Anniversaries & Birthdays Page 2

Anniversaries & Birthdays Page 2

From the Bloomington Pantagraph:
70 years married
Chatsworth couple in it for long haul
By Kate Arthur

,Ron Shafer, 93, has built and raced canoes, piloted his own plane, driven to 48 states in 10 days on a motorcycle and competed in downhill ski events, but he now sticks closer to home. Ruth Shafer said he always has to be doing something to be happy. (Pantagraph/LORI ANN COOK)
CHATSWORTH -- A single chocolate brown thread, dangling from his pant leg, caught her eye. She pushed herself out of her chair, found a pair of scissors and clipped the string, tucking it inside her pocket.

Ruth Shafer takes care of her 93-year-old husband, Ron. She slices bananas for his breakfast cereal and folds his laundry. He drives her to the store and takes out the trash.

That's the way it's been for 70 years.

When she was a high school senior, she agreed to a blind date with the University of Illinois senior. He opened the car door for her and she never forgot it.

"I was used to going with younger guys," she said. "You just helped yourself in and out."

They dated for a year before he graduated and moved on to Chicago, where he raked in $20 a week as a machine operator. There was a string of other jobs, making fine chairs in a woodworking factory, learning chemistry in an oil refinery and his favorite, teaching shop at a Detroit high school.

He would have kept going with his story, but his wife stopped him.

"Well, that's about all they want to hear from you," she said with a quick smile.

She said it in a nice way. A way that keeps you married through a Depression, six children, 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

They got married on Nov. 8, 1936. The proposal, if there was one, was less memorable.

"Did I ever propose to you?" he asked.

She thought a moment.

"I don't think so. I think you just said, 'Let's get married.'"

Things were different then.

On the weekend that they married, she took the train to Chicago with a Chatsworth couple. They looked up an evangelical minister in the phone book and hopped a streetcar to his home. His land-lady fixed them a fried chicken dinner and when the weekend was over, the 19-year-old rode the train back to Champaign with her friends to make her Monday morning college classes. A few months later, she dropped out, ending her dream of becoming an English teacher. He thought she'd had enough education.

Three years later, their first child was born. And there were five more, each spaced three years apart.

"I'm not bragging but they were all planned," the 89-year-old said.

While she stayed home, he worked, built and raced canoes, climbed mountains, learned to fly and bought a plane. He later sold the plane because he needed surgery and wanted to make sure he had enough to pay for it.

When he was in his 60s, he traveled to 48 states in 10 days on his motorcycle, riding 1,000 miles a day and reaching Fairbanks, Alaska. Ruth took a trip of her own, pulling out of the driveway with three girlfriends in a Pontiac and putting 7,410 miles on it by the time they took in Glacier National Park, Mount Rushmore and the Canadian Rockies.

"Sometimes it's kind of nice to go without a man," she said.

Although she flew with him a couple of times, she'd never climb on the back of his motorcycle.

"I wouldn't ride around the block with him," she said. "I'm not a daring person."

At 52, he took up downhill skiing, earning two national racing titles. When he turned 80, he built his own sports car and at 92 he climbed into a glider.

"We've gotten along pretty good all these years," she said. "Maybe it's because he's been gone so much."

There was that slight smile again.

Although he works out at a gym two or three days a week, he's home more now. And he's found other things to do, like making staircases and dining room tables out of black walnut and building train sets.

In his basement workshop, he pointed to an anvil where he hammers silver dollars into smooth, slender bracelets, softening the metal on the stove. Ruth pulled back her sleeve, showing a perfect silver circle around her thin wrist.

"It's not my favorite hobby because it's hard on the stove but it keeps him happy," she said. "He's absolutely unhappy to not be doing something."

Since the '40s, the couple has lived in Chatsworth. After his father died, his mother needed help running the family's insurance business -- a tame job for someone who paddled from nearby Turtle Pond to Lake Michigan. But he spent more than 30 years at his dad's desk.

"You can't turn back the clock but I've often wondered what would have happened if I'd stayed in Detroit," he said. "I was not in love with the insurance business."

And she wonders what it would have been like to have been in front of a blackboard, teaching kids about nouns and pronouns. But she doesn't wonder about the choice she made when it comes to her husband.

"Well, dear," she said, turning to look at him. "What's not to love? You're very thoughtful and considerate."

He still opens the car door for her.

She listed a few more things she loves about him and then stopped to listen.

"I'm waiting," she said.

Obviously, it was his turn.

"She's always been a wonderful mother, which is No. 1 as far as I'm concerned," he said.

"How about a wonderful wife?" she asked.

"A better wife," he said.

Ron and Ruth Shafer

Married: Nov. 8, 1936

Reside in: Chatsworth

Why she went out with him a second time: He opened the car door for her.

Who's usually right in a disagreement: "I am," she said. "There's only so far you can carry an argument," he said.

When they went to Disney World: On his 80th birthday, he chartered a bus for the whole family.

If they were younger: They'd go camping at the Indiana Dunes.

How they spent their 70th anniversary: Overnight trip to Starved Rock State Park

What they watch on TV: Westerns for him, "Dancing With the Stars" for her

Advice for couples on staying married: Be considerate.

Children: Kurt, Scott and Greg, Chatsworth; Jill Hughes of Ann Arbor, Mich.; Karin Kamin of Schaumburg; Tod of Channahon; 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren

Education: Both attended the University of Illinois; he earned a bachelor's degree in education and has a master's degree from Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich.

From the Bloomington Pantagraph:

70th anniversary for Ronald, Ruth Shafer

CHATSWORTH -- Ronald and Ruth Shafer of Chatsworth will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary with an open reception from 11:30 to 1 p.m. Nov. 5 at the United Methodist Church in Chatsworth.

A private family dinner is also planned.

Shafer and Ruth Thompson were married Nov. 8, 1936.

They are the parents of Kurt, Scott and Greg, all of Chatsworth; Jill Hughes of Ann Arbor, Mich.; Karen Kamin of Schaumburg; and Tod of Channahon.

The couple has 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.






 From The Pantagraph

Bloomington, Illinois



CHATSWORTH --Eulah M. Lee of Earl Park, Ind., formerly of Chatsworth, will celebrate her 100th birthday with a family gathering and a card shower Dec. 6.

She was born Dec. 4, 1908, in Strawn. She married Clarence W. Lee in September 1928. He is deceased. 

She is the mother of Norma (Howard) Higley, Fowler, Ind.; and Ronald N. (June) Lee, Bloomington.

She has five grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and 35 great-great-grandchildren. Cards may be sent to her in care of Caldwell Home, 5098 West 550-N, Earl Park, In 47942. 

From the Pantagraph

50th anniversary for Rev. Arthur, Betty Woolley

COLFAX -- The Rev. Arthur and Betty Woolley of Bement, formerly of Colfax, Bloomington and Farmer City, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with an open house from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 14 at their home, 111 E. Bond, Bement.

Woolley and Betty Richard were married Feb. 14, 1959, at Saybrook Methodist Church, Saybrook. Their attendants were Lester Able and Evelyn Richard. 

They are the parents of Tom (Mary) Woolley, Frisco, Texas; John (Pam) Woolley, Monticello; Mark (Carol) Woolley, Monticello; Sandra (Lenny) Summar, Bement; and Matt (Jen) Woolley, Villa Grove.

They have 11 grandchildren.

He is pastor at First Christian Church in Bement. 

She is an Avon representative.



From The Blade 1997


50th for Doyle, Deloras Adamson

ROBERTS -- Doyle D. and Deloras J. Adamson of Roberts celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains and a family get-together.

Adamson and Deloras Brauman were married May 9, 1959, at the Congregational Church in Thawville. 

They are the parents of Karla (Christopher) Butterick of Rantoul and Jeffrey D. Adamson of Champaign. They have two grandchildren.

He retired from the U.S. Navy in 1978, and retired from teaching at Fisher High School in 2006. She is a contract specialist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.                         


From The Blade, Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Kathry (Gerdes) Grieder of Chatsworth will celebrate her 90th birthday with an open house on July 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chatsworth.
She was born July 15, 1919 at Chatsworth. She married Cleotis B. Grieder on Jan.27, 1940. He died June 18, 1988. She also had a sister, Bernice Billingsley and a brother, Raymond Gerdes, who are both deceased.
Mrs. Grieder is the mother of Sandra (Richard) Friedman of Fairbury and Donald Grieder of Chatsworth.She has two grandchildren, Kevin Friedman and Krista Swanzy and five great-grandchildren. One grandson, Klint Friedman, is deceased.
She retired from Nichols Homeshield in Chatsworth after 24 years.
Her interests include playing cards with her birthday friends, belonging to the "Scarlet Bonnets", playing Bingo at the Prairie View Lutheran Home in Danforth, being a member of the W.M.S. of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church and doing antique shows with her late husband and son for many years.
Those who wish to send a card or remembrance may send them to 105 W. Locust St. , Chatsworth, Il.60921

 From the Kankakee Daily Journal

March 8, 2009

 Rufus and Norma Tooley of Chatsworth, formerly of Papineau, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with a dinner at the Log Cabin Restaurant in Pontiac.

The event will be hosted by their children: Rory and Peg Tooley of Pontiac, Troy and Cindy Tooley of Papineau. The couple has five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

They were married March 14, 1959, at United Church of Christ in Gilman. Tooley is retired from Quaker Oats in Kankakee. Mrs. Tooley is retired from Gala Lanes in Kankakee.

 From the Pantagraph          Aug.23,2009

Henrietta Dehm of Normal will celebrate her 90th birthday with a card shower.
She was born Aug. 28, 1919, in Chatsworth, daughter of William and Etta DeBuhr Henrichs. She married LaVerne Dehm on Jan. 11, 1942, and they farmed their entire lifetime in the Livingston County area.
They moved to Normal in 1994. He died in September 2004.
She is the mother of Gloria Leach of Tuscola and Karen Feely of Normal.
There are six grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
She is a lifetime member of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Chatsworth, where she taught Sunday school and Bible school for many years.
Cards to her in care of Karen Feely.


 Roberts 90th Birthday

Marge Roberts of Manteno will celebrate her 90th birthday with a family dinner followed by a celebration for family and close friends at her daughter and son-in-law’s home in Bourbonnais.

Her daughters and their spouses are Mary Lou and Curtis Fincham of Spartanburg, N.C.; and Patricia and Jerry Teter of Bourbonnais. She has three grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

The former Marge Hanna was born Feb. 13, 1918, in Chatsworth. Her husband, John M. Roberts, whom she married July 16, 1937, died Dec. 20, 1972.



60th for George, Harriet Evans

NORMAL -- George and Harriet Evans will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary with a family dinner Saturday hosted by their children.

Evans and Harriet Johnson were married Nov. 19, 1949, in Lake Forest. Their attendants were Barbara Johnson and Frank Yore.

They are the parents of Susan (Doug) Schultz of San Angelo, Texas; and Michael (Shari) Evans and Bruce (Jeanine) Evans, both of Bloomington.

They have seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

He was the superintendent of Unit 5 schools, retiring in 1985.

She is a registered nurse.


Note:George Evans was a coach in Chatsworth High School in the 1950's.


50th for James, Joanne Perkins

KEMPTON -- James "Jim" and Joanne Perkins of Kempton will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. on Jan. 17 at First Baptist Church of Pontiac. They also celebrated in July with a two-week trip to Alaska.

Perkins and Joanne Bayston were married Jan. 17, 1960, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Chatsworth. Their attendants were Madge Nance and Boyd Hummel.

They are the parents of Ellen (Jim) Hoffman, Cullom; and Elaine Clapp and Steve (Stacy) Perkins, both of Herscher. They have seven grandchildren.

He is a farmer. 



50th for Jerry, Carolyn Barrett

CHATSWORTH -Jerry and Carolyn Barrett  of Chatsworth will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with a party given by friends in Naples, Fla.

Barrett and Carolyn Blasingim were married Feb. 20, 1960, at Church of Christ, Guthrie.

Their attendants were Carolyn Welborn Rinkenberger and Sonny Bachman.

They are the parents of Duane Barrett, Harvest, Ala., and Melissa Berry, Bloomington.

They have four grandchildren.

He retired in 2000 as a truck driver after 35 years with Swing Transfer, Forrest; Nussbaum Trucking, Normal; and Pittsburgh Tube, Fairbury.

She is semi-retired as a licensed insurance agent, having worked for Shafer-Pearson Agency, Chatsworth; Ideal Insurance Agency, Lombard; and Snyder Insurance, Bloomington. 



From The Blade March 3, 2010





50th for John, Teresa Franey

CHATSWORTH -- John and Teresa Franey, rural Chatsworth, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary today with a luncheon.

Franey and Teresa Hahn were married June 11, 1960, at St. John's Catholic Church, Cullom. Their attendants were Joseph Van Antwerp and Rita Hahn Kinkade.

They are the parents of Patty (Lenny) Haberkorn, Chatsworth; Tom (Stephanie) Franey, Rantoul; Joni (Bob) Huisman, Chatsworth; Terri (Troy) Rieger, Forrest.

They have 11 grandchildren.

He is semi-retired from farming.

She was a registered nurse at Greenbrier Nursing Home, Piper City, retiring in 2003.





55th for Roger, Suzanne Coventry

CHATSWORTH -- Roger W. and Suzanne Coventry, rural Chatsworth, will celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary with a family trip in July.

Coventry and Suzanne Livingston were married June 18, 1955, at the home of the bride's parents.

Their three daughters are of Kari (Dan) Smith of Blue Island; Martha (Dale) Graber of St. Paul, Minn.; and Elizabeth (Mark) Miller of Shorewood, Wis.

They have seven grandchildren.

They were both educators.



PONTIAC -- Harve and Sally Bargmann of Pontiac will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with a family dinner this summer.

Bargmann and Sally Butcher were married June 24, 1960, at Fairbury Methodist Church, Fairbury. Their attendants were Gloria Cox Ebach and Bob Kyburz.

They are the parents of Linda (Art) Miller and Janet McArdell, both of Pontiac; and Susan (Kurt) Cleghorn, Grand Haven, Mich. They have five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

They were the owners of Pontiac Floor Fashions, retiring in 2002 


HEYWORTH — Jim and Thelma Wickenhauser of Heyworth will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with an open house from 2 to 5 p.m. July 31 at Heyworth Christian Church.

Wickenhauser and Thelma Ringo were married July 31, 1960, at Heyworth Christian Church. Their attendants were Lois Kaufman Evans and Don Wickenhauser.

They are the parents of Wendy (Frank) Bartels, Heyworth; Brett (Marcia) Wickenhauser, The Colony, Texas; Terri (Howard) Springer, Bloomington; Troy (Kelley) Wickenhauser, Downs; and Tammy (Dave) Stephens, Heyworth. They have 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He was self-employed in construction, retiring in 2000. She worked at Illinois State University, retiring in 2003




40th for Harvey, Phyllis Ashman**

CHATSWORTH -- Harvey and Phyllis Ashman of Chatsworth are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary with a family dinner.

Ashman and Phyllis Sharp were married Aug. 1, 1970, at the Lutheran Church in Chatsworth.

They are the parents of Tina (Pete) Beebe of Pontiac. They have two grandchildren.

He worked in highway maintenance for the Illinois Department of Transportation, retiring in 2009. She was a customer service sales representative for Homeshield, retiring in 2008.




45th for Dick, Margie Whittenbarger

CONGERVILLE -- Dick and Margie Whittenbarger of Congerville will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary.

Whittenbarger and Margie Klehm were married Aug. 21, 1965, at Evangelical United Brethren Church, Chatsworth. Their attendants were Robert Whittenbarger and Ruth Klehm.

They are the parents of Robin (Larry) Timm, Peoria, and Tracy (Rob) Sapp, Goodfield. They have five grandchildren.

He retired from GTE in 1993.

She retired from GTE in 2000.

 From: Kankakee Daily Journal

Brunner 65th Anniversary Eldon and Gladys Brunner celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary July 9 with a family gathering at the Old Route 66 Restaurant in Dwight.

Their children and their spouses are: Roger and Niesje Steinkruger Brunner, of Fairbanks, Alaska; and Betty and Joe Roza, of Santa Rosa, Calif. The couple have three granddaughters and one great-granddaughter.

They were married July 9, 1945, at the Evangelical Church in Chatsworth.

They have lived in many places, including Witchita Falls, Texas; Linz, Austria; Champaign; Fort Worth, Texas; Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Glen Ellyn; Matawan, N.J.; and Berwyn, Pa.



40th for Gene, Carolyn Riha

CHATSWORTH -- Gene and Carolyn Riha of Chatsworth will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary with an open house at 5 p.m. today at their home. They also plan a trip to Ireland at a later date.

Riha and Carolyn Catlin were married Sept. 12, 1970, in Decatur. Their attendants were Don Dreesbach and Theresa Catlin Luebcke.

They are the parents of Melissa Cornish, St. Petersburg, Fla.; Mark (Heather) Riha, Spring, Texas; and Monica (Derrick) Maurer, Fairbury. They have eight grandchildren.

They were both teachers in Prairie Central school district.

He retired in 2007. She retired in 2009.

 From The Blade





Jerry and Patricia Teter, of Bourbonnais, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with a gathering of family and friends with a Hawaiian cruise in the fall.

The event will be hosted by their children and their spouses: Tim and Anita Teter, of Bradley; and Lori and Daniel Romero, of Bourbonnais. The couple have five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Teter and the former Patricia Roberts were married Oct. 15, 1960, at the U.S. Naval Chapel in Norfolk, Va.

They enjoy traveling and spending time with their grandchildren.

See Journal photo here.


CHATSWORTH -- Rodney and Jessica Embrey of Chatsworth will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary with a party with close family and friends.

Embrey and Jessica Quinn were married Nov. 15, 1985, at the Baptist Church, Moweaqua.

Their attendants were Harold Brewner and Christine Brewner.

They are the parents of Amber Embrey of Flanagan and Paige Embrey of Chatsworth.

He worked at the Bloomington Public Library.

She works for Prairie Central School District.



50th for Larry, MaryAnn Boruff

CHATWORTH -- Larry and MaryAnn Boruff of Chatsworth celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with an open house Saturday (Jan. 22) at the American Legion.

Boruff and MaryAnn Hitch were married Jan. 10, 1961, at the Methodist Church in Chatsworth. Their attendants were Bonnie Eastin and Stephen Hitch.

They are the parents of Vicki (Sadat) Mostafa of Bloomington and Corinne (Jack) Wortz of Delaware, Ohio.

They have three grandchildren.

He works for Quanex Homeshield. She retired in 2010.


See Photo Here

From The Blade

50th Anniversary for Shirley (Martin) & Erwin Krumwiede




GIBSON CITY -- Richard T. and Carol Long of Gibson City will celebrate their 50th anniversary with an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. June 25 at the Telecare Center in Gibson City.

Long and Carol Sharp were married Feb. 11, 1961, at the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Chatsworth.

They have two daughters, Debra (Dan) Froelich, Forrest, and Penny (Joe Gabel) Long, St. Louis.

They have seven grandchildren.

He taught agriculture for 34 years at the Roberts-Thawville, Ford Central and Paxton-Buckley-Loda schools and retired from teaching in 1994.

He then worked for the Lyman Township Highway Department for 10 years.

She retired in 2000 from the Ford County Highway Department.

 50th for Allan, Shirley Kietzman

CHATSWORTH -- Allan and Shirley Kietzman of Chatsworth will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with a family dinner and a trip at a later date.

Kietzman and Shirley Krueger were married May 27, 1961, at her parent's home in Chats-worth.

Gene Kietzman and Darlene Winterland were their attendants.

They are the parents of Vicki Nettleingham of Cullom, Lori Denton of Edwards and Cheri (Shawn) Malloy of Greenwood, Ind.

They have six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

He worked in highway maintenance for the Illinois Department of Transportation, retiring in 1991.

She was a bookkeeper for Prairie Central School District, retiring in 1995.

See picture here.

from the pantagraph

CHATSWORTH -- Leeon and Diane Carrico of Albuquerque, N.M., formerly of Chatsworth and Fairbury, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with a family dinner.

Carrico and Diane Ricchio were married June 17, 1961, in Midlothian. Their attendants were Shirley Knaack and Jim McClintock.

Their children are Cris (Dawn) of San Antonio, Texas, and Michael (Susan) of Albuquerque, N.M. They have four granddaughters.

He was high school and junior high school principal, and she was high school English and Spanish teacher.

Both retired from Prairie Central school district, Fairbury, in 2000.

See photo here.


From the Kankakee Journal

Elery Perkins 96th Birthday

Elery Perkins, of Chatsworth, celebrated his 96th birthday with a family dinner Aug. 28 in Fairbury.

The event was hosted by his son, Ronald Perkins, of Bloomington. He has six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Perkins was born Sept. 9, 1915, in Chatsworth. His wife, the former Margery Hoff, whom he married March 29, 1941, died March 11, 2007.

He is a retired farmer and enjoys camping and working in his yard.

See picture here.


Kurt & Vicki Runyon-25th Anniversary
See picture here.

Merle & Pearl Lang-50th Anniversary
See picture here.
Carl Sharp turns 99.
See picture here.

Annetta & Berdell Galloway-65th Anniversary

See Picture here.

Phyllis & Gene Corban 60th Anniversary

CHATSWORTH — Gene H. and Phyllis A. Corban of Chatsworth observed their 60th wedding anniversary Friday.

Corban and Phyllis A. Pearson were married March 23, 1952, at the Evangelical United Brethren parsonage in Chatsworth. Their attendants were Helen Gerdes Flessner and Eldon Flessner.

They are the parents of Larry (Joy) Corban, Pontiac, and James (Debra) Corban, Greeley, Colo. They have four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

He retired from Mitsubishi Motors North America.

She retired from Citizens Bank of Chatsworth

Note:See Picture here.

PIPER CITY — Beryl Irwin of Courtyard Estates, Piper City, will celebrate her 98th birthday with an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday at the dining room of Courtyard Estates, 600 S. Maple, Piper City, and with a family dinner in her honor.

She was born May 1, 1914, in rural Cropsey, the daughter of George and Alta Thomas. She married Milford “Milt” Irwin on Dec. 25, 1937. They farmed south of Chatsworth for many years. He died March 1, 2010.

Her children are Kay (Harold) Lindley, Morton; Bette Jane (Bruce) Otto, Minier; Alan (Kathy) Irwin, Graham, N.C.; Bill (Diane) Irwin, Oregon, Ill.; Gary (Sue) Irwin, Galion, Ohio; and Colleen (Jim) Browning, Hudson. She has 12 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

She attended Illinois State Normal University and taught at Miller School from 1933 to 1936. She worked at the Chatsworth Post Office for 16 years.

She is a member of Chatsworth United Methodist Church, where she was active in United Methodist Women, Bible study, church bazaar, adult choir and directed children’s choir.

She was in the Home Extension and Kitchen Band, and is in Germanville Club.

She enjoys reading, playing piano and playing cards and other games.

Cards may be sent to P.O. Box 68, Piper City, IL 60959.

Note: See photo here.

From The Blade
June 12, 2012

On June 26, 2012, Archie Perkins will become a centenarian! A Birthday Open House will be held in his honor on Saturday, June 23, from 2-4 p.m. in the Fairview Haven Family/Activity Room. All are welcome.
The world was still reeling from the April shipwreck of the Titanic when Archie Theodore Perkins was born on June 26, 1912. He was the second child of Elisha and Ida (Deck) Perkins. Archie had one sister, Verna Hoxworth, who is deceased, and one brother, Elery Perkins of Chatsworth.
Archie has vivid memories of his youth on his parents’ dairy farm in rural Chatsworth. When he was little, he remembers playing with his little wagon and riding Bessie, the family pony. When he was 10 or 11 years old, he began waking up every morning to help milk the cows. He remembers his father’s morning wake-up call, “Boys, wake up; it’s quarter till four!” The Perkins family had up to 23 cows on their farm. They ran a milk route in Chatsworth, delivering milk and cream door-to-door. Archie remembers making the deliveries in their old Ford. When asked what he did for fun in his youth, Archie says, “More chores! There was no fooling around in those days!” 
Archie attended the Franey country school near Chatsworth through the eighth grade. He then went to Chatsworth Township High School, graduating in 1931.
The milk route ended up being a route to romance for Archie. When new folks moved into town, the Perkins milk route driver would visit the home to enlist potential customers. Archie heard about a widow that had moved to Chatsworth with her four children to be near her brother and family. When he visited the house, Myrtle Bailey came to the door. It turned out that Myrtle had moved from Missouri with the widow to help her take care of her children.
Archie and Myrtle dated for three years before they got married in 1934 at Myrtle’s hometown of Swinton, MO. Archie recalls it was during the Depression and they didn’t have any money. But they were able to provide for themselves on the farm. They had one son, James (Joanne) Perkins of Kempton, three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Archie is proud of the many beautiful photos of his family in his room at Fairview Haven. 
Archie and Myrtle had their own dairy farm near Chatsworth. They also raised beef cattle, hogs and grain. Traveling together was a highlight of their life. They visited all 50 states in the USA, as well as Canada, Europe and Mexico. For several years, Archie had his own airplane and he and Myrtle attended many Flying Farmer events by air.
After 40-plus years of farming together, Myrtle got pneumonia in the wintertime for three years straight. Archie was concerned about her health and, when the doctor advised him to take her south for the winter, they decided to quit farming. Archie says they “called in the auctioneers” and promptly sold all the livestock. Archie continued with grain farming, operating his combine until the age of 93.
In 1978, the Perkinses began a new phase of life as snowbirds, spending their winters in Florida. Archie fondly recalls many happy times there with friends, playing horseshoes and cards and visiting over coffee. After Myrtle passed away on Dec. 26, 2003, he continued to winter in Florida until 2010, when he moved to Fairview Haven. Archie delights in visits and phone calls from his many friends, including his special friend, Lois Shelby, whom he met in Florida. 
Archie is affiliated with the First Baptist Church of Fairbury and his faith is very important to him. He enjoys reading the Bible daily and listening to sermons.

September 02, 2012 

CHATSWORTH — Raymond and Joyce Brewer of Chatsworth will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.

Raymond and Joyce Gerdes were married Sept. 5, 1987, at United Methodist Church, Chatsworth. Their attendants were Jean Armstrong and Joseph Brewer.

Their children are Larry (Kathy) Gerdes, Chatsworth; Terry (Beth) Gerdes, Chenoa; Raymond Gerdes and Jean Armstrong, both deceased; and Robin Brewer, Pontiac. They have 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

See photo here.

Home > Archives > Top Story Archives > Issue 610
yesterday,  10/18/2012 at 12:46pm

Father Richard Raney & SistersLegends of the Beach:
Father Richard Raney

Father Richard Raney, the beloved and respected chaplain for the sisters cloistered at the San Damiano Monastery on the grounds of the Church of the Ascension, has come a long way from his modest beginnings in Peoria, Illinois.

One day, a first-grader on his way to school, Raney heard the newsboys on every street corner hollering, 'Extra! Extra! The Kaiser has surrendered!' "We didn't have a radio in those days, so we didn't know about it until the paper came out.” When he got to school, he walked in and announced to the teacher and his classmates that the Kaiser had surrendered. His teacher took him around to all the classes and had him make the same announcement. "I got a big hand every time!” Raney recalls with amusement.

It was while Richard was attending Brothers of Mary high school that he got the first inkling about his ultimate vocation, and spoke with one of the Brothers about it. But his father made his wishes known.

"He said, 'No, wait until you've finished high school before you make that decision. Then, you can do what you want.' My father was a smart man.”

Ascension parishioner Jim Stevens, who has enjoyed a great friendship with Father Raney over the years, tells a story about the priest's high school years. "He was on the football team at Brothers of Mary, and one day his coach brought some of the boys to a game at Notre Dame, where they were introduced to the famous Knute Rockne. Well,” Jim says with a chuckle, "Knute shook Richard's hand, and he hasn't washed that hand since.” That Father Raney met Rockne is most definitely true; the rest is Stevens' humor.

After completing his post-graduate degree at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, Raney was ordained in 1938. His first assignment, as an assistant priest, took him to Bloomington, Illinois. "The church was huge, and we had no microphones, so Mass had to be said loud enough to reach the back pews.” This, he says, is where he developed his resonant voice. The parish high school needed an athletic director, and the job went to him. When World War II broke out, all the young men were being drafted, and the school lost all of its coaches. Father Raney stepped into that role as well. "It wasn't my real calling, but it needed to be done.”

Father Raney was in Bloomington until 1946, when he was assigned his own parish for the first time. "It was in Ottawa, Illinois. They were turning their high school into a coed, so they came to me to start their athletic program.” Five years later, doing something he had never done before, Father Raney asked for a specific parish. "My father had died, and I took my mother in to live with me. So I asked for a small parish and they gave me Chatsworth, Illinois.”

Father Raney says this was a good assignment for him, in this small town of 1,000 souls. "They had a small parish school. I was there twenty years. I knew everybody there. Then the bishop died, and the new one who took his place asked me one day, 'Do you want to stay in Chatsworth or do you want to go to work?'” This Raney relates with a wry chuckle. "The right answer was 'go to work'. We built Saints Peter and Paul Church and school, convent, and rectory. The Lord kept me humble. Every roof leaked!” Father Raney spent twenty years building the parish. But then, the largest parish in the diocese was open, and the bishop couldn't get anyone to take it. "So I took it. We didn't have to build anything, but we still had to raise funds.” After five years there, Father Raney says he was tired. "I was nearly 70 years old, and I wanted to retire.”

Former Illinois parishioner Jim Baldwin – a big baseball fan who was first drawn to our area so that he could go to the spring training games - and his wife Chris bought a place on Fort Myers Beach and in 1960, invited Father Raney to come for a visit.


On my first trip down, we stopped in a St. Xavier Church on McGregor Boulevard. There was no Catholic church on the beach at the time, and I wanted to offer Mass. The priest who answered the door at St. Xavier's was an old professor of mine! Of all the people in the world who could have come to the door...”.

One of Father Raney's earliest memories of those initial days on the beach is a ride in Jim Baldwin's boat. "Their house was quite close to the bridge, on the bay side. Jim gassed up the boat and instead of going back to his house; he went all the way around the island to get home. It was a beautiful trip, but I got sunburned.”

After twenty years of regular visits, Father Raney was invited to come live with the Baldwin's permanently, which he did. "Leonard Santini practically owned the island then,” Father Raney says, "and when he started subdividing his land, he donated the property where the Church of the Ascension is now. Mr. Santini built a home for retired priests, but that didn't work out.” By then, Bishop Nevins saw there was an empty building on the property. "He always said he wanted a house of prayer in his diocese, so he went to the east coast and invited the Poor Clare Sisters to come live here.”

In 1988, the first sisters came to take up residence at the San Damiano Monastery – in the building originally built to house retired priests. Sister Emmanuelle (who actually established the monastery and who passed away last year), Sister Mary Frances, Sister Mary Paschal and Sister Mary Seraphim were the first to arrive. Four more Sisters have come to live at the monastery since then – Sisters Marra, Anunciacion, Pilar and Esperanza.

"God sent Father Raney to us,” Sister Mary Frances says with quiet confidence. "When we first arrived, we had a priest on the east coast who was set to be our chaplain,” but he first had to make a trip to Ireland. "One day, Father Raney came to the monastery and asked if there was anything he could do for us, so we asked him if he would say Mass for us until our chaplain arrived, which he was happy to do.” But the priest slated for the job never contacted the Sisters again, and Father Raney became their chaplain, at the tender age of 75, the year he celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination into the priesthood. That was 25 years ago.

When the Baldwin's passed away, they left their beach home on the north end of the island to Father Raney. "Every day I would drive up Estero Boulevard to come see the nuns.” But in May of last year, Father Raney moved into the monastery. "This is my home, here with the nuns.”

Sister Mary Frances says he still serves Mass for them every day, but he has needed some assistance from time to time. She says at 99 years old, soon to be 100, Father Raney has outlasted so many of his friends here. Says Father Raney, "Getting old is not for sissies.” Father now has a personal caregiver, Debbie Hashek, who comes to help him with meals and errands. "I just do what needs to be done,” she says with a smile.

Today, friends and family will gather to show Father Raney their love and support in celebration of this very special man as he begins his 100th year of life on earth. Bishop Frank Dewane will say Mass, and then those who have come together on this special day will treat their beloved priest and friend to an old-fashioned birthday party.

Happy Birthday Father Raney!

Jo List

Morton-Harold and Kay Lindley of Morton will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with an open house hosted by their family from 1 to 4 pm Saturday at Grace Church, Morton.
Harold and Kay Lindley were married June 9, 1963, at Chatsworth Methodist Church.
Their children are Richard (Holly), Martinsville, Ind.; Todd (Rhonda), Lawrenceville, Ga.; and Jeremy (Amy), Morton. They have seven grandchildren.
He was agriculture teacher and counselor at Hopedale and Morton High schools. She taught language arts and business at Washington and Morton high schools.

See photo here.

PIPER CITY — Gene and Carol Froelich of Piper City celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary with family.

Froelich and Carol Culkin were married June 7, 1958, at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Chatsworth.

They are the parents of Dan (Deb) Froelich, Forrest; Mark (Karen) Froelich, Piper City; Cathy (Tom) Olson, Monmouth; and Cindy (Joe) Palen, Forrest. They have six grandchildren, four stepgrandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

He has farmed most of his life and still lives on the farm on which he was born. She has actively helped with the farm, prepared income taxes and other bookkeeping jobs. They are retired.

June 16, 2013 12:00 am

FAIRBURY — Gene and Jeanne Weber of Fairbury, formerly of Chatsworth, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with a family celebration this summer.

Weber and Jeanne Noye were married June 22, 1963, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Danforth.

Their children are Joe (Helen) of Virginia; Rebecca (Brian Bounds) of Fairbury; Sarah (Doug Reno) of Florida, and Dan (Heather) of Flanagan. They have 13 grandchildren.

See photo here.

June 23, 2013 12:00 am

BLOOMINGTON — Clarence and Elizabeth Culkin of Bloomington will be celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary with a family dinner at a later date and a card shower.

Culkin and Elizabeth Aberle were married June 26, 1948, at St. Marks Catholic Church, Peoria. Their attendants were the late Charles Culkin and Phyllis Burdette.

They are the parents of Diana (John) Hoke, Carbondale; Teresa (Steve) Flury, Wilmington, N.C.; Thomas (Mary) Culkin, Fairbury; and the late Michael Culkin.

They have 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

He built and owned funeral homes in Forrest and Chatsworth, serving the communities for 33 years. He also owned Culkin Insurance Agency. She is a retired registered nurse and assisted her husband in his profession.

Cards may be sent to 10 Aspen Court, Bloomington, IL 61704.

From the Kankakee Journal

Elery Perkins, of Chatsworth will celebrate his 98th birthday Sept. 9. Born in Chatsworth in 1915, he farmed well into his 80's and worked as a crossing guard for the Prairie Central school system until the age of 96.

Perkins married the former Margery Eleanor Hoff on March 29, 1941. They had two children: Judith Ann Green (deceased); and Ronald E. Perkins, of Chatsworth. Elery has four grandchildren and one great grandchild. He enjoys spending time with his family and his dog, Corky.

Cards of congratulation can be sent to 307 S. Fifth St. Chatsworth.

PIPER CITY — Beryl Irwin of Piper City, formerly of Chatsworth, will celebrate her 100th birthday with an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. on May 3 at Chatsworth Methodist Church.

She was born May 1, 1914, in rural Cropsey, to George and Alta Thomas. She married Milford Irwin in1937. He died on March 1, 2010.

Her children are Kay (Harold) Lindley, Morton; Bette Jane (Bruce) Otto, Minier; Alan (Kathy) Irwin, Graham, N.C.; Bill (Diane) Irwin, Oregon; Gary (Sue) Irwin, Galion, Ohio; and Colleen (Jim) Browning, Hudson. She has 12 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

She attended Cropsey High School and Illinois State Normal University and taught at Miller Country School from 1933 to 1936. She also worked at Chatsworth Post Office for 16 years.

Beryl is active in Chatsworth United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women, Bible study, Home Extension, Kitchen Band, crafts and attends Germanville Club. She enjoys reading, playing piano and using Kindle to read, play games and keep track of family and events.

Cards may be mailed to P.O. Box 68, Piper City, IL 60959.

MINIER — Bruce and Bette Jane Otto of Minier will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with an open

house with a jazz music theme from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 9) at Minier Christian Church, hosted by

their children.

Otto and Bette Jane Irwin were married Aug. 15, 1964, in Chatsworth. Their attendants were Kay Lindley

and James Maitland.

They are the parents of Jennifer (Errol), Bradenton, Fla.; Joel (Jeanne), Beloit, Wis.; and Jed (Lindsay),

Mackinaw. They have eight grandchildren.

He continues his advisory practice at O&G Financial Consulting in Minier, following 26 years of service at

First Farmer’s State Bank, Minier. She is retired from teaching music in the Olympia school district.

See photo here.

August 31, 2014 12:00 am

CHATSWORTH — Veva Lang of Chatsworth is celebrating her 90th birthday with her family and with a card


She was born Sept. 10, 1924, in Pella Township, Piper City. She married Carl Lang on Nov. 3, 1944. He is


Her children are Carl Lang Jr., deceased; Diana Shubert, Pontiac; Priscilla Agner, Chatsworth; Gloria

Hitchens, Piper City; Debbie Sterrenberg, Kirkwood, Mo.; Karen Freehill, Sulphur, Okla.; and Beverly

Ulitzsch, Chatsworth. She has nine grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

She enjoys bird watching. She attends Calvary Baptist Church in Chatsworth.

Cards may be sent to 110 W. Locust St., Chatsworth, IL 60921.

See photo here.

September 13, 2014

Chatsworth---Elery Perkins of Chatsworth will celebrate his 99th birthday with a card shower.

He was born Sept. 9, 1915, in Chatsworth. He married Margery E. Hoff on March 29, 1941. She died March 13, 2006. Her son is Ronald Perkins of Chatsworth. She four grandchildren, six great grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. He is a retired farmer.

CHATSWORTH — Neil and Pat Hornickel of Chatsworth celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a

family get-together.

They were married Sept. 19, 1954, at First Lutheran Church, Pontiac.

They are the parents of Cindy (Keith) Henrichs, Forrest; Vicki (Darrell) Haag, Kempton; Lori Shafer,

Chatsworth; Rich (Colleen), Fairbury; and Tami (Don) Pitzer, Danville. They have 15 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

He farms and retired after 31 years as Chatsworth Township road commissioner.

CHATSWORTH — Virginia Lee of Chatsworth will celebrate her 90th birthday with a card shower and several family, friend and church gatherings during her birthday month. She was born March 21, 1926, in Chicago. She married Walt Lee. He died June 29, 1998. Her children are Ann (Loren) Ulitzsch, Normal; Linda Bawulski, Normal; Connie (Dutch) Dohman, Chatsworth; and Kelly (Jed) Diller; Chatsworth. She has eight grandchildren and 12 greatgrandchildren. She was Chatsworth/Prairie Central cafeteria head cook. She enjoys playing cards, visiting with family and friends and attending social events. She is a member of United Methodist Church in Chatsworth.

 From the KKK Daily Journal

Elery Perkins, of Chatsworth, is celebrating his 101st birthday with a card shower being planned by his son, Ronald Perkins, in Bloomington. Please send cards to 307 S. Fifth St., Chatsworth, IL 60921. He was born on Sept. 9, 1915, in rural Chatsworth. Elery was married to Margery Hoff until she passed away. They had two children: Ronald Perkins, of Chatsworth; and the late Judith Green. He is also blessed with four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

From the Pantagraph

BLOOMINGTON — Chellis "Jim" and Mary Jane Kessinger of Bloomington, formerly of Chatsworth, will observe their 60th wedding anniversary on Oct. 22 by attending the 11 a.m. Mass at St. Patrick Catholic Church of Merna, Bloomington, followed by a dinner for family and friends at 12:30 p.m. in the parish hall. They also celebrated in August with their entire family at Disney World in Florida. Kessinger and Mary Jane McGreal were married Oct. 19, 1957, at St. Peter & Paul's Catholic Church, Chatsworth. Their attendants were Patricia McGreal Frye and Gene Wyant. They are the parents of Mike Kessinger and Kay (Wayne) Shold, both of Chatsworth; Sharon (Doug) Benway, Strawn; Dan (Kelly) Kessinger, Normal; and Debbie (Mike) Coffman, Heyworth. They have 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Son Mark Kessinger and granddaughter Lindey Hornstein are deceased. He was sales manager of Hendrix Town & Country, retiring in 2015. She was a secretary at Pafco Inc., retiring in 2000.

From the Pantagraph

NORMAL — John and Karen Feely of Normal celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Feely and Karen Dehm were married March 16, 1968, at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Chatsworth. They are the parents of Stephanie (Mike) Ogden, Normal; Mike (Joy) Feely, Argyle, Texas; John (Julie) Feely and Tom (Laura) Feely, all of Normal. They have 13 grandchildren. He was a teacher at Morton High School, retiring in 2006. She was a bookkeeper at The Garlic Press, retiring in 2012.

John, Karen Feely