job in bookkeeping, which is now commonly referred to as “operations.” “When I got to go back to bookkeeping, I realized how everything worked and it helped make other duties of the job make sense,” Gerdes-Hibsch said. “Then, when I came to the secretary position to the loan side of the bank, my work in book keeping made that job easier and likewise, when I became the bank’s loan officer, that just made this job that much easier for me.” Working 40 years is a lot, but Gerdes-Hibsch said she’s not done working yet. She hopes to continue working at the bank until her retirement. “Banking has changed a lot over the years, some changes for good, some I’m not so sure, but you know, that’s life,” she said. “There are always going to be changes, you just have to be receptive of those changes to make everything go in a positive direction. I have had an opportunity to grow in a small town bank with opportunities that I probably would not have had at a larger bank. I am very blessed to have worked in the same business for so many years.”
Outside of banking, Gerdes-Hibsch said she enjoys spending time with family and friends. “I like to get together and do things, go on vacations and such,” she said. “I feel fortunate to have a job that has allowed me to enjoy my leisure, too.”
James A. Hallam, PhD, 84, of Normal, died at 8:50 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015 at Sugar Creek Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Normal. His memorial service will be at 6:00 p.m., Monday, November 9, 2015 at Carmody-Flynn Funeral Home, Bloomington. Visitation will be from 4:00-6:00 p.m., Monday at the funeral home. Interment will be private. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. To express condolences online, please visit www.carmodyflynn.com.
Jim was born June 18, 1931 in Pontiac, the son of Jerome and Rita Kennedy Hallam. He married Jeanette M. Hubly on April 11, 1953 in Chatsworth. She survives. He is also survived by five children, Jeannie (Dennis) Williams of Richmond, VA, Tim (Nancy) Hallam of Chicago, Jim (Jolene) Hallam of Kansas City, MO, Dennis Hallam of Normal and Carrie (John) Young of Bloomington; ten grandchildren, Brian (Danielle) Williams, Jason (Dawn) Williams and Matt (Marcie) Williams; Emily Hallam; Jensen Hallam; Rory and Michael Hallam; and Ryan, Kyle and Erin Heissler; six great grandchildren, Owen, Sawyer, Kendall, Ivy, Ethan and Preston; and one brother, Steve (Terri) Hallam of Akron, Ohio. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Kenny and Joe Hallam and a sister, Cecelia Whaley.
Jim was valedictorian of his graduating class at Forrest High School, where he played football, baseball and basketball. He received his B.S. and MBA Degrees in Accounting from Illinois State University and his PhD in Accounting from the University of Iowa. Jim started his teaching career at Eastern Illinois University and went on to ISU in 1966 and retired as head of the Accounting department in 1988. He went back to work at Illinois Wesleyan University and taught there from 1990-1999. Jim earned numerous awards throughout his teaching career and has a scholarship named after him for the outstanding accounting student at ISU. Jim was an avid golfer and was a member of El Paso Country Club for over 40 years. He followed many sports and especially ISU Athletics. Most of all, Jim was a family man and enjoyed spending time with his family. The family would like to thank the staff at Sugar Creek Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Normal for their wonderful care and support of Jim and his family.
Leota LaVerne Brucker, 92, of Cropsey passed away at 8:55 a.m., March 5 at Fairview Haven Retirement Community, Fairbury. Her funeral will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday at Duffy-Pils Memorial Home, Fairbury. Burial will be in Cropsey Cemetery, Cropsey. Visitation will be held from 5-7:00 p.m., Thursday also at the funeral home and one hour prior to services on Friday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the Cropsey United Methodist Church or McLean County Humane Society.
Mrs. Brucker was born March 22, 1923 in Chatsworth the daughter of Jesse and Myrtle Ekiss Armstrong. At the age of two she and her family moved to a farm in the Cropsey area. She married Henry W. Brucker on Sep. 7, 1947 in Cropsey. He passed away on Nov. 10, 1991. Surviving are two daughters, Donita Brucker of Cropsey and Darlene (Darrell) McRoberts of Hooper, Utah; three grandchildren Cindy (Joe) Merideth of Chenoa, Brett McRoberts of Layton, Utah and Melissa McRoberts of Seattle, Wash.; two great-grandchildren, Skylar and Michael Merideth of Chenoa. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Donna Brucker, her parents, a sister, Mabel Ringler, and two brothers, Virgil and Dale Armstrong.
She attended Strawn Grade and High Schools; graduating Valedictorian in 1941. Leota worked for the Cropsey Co-op Grain Company for 20 years and was a manager for three years. At that time the company not only handled grain but also coal, feed, seed, fertilizer, lumber and a complete line of building material. They also operated a feed mill. She was an accountant for Honegger and company and then worked as an office manager and nation-wide truck driver for Carl Bachtold Mower Co. for 17 years. One of her main interests was traveling which took her to all of the states numerous times and twenty countries around the world. She especially loved high rugged mountains. She enjoyed all sports and played basketball in high school. She was an antique enthusiast and acquired large collections of many items including 1750 open salt dips. (Some other collections included toothpick holders, vinegar cruets, marbles, barbwire, spcomer, etc.) Leota was a member of Charity Home Rebekah Lodge 112, the Fairbury Senior Club, and was the secretary and treasurer of the Cropsey Mutual Water Corp. She was also organized the first Girl Scout troop in Cropsey in the 1950’s and was their leader for a number of years. Her favorite thing was to “Go where she had never been” Condolences and tributes may be made to the family at www.duffypilsmemorialhome.com.
PIPER CITY — Robert Louis “Bob” Sterrenberg, 86, of Grapevine, Texas, formerly of Piper City, passed away Monday (July 25, 2016) at The Carlyle at Stonebridge Park, Southlake, Texas, after a two week illness. His celebration of life memorial service will be at 4 p.m. Aug. 20 at the First United Presbyterian Church, Piper City. Visitation will be from 2 p.m. Aug. 20 until the time of service at the church. Memorials may be made to the church or Gibson Area Hospital.
Bob was born May 13, 1930, in the Charlotte area, the son of George and Ethel Sterrenberg. He married Gloria Switzer on Aug. 27, 1950. His parents and two brothers, Thees and Stanley, preceded him in death. Surviving are his wife, Gloria, and three sons, Robbin (Debra), Colleyville, Texas; Scott (Maria), Boca Raton, Fla.; and Todd (Mary), Madison, Ga.; seven grandchildren, Ryan, Tara, Rachel, Katie, T.J., Mark and Paige. He attended Piper City schools and graduated from Gibson City High School. He served four years in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, after which he began 35 years of farming, retiring in 1992. After retiring, he and his wife enjoyed winters in Florida and good times at their lake house with family and friends. In 2014, he and Gloria moved to Grapevine, Texas, to be near family. He was happiest surrounded by his loving family and friends. He will be remembered for his warm, subtle smile and joking humor.
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