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Champaign County, Illinois

Obituaries - Pg. 17

This page is to list obituaries for Champaign County, Illinois residents. If you would like to share any obituaries you may have, please contact Celia Snyder.




James Worley, said to be the oldest resident of this city, died Saturday evening at 6:25, after a long illness, at the home of his son, John Worley, 807 South Race Street. His death was due to old age.

Mr. Worley was born Oct. 14, 1805, and almost all his life was spent in the vicinity of Urbana. When he was able to work he followed farming, but most of his latter days were spent in reading. The following children survive: John Worley, Urbana; George of Ottawa county, Missouri; Mrs. N.M. Herd , of Cable, O., and another daughter in Pennsylvania.

The funeral arrangements have not been completed, but it is expected that it will be held some hour tomorrow.

Submitted by Susan Campbell




John Worley, one of the oldest residents of the county seat, died at 1:30 o'clock Sunday afternoon, at his home, 901 East Green Street, Urbana, following an extended illness from diabetes and kidney trouble.

The decedent was born May 10, 1846, at Urbana, O., and came to Urbana, Ill., when he was five years of age. He had resided in Urbana ever since. In 1869 Mr. Worley married Anna Kerrar. She died in 1878, and he again married in 1880, Lucy Butler being his second bride. She is now confined to her bed by illness that is thought to be very critical. For twenty years the decedent was employed in the car department at the Big Four shops.

Mr. Worley engaged in the service of his country during the civil conflict of the 60's and has been an active member of the G.A.R. He was also a member of the Modern Woodmen, and his church membership was with Grace Methodist Episcopal church, on East Main Street. Besides the widow, two children survive, Joseph Worley of Peoria and Lottie Worley at home.

The funeral is to be held at 2:30 o'clock Tuesday afternoon from Grace Methodist Episcopal church, the services being conducted by Rev. Singleton and Rev. W.A. Browder. Interment will be at Mount Hope cemetery

Submitted by Susan Campbell




Mrs. Rosetta Worley, one of the older residents of the county seat died at 7:30 o'clock this morning at her home, 901 East Green Street, Urbana, after an illness of about a year from organic heart trouble. Mrs. Worley was the widow of John Worley, who died October 18, and she was in a serious condition at the time of her husband's death. Since that time her failure has been steady.

Surviving Mrs. Worley are two children, Miss Lottie D. Worley, who resided with her mother, and Joseph Worley, who resided in Peoria

Submitted by Susan Campbell



Lorence was born in Champaign County 30 May 1937, son of William and Grace (Cornelius) Kopmann. He was married to Judith Flessner, 20 Nov 1960. This marriage was blessed with 3 children - LeRoy William Kopmann, Anita Marie Kopmann and Bonita Katherine Kopmann. His sister Eveline (Kopmann) Ihnen is living in Rantoul, IL. On 30 Oct 1967 he was killed in a truck accident by Flatville Grade School. Lorence was a farmer all his life and also was in involved in a tiling business with his counsin Eldred Cornelius and a spraying and anhydrous business with Johnny Duitsman. His favorite hobby was tractor pulling which he won many trophies.

Submitted by Judith Kopmann

Death Notice:

In Memory of John M. Willfong

Date of Birth: November, 1873

Date of Death: January 13, 1964

Services from: Freese Funeral Ho9me, St. Joseph, Illinois, 2 P.M. Thursday, January 16, 1964

Clergyman: Reverend William Schaville

Final Resting Place: Mount Olive Cemetery, Mayview, Illinois

Submitted by

Obituary for Mary Emma Waters who died 4 November 1942- from the Nov. 6 1942
Urbana Courier, Urbana, IL

Mrs. Waters, 76, dies in Urbana

Mrs. Mary Emma Waters, 76 died at 5:20 p.m. at her home, 903 E. Green Street, Urbana, following a long illness. Her condition had been serious for sometime.

The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday from the Renner funeral home. Interment will be made in the Yearsley cemetery, five miles northeast of Urbana.

Mary Emma Waters was born at Rising Sun, Ind. on April 28, 1866, the daughter of James K. and Mary Jane Spore Corson. She came to Illinois in 1884, where she spent the remainder of her life.

On Sept. 5, 1894, she married Howard William Waters. They resided on a farm in Somers township until six years ago when they moved to Urbana. Her husband preceded her in death.

She is survived by five children: Mrs. Hope Williams, Edgerton, Ohio; Lee Waters of Stanton township; Jessie James, Terre Haute, Ind; and Ferne and Maude Waters at home. She also leaves a sister, Mrs. Alma Yearsley, Urbana; and two brothers, George Corson, Modesto, California; and Bailey Corson, of Somers township. There is also a half-brother, Harry Collins, Oakland, California.

She is preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, William A. and Eddy Corson and a half-sister, Mrs. Pearl Griesner; and a half-brother, Curtis Collins.

Before moving to Urbana, she was a member of the Carley Chapel church. At the time of her death, she was a member of the First Methodist church of Urbana, the Mary and Martha class of the Sunday school, the WCTU, New Idea club, Urbana Women's club and Carley Friendship club.

Submitted by Marguerite Butzow
*submitter's note- Pearl Griesner should be Pearl Friesner

Sidney Times, Sidney, IL- Friday, 2 Aug 1918

J. M. Johnston Dies Suddenly

A shadow of gloom was cast over our village last Saturday morning when our citizens learned that James M. Johnston had suffered a stroke of paralysis and there was no hope for his recovery. He had taken ill near midnight and a physician called. Near morning he became unconscious and remained in that condition throughout the day, life becoming extinct about five o'clock in the afternoon.

Mr. Johnston was one of our oldest and most highly respected citizens. He was one of the best known men in this part of the county. Always of a jovial dispostion and always saw the bright side of life. He readily made friends and was respected by everyone who knew him.

He was a man of splendid business qualifications and was one to be always trusted by his fellow men. He was a public spirited citizen and always took an active part in all progressive movements, and was ever ready to take a stand for the right against the wrong. As a member of the Masonic order he was a loyal and true worker.He was a stockholder and director in the State Bank of Sidney and a stockholder in the Sidney Grain Company.

Although the writer had only known Mr. Johnston but a few short years, yet he held his friendship in the highest esteem. The ruling passion of his life seemed to be his intense devotion to Christ and God, and solicitude for the welfare of his children. He will be much missed by the people of Sidney.

The funeral was held at the Christian Church at 2:30 o'clock Tuesday afternoon and was in charge of the Masonic Lodge. Rev. George Smith of Urbana, preached the sermon. The floral offerings were profuse and beautiful. Burial was made in Mt. Hope cemetery.

The sympathy of the entire community is extended to the bereaved widow and children, and especially to the youngest son, Vern, who lies in a hospital in Paris, France, with one arm shattered by a German bullet.


James Martin Johnston was born in Owen County, Ky., Oct. 15, 1849 and died at Sidney, Ill., July 27, 1918, age 69 years, 9 months and 12 days. When a small boy, he came with his parents to Illinois and settled on a farm in Homer township. When he was 19 years old he went to Stanton township, where he purchased 80 acres of land and began farming for himself.

On Sept. 5, 1872, he was united in marriage to Miss Lucinda Corry. (*Corray) To this union four children were born, all of whom survive. They are Mrs. Ressie McElwee and Mrs. Daisy Rudicil residing north of Sidney; Mrs. Laura Furst of Ohio and Mrs. Nelle Greenwood of this place. Mrs. Johnston died June 6, 1883.

In the early spring of 1885, Mr. Johnston moved to Sidney and has since resided here. On April 1, 1885, he united in marriage to Mrs. Millie Phillips Stewart. To this union were born three children, Owen W. Johnston of near Homer, Mrs. Fannie Patch of Sioux City, Iowa, and Vern, who is with the U. S. Army in France. There also survive one brother, Robert Johnston of St. Joseph and two sisters, Mrs, James Yates of St. Joseph and Mrs. Andrew VanFleet of Red Rock, Okla.; also sixteen grandchildren.

While residing in Stanton township Mr. Johnston was converted and united with the Christian church and has ever lived a true Christian life.

Submitted by Marguerite Butzow
** correction made by submitter

Champaign News Gazette- July 1980
Mary Phillips

Mary E. Phillips, 93, of 1515 N. Market St. Champaign, died at 8:30 p.m. Thursday (July 24, 1980) at the Urbana Americana Healthcare Center.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Renner-Wikoff Chapel, the Rev. John Kovalcik officiating. Burial will be in Mount Olive Cemetery, Mayview. There will be no visitation.

Mrs. Phillips was born Dec. 22, 1886, in Champaign County, a daughter of Harmon and Elizabeth Bowers Corray. She married James R. Phillips Dec. 16, 1908 in a family home northeast of Urbana. He died in August of 1964.

Survivors include one son, Joe R. Phillips of Champaign; four daughters, Mrs. Ruth Youmans of Ogden, Mrs. Eleanor Butzow of Urbana, Mrs. Mary Margaret Allen of Urbana, and Jane Phillips of Champaign; 12 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and three brothers, Bill Corray, Fred Corray and Frank Corray, all of Urbana. She was also preceded in death by two brothers.

She and her husband lived in the Mayview area for many years. She was a member of the Mayview Methodist Church. Memorials may be made to the church.

Submitted by Marguerite Butzow

Champaign News Gazette Feb. 1982
Edward Butzow- St. Joseph

Edward Charles Butzow, 94, of St. Joseph died at 9:45 p.m. Friday (Feb. 26, 1982) at Carle Foundation Hospital.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Monday at Freese Funeral Home, St. Joseph, with the Rev. Billy Pearson officiating. Burial will be in the Mount Olive Cemetery, Mayview. Visitation will be one hour before services at the funeral home.

Mr. Butzow was born Oct. 9, 1887, in St. Joseph Township, a son of Edward and Lena Cross Butzow. He married Zora Rudisill Dec. 22, 1910. She preceded him in death Oct. 18, 1979.

Survivors include three sons, Gleason Butzow of rural Urbana, and Harold and Donald both of Phoenix, Ariz.; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; two half-brothers, Marshall Butzow of rural St. Joseph and Waldo Butzow of Detroit, Mich.; and two half sisters, Ruth Ehler of Florida and Gladys McKinney of Champaign. He was preceded in death also by one brother, one sister, and one half-sister.

Mr. Butzow was a life-long resident of St. Joseph engaged in farming. He attended United Methodist Church of St. Joseph.

Submitted by Marguerite Butzow

Champaign News Gazette- Oct. 1979
Zora Butzow- St. Joseph

Zora G. Butzow, 86, died at 1 a.m. Thursday (Oct. 18, 1979) at Carle
Foundation Hospital.Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in Freese Funeral Home, St. Joseph, the Rev. Billy M. Pearson officiating. Burial will be in Mt. Olive Cemetery, Mayview. Visitation will be 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

She was born Aug. 30, 1893 in Sidney Township, daughter of D.D. and Belle Rudisill Rudicill. She married Edward Butzow Dec. 22, 1910. He survives.Other survivors include three sons, Harold and Donald of Phoenix, Ariz; and Gleason of rural Urbana; three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by three brothers.

She was a lifelong resident of the St. Joseph area, member of the Church of Christ, St. Joseph, and member of the Eastern Star Lodge. She was also a member of the Countrywomen's club of St. Joseph and active in community affairs.

Submitted by Marguerite Butzow

St. Joseph Record - July 1980
Effie Argo

Effie J. Argo, 96, of St. Joseph, died July 4 at the Champaign County Nursing Home.

Mrs. Argo and her husband farmed near St. Joseph. She was a member of the St. Joseph United Methodist Church.Born February 27, 1884, in southern Illinois, she married William H. Argo in St. Joseph. He preceded her in death.

Survivors include a son, Glenn of Fairfax, Va., and a sister, Mrs. Simeon Pate of Roseville, Calif.Mrs. Ago was preceded in death by two brothers and two sisters.

Private funeral services were held July 8 at Freese Funeral Home in St. Joseph with the Rev. Billy Pearson officiating. Burial was in the Mt. Olive Cemetery at Mayview.

Submitted by Marguerite Butzow

Obituary of Mrs. Mary Jane Collins who died 9 March 1920- from the 11 March
1920 issue of Urbana Courier, Urbana, IL.

Mrs. Mary Jane Collins died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. H.W. Waters, ten miles northeast of Urbana, Tuesday night at 11:45 after a long illness due to paralysis. On New Year's day Mrs. Collins suffered a broken hip by a fall and she had been bedfast since that time.

Mrs. Collins was born at Rising Sun, Ind. in 1840 and had been a resident of Illinois for the past 35 years. The following children survive: Mrs. Emmett Yearsley of Urbana; Mrs. H.W. Waters and Bailey Corson of Stanton township; George Corson, Modesto, California; Edward Corson, Greenville; William Corson, Metropolis; Harry Collins, California, and Pearl Freesner, White Fish Bay, Wisconsin.

The funeral will be held Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the First M.E. Church of Urbana, of which she was a member. Rev. Walter Aitken will be in charge of the services. Interment will be made in the family lot in Mt. Hope cemetery.

Submitted by Marguerite Butzow
*submitter's note- Pearl Freesner should be Pearl Friesner


Lycurgus Lyster, 69 years of age, who had lived in this city the past 25 years, died last evening following an illness of several months due to Bright’s disease. Preceding his illness he was employed at the Hunter-Wood planning mill, and before that, at the Big Four shops.

Mr. Lyster was born September 19, 1857 in Valonnia, Ind; where he spent the early part of his life. In 1882 he was united in marriage to Miss Florence B. Davis, and they came here in 1901. He had been a faithful member of the First Christian Church, Urbana for many years.

Surviving the deceased are his widow, a daughter Mabel, at home, and a son, Thomas B. Lyster, also of this city. Detailed funeral arrangements have not been completed, but is has been planned to hold services on Wednesday at the residence, 206 South Lynn Street. Rev. E. A. Watkins of the First Christian Church will officiate. Internment will be made in Mt. Olive Cemetery, near Mayview.

Submitted by Don Barnett


Mrs. Florence B. Lyster, aged 68, died at 6:30 o’clock Thursday morning after a brief illness which seized her Christmas day. Her death was attributed to heart trouble. Mrs. Lyster was born in Vallonia, Ind. She married Lycurgus Lyster, who was a resident of Urbana until his death two years ago. Mrs. Lyster has lived in Urbana for 27 years.

She has made her home with her daughter, Miss Mabel Lyster, 206 South Lynn Street, Urbana, where she died. Beside her daughter, Mrs. Lyster is survived by a son, Thomas B. Lyster, 403 North Broadway, Urbana.

Funeral services will be held at 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon from the Renner funeral home, with Rev. A.E. Kemp officiating. Burial will be made in Mt. Olive cemetery.

Submitted by Don Barnett


Thomas Blaine Lyster, 67 of 305 West Eureka Street, died at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Burnham city hospital.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Renner funeral home with Reverend Roy Merrifield, former pastor of the Congregational church of Urbana, in charge. Burial will be in East Lawn Memorial park.

Mr. Lyster was a son of the late Lycurgus and Belle Davis Lyster and was born in Vallonia, Ind., on Aug. 5, 1884. He came to Illinois 48 years ago and spent most of his life in Champaign-Urbana. He was a wood machinist by occupation. My Lyster was a member of the Congregation church, Urbana.

Besides his wife, Mrs. Lucy Ann Lyster, he is survived by two sons, Paul T. and Merrill Lyster, Champaign, and six grandchildren.

Submitted by Don Barnett


Funeral services for Mrs. Lucy Ann Lyster, 85 of 305 W. Eureka, C, will be at 1:30 p.m. Monday at Owens Chapel with Rev. Lionel Miles officiating. Burial will be in Eastlawn Cemetery. Friends may call from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the funeral chapel.

Mrs. Lyster died early Friday morning (June 6, 1969) in Burnham City Hospital where she had been a patient since May 22.

She was born in Freedom, Ind. July 6, 1883, daughter of Wesley and Elizabeth Hubbel Fiscus. She married Thomas B. Lyster Dec. 18, 1907 in Urbana. He preceded her in death in 1950.

Surviving are two sons, Merrell of 905 N. Randolph, C and Paul T. of Cassville, Mo; one grandchild; five great grandchildren; and one brother, Jesse Fiscus of Decatur. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by eight brothers and sisters.

Mrs. Lyster had been a resident of this area since 1900 and belonged to the United Church of Christ in Champaign.

Submitted by Don Barnett


Death follows Illness of Several Weeks; Was Active in Church, P.T.A. Work

Mrs. Lula Mabel Stowe, 42, 206 South Lynn street, Urbana, died at 1:50 p m. Monday in her home, following a serious illness of several weeks.

Death was not unexpected and her husband and two of her sisters-in-law were present at the time of her death. She has been a resident of Urbana since she was a girl, and attended the Urbana high school.

Lula Mabel Lyster was born Dec. 4, 1895 in Jackson county, Ind., the daughter of Lycurgus and BelleDavis Lyster, where she lived for a number of years until she came with her family to Urbana

On June 8, 1929, she married Wilbur A. Stowe, in Urbana. She is the mother of one daughter, Maryellen, who is seven years old and attends the Webber school.

In Congregational Church

Besides her husband and daughter, one brother, Thomas B. Lyster, 404 South Race street, and a number of relatives survive her by marriage. She was preceded in death by three brothers and her parents.

Mrs. Stowe was an active member of the Congregational-Christian Church taking part in the missionary activities and a number of others. She was also an active member of the Webber School Parent Teachers’ Association.

Mr. Stowe was formerly alderman for the first ward at the past election, and is employed by the Big Four shops.

Rites Wednesday

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the First Congregational Church, Urbana. Rev. Joseph Fix, former pastor of the church, will return from Cairo, where he now has a pastorate, to officiate. Burial will be in Mt. Olive cemetery.

Submitted by Don Barnett

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