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Champaign County, Illinois

Obituaries - Pg. 6

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.

Scrapbook copy of an undated Obituary for Grace Kearns.

Mrs. Isaac Besore
St. Charles

Mrs. Isaac ( Grace M. ) Besore, 83, or Rt. 1, St. Charles Twp., died Sunday in Delnor Hospital, St. Charles.

She had made her home with her daughter, Mrs. ( Margaret ) Johnson for the past two years.

She was born Sept. 17, 1884, in Philo, and she and her husband farmed in Urbana for 50 years.

She was a charter member of Neighborhood of Social Club of Urbana and member of First Presbyterian Church, Urbana.

She was preceded in death by her husband in 1957.

Funeral service will be Thursday at Renner Funeral Home, Urbana. Burial will be in Mt. Olive Cemetery, Urbana.

Friends may call at Yurs Funeral Home, St. Charles, Tuesday evening.

Submitted by Dick Kearns

Scrapbook copy of the Obituary notice for Frances Edna Kearns dated Dec. 15, 1896, stating her age of 9 years old.

It was totally unexpected - the death of little Frances Kearns, daughter of Martin Kearns, of Lynn Grove. On last Sunday she complained of not feeling well, pains in the abdomen. The physicians could not diagnose the case. It puzzled them. The only conclusion was that whe was injured at play, probably at school. Her mother slept with her on Monday night, and sometime toward morning noticed that Frances feet were icy cold. She at once investigated and it was learned that the child was dead. She was about nine years of age, and had always been unusually hearty. She was much out of doors and was very playful and interesting, and was particularly fond of horses. When four years old she could hitch a horse to a buggy and get into the seat and drive.
This is the first death in a family of ten children. The remains were carried to Locust Grove cemetery, Philo, followed by a cortege unusually large for a child of her age.

Submitted by Dick Kearns

Scrapbook copy of the Obituary for Wilbur Marion Kearns dated August 29, 1899, stating his age at 2 1/2 years. old.


--Wilbur, little son of Mr. and Mrs. Mart Kerns of Sidney, died on Tuesday evening of last week of cholera infantum. He was taken sick the Friday evening before. Wilbur was two and a half years old and was the baby of the family. He was an unusually smart and intelligent child for his age and attracted attention wherever taken by his parents. The funeral service occurred at the house, Rev. Love, the Presbyterian minister, officiating.

Paper article. August 29, 1899.

"Tuesday evening Mr. and Mrs. Martin Kearns had to say farewell to their youngest child, a bright little boy 2 1/2 years old. The death angel claimed him for a better world than this. Mr. and Mrs. Kearns live just east of the village."

Submitted by Dick Kearns

Scrapbook copy of an undated Obituary for Walter Kearns.

Walter W. Kearns Dies Following Long Illness

Walter Wilson Kearns, son of Martin and Carolyn Kearns, was born in the township of Sidney, Ill., on February 10, 1882, and died in Wray ( Colorado ) on June 6, 1954, at the age of 72 years.

As a young man, having finished his education at Dixon College, Mr. Kearns moved west to join his brothers, John and Albert, in Colorado where all three engaged in the construction of sugar refineries.

He later moved to Denver where he participated in the operation of a business college with his brothers. Following this, he followed the profession of accounting in Denver and throughout the Western United States.

In 1929, Mr. Kearns moved to Wray with his brother, John, in the automobile business. During all those years he maintained an active interest in sports which helped him to endure the lengthy illness that preceeded his death.

Besides nieces and nephews, he is survived by his sisters, Mrs. Isaac Besore and Mrs. Maude Grove of Urbana, Ill.

Funeral services for Mr. Kearns were held Wednesday afternoon at the Lockwood Mortuary with Rev. William Willcox officiating. Interment followed at Grandview cemetery.

Submitted by Dick Kearns

Scrapbook copies of Obituaries for Nellie Kearns dated February 15, 1920.

Miss Nellie G. Kearns

Miss Nellie Gertrude Kearns, until this year a Champaign county school teacher, died at the home of her sister, Mrs. Even Groves, six miles southeast of Urbana, Sunday morning at 8 o'clock after an illness due to pneumonia.

Miss Kearns was born in Sidney township, March 16, 1890 and had always made her home in this county. She is survived by her father, Martin Kearns of Urbana and the following brothers and sisters:

Mrs. Evan Groves, Philo; township; Mrs. Isaac Besore, Urbana township; Miss Margaret L. Kearns of Sidney; Albert Kearns residing in Indiana, and John, Martin Jr., Walter and Grover Kearns of Colorado.

Miss Kearns was a graduate of Normal and had made an excellent record as an educator.

The funeral will probably be held on Wednesday afternoon at the home, Rev. D. Simson conducting services. Interment will be made in the Locust Grove cemetery near Philo. More definite funeral arrangements will be made on Tuesday, the plans being delayed on account of relatives coming from a distance.

Submitted by Dick Kearns

Scrapbook copy of an Obituary for Martin Kearns Jr. dated October 15, 1943, noted as born December 7, 1875 written in ink.

Former Resident Dies in Indiana

Martin L. Kearns, a resident of this vicinity many years ago, died last Friday at his home in Indiana Harbor, Ind., at the age of 66 years.

Funeral services were held Monday at 2 p. m. from the home of his brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Evan Grove north of Philo, with Rev. W. Eckhoff, pastor of the Presbyterian Church offficiating. Burial was in Locust Grove cemetery.

Mr. Kearns was born on a farm west of Sidney on Dec. 12, 1876, a son of Martin and Caroline Wilson Kearns. When a young man he went to Decatur where he was employed by the Wabash Railroad Co., moving to Indiana Harbor 22 years ago.

Surviving are two children, Howard Kearns in California and Mrs. Vaughn Hiser of Fort Wayne, Ind., and a number of grandchildren; also the following brothers and sisters: Albert and Grover Kearns of Denver, Col., John and Walter Kearns, Wray, Col.; Mrs. I. H. Besore of Urbana township, Mrs. Maude Grove and Miss Margaret Kearns of north of Philo.

Submitted by Dick Kearns

Scrapbook copy of the Obituary of Margaret Kearns, written by Katherine Rice for the funeral April 2, 1946.

Margaret Lillian Kearns

Margaret Lillian Kearns was born July 19, 1877, near Sidney, Illinois, the daughter of Martin L. and Caroline Wilson Kearns. She died Sunday morning, March 31, 1946, at Burnham City Hospital in Champaign at the age of 68 years.

She attended Campbell School, Sidney High School and Illinois State Teacher's College at Normal, Illinois. Almost 25 years of her life were spent in the school rooms of Philo and Sidney townships and her former pupis scattered in all parts of the country affectionately remember her kindness and patience.

She became a member of the Philo Presbyterian Church in 1896, she loved to attend the church services and devoted her talents to its welfare throughout her life. For 25 years she taught the Young Women's Sunday School Class and the members enjoyed and benefited from her deep store of Biblical knowledge and from her interpretations and applications to their every day life. The meetings of the Women's Missionary Society were always richer for her presence. A few days before her death she had written two papers which she sent as her contribution to the program of the March meeting. A share of her interest and time was also given to her community. She was a charter member of the Philo chapter of Eastern Star, served as Worthy Matron, and took an active part in the organization. She was a member of the Philo Women's Club and the Golden Rule Club for many years.

Surviving her are two sisters and four brothers: Mrs. Maude Grove of Philo with whom she made her home, Mrs. Grace Besore of Urbana, Albert and Grover of Denver and John and Walter of Wray, Colorado. Her parents, two sisters and two brothers preceded her in death. For her family and friends she reserved the largest measuer of her loyalty, devotion and interest. Each day they were in her thoughts and she did something to make their lives happier and more comfortable.

It can truly be said that hers was a beautiful character. The calmness and serentiy of her nature will live on as benediction for us all.

Submitted by Dick Kearns

Scrapbook copy of an Obituary for John Kearns dated 9-3-50

J. H. Kearns Dies of Heart Attack Saturday Morning

Community Honors Memory of Former Mayor and Civic Leader at Rites Held Monday Morning

Jack Kearns died Saturday morning while at his desk at the Heindel Motor company. Others at the garage said that he answered a telephone call, summoned one of the employees to the phone, then slumped in his chair. Death was attributed to a heart attack.

The Presbyterian church was filled Monday afternoon by longtime friends and business associates who came to pay homage to the memory of a man who had made a lasting and outstanding contribution to the civic development of the town he had chosen as his home. The service was conducted by Rev. Moore G. Bell, and was followed by a Masonic burial service at Grandview Cemetery.

John Hancock Kearns, son of Martin and Caroline Kearns, was born at Sidney, Ill., on August 30, 1880. After finishing grammar and high school at Philo, Ill., he attended college at Dixon College in Dixon, Ill. He taught school in Philo, and then in 1903 worked with his brother, A. M. Kearns, in operating the Model Business School in Denver.

One of his first business ventures was working for the contractors who built the sugar factory at Eaton. Subsequently, he and his brother acquired the land that is now the town site of Hudson, and entered a general store business. This interest led them into planning an irrigation project at Keenesburg, whihc included the building of the first large dam in the area.

On June 26, 1911, he and Inez Mary Tyo were married and made their home in Denver, where he was manager of Lakeside Amusement Park.

In 1913, he entered the early day automobile business by joining the Ford Motor Company organization in Denver. He liked the new industry and in May, 1918, came to Wray to become the operating partner of the Ford dealership.

Mr. Kearns' ability, personality and diplomacy soon made him a leader in local business, civic and social circles. He made a legion of friends by his cordiality and genuine friendliness and these, both young and old, turned to him for advice and companionship. In 1926 he was elected mayor of Wray and he was one of the most successful town officials that Wray has ever had. In more recent years, Mr. Kearns hads served his community as secretary of the draft board during the World War II and later as a member of the board, and several years as the town clerk. He had been bookkeeper for the Heindel Motor company for some time before his death. He was a Presbyterian, and a member of the First Presbyterian church of Wray since 1927.

Surviving Mr. Kearns are his wife, Inez Kearns of Wray; a daughter, Betty Muller of Wray; three sons, John and Richard of Denver and Lee of Los Angeles. There are also a brother, Walter Kearns of Wray; two sisters, Mrs. Evan Grove and Mrs. Isaac Besore of Urbana, Ill.; eight grandchildren and less near relatives.

Submitted by Dick Kearns

Scrapbook copy of an Obituary for Grover Kearns not dated.

Mr. Grover C. Kearns was born to Mr. and Mrs. Martin Kearns, March 11, 1885, at Philo, Ill., and departed from this life on March 21, 1949 at the age of 63 years and 10 days.

In 1906 Mr. Kearns came to Colorad, and became a student at the Denver Business College. He also served as Post Master in Hudson, Colo., for several years and also operated a grocery there.

In 1912, Mr. Kearns was united in marriage to Miss Flossie Summerville. And to this union wer born: one daughter, Virginia J. and one son, Glenn S. Kearns.

Having become actively interested in Gold Mining the Kearns family moved to Denver and Mr. Kearns spent some twelve or fifteen years in prospective mining throughout the Mountain area.

During the year 1941 Mr. and Mrs. Kearns took over the River Drive Trailor Park at 350 South Lipan Street here in Denver. He was also President of the Colorado Trailor Park Association for the past year. The sudden death of Mr. Kearns occurred while he was on duty on his Park grounds. ( Heart attack )

He leaves to mourn his loss: his wife Flossie Kearns; daughter Mrs. Virginia Jaeke of Denver; and son Glenn S. Kearns, Grass Valley, Calif. One Grandson -- Gary G. Kearns Prescot, Ariz. Two brothers: John and Walter of Wray, Colorado. Two sisters: Mrs. Grace Besore and Mrs. Maude Grove, Urbana, Illinois.

Early in life Mr. Kearns with his parents was affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.

He was a man of high ideals and seemed to specialize in honest and fair dealing in business and was always trying to be a help to his neighbors and to any whom he found in need.

Submitted by Dick Kearns

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