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IRIS CASHMAN ANDERSON, 88 GENESEO - Iris Cashman Anderson, 88, formerly of Mt. Morris, IL, died Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in Illini Hospital, Silvis, IL. Iris was born February 8, 1926, in Freeport, IL; the daughter of Nelson and Francis (Wiltshire) James. She graduated from Freeport High School, Class of 1944. Iris married Harry Cashman of Polo, IL on April 15, 1945, and he preceded her in death on February 22, 1978. Iris then married Clarence Anderson of Rockford, IL, and he preceded her in death on January 1, 2008. Iris helped on the family farm for many years, and was a secretary for Watts Publishing in Mt. Morris and the Oregon School District. Iris was well known throughout Northern Illinois for her beautiful singing talent. She performed for over 60 years at numerous events including the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, church events and crusades, and was a featured soloist in many cantatas. Iris participated in several women's clubs and singing groups. Iris was a former member of the Mt. Morris Evangelical Free Church and the Rockford First Evangelical Free Church. She was devoted to serving the Lord and her loving family. Iris is survived by son, David (Faith) Cashman, Geneseo, IL; daughter, Diane (Dan) Overmyer, Valparaiso, IN; grandchildren, Chris (Lisa) Cashman, Chicago, IL, Amber (Steve) Remsen, Hillsboro, OR, Jeremy (Chelsea) Overmyer, Elkhart, IN and Josh Overmyer, Valparaiso, IN; great-grandchildren, Carissa Cashman, Lily Remsen and Alix Mercer. Iris is preceded in death by her parents; husbands, Harry Cashman and Clarence Anderson; son, James Cashman; 3 brothers and 1 sister. Funeral services will be 3 p.m. Sunday, April 13, 2014, in Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt Street, Mt. Morris, IL, with Rev. Bruce McKanna officiating. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery, Mt. Morris, IL. Visitation will be from 1 p.m. Sunday until time of service in Finch Funeral Home. Read Obituary
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VINCENT 'VINCE' P. ATKINSON, 51 POPLAR GROVE - Vincent "Vince" P. Atkinson, 51, of Poplar Grove, died Sunday, April 13, 2014, with his family by his side, after a long battle with ALS. Vince was born January 25, 1963, in Elgin, Illinois; son of Desmond and Elizabeth (Rimmer) Atkinson. Vince attended Elgin High School. He married Kristina Schmoldt on October 11, 1996. Vince was employed by Ball Corporation of Elgin and Progressive Plastics of South Elgin. Vince loved spending time with his children and family. His hobbies included working on his Chevelle, motorcycles and camping. He is loved and will be missed by his wife, Kristina; children, Jonathan (Danielle Griffin) Atkinson, Brian (Jessie) Atkinson, Crystal (Brandon) Smalley, Christopher Atkinson, Devan Atkinson, Amanda Atkinson; brother, Stephen Atkinson; grandchildren, Alexis, Jeremy, Jonathon, Julian, Jerico, Nevaeh, Vincent, Phoenix and two on the way. He is preceded by his parents and brother, Malcolm. Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 19, 2014, at Heartland Community Church, 1280 S Alpine Rd, Rockford, IL 61108. Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 18, 2014, at Anderson Funeral and Cremation Services at Buck-Wheeler-Hyland Chapel, 218 West Hurlbut Ave, Belvidere, IL 61008. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Les Turner Foundation of Chicago, 5550 W Touhy Avenue, Suite 302, Skokie, IL 60077-3254. Memorials may be given to the family. To light a candle or express condolences, please visit www.Andersonfcs.com . Read Obituary
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RAYMOND A. BARE, 70 LOVES PARK - Raymond A. Bare, 70, Loves Park, died peacefully in his home on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, surrounded by his loving family. Surviving sixteen years with cancer, Ray was an inspiration to others through his positive attitude and tireless expressions of faith. Born January 23, 1944, in Beloit, WI, the son of Carl and Genevieve (Abrahamson) Bare (both deceased). He graduated from Auburn High School in 1963, and attended Rock Valley College. He and Fannie Wilkins were married on January 24, 1970. Veteran, U.S. Air Force, July 1963, (serving 15 months in Vietnam) honorably discharged 1967. Ray worked for Illinois Bell Telephone as a cable splicer, then joined IBM in 1968, working there until his retirement in 1992. Ray worked as a manager for a number of companies, including Duplex in DeKalb, IL, Williams Sonoma, as well as Planet RX in Memphis, TN, Webvan in Carol Stream, IL, and as a consultant to Hewlett/Packard in Michigan. Prior to his full retirement in 2005, he was a realtor for Country North-Doyle Woodhouse. Ray was a member of the YMCA Retired Men's Club and sang in their men's chorus. He volunteered with the Car's Ministry and ShareFest at Heartland Community Church, Habitat for Humanity, and Rock House Kids. He was past president of the Cross Creek Condo Association and an active participant in the Metro Paint-a-Thon, St. Mark's Lutheran Church Marksmen and VietNow, veteran's support group. His love of singing made him a welcomed voice in various area choruses. He was an avid woodworker, gospel music fan, and Green Bay Packer faithful. Ray is survived by his loving wife, Fannie, whom he adored; daughters, Tonya (Henry) Arana and their children, Claire, Enrique and Romario of Union Pier, MI, and Sarah (Jeff) Schlaht and their children, Brynn and Whitney of Loves Park, IL; brothers, Ronald (Sharon) Bare, Rockford, IL; Russell (Susan) Bare, Fair Oaks, CA; and many nieces and nephews. Ray was also preceded in death by his brothers, Roger (Maggie) Bare, 2013, and Richard E. Bare, 1976. A celebration of Ray's life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 19, 2014, at Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, Mulford Chapel, 1860 S. Mulford Road, Pastor Doug Thiesen, Heartland Community Church, officiating. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until time of the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Swedish-American Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic Oncology Center or Northern Illinois Hospice. The family extends their heartfelt appreciation and thanks to all the family, friends, doctors, nurses and staff for the love, gifts of food, assistance, and emotional support everyone has provided. Please express condolences and share memories at www.fitzgeraldfh.com . Read Obituary
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LINDA JOYCE BIFFLE-JONES ROCKFORD - Linda Joyce Biffle-Jones, of Rockford, departed this earthly life April 10, 2014 in her home after a sudden illness. She was born November 10, 1953 in Detroit, Michigan the daughter of Sherman and Lavern Biffle. Linda lived in Rockford since 1968 coming from Detroit. She married Johnnie Jones he preceded her in death. She was employed as a receptionist by Rockford Park District and assisted many family and friends with their taxes. Linda was a member of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church serving as a usher. She was a member of the Princes Zorah Eastern Star Chapter 20. She graduated from Auburn High School class of 1971. She attended Rock Valley College later to graduate from Rassmussen College. Linda leaves to cherish many loving members, three sons, Damon Biffle, Mario and Jonell Jones; five grandchildren, Damion Barker, DaShauna Biffle, Damika Biffle, Akili Jones and Dacia Ross; one greatgrandchild, Dominic Biffle; parents, Lavern Gaydon and Sherman (Susie) Biffle; six brothers, Sherman T. (Georgia Ann) Biffle, Kennedy Biffle, Reggie Biffle, Johnny Biffle, Joe Danford, Julius Gayden, and Shawn (Toni) Gayden; two sisters, Sherdine Biffle and Mattice Holden; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and special friends. She was predeceased by her sister, Julie Gayden. Services will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, April 17, 2014 at Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church 1901 W. State Street, with Pastor Gerald Lumpkins officiating. Burial in Greenwood Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until the time of service. Arrangements completed by Carl E. Ponds Funeral Home 2429 W. State Street. Read Obituary
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MERVIN H. BLUME, 88 LOVES PARK - Mervin H. Blume, 88, passed away on Sunday, April 13, 2014. Born December 6, 1925 in Franklin Grove, Illinois to Homer and Marie (Klenke) Blume. Moved to Rockford in 1926 and then to Loves Park where he and his parents owned and operated Blume's Garage for 35 years. With partners, he owned Park Auto Parts and Town Hall for several years. He also drove semi-tractor for A & B Freight Lines for 13 years. He retired in 1989 and spent winters in Ft. Myers, Florida. He was a member of Loves Park and Rockton American Legions and Roscoe VFW. Also a member of Roscoe and Ft. Myers Bayside Horseshoe League. He enjoyed his Tuesday morning card club with his old buddies and was an avid Chicago Cubs and Green Bay Packer fan. He served in the Army in W.W. II where he received the Purple Heart for wounds at the Battle of the Bulge. He married Beatrice Lefebvre in Iron Mountain, Michigan in 1950. Survivors include his wife, Beatrice; children, Paul (Mary) Blume and Beverly (Reginald) Brann, all of Loves Park and James Blume of South Beloit; brother, Fredrick (Regina) Blume, Loves Park; grandchildren, Gina, Christina, Eric, Lynanne, Amy, Coleman and Destiny; seven great-grandchildren. Predeceased by his parents; brother, Elvin; infant daughter, Mary Elizabeth. Private family services will be held. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the family. Honquest Family Funeral Home with Crematory, Roscoe Chapel, 11342 Main St., Roscoe, is honored to have assisted the family. To share a memory or condolences, visit honquestfh.com . Read Obituary
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FATHER THOMAS E. BRANTMAN, 67 SOMONAUK - Father Thomas E. Brantman, 67, of Somonauk passed away Thursday, April 10, 2014, at his residence in Somonauk. He was born June 15, 1946, in Waukegan, IL; the son of Beatrice (May) and Robert F. Brantman. Father was ordained to the priesthood on June 14, 1975, by Most Reverend Arthur J. O'Neill at the Cathedral of St. Peter, Rockford, IL. His first assignment was at St. Mary Parish in Sterling. He was DRE and a faculty member of Aquin CCHS in Freeport, while serving at St. Catherine Parish in Freeport. Other assignments were at St. James Parish in Rockford, St. Patrick Parish in St. Charles, St. Rita Parish in Rockford, St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Hampshire, St. James Parish in Belvidere and Pastor of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Somonauk, he was also Chaplain for the Knights of Columbus Council 13436. He is survived by two sisters, Beatrice (Mike) Pekkarinen of Lincolnshire, IL and Maria "Retti" Brantman of Deerfield, IL; six brothers, Robert "Buzz" (Peg) Brantman of Deerfield, IL, Frank (Peg) Brantman of Plymouth, MN, James Brantman of Deerfield, IL, William (Jeanne) Brantman of Carlsbad, CA, Peter Brantman of Beach Park, IL and Charles Brantman; twenty-two nieces and nephews; forty-five great-nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Mary Ann Brantman and; one brother, Eugene Brantman. Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Somonauk, with Bishop David Malloy officiating. Burial will be private at Ascension Cemetery in Libertyville. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 14, 2014, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Somonauk. Visitation also from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at the church. Memorials may be directed to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church for the 150th Anniversary. For more information or to sign the online guestbook, go to www.EighnerFuneralHomes.com . Read Obituary
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RONALD J. BROWN SR., 85 ROCKFORD - Ronald J. Brown Sr., 85, of Rockford passed away Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in his home. Born February 8, 1929, in Rockford, the son of John and Eleanor (Steffen) Brown. He was a veteran of the United States Army, serving in the 325th Heavy Tank Battalion. Ronald married Patricia Heatherington on October 24, 1956. He worked as a glazer at National Glass and Mirror Company. He was an avid golfer and fisherman and enjoyed watching the Chicago Cubs and Bears games. Ronald was a kind man and will forever be remembered by his family as a great husband, a good father and the best grandfather. He also shared a close bond with his twin brother, Richard; they took walks together everyday. Survived by his son, Ronald J. (Phyllis) Brown Jr.; grandchildren, Jennifer, Emily and Matt; great-grandchildren, Izaiah and Jayden; twin brother, Richard (Colleen) Brown; sister-in-law, Helen Chirchirillo; brother-in-law, John (Ruth) Heatherington; numerous nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his wife, Patricia and brother, Jack Brown. Memorial mass will be at 11 a.m. Monday, April 14, 2014, at Holy Family Catholic Church, with Rev. William R. Wentink officiating. Visitation will be from 10 until 10:45 a.m. at the church on Monday. Private interment in Calvary Catholic Cemetery. Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, Mulford Chapel, assisted the family. To express online condolences, please visit: www.fitzgeraldfh.com . Read Obituary
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