Departed Brethren

It is with sorrow and sense of loss that I inform you of the loss of these Brethren.

Vernon Thomas Wilson, 91, of Orion, died Friday, March 9, 2018, at UnityPoint Health – Trinity Rock Island. 

Funeral services will be held at 11am Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at Kirk, Huggins, and Esterdahl Funeral Home, 1301-4th Street Orion, IL.  Visitation will be from 5-7 pm, Monday, March 12, 2018, at Kirk, Huggins and Esterdahl Funeral Home, Orion.  Burial will be 2pm, Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at Bishop Hill Cemetery, Bishop Hill, IL, where military honors will be conducted by the Orion American Legion. Memorials may be made to Andover Lutheran Church, or University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, Iowa City, Iowa.

Vernon was born on April 27, 1926, in rural New Windsor, IL, the son of Fred and Inez Stevenson Wilson.  He married Verla Johnson in Galesburg, IL, in 1949; she preceded him in death in June 1990.  He later married Ila (Poppy) Nelson on July 14, 1991 in Andover, IL.  Vernon worked in mechanical engineering at John Deere Davenport Works for over 34 years, retiring in 1982.

Vernon was a veteran, having proudly served in the United States Army in the tank division during the Korean war.  He was a member of Augustana Lutheran Church in Andover, and a member and past commander of the Andover American Legion Post 465.  Vernon was a Mason of the Scottish Rite and Coordinate Bodies Valley of Moline, and member of the Doric Lodge 319 AF + AM, Moline.  Vernon also had an extensive musical career, playing bass, piano, and violin.  He performed in various bands, including the Pleasant Valley Boys, Buddies of the Airlanes with WHBF, the Wes Holly Group with WOC, and the Mohassan Grotto Band.  After retiring, Vernon enjoyed going to Arizona during the colder months, spending 24 winters with his wife there.

Survivors include his wife, Ila; three step children, Doug (Terri) Nelson, Lynn Center, Brian (Becky) Nelson, Cambridge, Cindi Sparkman, Orion; seven grandchildren; Neal (Lori) Nelson, Nicole (Marty) Ruthaivilavan, Breanna (Wade) McLaughlin, Lance Nelson, Natalie Nelson, Chad Sparkman, and Ethan Sparkman; and six great grandchildren.  Sister-in-law; Joanne Wilson, East Moline, IL. nephew, Ronald (Jackie) Wilson, Silvis; nieces, Pam (Dick) Hunt, Reynolds and Jill (Craig) Johansen, East Moline, IL, and their families. 

He was preceded in death by his wife, Verla; parents; and three brothers, Henry, Harry, and Ronald.

Ill. Bro. Stanley LaVerne Davidson, 33°,  71, of Basco, IL passed away on Thursday August 2, 2018 at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO. He was born May 25, 1947 in Keokuk, Iowa. He is survived by his wife Shirley, who he married on May 9, 1970, four children, eleven grandchildren, one great-granddaughter and four sisters. He served in the US Army and was a member of the Warsaw VFW. He worked at FerroSil in Keokuk for 38 years and became Plant Manager before the plant’s closing in 2002. He served on the Hancock County Board and was the longest serving board member in history on the Basco, IL Village Board. True to his spirit, Stanley was an organ and a tissue donor, giving the gift of life.  

Stanley was a very dedicated and active Freemason. He was a Past Master of Basco Masonic Lodge, the current secretary of Blackhawk Masonic Lodge in Hamilton, the Thrice Potent Master of the Lodge of Perfection at the Valley of Quincy Scottish Rite from 1996-1998 and Commander-in Chief at the Valley of Quincy from 2013-2015. Stanley received the Scottish Rite 33° at Providence, RI in 2008. He participated in many Scottish Rite Degrees and Masonic Funeral Services, and was a Past Patron of Browning Chapter OES and a board member of both the Hamilton Rainbow Girls and Quincy Rainbow Girls.

A Celebration of his Life will be will be at 10:00 AM on Friday August 10, 2018 at DeJong-Greaves Celebration of Life Center at 917 Blondeau Street, Keokuk, IA. Burial with Military Rites and the 33° Honor Guard will be at the Basco South Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM Thursday at the funeral home, followed by a public Masonic Funeral Service conducted by Black Hawk Masonic Lodge #238 starting at 8:00PM. Memorials are suggested for a Scottish Rite Scholarship to be established in his name.

Richard W. Parlier, 97, of Naples, died peacefully at home July 7th 2018. Formerly from Moline, Illinois and Chicago, he had been a Naples resident for over 30 years. Born in Sioux City, Iowa on May 2nd 1921, he attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois entering the Army Air Corps Cadet program, eventually becoming a First Lieutenant pilot flying P-51 Fighters.  He went on to work for Shell Oil Company for over 20 years and over 15 with Martin Oil Service, Chicago as Vice President of Real Estate. Richard was a member of the Sailing and Yacht Club for 22 years, enjoying dancing and sailing his 32′ Irwin sailboat. A longtime member of the Medinah Shriners in Illinois, Life Member of the Naples American Legion and Naples Elks.

He married Marjorie Holmes (deceased) in 1949, having five children, Richard H. Parlier of Naples, Marnell Carlson of Lockport, IL, Allison Dille of Eureka, MO, Janalou Koppes of Grays Lake, IL, Christian Parlier of Bakersfield, CA.  In 1973 he married Ruth Corn of Wilmington, IL (deceased) becoming the proud step-father to her four children, Linda Corn-Flynn of Ft. Myers, Cindy Thompson-Manchester of Aspen, CO, Michael Corn of Sarasota and the late Keith Corn of Aspen, CO.

There will be a visitation Friday, July 27th 2018 10am to 12 noon, with a funeral service at 10:30am, Fuller Funeral Home, 1625 Pine Ridge Road, Naples, FL.

Ill. Bro. Gary Curtis Mitchell, MSA, 33°, 79, Galesburg, died at 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 23, 2018, at home.
He was born Sept. 6, 1938, in Galesburg, to Lester and Ruth Lourie Mitchell. He married Karen Belle Kennedy on May 25, 1958, in Galesburg. She survives.
Also surviving are two sons, Curtis K. Mitchell of Phoenix, Arizona, and Lance M. (and Kathy) Mitchell of Knoxville; a sister, Linda (and Neal) McMeekan of East Peoria; five grandchildren, Kyle Mitchell, Tim Mitchell, Ryan Mitchell, Matthew Mitchell and Peyton Mitchell; a great-grandchild; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; and a son, Jeffrey D. Mitchell on June 15, 1992.
Gary graduated from Galesburg High School in 1956 and attended Western Illinois Teachers College in Macomb. He worked for Outboard Marine Corporation, Gale Products Division, Galesburg, for 30 years. He later worked for NAEIR for 17 years and retired in 2004. He attended Covenant Church in Galesburg. He was a member of the Masonic Vesper Lodge 584. He was the youngest Mason to achieve a 33rd degree Mason east of the Mississippi River. He was also a member of the Shriners and the O.A.K.S. Gary was well known for the voice of the P.A. announcer for Lombard and Churchill Junior High Schools, Galesburg High School, Carl Sandburg College, Knox College and ROWVA/Williamsfield High School. He was a member and past president of the JFL football program, Little League Baseball program and past president and vice president of the Babe Ruth Baseball program in Galesburg. Gary was assistant coach for the Galesburg American Legion Post 285 Baseball Team for several years. He served on the football chain crew for over 20 years. He was also a Cub Scout leader in Galesburg for several years. Gary was inducted into the Friends of GHS Athletics in 2007. He was an avid Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears fan.
As Gary wished, cremation will be accorded. A Masonic Service will be at 4 p.m.. Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Service Galesburg Chapel followed by a memorial service with Rev. Tom Ek officiating. A celebration of life visitation will then follow from 5 to 7 p.m. A private graveside committal service will be in Memorial Park Cemetery, Galesburg. Memorials may be made to the Covenant Church, OSF Hospice or Shriners Hospital for Children. Online condolences may be made at

Henry John Trefz, 87 of Rock Island, passed away Sunday July 22, 2018 at Friendship Manor, Rock Island.

Funeral services will be 10:00am Thursday at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 2324 18th Avenue, Rock Island, where he held membership. Visitation will be Wednesday from 2:00-6:00pm at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, 3030 7th Avenue, Rock Island, followed by a Masonic service at 6:00pm. Burial will be in Rose Lawn Cemetery, Moline. Memorials may be made to Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church or Shriners Hospital for Children, 2211 N. Oak Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60707.

Henry was born in Moline on January 4, 1931 the son of Raymond and Hazel Godfrey Trefz. He graduated from the University of Michigan with his MBA degree in 1954. He retired from John Deere as Manager of Corporate Reporting in 1986 after 30 years of service. Henry received one of two Deere and Company life time achievement awards for accounting.

He was Past Master of Doric Lodge 319, Moline, past treasurer and potentate of Kaaba Shriner, Davenport, past president of Shriners International Treasurer Association, and past president of Blackhawk Shrine Club of the Quad Cities. Henry was a CPA and a proud Michigan Wolverine Fan!

He is survived by nieces, Sarah (Bill) Turner and Kathy (Don) Shumway; nephews, Kevin (Cindy) Bean and Peter (Donna) Bean.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Anne Bean.

George Wilson Hurd Jr., 78, longtime businessman in Knoxville and Oneida, died at 10:45 p.m. Monday, July 16, 2018, at the Knox County Nursing Home in Knoxville.
He was born Dec. 13, 1939, in Moline, the son of George Wilson and Leaveu Leona (Brown) Hurd Sr. He married Marilyn K. Reihm on April 9, 1960, in Moline. She survives of Knoxville.
He leaves behind his family: Geoffrey (Diana) Hurd of Knoxville, Gregory (Margaret) Hurd of Chillicothe, Randy (Paulette) Hurd of Washington; two daughters, Michelle (Keith “Opey”) Greene of Knoxville and Teresa (Troy) Riley of Washington, Missouri; 11 grandchildren, Megan (Traig) Hurd-Cheney of Peoria Heights, Amanda (Jarred) Beckman of Galesburg, Garrett (Samantha) Hurd of Springfield, Missouri, Betsy Hurd of Chillicothe, Boston (Allison) Jacobs of Bloomington, Justin and Samantha Hurd of Washington, Abigail and Teaguen Riley of Washington, Missouri, Sheowly and Karolina Hurd of Knoxville; five stepgrandchildren; three great-grandchildren, Olivia and Lorelei Cheney, Nova Jacobs and five stepgreat-grandchildren; two brothers, John (Tommie) Hurd of Watertown, Wisconsin, and J. Robert (Jon Collins) Hurd of East Moline; one sister, Patty Haney Ward of Geneseo; and other relatives and many friends. He was preceded in death by his father, George W. Hurd Sr.; and mother and stepfather, LeRoy and Leaveu Barber.
George was raised and educated in East Moline and Silvis, attending McKinley School, D.B. Hoffman School in East Moline, and the Silvis McKinley School. He graduated from United Township High School in East Moline in 1957. He then attended the Moline Community College, and finally the Worsham Mortuary College in Chicago, graduating in 1960 as a licensed funeral director. George was a member of Delta Pi Epsilon Fraternity.
While attending high school, he worked for Schroder Mortuary in Silvis. During mortuary school, he worked for Kamps Mortuary in Chicago. After graduation, he was employed by Trimble Funeral Home in Moline, Myers Funeral Home in Geneseo, Hurley Funeral Home in Havana, Daley Mortuary in Port Byron, Beck’s Memorial Home and Metzler Funeral Home in Bloomington, and Peterson-Wallin-Knox Funeral Home and Furniture Store in Woodhull and Alpha. He then went on to purchase the Vandemore Funeral Home in Atkinson and the Hendricks Funeral Home in Oneida in 1978, the Martin-Trumbold Funeral Home in Knoxville in 1979, changing the names to Hurd-Hendricks Funeral Homes, and the Root Funeral Home in Maquon in 1994.
George was a member of the Knoxville United Methodist Church in Knoxville. He was also a member of Pacific Masonic Lodge 66 A.F. & A.M. of Knoxville; the Knoxville Chapter 880, Order of the Eastern Star, where he served as Worthy Patron in 1989 and 1999; he was a life member of the Valley of Moline, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. He helped organize the tri-county ambulance service in Henry, Mercer, and Knox Counties, involving four fire districts around Alpha, New Windsor, Woodhull, and Rio, serving as director and EMT. He was also a board member of the Oneida Cemetery Association, as well as a charter member of the Oak Run First Responders, organized in 1999, Carl Sandburg Mortuary Science Board, currently sexton of the Knoxville Cemetery, and serving on the Endowment Trust Fund Board for the OES Home in Macon.

John Philip Melcher, 61, of Geneseo, passed away Monday, July 9, 2018, at UnityPoint Health-Trinity Rock Island.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 14, 2018, at First United Methodist Church, 302 N State St., Geneseo. Visitation will be Friday, July 13, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, Ltd., 6601 38th Ave., Moline. Cremation rites will follow services. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church of Geneseo or to Shriners Hospitals For Children.

John was born on Oct. 1, 1956, in Rosiclare, Ill., the son of William Henry and Marjorie Ann Aupperle Melcher. He married Jami Johnson on Nov. 30, 1985, in East Moline. John worked as a civil engineer for the Illinois Department of Transportation for 32 years, and later at McClure EngineeringIMEG Corp.

John was a member at First United Methodist Church in Geneseo, where he served as an usher, greeter and with the church’s BackPack Blessings Program. He was a member of the Doric Lodge No. 319 AF + AM, Moline, and Past Patron of the Moline Chapter No. 258, Order of Eastern Star. John enjoyed fishing and spending time with his family.

Survivors include his wife, Jami Melcher; son, Matthew (Erica) Melcher, Jacksonville, Ill.; daughter, Megan (Steven) Olson, Princeton, Ill.; grandchild, Lucy Melcher; and brother, Richard (Patty) Melcher, Benton, Ill.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Jody Lentz.

Memories may be shared online by visiting

It is with deep regret that I inform you of the death of

Ill. Bro. Dick J. Carroll, 33°

on June 19th 2018 at the Christian Village in Lincoln, Illinois.

Dick was born on April 7, 1937, in Pekin. He married Kayelene A. “Kay” Sidell on Aug. 17, 1991, in Pekin. She survives.

Also surviving are one daughter, Jody Curtis; one son, Scott Carroll; two step-daughters, Kristy Adams and Tammy Hedrick; eight grandchildren; and one great-grandson. He also leaves his faithful dog, Ebony, who was always by his side.

Dick was a United States Air Force veteran and worked as a letter carrier in Pekin and then a real estate agent at one time.

Dick was a Mason for more than 60 years and was very active in Masonic groups throughout the State of Illinois. He was the prime mover in organizing Cathedral Lodge #1179 and was Past Master of Tremont Lodge #462, Empire Lodge #126 and Cathedral Lodge #1179. He was a Grand Lecturer, Past Member of the Board of Grand Examiners and member of credentials Committee of the Grand Lodge.

In the Scottish Rite, Valley of Peoria, he was Past Thrice Potent Master and had received the 33°.

In the York Rite Bodies, he was Past Excellent High Priest, Past Thrice Illustrious Master and Past Eminent Commander. He also was chairman of the Board of Grand Examiners for the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of the State of Illinois and Order of the Purple Cross. He was Past Grand Master of the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons.

His other masonic memberships included Past Puissant Sovereign of the Red Cross of Constantine; Member of York Rite College #42; Past Eminent Prior of Knight York Cross of Honor of Illinois; Past President of the Holy Royal Order Knight Templar Priests; Allied Masonic Degrees; National Sojourners; DeMolay Legion of Honor and Knight Masons. He was a member of Mohammed Temple Shrine and was active in the Dramads. Dick was also an Odd Fellow Past Noble Grand

A visitation was held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 30, 2018, at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin. Masonic rites were conducted at 4 p.m., with a memorial service officiated by Pastor Judy Steger Kennedy following. Military rites were also provided by the United States Air Force and Tazewell Area Ceremonial Team.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Illinois Council Nurses Foundation, c/o Ron Fullerlove, 541 Crestview Drive, Sherrard, IL 61281; or Empire Lodge #126, c/o David Campbell, 4175 Allentown Road, Pekin, IL 61554

RWB Carroll departed to the Grand Lodge above on the 19th day of June 2018.

Thus ends the Earthly record of this just and upright man and mason.

Aledo’s biggest fan, Richard E. “Dick” Maynard, Sr., passed away Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at Genesis Medical Center in Aledo.

Services will be 10:30 AM Monday, June 4, at Bewley Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Aledo. Burial, with Military Honors, will be in the Aledo Cemetery.

Visitation will be 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM Sunday, June 3, at the funeral home. The family will be present from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, with Masonic Rites to follow.

Dick was born January 15, 1933, the son of Sydnie Elizabeth Edwards and Clayton Dale “Bill” Maynard. He was raised by his maternal grandmother, Selma Edwards. He graduated from Aledo High School in 1951 and attended Western Illinois University.

Dick married the love of his life, Jennievee O. Blackman, of Seaton, Illinois, on August 23, 1952, in El Montecito, California.

After serving in the military, he worked for Illinois Power. He served as Mercer County Sheriff from 1958 to 1962. In 1963, he went into business with the late Charles Ford Sr. and formed Ford & Maynard Real
Estate and Insurance Agency.

Dick invested much time into the Aledo downtown. He was instrumental in bringing numerous businesses to Mercer County. He owned and operated the Aledo Opera House, The Slammer/Great Escape, Aledo Hardware, as well as the Aledo Depot.

Dick was a devoted Democrat. He served as the Mercer County Democratic Chairman for 40 years. He was
a member of the Aledo United Methodist Church, Aledo Jaycees, Masonic Lodge No. 252, VFW Post No.1571 and the American Legion Post No. 121.

Those left to honor and cherish his memory are his loving and devoted wife, Jennie; his sons, Richard E. Jr. (Mary) Maynard of Aledo, Ronald (Patty) Maynard of Chandler, Arizona, Roger (Jackie) Maynard and Robert (Becky) Maynard all of Aledo; and one daughter, Jane (Bill) Stropes of Aledo. He also leaves behind eighteen grandchildren; and twenty-five great grandchildren.

Those meeting him in Heaven are his parents and grandparents; sister, Judy Haines; brothers, Tom Haines and Jimmy Maynard; and two great grandchildren, Erika Kate Maynard and Elijah Michael Maynard.

Memorials may be left to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Erika Kate Hope Alliance, Aledo United Methodist Church or charity of choice. Online condolences may be left for Dick’s family at www.

Joseph “Hob” Cantrell, 85, of Carbon Cliff, passed away Friday, June 29, 2018, at New Perspective Senior Living, Silvis.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, July 3, 2018, at 10 a.m. at Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, Ltd., 6601 38th Ave., Moline.  Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Monday, July 2, 2018, with a Masonic Service following at 7 p.m. all at the funeral home.  Cremation rites will follow services.  Memorials may be made to the family for a fund to be established in Joseph’s name.

Joseph was born on November 13, 1932 in Hamilton, AL, the son of Turner and Ola Ridings Cantrell.  He married Florence A. Anton on December 5, 1953 in East Moline.  Joseph owned and operated Cantrell’s Body Shop, Garage, and Towing.  Prior to owning his own business, Joseph worked at John Deere Plow and Planter.  Joseph was involved in the Carbon Cliff Optimist Club and was the Carbon Cliff Police Chief and Carbon Cliff Assistant Fire Chief.  Joseph was a 32nd Degree Mason and a member of Clement Lodge No. 680 of Colona.  He enjoyed collecting and working on clocks.

Survivors include his wife, Florence Cantrell, Carbon Cliff; children, Joseph (Jessica) Cantrell, Silvis, Daniel Cantrell, Carbon Cliff; Patti (Mike) VanDeWoestyne, East Moline, Lonnie Cantrell, Silvis, Todd (Lisa) Cantrell, Carbon Cliff; grandchildren, Luke (Abbey) VanDeWoestyne, Elgin, IL, Joseph (Kristy) Cantrell, MO, Jill (Corey) Hynes, MO, Justin Wilson, CA, Adam (Jamie) Cantrell, Rockton, IL, Julie VanDeWoestyne, Davenport, Cassandra Cantrell, GA, Travis Hauman, Orion, and Collin, Kylie, and Dylan Cantrell all of Carbon Cliff; and several great grandchildren. 

He was preceded in death by a grandson, Brady Cantrell; one great grandson and three sisters.

Lewis R. Jinks, 95, of New Boston, died Sunday, June 10, 2018, at Crest Care Center at Ridgecrest Village, Davenport, where he had lived the past six years.

Funeral services will be held at Dennison Funeral Home in Aledo on Thursday, June 14, at 11:30 a.m., with visitation from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will be in New Boston Cemetery, with military rites by Aledo American Legion. Following the graveside is a time of food and fellowship at the First Christian Church, Keithsburg. Memorials may be left for Keithsburg First Christian Church, Ridgecrest Foundation Koning Charitable Fund or New Boston Fire and Ambulance.

Lewis Robert Jinks was born April 23, 1923, on a farm south of Viola to Clarence and Barbara Smith Jinks. Lew attended Rock Island public schools until his senior year, when his family moved, he graduated from Port Byron High School in 1942. After high school he went on to graduate from Worsham College of Mortuary Science. Lew entered the Army during World War II, serving in the South Pacific and Iwo Jima with the 147th Infantry. On March 7, 1948, he married Betty J. Clauson in Aledo. They were married for 62 years until Betty died on Aug. 17, 2010. Lew was a licensed funeral director and embalmer, working for Larson Funeral Home in Rock Island for over 20 years. In 1980, the family moved to Joy when Lew purchased the Olin Funeral Homes in Joy, Keithsburg and New Boston and the Crummy Funeral Homes in Viola and Reynolds. He then opened a funeral home in Aledo … all of which became Jinks Funeral Homes of Mercer County. A few years later, Lew and Betty moved to their cabin in New Boston where they spent many happy years overlooking the Mississippi River. Lew retired from funeral service in 1992. He was a member of the Aledo Masonic Lodge and Aledo Exchange Club. In his free time he enjoyed golfing, boating, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Those left to cherish his memory are his daughters and sons-in-law: Elizabeth and Arthur Stewart, of Round Rock, Texas, and Kristen “Tina” Nelson-Boutros and Dr. Rami Boutros of Iowa City, Iowa; grandchildren: Kaden (Jillian Hennenfent) Nelson, Garen Nelson, Taven Nelson-Boutros, Laken Nelson-Boutros and Lilien Nelson-Boutros; best friend: Barbara Thede; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; and siblings: Marjorie Jinks, Lawrence Jinks, Grace Brown, Wilbur Jinks and Dorothy Wright Prahl.

Online condolences may be left at

James W. Dunn, 71, died at home in the care of family and Hospice, on June 6, 2018, after an 11-month struggle with cancer. He resided between Buffalo Prairie and Reynolds.

Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Friday, June 22, at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, 201 E. 4th Ave., Milan.

Private burial will be at a later time. Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Memorial donations can be made to the Development Office, Shriners Hospital for Children-Chicago, 2211 N. Oak Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60707.

Jim was the son of William Dunn and Florence L. Roberts Dunn. He attended Southside Grade School, in Aledo, until 1955. He then attended Woodside, Oswestry, England; Eastern Green Jr. High and Heart of England High School, Coventry, England, from 1957 until 1963. Jim attended Aledo High School from 1963 through his graduation in 1966.

Jim enlisted in the United States Air Force and completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in August 1966. He went to technical training for electronic warfare repair at Keesler AFB, Biloxi, Miss., before being stationed at Mather (1967) and McClellan

(1969-1970) Air Force Bases near Sacramento, Calif. Jim spent 1968 at Udorn RTAFB, Thailand, with temporary duties in Vietnam.

After completing military service, Jim was employed by Illinois Bell, then Ameritech and A.T. & T. for 40 years before retiring in 2012. He served on the board of what is now Vibrant Credit Union for 13 years. A marriage ended in divorce in 1996.

Jim had many interests and hobbies. He spent a lot of time beekeeping with his grandfather, Rollie Dunn, before going in the Air Force. He loved fishing both locally and on the Great Lakes, golfing with fellow telephone guys and in tournaments, and was an avid hunter and tracker.

He was past master of Buffalo Prairie Masonic Lodge 679. He also was a member of Scottish Rite, Moline, and Mohassan Grotto, Davenport.

His real passion was breeding and training Drathaars/German Wire-haired Pointers and working to improve the breed both nationally and internationally. He was a member of VDD GNA-Group North America. He was a performance judge and a breed show judge for the same international organization. Jim was a member and judge for NAVHDA (North America Versatile Hunting Dogs). He continually promoted the development of the Drathaar breed and was actively involved in training of hunting dogs. He regularly advised on general dog training, even through his long illness. He will be met by Rusty, Dolly, Amsel, Pasha, Anuschka, Aster and Otto, among many others. He loved puppies and the challenge of training them.

Jim is survived by his sister, Sandra, and her husband, Bill Farrington, and their son, John Farrington, Sackets Harbor, N.Y.; his nieces, Jennifer, and her husband, Ben Cook, New Orleans, La, and Jolene, and her husband, James Burns, Sacramento, Calif.; and two great-nieces, Zena M. Cook and Avery E. Burns.

His parents; grandparents; nephew, James Farrington; and friend of 50 years, Gary Castor, died before him.

Jim treasured his many friends from all walks of life. His family is very thankful for the love and support of all his friends over the years, especially through his long illness.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

James Joseph Lerch Sr., 77, of Rock Island, died Sunday, May 6, 2018, at Select Specialty Hospital, Davenport. Visitation will be Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. with a Masonic service being conducted at 7 p.m. at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, Rock Island. A funeral service will be 10 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Burial will be at Rock Island National Cemetery, Arsenal Island, where military honors will be conducted. Memorials may be made in care of South Park Presbyterian Church, Rock Island.

James was born in Rock Island on Nov. 1, 1940, a son of Joseph H. and Julia VanDenHende Lerch. He married Patricia Kester on July 31, 1965, at South Park Presbyterian Church, Rock Island.

James was a U.S. Navy veteran. He worked as a cold mill operator at Alcoa for 36 years. He was also the chief of police in Sherrard for 25 years and served 10 years with the Milan Auxiliary Police.

James was a member of South Park Presbyterian Church, Rock Island, a Mason of the Scottish Rite, member of the Masonic Lodge No. 1014 AF & AM, Moline and the Evening Lions Club, Rock Island.

He enjoyed gardening, canning, golfing and bowling.

Those left to cherish his memory include his wife, Patricia Lerch, Rock Island; children (and spouses), James (Julie) Lerch Jr., Glen Ellen, Ill., David P. (Julie) Lerch, Fruitland, Iowa, Melissa K. (Dale) Partain, Rock Island, and Paul M. (Charity) Lerch, Greenwood, Ark.; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Sue Horsman.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

James H. Hamer, 86, lifelong resident of Atkinson, passed away Tuesday, April 24, 2018, at Hillcrest Home in Geneseo, Ill., surrounded by his family. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 30, 2018, at the Atkinson Congregational Church. The Rev. Dan Wright will officiate. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery, Geneseo. Visitation will take place Sunday, April 29, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Vandemore Funeral Home & Crematory, Atkinson Chapel, where a Masonic ritual will be conducted at 5 p.m. by Stewart Masonic Lodge No. 92 AF&AM. Memorials may be left to the Jim Hamer Memorial Fund, which will be distributed among several local organizations.

Jim was born July 19, 1931, the son of William and Julia (Nowers) Hamer, in Geneseo, Ill. He graduated from Atkinson High School with the class of 1949. Jim married Edley A. Taber on May 27, 1951, in Atkinson, Ill. He was a lifetime and very active member of the Atkinson Congregational Church. Jim worked for John Deere Foundry Works in East Moline as a grinder for 30 years, retiring in 1981. He was a proud veteran of the United States Army Reserve. Jim was a member of the 32nd degree of Stewart Masonic Lodge No. 92 AF&AM, where he served as Worshipful Master. Jim was also active on the Atkinson School Board and Kiwanis Club for many years. Jim was very dedicated to the Village of Atkinson and was the mayor of Atkinson for several years. He loved his family and church very much and was always helping others.

Those left to cherish his memory include his wife, Edley; sons, Jim (Lori) Hamer, and Jon (Renee) Hamer; daughters, Janis (Lloyd) Smith, and Juli Hamer; along with eight grandchildren, Holly (Scott) VanOpdorp, Kate (Brock) Wyffels, Nick Hamer, Leslie (Kris) Judd, Eric (Amber) Hamer, Austin Hamer, Preston Cartwright and Jessie Cartwright; and four great-grandchildren, Carter, Lilly, Hadley and Sawyer.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents; William and Julia; brothers, Bill, Walt and Roy Hamer; and sisters, Wilma Seyller and Janet Gustafson.

Share a message of sympathy with Jim’s family at

Euin “Sam” Sandusky, 86, of Coal Valley, IL, died Thursday, March 22, 2018, at UnityPoint Trinity West in Rock Island, IL.

Per his wishes, he will be cremated.  A visitation will be held Sunday, March 25th, from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church in Coal Valley, IL.  Services will be Monday, March 26th, at the church, at 10:00 a.m., with burial in Western Cemetery near Orion, IL.

Memorials may be made to the family.

Sam was born in Bronte, TX, on September 25, 1931, son of Jesse Mack and Martha (Lowry) Sandusky.   On August 28, 1953, he married JoAnn Hedrick, who preceded him in death September 29, 2004.

He attended schools in Gainesville, TX, and then served his country in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict.  During his life, he owned Sandusky Construction, Quint City Barricade.  He was born a cowboy, and enjoyed stock car racing, rodeos, and running heavy equipment.

Survivors include sons, Jim (Cindy) Sandusky, Todd (Kelli) Sandusky, and Scott Sandusky; a brother, Billy Joe (Betty) Sandusky; grandchildren, Cassie (Nate) Leffler, Jessica (Ben) Proust, Zane (Cory Wessells) Sandusky, Erica Sandusky, and Landon Sandusky; great-grandchild, Ariah Leffler; and special friend, Gwen Emerson of Coal Valley.

He was preceded in death by his wife and his parents.

A Masonic service will be accorded for Brother Sandusky on Sunday the 25th of March at 7:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church 2431 1st Coal Valley, Illinois.  He was a 54-year member of the Fraternity

Max Dean Wright, 53, of Rock Island, passed away unexpectedly Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, at home.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, at Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, 6601 38th Ave., Moline. Visitation will be on Monday from 4-7 the funeral home with a Masonic service at 3 p.m. Cremation rites will follow services. Memorials may be made to the family.

Max was born on July 12, 1964, in Moline, the son of LaVernon P. and Katherine Emma Moritz Wright. He married Mary J. Dodson on July 12, 1986, in Union City, Mich. He was the owner and operator of Certified Cleaning and Restoration and Lucky Ducky’s Video Poker and Slots.

Max was a 32nd Degree Mason of the Scottish Rite and Coordinate Bodies Valley of Moline, member of the Doric Lodge 319 AF + AM, Moline. He was also an instructor for the Illinois Child Identification Program.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Wright, Rock Island; daughter, Amie (Jordan) Bonilla, Moline, and Ashley (Chrys) Wright, Rock Island; grandchildren, Malaya Bonilla, Tristan Bonilla, Tatum Garrett; brother, LaVernon (Bonnie) Wright, Moline; sisters, Debbie (Larry) Carlson, Florida, Nina Diane Sentner, Florida, and Ginny (Ron) Potter, Missouri; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Mary Lou and Tom Dodson; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Rich; and one sister, Velma Lorraine Wright.

Memories may be shared online by visiting

Please plan to attend his Masonic service on Monday.

Arcie A. Sapato, 96, of Moline, died Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, at Heartland Health Care Center, Moline.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, at Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, 6601 38th Ave., Moline. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m.Tuesday, Feb. 13, at the funeral home. Burial will be at the Rock Island National Cemetery, Arsenal Island, where military honors will be conducted by the Moline American Legion Post 246. Memorials may be made to All Saints Episcopal Church, Moline.

Arcie was born on Oct. 29, 1921, in Dallas, Texas, the son of John and Lucille Sapato. He married Dorothy Fern Arnold on Sept. 23, 1946. In his early years, he worked as a welder, and later as an inspector for John Deere for 33 years, retiring in 1983.

Arcie was a veteran, having proudly served in the United States Army during World War II, where he served in the European Theatre. Arcie was a member of All Saints Episcopal Church of Moline. He was a former Moline VFW member and was a member of UAW 865. Arcie was a member of the Silvis Masonic Lodge No. 898 AF & A.M. and the Moline Consistory.

Survivors include his wife, Dorothy; children, Stephen (Kristen) Sapato, Tampa, Fla.; son-in-law, Gerald Schmidt, Moline; four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and brother, Daniel Sapato, Chicago.

He was preceded in death by daughter, Cheryl Schmidt; parents; sisters, Violet, Marie, Judy, Margaret and Gloria; and brothers, Albert, Paul, Tony and John.

Memories may be shared online by visiting

Ill ⸫ Allen Gilbert “Bud” Spencer 33°, Marseilles, Illinois.

Allen Gilbert “Bud” Spencer was born on December 24, 1920 in Niagara Falls, New York and passed away Saturday, February 3, 2018, Marseilles, Illinois.

He was raised a Master Mason March 21, 1942 in Marseilles Lodge, No. 417 A.F. & A.M. and was a seventy-five-year member of the Lodge.  He served as Worshipful Master in 1952, and for some number years thereafter as Treasurer.  He was a member of the Spring Reunion Class, Valley of Bloomington, in 1948.  He was coroneted a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33° and made an Honorary Member of the Supreme Council on September 29, 1976 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He was also a member of Mohammed Shrine, Ottamar Shrine Club, and the Order of Eastern Star.

After study at Balliol College, Oxford University, Oxford, England, and graduation in 1942 from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illustrious Brother Spencer was drafted into the U.S. Army, serving in the 745th Tank Battalion of the 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One) which landed on the beaches of Normandy.  He participated in five campaigns and twelve major battles including the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest, So. Lo, and Mons, Belgium.  He received a battlefield commission, and promotion.  He was awarded the Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars, and a Silver Star.  He was a Past Secretary-Treasurer of the 745th Tank Battalion Association, and a charter member of both the Marseilles American Legion Post No. 235 and the Marseilles V.F.W. Post No. 5506.

Upon his return to Marseilles he, and his wife, “Lainie”, owned and operated Spencer Insurance Agency for over fifty years.  Brother Spencer’s civic service included Past President, Marseilles Chamber of Commerce: Board of Directors for Community Hospital of Ottawa; Twin Oaks Savings Bank; Marseilles Nursing Service; Marseilles Recreation Board; and the Marseilles Cemetery Association.  He was proud of over fifty-years perfect attendance in the Marseilles Rotary Club and was also a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity.

Illustrious Brother Spencer was active in the First Congregational Church, Marseilles serving as Moderator, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Church Clerk, Finance Secretary and Sunday School Teacher and Superintendent.

Bud was predeceased by his wife, Elizabeth Elaine “Lainie” Carlson Spencer.  He is survived by his daughter, Sally Spencer of Marseilles: a son, Rom (Tracy) Spencer of Marseilles; seven grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at Seals-Campbell Funeral Home, Marseilles with Masonic Services at 7:00 p.m.  Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 7 at First Congregational Church, Marseilles, with interment to follow at Riverview Cemetery, Marseilles with Military Honors.

D.D. Darrah Thirty-Third Degree Club members will be seated together and serve as honorary pallbearers.  Please plan to arrive at the Church around 10:30 a.m. with your caps.

Memorial gifts to the Permanent Fund, Valley of Bloomington A.A.S.R. will be appropriately acknowledged.

Take thine ease,

Rest and refresh thyself,

Enter into the Holy House of the Lord,

Thou good and faithful servant.

Thus ends the Masonic record of this just and upright man and Mason.


Barry D. Weer, 33°

Executive Secretary

Dennis C. Whicker Jr., 52, of Rock Island, passed away Friday Feb. 2, 2018, at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Iowa City.

Services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, Milan. Visitation will be Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be left to the family.

Dennis was born Feb. 17, 1965, in Rock Island, the son of Dennis C. Whicker Sr. and Dianne Peasley. He married Tammara S. Britcher on Oct. 22, 1988, in Moline. Dennis was a U.S. Army veteran.

Mr. Whicker had been employed as a sheriff’s deputy and later a correctional officer with Rock Island County. He had also been employed with McGiverns Jewelry Store as a jeweler.

Dennis had formerly been a member and trustee of the Fraternal order of Police District 12 and the Trio Lodge in Rock Island.

Survivors include his wife, Tammy; children, Joshua Whicker, Amanda Whicker; granddaughter, Joshlynn; mother, Dianne Paulsgrove; stepfather, Lyle Paulsgrove; stepmother, Mary Whicker; siblings, Patty Fisher, Tiffany (Tom) Sanborn, Todd Whicker, Jimmy (Val) Paulsgrove; several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded by his father, Dennis Whicker Sr. in 2009.

Online condolences may be left for the family at

Ill. John T. Phillips, 33° Memorial, 1947-2018

It is with great sadness that I relay the passing of our dear friend and brother, John Thomas Phillips.  In the comfort of home, surrounded by close friends and family, and while in the loving embrace of his bride Cathy, Illustrious Brother Phillips was called to eternal refreshment by the Grand Architect of the Universe on Saturday, January 6, 2018.  He was 70 years old.

A memorial service and visitation open to all who wish to attend will be held on Thursday, January 11, 2018, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, at the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago, located at 383 E. Lake Street, Bloomingdale, Illinois 60108.  Masonic funeral services conducted by Illumination Lodge No. 5, A.F. & A.M., will take place at 8:00 pm. Dinner service will be available starting 6:00 pm.

Illustrious John T. Phillips, 33°, was an accomplished Freemason and devoted Scottish Rite member.  As an Active Member of the Supreme Council, Grand Lieutenant Commander, and Deputy for the State of Illinois, John was instrumental in leading the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, Illinois Council of Deliberation, and Valley of Chicago.

As a personal mentor and friend to all, John’s legacy will live on through the hearts and minds of the so many men and women whose lives he has touched throughout his life’s journey.  If we may feel like there is one less tie binding us together here on earth, may we feel that there is an even stronger, deathless tie, binding us to Heaven.

I am sure that John will be remembered for many things, but by far his greatest quality was simply how kind and generous of a man he was.  We have suffered a great loss, but John provided us with an example of how to live one’s life to its fullest.  Even though we mourn his passing, we celebrate the life of a man who so many of us knew and loved.


Edward J. Witas III, MSA, 33°

Executive Secretary & COO