'B' Woodford County Obits
Woodford County, Illinois Genealogy Trails

Nelda "Nel" Sue Broers, 64, formerly of Roanoke, passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, at Saint Joseph's Home in Lacon, Ill. She was born on Oct. 10, 1947, in Pontiac, Ill., the daughter of the late Vern and Anna (Renken) Broers and had attained the age of 64. Nel was a CNA for the Roanoke Apostolic Christian Home for over 23 years. Loving and caring for those in the home was amongst her favorite things. She loved animals and was an avid traveler, traveling extensively to Ireland, England, Germany, France, Austria and Hungary, to name a few. Nel was well-read and enjoyed reading. In addition to her parents, Nel was preceded in death by her brother, Ronald Broers. As per her wishes cremation rites have been accorded. Services will be held at a later date.* Memorial contributions may be made to any local animal shelter or public library. *She is buried at Clayton Township Cemetery. [cb Amy R-T, Peoria Journal Star 17 October 2013]

William F. Bridges, 55, died Tuesday, November 2, in Proctor hospital, Peoria, at 8:30 a.m.  Death was due to pneumonia. He was born at Kilbourne, the only son of Mr and Mrs Albert Bridges.  He was married to Miss Lena Seggerman of Secor, who survives. Funeral services were held at 1:30 Friday at the Endsley funeral home in Peoria with the American Legion in charge.  Burial was at Benson. He is also survived by his father of Benson and five sisters, Mrs Myrtle Davis and Mrs Art Koehler of Peoria, Mrs John Mahan of Rockford, Mrs Wert Folkers of Benson and Mrs Raymond White of Pontiac. [Woodford County Journal 11 Nov 1943, cb Amy R-T]

Mrs. Margaret Blumenshine died suddenly at her home in El Paso. Margaret Leibolt was born in Germany, January 30, 1834. When she was 4 years old the family came to America and settled near Washington, IL. She resided there until her marriage to Philip Blumenshine Feb 23, 1852. In 1855 Mr. and Mrs. Blumenshine moved to El Paso. Mr. Blumenshine died in 1902. Deceased is survived by nine children, twenty-seven grandchildren and seventeen great grandchildren. The surviving children are Fred, Mrs. Mary SIenker, and Miss Emma, all of El Paso; Henry of Los Molinus, Calif.; Mrs. Lizzie Johnson of Streator; Richard C. of Gridley; Mrs. Minnie Crusius of Muncie. Ind.; Mrs. Carrie Kuple of Brookfield, Mo., and Mrs. Jesse Fisher of McMilliville, Ore. [Woodford County Journal, July 5, 1917]

John J. Baker
John J. Baker passed away at his home on August 30, 2011. John was born December 8, 1929, in Streator, Illinois to Edwin and Sue (Bonner) Baker. He attended St. Patrick's Parochial School and Minonk Community High School. John served three years in the US Army Signal Corps (Korea Conflict) as a RADAR/Radio Repairman. After the Signal Corps, John attended DeVry Technical Institute and graduated in 1956. He joined Philco Corporation as a technical representative. His duties with Philco took him throughout the world. John moved to Nevada in 1970 and became active in the gaming industry and was a longtime employee of International Game Technology and retired in 1997. John loved riding his Harley Davidson Road King motorcycle. He was a member of Holy Cross Catholic Chruch in Sparks, Nevada and was a member of the Knights of Columbus. John will be fondly remembered by his family and friends for his love of motorcycling and his commitment to his wife of 34 years, Lorraine He was a good friend to all who knew him. John was preceded in death by his parents Edwin & Sue and a sister, Mary Elizabeth Hasty. John is survived by his wife, three step-children, one grandchild, brothers Bonner and Fred Baker of Minonk, Illinois and sister, JoAnn Schmillen, of Toluca, Illinois. Private family services will be held. Prayers for John and his family will be appreciated. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to the charity of your choice in his honor.

Andrew M. Barth
Andrew M. Barth, 90, of 712 W. Fourth St., Minonk, died at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday (Aug. 10, 2005) at Heritage Manor Nursing Home, El Paso. Born on Jan. 28, 1915, in rural Minonk to William and Caroline Gerner Barth, he married Velda Heck on Feb. 16, 1946, in Wenona. She died May 30, 2002. Surviving are one son, [living] ---. He was preceded in death by two brothers and three sisters. An Army veteran, he served his country during WWII. He was a member of the Minonk American Legion. Andy farmed in the Minonk and El Paso area all of his life until he retired. He was a member of the Woodford County Farm Bureau and St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Minonk. His funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home in Minonk. The Rev. Daniel Gansch-Boythe will officiate. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home and from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday before the service. Burial with military rites will be in Minonk Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul's Church of Christ in Minonk.

Edward "Ed" John Barr
Edward "Ed" John Barr, 92, of Minonk, formerly of Pekin; Sierra Vista, Ariz.; Peru and Spring Valley, died surrounded by family at 10:31 a.m. Monday (Nov. 12, 2007) at Methodist Medical Center in Peoria. Born April 9, 1915, in Spring Valley, the son of Theodore "Teddy" and Nellie Feaster Barr. He always referred himself as "a 1915 model." Ed married Anna Mae Noel on Nov. 14, 1943, in Wichita Falls, Texas. Survivors include his wife of 64 years; [living] ---. He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Barbara Barr and Nellie Beal; and a daughter, Ruthanne. Ed was a World War II veteran serving in the Army Air Corps as a Staff Sergeant. He served in the Asiatic Pacific Theater as a flight engineer on a C-47 supply plane. He received the following honors and medals for his service to our country: the Victory Medal; the American Theater Ribbon; the Asiatic Pacific Theater Medal; the Overseas Bar; the American, Pacific and English Mechanic Bar; Service Bar; Overseas Service Bar; and the Good Conduct Bar. Ed was the store manager at the A&P grocery store in Minonk for 29 years. He worked for Caterpillar in Building HH in East Peoria, retiring in 1982. Ed was a 50-year member of the Minonk Masonic Lodge. He was past Commander of the American Legion Post 142. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Pekin. He and his wife moved to Sierra Vista, Ariz., in 1985 and lived there for 17 years. They enjoyed many friends and their church, Our Lady of the Mountains. They returned to Illinois in 2002 to spend more time with family. He was a very talented roller skater and loved the Skaters Waltz. The ladies were always lined up to skate with him. He enjoyed traveling with his wife throughout the United States. He loved going out to breakfast with family and friends. He was an avid Cubs fan and will now be enjoying the games with his daughter Ruthanne in the "best seat in the house." Ed was loved by all and will be dearly missed. A memorial Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Minonk, with Father Patrick Fixsen officiating. Cremation rites will be accorded. Family will receive friends at 9:30 until time of service at the church. Inurnment will follow in St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery, Minonk with full military honors. Calvert & Froelich Memorial Home, Minonk is in charge of arrangements. Memorials may be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Foundation at VFW Foundation, Suite 514, Kansas City, MO.

Howard P. Builta
Howard P. Builta, 89, of Minonk, IL passed away at 11:07 am on Friday, October 23, 2009 at Heritage Manor Nursing Home in Minonk where he was a resident. He was born on September 4, 1920 in Ellsworth, IL a son of Claire L. and Myrtle M. Murphy Builta. He married Alice A. Stimpert on April 27, 1942 in Fort Sill, OK. She survives. Also surviving are one son,[living] ---. He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, and one son, Howard C. Builta. Howard graduated from the U of I with a B.S. degree in Agriculture. He was the founder and owner of the Bustencia Company, a self employed drainage engineer, and a farm manager. An Army veteran, he served his country during WWII with the field artillery division. He went overseas with the 44th division as a decamp to Major General Scraggins. He retired with the rank of Major. Howard was a member of the Wesley United Methodist Church, Bloomington Consistory, life long member of the American Legion in Minonk, Rob Morris Lodge in Minonk, Woodford County Farm Bureau, Shriners in Peoria, Minonk-Dana-Rutland school board, Woodfornd County Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Woodford County Board. He also served as the Minonk Township Trustee, was on the board of directors of Illinois Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and was president of the Illinois Health Improvement Association. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, October 26, 2009 at Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home in Minonk. Rev. Keith Ferguson will officiate. Visitation will be held on Sunday from 4-6 pm at the Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service on Monday. Burial will be in Minonk Township Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriner’s Crippled Children’s Hospital or Heritage Manor Nursing Home in Minonk.

Howard C. Builta
Howard C. Builta, 65, Palatine, formerly of the Ellsworth area, passed away Sunday (June 1, 2008) after a brief illness. He will be buried in Dawson Cemetery, Ellsworth, amidst the farmland he so loved. A celebration of his life will be at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be may be made to All Saints Lutheran Church, 630 S. Quentin Road, Palatine, IL 60067. Arrangements are by Ahlgrim Family Funeral Home, Palatine. He is survived by his beloved wife, Claudia Mastalio Builta; his loving children, [living] ---. Howard loved God, family, country, chocolate, flowers, animals, disco and anything related to farming. Sharing fine food and a joke with good friends was appreciated. Those who have worked with him knew him to be organized, impatient, a believer in plans and lists and one who relished a challenge. Parades, travel and fairs were favorite pastimes. His advice was sought often and valued. A sometimes gruff exterior belied a soft and caring heart which was expressed in service to others and help to the disadvantaged. He loved the University of Illinois! He treasured his children and often said his grandchildren were his greatest joy in life. Howard was born April 29, 1943, in Lawton, Okla., and raised in Minonk. He graduated from the University of Illinois and received a MBA degree from Northern Illinois University. He served in the U.S. Army as an officer during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service with the Fourth Infantry Division. He married Claudia in 1966, in Toluca. His 40-year career was in the development and management of commercial real estate. He was active in many associations and past-president of the following: The Chicago Board of Realtors (now known as the Chicago Association of Realtors); The Building Owners and Managers Association of Suburban Chicago; The Realtor 40 Club; and The Ely Chapter of Lambda Alpha International. He was also active in various capacities with Habitat for Humanity; PADS; All Saints Lutheran Church in Palatine; The Chicago Farmers Club; The Northlight Theatre Company; The Urban Land Institute; and Lutheran Social Services of Illinois.

Dirk Janssen Behrens
Dirk Behrens Suffers Paralytic Stroke Monday Evening, Dying Soon After- Funeral Held at Benson Today - Mr. Behrens is Born in Norden, Ostfriesland, Germany, in 1865, Coming to America in 1881
Dirk Janssen Behrens, well known citizen of Benson, died rather suddenly at his home there Monday night. Although he had suffered with sickness for several years, he was around Monday evening and seemed to feel better than usual. That same night at his home he suffered a paralytic stroke and died before midnight. He attained the age of 59 years, 6 months and seven days.
Mr. Behrens was born in Norden, Ostfriesland, Germany Dec. 9, 1865. He was brought to holy baptism and confirmed in the Lutheran church. In 1881, he came to America and located at Peoria, soon afterwards coming to Woodford county and since remaining here. He worked as a farm laborer for nine years and then rented a farm, not long afterwards purchasing the present homestead in Green township.
In 1890, he united in marriage with Miss Anna Peters. This union was blessed with five children, two of which, however, died in infancy. His wife died in 1915 and the following year the daughter, Jennie, passed away.
Seven years ago Mr. Behrens purchased a home in Benson and moved there. He entered into his second marriage in 1920 with Miss Lutie Moyemont, who survives him, together with his son John, and daughter Rika, and two grandchildren. There also survive one sister, Mrs. Hannah Bruns, of Peoria, and two brothers Ed. Behrens, of Rochelle, and Ben Behrens, who resides in California. [The Pantagraph, cb Amy Robbins-Tjaden]

Frederick Donald Baker
Frederick Donald Baker, 83, of Minonk, died Sunday (April 23, 2017) at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington, in the company of his family.
He was born Nov. 20, 1933, in Minonk, to Ed and Sue Baker. He was married to Irma Barth in June 1960, and they were together for 52 years before she passed in 2012.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, John and Bonner; and his sister, Betty Hasty.
He is survived by their three children...; 10 grandchildren... His sister..., also survives.
Fred was a wonderful father and a devoted husband, who loved being Papa to his grandchildren and great-grandchild. He was proud of his service in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Essex during the Korean War and kept in contact with shipmates, attending many Essex reunions with his wife over the years. He was known for his sense of humor and dry wit that often left friends chuckling after a conversation.
He retired from a Streator glass factory where he worked for 36 years. He very much enjoyed riding his scooter around town, afternoon trips in his golf cart to visit with friends at the "cannon park," and watching the Cubs. He lived to see it!
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home, Minonk. His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Paul's United Church of Christ, Minonk, with visitation from 10 a.m. until time of service. Burial will be in Minonk Township Cemetery. Please dress casually; Dad always did. Wear your "Freddy Bakers" if you have some. He will be missed by all, except the squirrels in his neighborhood with whom he had a running battle for years. {Minonk Talk}

back to obit index