Leonardo “Dino” Navarra

Leonardo “Dino” Navarra, 80, of LeRoy, IL, passed away at 9:13 P.M., Friday, October 20, 2017 at his home in LeRoy, IL.

A Funeral Celebration will be held at 10:30 A.M., Thursday, October 26, 2017 at Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, LeRoy, IL with Father Dustin Schultz officiating. Burial will be in Oak Grove Cemetery, LeRoy, IL. Visitation will be from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M., Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Mr. Navarra was born on July 18, 1937 in Tunis, Tunisia to Liborio and Giovanna Mangialomini Navarra. He married Giovanna G. Albanese on August 9, 1962 in Tripoli, Libya. She survives in LeRoy, IL.

Also surviving are two daughters, Lidia B. Navarra of LeRoy, IL and Patrizia L. Tegenkamp of Normal, IL; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; one brother, Jerry (LuAnn) Navarra of Morrison, IL; and two sisters, Maria Copley of LeRoy, IL and Rita (Don) Casillo of Moore, OK.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one daughter, Antonella Navarra, six grandchildren, and one sister, Carla Kellogg.

Dino had been a correctional officer at the McLean County Jail and a police officer for the LeRoy Police Department.

Dino was a member of St. Mary Church, Downs, IL and was a past member of the Knights of Columbus, Bloomington, IL.

Dorothy Donovan

Dorothy Donovan, 91, of Springfield, IL formerly of Heyworth, IL, passed away at 11:11 A.M., Thursday, October 19, 2017 at Lewis Memorial Christian Village, Springfield, IL.

Her Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 A.M., Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at Church of Saint Mary, Downs, IL. Father Dustin Schultz will officiate. Interment will be in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Wapella, IL. Visitation will be from 9:30 A.M. to 11:00 A.M., Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at the church.

Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, Heyworth, IL is in charge of arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to Church of Saint Mary, Downs, IL or the Carl E. Miller American Legion Auxiliary Unit #624, Heyworth, IL.

Mrs. Donovan was born September 22, 1926 in Normal, IL to Wendell Wallace and Ida Josephine Gilbert Beeler. She married Richard James Donovan on August 20, 1949 in Downs, IL. He passed away March 27, 2000. She later married James E. Pantier October 1, 2005 in Downs, IL. He survives in Springfield, IL.

Also surviving are three sons, Edward James (Linda) Donovan of LeRoy, IL, Jerry Richard Donovan of Heyworth, IL and Dennis Eugene (Kimberly) Donovan of Wapella, IL; two daughters, Jo Ann (David) Jones of Sparks, NV and Julia Ann Herpel of Chatham, IL; ten grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; three brothers, Charles (C. J.) Beeler of Osage Beach, MO, Wallace (Lois) Beeler of Peoria, IL, and William (Sharon) Beeler of McLean, IL; and one sister, Jo Ann Stills of Clearwater, FL.

She was preceded in death by her parents, one sister, Naomi Ruth (Robert) West, and one step-grandson, Michael Hunley.

Dorothy retired from State Farm in 1988 after working 25 years.

She was a member of St. Mary Church, Downs, IL; the St. Mary’s Altar and Rosary Society; the Clinton YMCA; the Carl E. Miller American Legion Auxiliary Unit # 624, Heyworth, IL; The Downs Homemaker Extension; the Downs Senior’s Group; and a past member of the Clinton-DeWitt DAR.

Stephen R. “Skinner” Johnson

Stephen R. “Skinner” Johnson, 64, of Farmer City, IL passed away at 11:25 P.M., Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at Memorial Medical Center, Springfield, IL.

A Celebration of Life Service will be at 3:00 P.M., Monday, October 23, 2017 at Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, Farmer City, IL.  Inurnment will follow in Johnson Cemetery. Visitation will be from 12:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M., Monday, October 23, 2017 at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Skinner’s page at team.kidney.org.

Skinner was born on March 5, 1953 in Bloomington, IL, a son of Kenneth Dean and Patricia Ann Fogal Johnson.  He married Mickie Nelson on 27 June, 2006.  Skinner is preceded in death by his loving parents.

He is survived by his wife, Mickie, of Farmer City, IL; sons, Calvin (Kenna) Johnson of Osman, IL, Clinton Johnson of Farmer City, IL, Toby (Melissa) Johnson of Slidell, LA, and Tucker Johnson of Utica, IL; three stepdaughters, Stefani (Greg) Warsaw of Farmer City, IL; Lora (Julien) Huck of Scottsdale, AZ and Elisha (Nick) Walters of Farmer City, IL; nine grandchildren; two brothers, Doug (Marcia) Johnson of Dora, MO and Greg (Joy) Johnson of Mansfield, IL; one sister, Stacie (Steve) Sutton of Frankfort, KY; dear friend, Sarah McCoy Shoemaker of Decatur, IL; and several nieces and nephews.

Skinner worked for John Deere in Farmer City, IL and in Clinton, IL and he loved driving trucks across the prairie for multiple outfits.

He graduated from Moore Township High School, Farmer City, IL and attended Joliet Junior College where he played basketball and was nicknamed “Farm”. Skinner was a member of the Sons of the American Legion, Farmer City, a member of the Farmer City Masonic Lodge 710, and the National Rifle Association.

Steve’s timely wit will be missed.

Jaxton Lee Denno

Jaxton Lee Denno, infant son of Michele Denno of Bellflower, IL, passed away at 7:25 P.M., Saturday, October 14, 2017 at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, IL.

A Candle Light Celebration of Life Service will be at 6:30 P.M., Friday, October 27, 2017 at Trinity Community Fellowship, Farmer City, IL with Pastor Dave Ashby officiating. There will be no visitation. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hope4Aubree or to Trinity Community Fellowship. Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, Farmer City, IL in charge of arrangements.

Jaxton was born October 14, 2017 in Urbana, IL, a son of Michele Denno.

He is survived by his mother, Michele Denno of Bellflower, IL; maternal grandparents, Andy and Lisa Denno of Bellflower, IL and Joe Zapala of San Angelo, TX; maternal great-grandparents, Pat and Diane VanMatre of Champaign, IL and Mitchell and Judy Denno of Newton, NH; uncle, Joey (Carolyn) Denno of Farmer City, IL.

Jaxton is preceded in death by his maternal great-grandfather, Richard Pruitt and maternal great-grandparents, Bill and Mary Ann Zapala.

Mary Nell Pray

Mary Nell Pray, 93, of LeRoy, Illinois, passed away at 5:48 P.M., Monday, October 16, 2017 in LeRoy, Illinois.

Her funeral will be 10:00 A.M., Friday, October 20, 2017 at Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, LeRoy, Illinois with Rev. Bruce Swartz officiating. Burial will be in Oak Grove Cemetery, LeRoy, Illinois. Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M., Thursday, October 19, 2017 at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to Oak Grove Cemetery Association.

Mrs. Pray was born March 19, 1924 in Campbellsville, KY to Hugh C. and Thomas Ann Wise Richerson. She married Lyle E. Pray on July 29, 1945, in Bloomington, Illinois. He passed away June 18, 2001.

Survivors include one son, Wally E. (Connie) Pray of LeRoy, Illinois; one daughter, Judy E. Short of LeRoy, Illinois; four grandchildren, Tim (Amy) Short of St. Joseph, Illinois, Jason Short of LeRoy, Illinois, Ryan (Lindsay) Pray of LeRoy, Illinois, and Christopher (Stasia) Pray of Heyworth, Illinois; seven great-grandchildren, Maureen Short; Audrey Short; Katharine Short; Izzy Pray; Henry Pray; Jack Pray; and Hadley Pray; and one sister, Betty (Glenn) Stappenbeck of Normal, Illinois.

She was preceded in death by her parents, two sisters and two brothers.

Mary was a homemaker. She retired from State Farm as an underwriter after working 34 years.

She loved to go camping.

Roger Lee Lorance

Roger Lee Lorance, 79, of Bellflower, Illinois, passed away on Monday, October 16, 2017 at 8:05 A.M. in Canton, Illinois. Visitation will be from 9:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M., Saturday, October 21, 2017 at the Saybrook Christian Church. A Celebration of Life will follow at 11:30 A.M. also at the church. Military rites will be provided byDavid Humphrey Daniel Post 427 Saybrook, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the family.

Roger was born September 15, 1938 in Saybrook, Ilinois to Halford and Ethel Savage Lorance. They preceded him in death. He married Janet Marie Waggoner on March 3, 1961 in Saybrook, Illinois. She survives.

Also surviving are his two sons, Darrell (Kim Thompson) Lorance and Dale (Marie Delabre) Lorance; two grandchildren, Brandon (Casey) Lorance and Jacob Lorance; one great-grandchild, Amalia Rose Lorance; one brother, Ron (Loretta) Lorance; two sisters, Laverne (Bob) Johnson and Delores Lorance.

Roger served in the Marines from 1955-1958. He was a Blacksmith Mentor and belonged to the Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association for over 30 years. He was a loving husband; father; grandfather; great-grandfather; brother, and devoted friend who will be deeply missed.

Patricia L. Byrd

Patricia L. Byrd, 79, of Farmer City, Illinois, passed away at 6:50 A.M., Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at the Farmer City Rehabilitation and Health Care.

Her Funeral will be held at 12:00 P.M., Monday, October 9, 2017 at Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, Farmer City, Illinois with Pastor Steve Anderson officiating. Burial will be in Mansfield Cemetery, Mansfield, Illinois. Visitation will be from 11:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M., Monday, October 9, 2017 at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Elizabeth Kingsboro.

Patricia was born May 11, 1938 in Colfax, Illinois, a daughter of Jay W. & Carrie Phinney Turnipseed. She married Donald Byrd on October 9, 1980 in Farmer City, Illinois. He passed away on November 18, 1999.

She is survived by her daughter, Elizabeth of Salyersville, Kentucky; two stepsons, Bryan Byrd of LeRoy, Illinois and Brett Byrd of Champaign, Illinois; five step-grandchildren.

Patricia is preceded in death by her husband, parents and brother.

Patricia was a retired Nurses Aid.

Jeffrey Eugene Morfey

Jeffrey Eugene Morfey, 55, of Mansfield, IL passed away October 3, 2017.

His funeral will be 1:00 P.M., Saturday, October 7, 2017 at Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, Mansfield, IL with Pastor Lanny Faulkner officiating. Visitation will be from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M., Friday, October 6, 2017 at the funeral home. Interment will be in Mansfield Cemetery, Mansfield, IL with Military Rites Accorded. A meal will be provided immediately following the graveside service at the Fire House in Mansfield, IL. Memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Jeff was born January 21, 1962 in Champaign, IL, a son of Harold ‟Arp” and Gloria Babb Morfey. They survive in Mansfield, IL.

Jeff is survived by his children, Lydia (Codey) Morfey of Urbana, IL and Jacob (Morgan) Morfey of Fort Eustis, VA; grandchildren, Luca, Taylor and Jax; siblings, Bob (Monee) Morfey of Oakland, IL; Todd (Michelle) Morfey of Mahomet, IL; Chad (Kristin) Morfey of Atwood, IL; Tish (Nate) Evans of Mahomet, IL; special friend, Deana Quinn of Farmer City, IL; and his dog, Dulce who was his best friend.

Jeff served in the Air Force from 1984-1988. He was a long time employee of Home Depot. He enjoyed antiquing, landscaping, watching the Dallas Cowboys and NASCAR.

Jeff could put a smile on anyone’s face. He was Happy Go Lucky and selfless in so many ways.

Leon Gibson

Leon Gibson, 78, of LeRoy, Illinois, passed away surrounded by his family at 6:40 P.M., Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at Advocate BroMenn Regional Medical Center, Normal, Illinois.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M., Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, LeRoy, Illinois with Father David Halt officiating.  A visitation will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M., Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at the funeral home and from 10:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M., Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at the funeral home. A Masonic Service will be held at 5:30 P.M., Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Leon Gibson Memorial Fund, c/o Flanagan State Bank, LeRoy, Illinois.

Mr. Gibson was born June 2, 1939 in Bloomington, Illinois to Mack and Aileen Jensen Gibson.  He married Judith Brandt on October 25, 1986 in Bloomington, Illinois.  She survives in LeRoy, Illinois.

Also surviving are his children, Brenda (Jim) Casino; Mark (Kathy) Gibson of Bloomington, Illinois; Scott (Amy) Gibson of Oswego, Illinois; their mother, Rita Petty Gibson of Normal, Illinois; five grandchildren, Emilee, John and Briana Gibson and Mitchell and Olivia Casino;  three step-children, Keith Blankenship, Janine (Bill) Halm and Eric (Mary) Blankenship; eight step-grandchildren, Alyssa (Aaron) Curtis; Shannon (Rick) Measaw; Jordan (Mikah) Halm; Kristen Blankenship; Lavana Blankenship; Joel Blankenship; Paige Blankenship; and Brett Blankenship; four step-great-grandchildren, Abbie Measaw, Kolton Measaw, Raelynn Curtis, and Brinley Curtis; one sister, Kay Klockenga of Lincoln, Illinois.

Leon was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, and one son, M.L. Gibson.

Raised on a farm near Shirley, he attended Ben Funk and Heyworth High School, Leon spent nearly 40 years in the feed business, built one of the first hog confinement operations in McLean County, and then owned and operated Gibson’s Old Bank Inn in LeRoy and Gibson’s Concessions at Dawson Lake with his wife, Judy.  He was a longtime member and past vice president of the LeRoy Country Club and trustee for the Empire Township Fire Protection District.

Joseph J. Ambrose

index.jpgApril 29, 1927 – October 02, 2017

Joseph J. Ambrose, 90, of LeRoy, Illinois, passed away at his home at 11:25 A.M. on Monday, October 2, 2017.

His funeral service will be held at 10 A.M. on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at the Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, LeRoy, Illinois. Inurnment will be in Oak Grove Cemetery, LeRoy, Illinois with military rites accorded. Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. on Monday, October 9, 2017 at the funeral home.

He was born April 29, 1927 in Champaign, Illinois, the son of James and Pearl (Judy) Ambrose. He married Charlotte Mittendorf on August 18, 1948 at Holy Cross Church, Champaign, Illinois. He is survived by his loving wife and five children: Julie Ambrose, St. Charles; Mary Ambrose, New York, NY; Joseph (Julianne) Ambrose, Mahomet; James (Kathryn) Ambrose, Springfield; and Margaret Ambrose, Peoria. He was preceded in death by his son, Gregory R. Ambrose. He is also survived by ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Joe enlisted in the Navy at age 17 and was a World War II veteran serving in the Pacific.

Joe graduated from University High School, Urbana, Illinois and received a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois in 1949, and graduated from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University.

He worked for the FDIC as a federal bank examiner until joining the LeRoy State Bank in 1967 where he served as President and later Chairman of the Board, retiring in 1995.

Joe was active in many organizations in LeRoy, including the Crumbaugh Library Board, the LeRoy Boy Scouts, the LeRoy Kiwanis, the LeRoy Chamber of Commerce, and the Red Cross. He was a member and past president of the LeRoy Country Club. He was also a member of the University of Illinois President’s Council, the St. Mary’s Church of Downs and a life member of the Ruel Neal American Legion Post #79.

Joe enjoyed playing golf and spending time in Florida. He was an avid reader, particularly of books on American history. He especially enjoyed the company of his family and his friends.

Memorials may be made to the Ruel Neal American Legion Post #79 or to the LeRoy Emergency Ambulance Service.