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Death of Francis “Red” Paul Gibbons

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Francis “Red” Paul Gibbons, 88 of Gillespie, passed away on March 7, 2023. He was born on March 27, 1934, and was an only child born to parents Paul and Ann Gibbons of Gillespie. He had curly, red hair, chubby cheeks and blue eyes, hence the nickname, “Red.” Frank attended SS Simon and Jude School and graduated from Gillespie High School in 1951. 

After high school, he graduated from Harbor College with a degree in business administration. Growing up in Gillespie, Frank spent much of his time with friends going fishing and swimming in the local ponds. Frank mowed 25 lawns a week. In 1948, at age 14, he took several pictures of the tornado that destroyed many homes creating an interest in photography. 

In the 10th grade, he met Shirley Allen at the skating rink in Carlinville.  Frank drove fast in his 1947 Hudson back and forth from Gillespie to Carlinville chasing the love of his life. Frank and Shirley were married on November 10, 1952, at St. Mary’s Church in Carlinville. 

Frank joined the Air Force and was stationed in Riverside, CA. After his discharge, they liked California and decided to stay there. In 1962, after having five children, Frank and Shirley moved to Gillespie to be closer to family where they had two more children. Frank retired from American International Group in 1989. 

For the next 10 years, they moved to Sunset Lake, Girard, where they enjoyed boating, fishing, gardening, family get-togethers, and Florida in the winter. Francis was a former member and past president of Sunset Lake, Girard. 

After a short illness, Shirley passed away in 1998. Frank met Patricia Van Son from West Covina, CA, and they were married in 1999. Frank and Pat divided their time between CA, IL and AZ. Frank and Pat enjoyed traveling, gambling and spending time with family. 

In 2018, Frank decided to live in Illinois full-time to be closer to family.  Francis was a former member of the Elks Club, Litchfield, Knights of Columbus, Gillespie and SS Simon and Jude Church, Gillespie.

Frank was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley; grandchildren, Melissa and Ashley Wenzel; favorite uncle, Secondo Ferrari; and parents, Paul and Ann Gibbons. 

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Frank is survived by his children, Linda (Steve) Haddad of Troy, Connie (John) Wenzel of Benld, Carol (John) Marciukaitis of Gillespie, Gail Dufner Woodland, CA, Brian Gibbons of Clearwater, FL, John Gibbons of Fort Myers, FL, and Lisa (Jeff) Broom of Carlinville; 11 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and lifelong best friend, Richard Sereg of Gillespie. 

Private family services will be held at SS Simon and Jude Church with burial in Holy Cross Cemetery.  Memorials are suggested to Macoupin County Animal Shelter. Kravanya Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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Obituaries

Death of Eugene A. “Gene” Bentrup

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Eugene A. “Gene” Bentrup, age 86 of rural Staunton, passed away at 5:15 PM on Friday, April 19, 2024, at Staunton Health & Rehab Center in Staunton.  He was born on Tuesday, March 15, 1938, in Staunton, the son of the late Louis and Ella (Heigert) Bentrup.  

He married Shirley Repovich on June 9, 1962, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Livingston and she survives.

Gene served our country in the United States Army.  He was employed as a grain inspector for Toberman Grain & Feed Company in East St. Louis for many years.  He enjoyed gardening, mowing grass, shopping with Shirley, traveling with the Goldenaires Club, bowling, and table games.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley Bentrup of rural Staunton, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.  

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother in infancy, Otto Bentrup.

Friends may call from 9:00 AM to 10:45 AM on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Lesicko Funeral Home in Livingston. Funeral services for Gene Bentrup will be held at 11 AM on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Lesicko Funeral Home in Livingston with Rev. Fr. Thomas Hagstrom officiating.

Burial will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery in Staunton with the  Staunton Veterans Honor Guard conducting graveside military rites. Memorials are suggested to either Heartland Hospice, St. Michael Catholic Church of Staunton, or to the charity of the donor’s choice

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Obituaries

Death of Wanda Kaye (Huffman) Bernot

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Wanda Kaye (Huffman) Bernot, 77 of Benld, was freed from the shackles of Alzheimer’s Disease on April 22, 2024. She passed peacefully with family by her side at Community Hospital of Staunton. A poetic end for she was a selfless person.

Wanda was born on September 7, 1946, in St. Louis, MO, the daughter of the late Vernon and Gladys (Conner) Huffman. She was raised in Staunton and was a graduate of Staunton High School. She married Pete Bernot on February 20, 1965, in Benld. They lived in Benld where they raised their only child, Jeff. 

Wanda dedicated her time to a career in public service by working for the State of Illinois.  Much of her work for the state was spent with the Department of Public Aid as a caseworker and director in the Carlinville field office.  She was also a member of the Croatian Fraternal Union. 

Wanda never shied away from helping people. After retirement, she served as Benld’s City Clerk and served on the Gillespie CUSD#7 Site Selection Committee for the location of the new elementary school.  

She leaves behind her son, Jeffrey A. Bernot of Benld; her grandchildren, Rylee Bernot (Cassidy) of Benld, Peyton Bernot of Benld, and Ashleigh Feldmann (Daniel) of Staunton;  great-grandchildren, Elexia, Jace, Jax, and Emreigh; a sister, Rita Soens of Williamson; a niece, Sherry Warren (Mike); and great-nieces, Shelby and McKenzie. 

She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband Pete, who passed away on April 21, 2018.

Friends may call from 4 to 7 PM on Monday, April 29, 2024, at Williamson Funeral Home in Staunton. A memorial service will be held at 11 AM on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, at Williamson Funeral Home in Staunton with Pastor Dane Solari officiating.  

Memorials are suggested to The Partnership for Educational Excellence for the Pete & Wanda Bernot Scholarship Fund.

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Death of Rodney Lee McQuaid

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Rodney Lee McQuaid, 62 of Shipman, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at home. He was born on January 31, 1962, in Alton, the son of the late Roy “RD” and Ramona Kay (Moran) McQuaid.

Rodney married the love of his life Sherry Lynn Whitten on October 12, 1984, in Alton. She preceded him in death in 2020.  Together they enjoyed traveling and spending time with their family, always spoiling their nieces and nephews whom they dearly loved. He was a manager at Speedway Salvage and could usually be found getting into trouble on his tractor.

Rodney is survived by his brother, Skip (Marcia) McQuaid; sister, Sherrie (Randy) Durbin; five nieces and nephews; five great nieces and nephews; and sister-in-law, Gloria Joyce.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Sherry Lynn, and parents, RD and Kay McQuaid.

Visitation will be held from 10 am until the time of funeral service at Noon on Monday, April 22, 2024, at Anderson Family Funeral Home in Brighton. Burial will follow at Shipman Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Parkinson’s Foundation.

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