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Death of Paul Thomas Griffith

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Paul GriffithPaul Thomas Griffith, teacher, author, and leader in his profession, passed away on April 2, 2013 at his home in rural Macoupin County, IL. Griffith, who has taught at the elementary, high school, and post-secondary levels, taught French and foreign language teaching methodology at the University of Illinois in Urbana from 1967 to 1973, where he supervised a cadre of teaching assistants.

From 1973 to 1992, Griffith was the Supervisor of Foreign Languages and International Studies at the Illinois State Board of Education. After his retirement from the Illinois State Board of Education, he accepted the position of Executive Director of the Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (I.C.T.F.L.), a statewide organization for foreign language teachers headquartered in Springfield. He retired from this position in 2006 and moved to his farm in Palmyra, IL

During his career, Griffith was the chief executive officer of the Council for Study Abroad, an organization responsible for large numbers of American secondary school students traveling to England, France, Germany, Mexico and Spain to study in specially designed programs of language and culture in host schools.

He was the lead author of a series of Spanish textbooks published by Scott, Foresman titled “Churros y chocolate” and “Plazas y paisajes.” Also during that time, Griffith was decorated by the French government with both the first and second levels of the Palmes Acedemiques for his contributions to the teaching of the French Language.

Griffith is well remembered by friends and fellow-members of the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, associations in which he was a prominent member and generous contributor.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul A. Griffith of Terre Haute, IN in 1967 and Margaret Griffith McNeil also of Terre Haute in 2004, and by his nephew, Steve Griffith of Worthington, OH in 1989.

Griffith is survived by brother, Jim Griffith; sister-in-law, Sherry Griffith; niece, Gail Griffith; nephew, Tom Griffith, and wife of the latter, Tara (Hughes) all residents of Columbus, OH. Griffith also is fondly remembered by his close friend and co-worker of many years, Ronald E. Sauberli of Palmyra, IL.

Burial will be from the Davis-Anderson Funeral Home in Girard on Monday, April 8, 2013, at 2:00 pm in Oak Grove Cemetery, south of Modesto.

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Davis Anderson 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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Obituaries

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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