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Death of Mary Jo “Jody” Chulick Griggs

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Mary Jo “Jody” Chulick Griggs died peacefully on February 16 at her home at Morningside in Newport News, VA after suffering from kidney disease.  She had been a resident of Newport News, VA since March 2011, when she moved from Hendersonville, NC to be closer to her grandson and family.  She was a longtime resident of Des Peres, MO and will always call St. Louis her home.

She was preceded in death by her loving and devoted husband of 55 Years, Dr. James Young Griggs.  She was the sister of Dr. John W. Chulick, and wife Frances, of Pembroke Pines, FL.  She was the mother of Judith Ann Griggs Renfro of Enka, NC.  She was the proud grandmother of Eric Ryan Renfro, and wife Shannon, of Hayes, VA; great grandmother of Jeremy Ryan and Irelynn Elizabeth Renfro, and the late Savannah Grace Renfro.

Born in Benld, IL on June 28, 1925, she attended Benld High School, class of 1944 and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in dress design in 1948.

Prior to marriage, she was the Head of the Patricia Stephens Modeling Agency.  She starred and played piano in the Charlotte Peter’s noontime TV show.  She also starred in her own TV show called “To the Ladies” which aired in St. Louis in the early 1950s, and went by the professional name Mary Jo Martin.

She was married to Jim at 1st Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, MO on August 4, 1951.  She and her husband traveled with the Navy and spent time in Panama from 1953-1955.

Jody and Jim welcomed daughter, Judie, in May of 1957.  Jody and her husband built their home in Des Peres in 1960 and while raising their young daughter, Judie, Jody had a conversation with Mayor Hugh McNew in 1962, answering a call to have more women involved in government, she began 20 years in city government in Des Peres.  In 1962, she served on the Board of Adjustment until 1965, then ran and won the position of Alderwoman of Ward I 1965-1970, was elected Acting Mayor by the board of aldermen in 1968, then ran and won Mayor of Des Peres in 1970.  She was the first woman mayor of Des Peres and one of the few in the nation, and proudly served as Mayor 1970-1972.  She was elected Alderwoman again, serving from 1983 until 1987.    During her tenure as Alderwoman, she was on the Board overseeing the development of West County Mall.  Additionally, she served on many other boards and commissions before and after her term as Mayor.

She enjoyed gardening and was President of the Harwood Hills Garden Club (now Harwood Hills Women’s Club) in 1966, and again in 1992 to 1995.  She also enjoyed playing bridge with friends and belonged to several Bridge Clubs.  She was also active in several social clubs in the St. Louis area.  She loved music fondly and enjoyed playing the piano as well as becoming an accomplished artist in her later years.

She was very political and participated in several Republican Party activities, and enjoyed working the polls in later years with her husband, Jim.

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A gathering of friends and family will be held at 10:00AM, Friday, February 24 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Benld, followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:00AM with Msgr. Lawrence Auda, officiating.  Burial will be held at the Holy Cross Cemetery, Gillespie, IL.

Kravanya Funeral Home, is in charge of the arrangements.

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Obituaries

Death of Donald F. Brown

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Donald F. Brown, 75 of Carlinville, passed away peacefully at home in the care and comfort of his extended family on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.

Donnie graduated from Carlinville High School, class of 1966. He served in the United States Army early in life. He was the owner and operator of J & D Trucking traveling to all 48 continental United States, including Mexico.

He always had “many a story” to tell. He took impeccable care of his Peterbuilt Semi in addition to his other prized possessions. He had a passion for the 1960 muscle cars. Gardening and traveling with his life-long significant other of over 40 years, Dawn Lamprecht, is what he enjoyed in his free time.

Donald is survived by his sons, Jeffrey David (Lori) Brown and David Corey Brown of Carlinville; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; stepdaughters, Kimberly and Kelly Lamprecht of Collinsville; brothers, Jim (Chubby) Brown of Carlinville, Dean (Sang) Brown of Phoenix, AZ, Gerald (Mary) Brown of Gillespie, Gary (Julie) Brown of Carlinville, and Roger (Stacey) Brown of Plainview; sisters, Nancy Lambeth of Plainview and Ann Brown of Carlinville; brother in law, Melvin Pursey of Carlinville; sister in law, Cathy Brown of Joliet; and several nieces, nephews, step-grandchildren, and step-great-grandchildren.

Donald was preceded in death by his parents, Melvin O. and Mary Jane (Bomkamp) Brown; sisters, Sharon Brown and Patty Pursey; brother, Paul Brown; and companion, Dawn Lamprecht.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 29, 2024, at Davis-Anderson Funeral Home, Carlinville, from 2 to 4 p.m. Memorials may be made to CAV PAC or American Cancer Society. Davis-Anderson Funeral Home, Carlinville is in charge of arrangements.

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Death of Gary Dennis Wheeler

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Gary Dennis Wheeler, 69, of Carlinville, died at Lakeside Heath and Rehab Center, Carlinville on Sunday, June 16, 2024, at 10:50 pm. He was born on November 11, 1954, in Litchfield to Frederick Wheeler and Nancy Thrower Wheeler.

He was retired after having been Sheriff for Macoupin County. Gary was a member of the Illinois Sheriff’s Association and the Thursday Night Choir Club.

He is survived by his son, Corey (Tiffany) Wheeler of Bunker Hill; step daughter, Regina (Mike) Bassett of Bunker Hill; grandchild, Addison James Wheeler; step-grandchildren, Jessica Bassett and Jacob Bassett; siblings, Karan (Robert) Teter of PA, Frederick Wheeler, Mark (Debbie) Wheeler of Brighton, and Beth (Steve) Norris of Bethalto; former wife, Billie Bauer of Bunker Hill; and special friends, Greg and Kari McKinney of Carlinville.  

Gary was preceded in death by his parents and brother, James Wheeler.  

Visitation will be on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, at Kravanya Funeral Home in Bunker Hill from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. with a memorial service to follow at the funeral home at 7:00 p.m. Burial will be in Bunker Hill Cemetery, Bunker Hill.  

Memorials are suggested to Bunker Hill Education Foundation for a scholarship to be set up in Gary’s name. Kravanya Funeral Home, Bunker Hill is in charge of the arrangements.

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Death of Michele Lynn Peretti

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Michele Lynn Peretti, of St. Louis, MO, formerly of Wilsonville, died peacefully at her residence on June 14, 2024, at age 74.

Michele was born on September 16, 1949, to Joseph Michael Peretti and Rose (Rossini) Peretti in Litchfield. She attended the University of Missouri in St. Louis and was a devoted math teacher for over 36 years.

A dedicated fan of the Cardinals and the Blues, she also loved The Boss (Bruce Springsteen). Her favorite quote of Bruce Springsteen was “It’s not the time in your life, it’s the life in your time.” Michele also found joy in attending the Fox and Muny as well as spending time with family and friends.

She is survived by her son, Chris Eveland of St. Louis, and her sister Denise (Peretti) Anderson and husband Randy Anderson of Gillespie. Michele is further survived by her beloved nephews and nieces, Ryan (partner Katie) Anderson of Gillespie, Teri Anderson of Colorado Springs, CO, Robert (Emily) Anderson of Columbia, and Randi Anderson of Gillespie; great nieces Ryeline and Rosie; and great nephew, Samuel.

A celebration of life will be held for Michele at a later date. Kravanya Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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