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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 Phyllis Jean Robinson

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Phyllis Jean Robinson, age 79, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 19, 2024, at Alton Memorial Hospital.  She was born on February 8, 1945, at home in Edwardsville the daughter of Ralph and Mabel (Klopmeier) Helmkamp.

She married John Robinson at Zion Lutheran Church in Bunker Hill on August 9, 1969, and they enjoyed nearly 55 wonderful years together. A 1963 graduate of Bunker Hill High School, Phyllis began her career at Olin as a switchboard operator before dedicating herself full-time to her family and farm.

As a devoted member of Zion Lutheran Church in Bunker Hill, she contributed in many meaningful ways. Phyllis taught Sunday school, managed the Cradle Roll, and was an active member of both LWML and Ladies Aid, where she served as treasurer for several years. Her life was a testament to hard work, love, and unwavering faith in God and family.  

Phyllis leaves behind her beloved husband, John; sons, Eric (Suzie) Robinson of Glen Carbon and Mark (Katie) Robinson of Collinsville; six grandchildren, Ashlee, Kristina, Luke, Nolan, Jake, and Cole Robinson; and sisters, Louise (Jerry) Weidner of Bunker Hill and Janet Gillis of Jerseyville.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her in-laws, Ole and Elsie Robinson; sister, Arlene Hall; brothers-in-law, Ed Gillis and Tony Robinson; nephew, Ed Gillis Jr.; daughter, Amy Robinson; and grandson, Wyatt Robinson.  

Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 23, from 4 to 8 p.m. followed by a service on Friday, May 24, at 11 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Bunker Hill (609 E Warren St, Bunker Hill). A graveside service will follow at St. James Cemetery, 5662 IL-159, Edwardsville, IL 62025, with Rev. Pastor Robert Weise officiating.  

Memorials can be made to Zion Lutheran Church in Bunker Hill. Arrangements are entrusted to Kravanya Funeral Home in Bunker Hill.

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Obituaries

Death of David Andrew Klaustermeier

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David Andrew Klaustermeier, age 59, of Benld, passed away on Thursday, May 16, 2024. His passing was unexpected and sudden, and he will be missed.  David was born on April 26, 1965, to Vernon and Dorothy (Merry) Klaustermeier in Highland.  

After graduating from Edwardsville High School in 1983, David served six years in the United States Navy.  He was loved by many nieces and nephews; they always knew he had a smile and a big hug ready for them. David worked in the flooring industry. He enjoyed spending time with friends and family, wood working, and the outdoors. He was a natural born caregiver and provided many hours of care for his mother, sister in law, and brother.   

David was preceded in death by his parents, Vernon and Dorothy; as well as his brother, Vernon Klaustermeier Jr; sister in law, Lisbeth (Dressen) Klaustermeier; and Jeff Klaustermeier, his nephew.  

David left behind two brothers, Jim Klaustermeier and Scott (Cindy) Klaustermeier and two sisters, Lois (Jerry) Kappler and Bev (Leroy) Engelke.

Kravanya Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.  David will be laid to rest in a private burial at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

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Obituaries

Death of SJay Stewart

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SJay Stewart, 85, of Carlinville, passed away Thursday, May 16, 2024, at his home in Carlinville. SJay was born on January 11, 1939, in Girad, a son of Wendell and Deloris Imogene Hull Stewart. He married Beth Gardner Boward in Palmyra on May 29, 1994.

SJay served our country in the United States Navy for four years. He farmed and raised livestock for over four decades. He also invented and patented a piglet holder and a long-handled pig marker. At one time, he was the largest single hog farmer in Macoupin County. He later graduated from the police academy and served 13 years as a police officer, ending his law enforcement career as Chief of Police in Girad. Following retirement, he worked at Freedom Chevrolet in Virden. He founded the Farm Law Institute in the mid-80’s to assist farmers in saving family farms, and during that time he wrote and published the book “Land Patents.” He enjoyed various types of hunting, and he spent many hours searching for and collecting arrowheads. SJay loved spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

SJay is survived by his wife, Beth Stewart of Carlinville, daughters; Jill (Rod) Kreoger of Waverly, Kelly (William) Dennis of Pawnee, and Kasey (Mark) Emery of Palmyra, step-daughters; Deana (Eddie Ray) Jones of Carlinville and Amy (Scott) Weidhuner of Athens, sisters; Shirley Olsen of Malad, ID, and Carlene (Terry) Harmon, grandsons; Zach (Melissa) Dennis and Michael Jones, granddaughters; Courtney (Landon) Keitekamp, Tabatha Weidhuner, Kristy Weidhuner, and Izzy McCarthy, and great-grandchildren; Kailyn, Blakely, Jaron, Beau, Blaire, Benjamin, and Lane.

SJay was preceded in death by his parents, brother Harold Stewart, sister Dee Stewart, and granddaughter Emily Dennis.

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The family is planning a private celebration of life. Memorials may be made to St. Jude’s and Shriner’s Children Hospital. Please visit www.davisandersonfuneralhome.com to leave condolences or light a candle in his memory. David-Anderson Funeral Home, Carlinville, is in charge of the arrangements.

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