BENTON – Melody Ann Kristofferson, age 66, of Benton and formerly of Berwyn, passed away on Friday, June 14, 2019 at her home in Benton.

A Memorial Celebration of Life service will be held at a future date in Berwyn.

Leffler Funeral Home, of Benton, has been entrusted with the cremation services.

Memorial contributions may be made to Second Chance Rescue of Franklin County, and may be sent to Leffler Funeral Home 401 East Main Street, Benton, IL 62812.

To leave online condolences to the family, or to share memories of Melody, visit


MULKEYTOWN – Patricia “Pat” Kay Szczeblewski, 75, of Mulkeytown, IL., passed away at 1:32 p.m., June 9, 2019, at her residence.

Pat was born on December 19, 1943, to Bill and Winnie (Scott) Bailey. She married Richard Szczeblewski on August 5, 1960, and became in her words, a “Kept Woman.”

She is preceded in death by her husband of 55 years; parents; and one brother, David Bailey. 

Pat is survived by her children, Tracey (Michael) Vandekerkhove of Mulkeytown, Jamie Donovan of Mulkeytown, and Steven (Deb) Szczeblewski of West Frankfort. Her grandchildren, Stormi (Brandon) Dilliner, Ty (Abbey) Vandekerkhove, Treg (Faith) Vandekerkhove, Shad Donovan, Remy Vandekerkhove and special friend Caleb Miner, and Nathan (Jodi) Robasse; her great-grandchildren, Shayne Dilliner, Bentley Donovan, Sloane Vandekerkhove, MaKaiden Robasse, and Taylor (Tayler) Ellison; and great-great grandchildren, Dylan and Rhett Ellison.

She took great joy in life. Pat was a dedicated and loving wife and mother. She was a Girl Scout Leader, Cub Scout Leader, Room Mother/ Parent Volunteer, the first woman to hold a seat on the Sesser-Valier School Board, attended the Greenwood United Methodist Church, where she was a Sunday School Teacher and led a kids Saturday program when her grand-children were young.  Pat loved life and brought laughter wherever she went. She was always up for a good time. 

She will be remembered for her witty sayings and her dedication of sending cards for any and all occasions. Pat loved to play games (especially Pinnochle) and spent many hours playing with family and friends. 

After a battle with Metastatic Breast Cancer and COPD she entered peacefully into God’s Kingdom at home surrounded by her family. Her big heart and generous spirit will be greatly missed. Mom, Grams, Weezer you are forever in our hearts. We love you!

Pat and her family want to thank all the friends and church family who visited and brought food for her to enjoy while she was alive (per her request), the cards, flowers and many prayers sent her way. Thank you to the SIH Cancer Institute of Southern Illinois for their kindness and care, the friendly staff of Medicine Shop that always took care to deliver her medical supplies, and Hospice of Southern Illinois for their wonderful care.

Words Pat lived by Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out and proclaiming, “Wow, What a Ride!”

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home, 301 S. Main St., Benton, IL.

There will be a celebration of life for Pat on Friday, June 14, 2019, at the Greenwood United Methodist Church, 2638 Park Street Road, Mulkeytown, IL., starting at 1:00 p.m. with a brief service at 3:30 p.m., with the Rev. Bill Wiggs officiating. 

In lieu of flowers, Pat requested donations be made to the Greenwood United Methodist Church, Hospice of Southern Illinois, or the charity of your choice. 

Praise God for his goodness. Pat loved the Lord with all her heart!

Online condolences can be given at


SESSER – Frank Cockrum, 82, died Saturday, June 8, 2019 at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO following a battle with lung cancer.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Bert and Viva Cockrum, and two brothers, Jerry and Dale. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sharon, their four children; John, Don, Jeff, and Lisa, and six siblings; Donald, Phyllis, Rosa Lee, Leon, Burl, and Judy. He was blessed with 11 grandkids and 4 great grandkids. In addition, Frank leaves behind his foster daughters and their families.

Frank met Sharon through a mutual friend, and they were wed a year and a half later on August 16th, 1958 at First Baptist Church of Sesser, IL. He worked as a coal miner for 17 years and owned an auto upholstery business specializing in classic cars. More than anything, he was passionate about his family, watching his St. Louis Cardinals, and loving his Lord. He was a loving husband, a devoted father, a beloved brother, a silly papa, and a loyal friend.

A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Sesser with Brother Chris Hottenson officiating. Visitation will be on Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service at 11 a.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Cardinals Care or to the First Baptist Church of Sesser. Envelopes will be available at the church.


BENTON – Doris Jean Carr, age 91, of Highland and formerly of Benton, passed away at 9:20 a.m. Saturday, June 8, 2019, at Faith Countryside Homes of Highland.

Graveside Services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at the Masonic and Odd Fellows Cemetery of Benton with Rev. Phillip Kennedy officiating. Friends are asked to meet at the cemetery on Tuesday.

Arrangements are with the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society; and will be accepted at the cemetery on Tuesday or at the Leffler Funeral Home.

To leave online condolences to the family or to share memories of Mrs. Doris Carr, visit


EWING – Bette Marian Hughes, 87, of Ewing passed away June 5, 2019 at Hamilton Memorial Hospital in McLeansboro.

Funeral services will be at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 8th at Morton Johnston Funeral Home in Benton, IL. Visitation will be from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., with the funeral beginning at 2:30 p.m. Burial will be at the Thurmond Cemetery, Ewing, IL. A dinner will be hosted at the Rescue Free Will Baptist church, immediately following the burial service.

Marian was born on May 30, 1932, the daughter of Earl, Sr. and Mildred (Warren) Smith of Benton, IL. She graduated Benton High School in 1950, married James Ernie Hughes on September 3, 1950, and after two years of following Ernie as he served during the Korean Conflict, returned to the farm in Frisco, IL. She obtained her Registered Nursing degree and began her career as an RN Nurse and farm wife. She spent her life caring for others.

Marian was preceded in death by her husband Ernie, her parents and three brothers, Jackie, Jim and Earl, Jr.

Marian is survived by her daughter, Marilee Clark and husband John of Ewing; son, James Earl Hughes and wife Anjanette of Benton; two sisters, Evelyn Fiala of Schaumburg and Francis Glover of South Roxana; four grandchildren, Sarah Lowery and Daniel Fairchild, both of Ewing, James Ethan Hughes, Owensboro, KY and Anna Hughes, St Louis, MO; three great-grandchildren, Sebastian Fairchild, Tamrah and Lauren Lowery and a number of Neices and Nephews.

Special thanks to Lynn Mathis, Joyce Kelso and Marci Buck, caregivers who made it possible for Marian to spend her final years at home.

Memorial contributions can be made for the benefit of Thurmond Cemetery and will be accepted at the funeral home.

For more information or to send online condolences, please visit

DAHLGREN – Jack L. Hart

Age: 63 yrs.
Residence: Dahlgren, IL
Passed Away: 11:09 a.m., Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at his residence.
Visitation: 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 8, 2019 at Harre Funeral Home, Dahlgren, IL
Memorial Service: Noon, Saturday, June 8, at Harre Funeral Home.
Clergy: Pastor Brad Sloan
Burial of Ashes: Crisel Cemetery, near Dahlgren

Date of Birth: August 29, 1955
Father:Evan Hart
Mother: Norma (Ledford) Hart
Occupation: Construction Worker
Church Affiliation: First Missionary Baptist Church of Blue Island, IL

Mother: Norma Hart, Dahlgren, IL
3 Brothers: Jeff Hart and wife Kim, Mt. Vernon, IL
Barry Hart, Dahlgren, IL
Terry Hart and wife Sheila
Several Nieces and Nephews

Preceded in Death By: His Father, Evan Hart

HARRE FUNERAL HOME, Dahlgren, is in charge of arrangements.


THOMPSONVILLE – Merwin Henry Eaton, age 92, of Thompsonville, passed away at 11:49 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, 2019, at VA Community Living Center of Marion.

Funeral Services will be held at noon Saturday, June 8, 2019 at the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton, with Rev. David Schlag officiating. Burial with Military Honors by the Benton American Legion Post#280, Benton V.F.W. Post #2671, and the U.S. Navy will be in the Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery of Du Quoin. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Leffler Funeral Home of Benton, where Masonic Rites will be observed at 11 a.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Franklin County Shrine Club or the Benton American Legion and V.F.W. Honor Squad; and will be accepted at the funeral home.

To leave online condolences to the family or to share memories of Merwin Eaton, visit   


MCLEANSBORO – Graveside Services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, June 6, 2019 at I.O.O.F. Cemetery, McLeansboro, IL for Kaden Paul Williams, the stillborn infant son of Jordan Williams and Brittany Shelton. Kaden’s Delivery date was June 1, 2019 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon, IL.

Pastor Jacob Gray will officiate the service and burial will be in I.O.O.F. Cemetery, McLeansboro, IL. Friends and family are to meet at the cemetery prior to service time.

He is survived by Parents, Jordan Williams and Brittany Shelton
2 sisters, Brylee and Kylee 
Maternal Grandparents: Eddie & Linda Shelton of Dale, IL
Maternal Great Grandmothers: Mary Allen and Irene Shelton, McLeansboro
Paternal Grandparents: Paula Schmid, Teutopolis, IL & Jeff Williams, Eldorado
Paternal Great Grandfather: James Watson, Effingham, IL
Preceding him in death were his Great Grandfathers, Bob Allen and Dean Shelton and his Great Grandmother, Alice Watson.

HARRE FUNERAL HOME, McLeansboro, was in charge of arrangements.

MCLEANSBORO – James (J.W.) Cleveland

Age: 81
Residence: McLeansboro, IL and former lifelong resident of Haubstadt, IN
Passed Away: 10:40 p.m., Friday, May 31, 2019 at his residence.
Visitation: 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at Harre Funeral Home, McLeansboro, IL
Visitation/Funeral: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, June 5 at Holder Funeral Home, Owensville, IN with the funeral service beginning at 1 p.m.
Clergy: Rev. Bob Douglas will officiate the service
Burial: New Mt. Moriah Cemetery, near Haubstadt, IN (Gibson Co., IN)

Date of Birth: August 13, 1937
Place of Birth: Cynthiana, IN
Father: William Ralph Cleveland
Mother: Matilda (Boren) Cleveland
Occupation: Retired farmer
Church Affiliation: A member of New Liberty Christian Church
Activities: Tractors, tractors, tractors!!! He LOVED traveling to tractor shows, collecting and restoring International tractors, memorabilia & toys, especially pedal tractors. J.W. was a member of the Gibson County Co-op Board 20 years, member of several tractor clubs in IL and IN., director of Chapter 32 International Club, Gibson Co. Tractor Club, Chapter 7 Indiana, White River Valley Assoc., Keck Gonerman Club, American Thresherman of Pinckneyville, I & I Club, Chapter 10 International Club of Illinois, Ageless Iron Of Hamilton County. J.W was a 1955 graduate of Haubstadt High School.
Military Service: Air Force Reserves

Survivors Include:
1 Daughter: Lisa Jaye Dunkel, Ft. Branch, IN
Companion: Joyce Storment, McLeansboro, IL
3 Grandsons: Andrew Bryan Dunkel and wife Annie of Haubstadt, IN
Matthew Allen Dunkel of Ft. Branch, IN
Timothy William Dunkel of Indianapolis, IN
Grandchildren: Jeter, Albany and Vera

PRECEDED IN DEATH BY: Parents and an infant sister, Joyce Ann Cleveland, Son in Law, Peter Bryan “Pete” Dunkel
Memorials to: In lieu of flowers, contributions are requested for New Mt. Moriah Cemetery Fund and will be accepted by both funeral homes.
Arrangements for J.W. Cleveland are under the direction of Harre Funeral Home in McLeansboro, IL and Holder Funeral Home in Owensville, IN. 

SESSER – Jay A. Cavender, 59, of Sesser, passed away at 10:31 a.m., on Thursday, May 30, 2019, at his residence.

He was born on July 29, 1959, to Thomas and Juanita (Mitchell) Cavender in Washington, IN. Jay had worked as a Service Manager for Goodyear Tires.

Jay enjoyed fishing and watching sports on ESPN.

He is survived by his brother, John Kelly Cavender and wife Tina of Sesser, IL; two nieces, Lacye Renee Phelps and husband Rodney, and Courtnye J.S. Cavender and husband Dalton; and a nephew, John Kelly Cavender and wife Reanna.

Jay was preceded in death by parents, Thomas Waldo and Juanita Sue Cavender.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Pate Funeral Home, 301 S. Main St., Benton, IL.

Jay’s wishes was for cremation to take place.

Memorials contributions may be made to the donor’s choice, and will be accepted at the funeral home.

Online condolences can be given at