Obituaries

January 2014

Tonya Kirchner, 41, nee Kruse, of St. Louis died Jan. 1, 2014. She was born June 15, 1972, in Belleville. Mrs. Kirchner is survived by her daughter, Haley Lauren Kirchner of Columbia; father and step-mother, Richard and Rita Kruse of Columbia; her mother, Carol Sager of Ava; step-father, Herman (Debbie) Mason of Dupo; and siblings, Michael Kruse of Columbia, Kim Kruse of Columbia, Brian Mason of Ava and Matthew Mason of Cahokia. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Walter and Dolores Kruse and Lester and Jessie Sager. Mrs. Kirchner was a flight nurse for ARCH Air Medical Service in St. Louis. Visitation and funeral were at Lawlor Funeral Home.   Memorials may be made to the Haley Kirchner Trust Fund.
 
George L. Powers, 64, of Columbia, died Jan. 1, 2014. He was born June 24, 1949, in Baton Rouge, La., the son of the late George and Ruby Louise (nee Crook) Powers. Mr. Powers is survived by his partner, Jean Stroisch; step-sons, Michael R. Stroisch and Daniel (Emily) Stroisch; and a grandson, Henry Stroisch; his daughter, Laura Beth Powers of Raleigh, N.C.; son, SSG Brian Laurin Powers of Ft. Benning, Ga.; brother, Michael L. Powers of Baton Rouge, La.; niece, Laurie Faye Powers of Baton Rouge, La.; and his former spouse, Mary Powers of Columbia, S.C. Mr. Powers served in the U.S. Navy from 1972 to 1976. George earned a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from North Carolina State University in 1977. He retired as a commander from the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1993. Mr. Powers later retired from the Internal Revenue Service. He was a member of  Columbia American Legion Post 581. Private graveside services were at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis. Memorials may be made to the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Columbia food pantry or the church’s building fund.
 
Bonnie Schlotmann, nee Yankey, 68, of Waterloo, died Jan. 2, 2014 in Waterloo. She was born May 12, 1945 in East St. Louis, the daughter of the late Howard and Gertrude (nee Deul) Yankey. Mrs. Schlotmann is survived by her daughter, Kimberly (Jeff) Mueth; and grandchildren, Jacob Mueth and Emma Mueth; along with nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her brothers, Lee and Dale Yankey. Visitation and funeral were at Quernheim Funeral Home with Pastor Matt Friz officiating. Mrs. Schlotmann was buried at Kolmer Memorial Cemetery.
 
Glenn F. Bequette, 72, of Columbia, died Jan. 3, 2014, at Oak Hill’s Magnolia Terrace. He was born May 13, 1941, in Belleville, the son of the late James and Viola (nee Gummersheimer) Vogt. Glenn married Dima (nee Bowles) Duffy Bequette in 1972 in Carrollton. She died in 2011. Mr. Bequette is survived by his sons, James (Tricia) Bequette of Kansas City, Mo.; step-sons, Richard Duffy of Shasta Lake, Calif., and Rodney (Sherri) Duffy of Waterloo; granddaughter, Jessica Duffy of Waterloo; great-grandsons, Tyler and Ethan Toms; and siblings, Lillian (Carl) Vogt of Waterloo, Verana "Toots" (Charlie) Johnson of Waterloo, Velma Valleroy of California and Ronald Bequette of Columbia. In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by a daughter in infancy, Shawn Elizabeth; a step-son, Randal Duffy; sister, Anetha Birkner; and brothers, Gerald and Donald Bequette. Mr. Bequette was retired from Luhr Bros.  Inc. in Columbia. Visitation and funeral were at Lawlor Funeral Home with Fr. Paul Wienhoff officiating. Mr. Bequette was buried at Palmier Cemetery in Columbia. Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association of St. Louis or Masses.
 
Jerome “Jerry” Fults, 74, of Millstadt, died Jan. 4, 2014, in Belleville. He was born Nov. 16, 1939, in Prairie du Rocher, the son of the late Neil and Hilda (nee Stechmesser) Fults. Mr. Fults is survived by his wife, Patricia (nee Shields) Fults; children, Diane (Rudy) Diefenbach, Dean (Diana) Fults, Darryl (JoAnn) Fults, Donna (Kenny) Harbaugh and Darren (Amy) Fults; grandchildren, Rudy (Keri) Diefenbach, Chris (Tracey) Diefenbach, Andy (Amanda) Diefenbach, Ashley Fults (Ricky Schmidt), Dean Fults, Jr., Holly Fults, Justin Fults, Adam Fults, Olivia Fults, Taylor Harbaugh and MaKenzie Harbaugh; great-grandchildren, Jordyn, Breanna, Kamryn and Ava Diefenbach; and sisters, Helen Godare, Darlene (Ben) Yancy and Judy Krebel; along with sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by a sister, Mary Brueggemann; and brothers, Russell, Ronald and Norman Fults. Mr. Fults was a member of Teamsters Local 50 who retired from J.C. Hauling. Visitation was at Quernheim Funeral Home. Funeral was at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Red Bud with Father Clyde Grogan officiating. Mr. Fults was buried at  St. John Cemetery in Fults. Memorials may be made to Vitas Hospice Care or St. John the Baptist Catholic School.
 
Coy A. Williamson Jr., a Navy veteran of World War II and the Korean Conflict, died Jan. 5, 2014 at Oak Hill Nursing Home in Waterloo.He was 88. Mr. Williamson was born Sept. 25, 1925 in Percy  to the late Coy Williamson, Sr. and Surelda Danley Williamson. The family moved to Grafton and later settled in Valmeyer. Mr. Williamson worked at Meisenbach’s Grocery Store in Valmeyer as a teenager. He graduated from Valmeyer High School in 1943, and joined the Navy shortly thereafter. Mr. Williamson attended Naval radio school in Oxford, Oh. During World War II, he served almost three years as a radioman third class aboard the troop transport ship USS Garrard in the South Pacific and the Bay of Yokama Harbor. While in the Navy, Mr. Williamson was a boxer. Later in his life he liked to say that he was undefeated-- at least until he had his first fight. When the Japanese surrendered, he was reassigned to the USS Missouri. He was honorably discharged in 1946 with the World War II Victory Medal, the American Area Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Medal and one star. Mr. Williamson returned to Valmeyer and began attending telegraphy school in St. Louis. He met Dorothy Redolfi in the late 1940s. Mr. Williamson married Dorothy on April 30, 1949 at Sts. Simon and Jude’s Rectory in her hometown of Gillespie. The Williamsons welcomed their first child, a daughter named Mary Jo, in 1950. Mr. Williamson was called back into the Navy in 1951. He served as a radioman third class aboard the aircraft carrier USSTarrawa in the Atlantic Ocean during the Korean Conflict. He was honorably discharged in April 1952 with the National Defense Medal. Mr. Williamson worked as a telegrapher for Gulf Pipeline in Valmeyer until it closed in the early 1950s. In 1954, he took a job selling meat for Mayrose, which later became Swift Independent Packing in St. Louis. He retired from Swift in 1988. The Williamsons welcomed a second daughter, Barbara June, in 1953. They later had three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Mr. Williamson was a member of Valmeyer American Legion Post 901 for 69 years, serving terms as commander and chaplain. He also performed in parades with the American Legion drill team. He was a member of St. John’s United Church of Christ of Valmeyer for most of his life, and served on the consistory board from 1984 to 1994. He also taught Sunday school for several years. Mr. Williamson was a volunteer firefighter with the Valmeyer Fire Protection District for 36 years. He retired in 1994. Mr. Williamson was a member of Masonic Lodge 747 in Waterloo, and a longtime league bowler at the Bee Hive Bowl in Waterloo.  Mr. Williamson was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Mary Jane (Williamson) Reichert; his brothers-in-law, Carlyle Louer, William Byots, Joseph Redolfi, and Russell Reichert; his sister-in-law, Joanne (Redolfi) Byots; and his niece, Gwen Reichert. Visitation was at Quernheim Funeral Home. A funeral was at St. John's United Church of Christ in Valmeyer. Mr. Williamson was buried at the Valmeyer Cemetery. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Dorothy (nee Redolfi) Williamson of Waterloo; his daughters, Mary Jo (Williamson) Robinson of Springfield and Barbara (Williamson) Roberts of Riverview, Fla.; his son-in-law, Stacy Roberts of Riverview, Fla.; his sister, Phoebe Mae Louer of Swansea; his grandchildren, Bethany (nee Prange) Booher and Kevin Booher of Waterloo; Audie and Abby (nee Bivins) Prange of Chatham, Ill.; and April (nee Roberts) and Ryan Jarvis of Riverview, Fla.; great-grandchildren, Remy Liam Penn Booher of Waterloo; Louden Ty Booher of Greenville, Pa.; and Luke Hardy, Tressel Jarvis and Scarlet Jarvis, all of Riverview, Fla.; nieces, nephews and cousins. Memorial may be made to St. John’s United Church of Christ in Valmeyer.
 
Orlou V. Reichert, 86, of Columbia, died Jan. 6, 2014 at Columbia Rehab and Nursing Center. She was born Nov. 4, 1927 in Waterloo, the daughter of the late James and Mary (nee Frisch) Crowe. Orlou married Victor J. Reichert in 1947 in Columbia. He died in 2011. Mrs. Reichert is survived by her sons, Terry (Sharon) Reichert of Columbia, Rodney (JoAnn Diehl) Reichert of Kingston, Okla., and Kim (Lisa) Reichert of Belleville; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. In addition to her parents and husband, she was also preceded in death by her brother, James H. Crowe; and sisters, Ina Mae Jahr and Margie Menges. Mrs. Reichert was a retired secretary for Luhr Bros., Inc. She attended Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Columbia. Visitation and funeral were scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 16, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., at Lawlor Funeral Home. Mrs. Reichert will be buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis. Memorials may be made to the Eugene Schorb - Immaculate Conception School Education Fund.
 
Wayne F. Ritzel, 83, of Waterloo, died Jan. 8, 2014 in Waterloo He was born Sept. 22, 1930 in Valmeyer, the son of the late Henry and Viola (nee Agnew) Ritzel. Mr. Ritzel is survived by his wife, Gerry Ritzel; a son, Kirk (Dawn) Ritzel of Waterloo; and a grandson, Timothy Bievenue; along with a sister-in-law, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister, Darlene Hauptfleisch; and a brother, Richard Ritzel. Mr. Ritzel attended St. Paul UCC in Waterloo. He was a member of the Waterloo VFW Post 6504. Visitation was at Quernheim Funeral Home. Funeral was at St. Paul UCC in Waterloo with Pastor Thelma Burgonio-Watson officiating. Mr. Ritzel was buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis. Memorials may be made to the Jefferson Barracks VA Hospital.
 
Sharon Lynn Butler, nee Roesch, 55, of Columbia, died Jan. 8, 2014, with her family at her side. She was born June 30, 1958, in Festus, Mo., the daughter of James and Mary Ann (nee Smith) Roesch. Sharon married Paul Butler in 1989 in Waterloo. In addition to her husband, Mrs. Butler is survived by her children, Carrie (Brian) McCormick of Florissant, Mo., and Sarah, James, Logan and Mariah Butler of Columbia; grandchildren, Cody and Mason McCormick; and siblings, Becky Noce of St. Louis, Diane (Mike) Cooper of Bloomsdale, Mo., Brenda (Patrick) Linderer of Festus and Steven (Lauren) Roesch of Festus. Mrs. Butler was a legal secretary at Cates-Mahoney Law in Swansea. She attended Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Columbia. Visitation was at Lawlor Funeral Home. Funeral was at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Columbia with Father Gary Hogan officiating. Mrs. Butler was buried at the St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery in Tipton. Memorials may be made to the Father Steve Gira Memorial Library Fund.
 
John H. Centunzi, 85, of Columbia, died Jan. 9, 2014, at St. Anthony's Medical Center. He was born May 21, 1928, in St. Louis, the son of the late Augustino and Irene (nee Winterbauer) Centunzi. John married Paula (nee Sanders) Centunzi in 1965 in St. Louis. In addition to his wife, Mr. Centunzi is survived by his children, Rita (Riley) Goodwin of Caseyville, Theresa (Mark) Donovan of Ballwin, Mo., John, Jr. (Vivian) Centunzi of Stanton, Mo., Martin (Sandra) Centunzi of Lampasas, Tex., and Wade (Wanda) Creason of Overland, Mo.; a daughter-in-law, Tracy Creason of Des Moines, Iowa; and sisters, Anna Addis of Grand Island, Fla., Marie Cave of St. Louis and Irene "Dolly" Centunzi of Columbia; along with 17 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his sister, Martha Benz; a step-son, Douglas Creason; and a great-great-grandchild, Cayden Mathew Fortner. Mr. Centunzi was a retired manager for Aramark Uniform in St. Louis. He attended Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Columbia and was a member of the Columbia Gymnastic Association (Turners). Visitation was at Lawlor Funeral Home. Funeral was at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Columbia with Fr. Gary Hogan officiating. Mr. Centunzi was buried at the Evangelical St. Paul Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Human Support Services of Monroe County.
 
Helen Massie, nee Moallankamp, 77, of Dupo, died Jan. 11, 2014. She was born Aug. 28, 1936, in Columbia, the daughter of the late Carl and Ruby (Lee) Moallankamp. Mrs. Massie is survived by her daughters, Linda Massie of Dupo and Kandi (Al) Vincent of Columbia; a son, Charles "Kinkie" Massie Jr. of Carlyle; grandchildren, C.J. Massie, Charlie Massie and Allen (Katie) Vincent; a great-grandchild, Lola Vincent; brother, Lawrence (Sylvia) Moallankamp of Columbia; and sisters, Vera Stone of Cahokia and Bonnie Ferguson of Dupo. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles W. Massie Sr.; a son, Gary Lindhorst; daughter, Ruby Chloe Massie; and a brother, Wayne Moallankamp Sr. Mrs. Massie had worked as a supervisor with Food Service Management of St. Louis, Mo. She was a member of Order of the Eastern Star and the Dupo American Legion Auxiliary Post 485. Visitation is Thursday, Jan. 16, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Lawlor Funeral Home. A funeral will follow with Rev. Paul Sadler officiating.
 
Alvin Ahlers, 80, of Columbia, died Jan. 12, 2014, at Columbia Rehab. He was born June 4, 1933, in Freeburg, the son of the late William and Eunice (nee Wilderman) Ahlers. Mr. Ahlers is survived by his wife of 57 years, Rose (nee Demick) Ahlers; his children, Glenda (Mark) Bugnitz of Lakeland, Tenn., Brent Ahlers of Smithton and Jeffrey (Abby) Ahlers of Bloomington, Ind.; a sister, Leona Jung of Freeburg; and a brother, Kenneth Ahlers of Belleville; along with 8 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by sisters Dorothy Griebel and Wilma Lentz. Mr. Ahlers served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was retired from Ameren – UE in St. Louis, Mo. Alvin attended Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Columbia. Visitation and funeral were at Lawlor Funeral Home with Fr. Gary Hogan officiating. Mr. Ahlers will be buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Immaculate Conception Church Building Fund.
 
James O'Neal Mitchell, 71, of Columbia, died Jan. 12, 2014, at de Greeff Hospice House in St. Louis, Mo. He was born Dec. 9, 1942, in Fulton County, Ky., the son of the late Chester and Nezie (nee King) Mitchell. James married Ruth Ann (Lark) Mitchell in 1967 at Zoar UCC in New Hanover. In addition to his wife, Mr. Mitchell is survived by his daughters, Tammy (Darren) Hines and Holly Dreher, both of Columbia; grandchildren, Brayden and Kelton Hines and Max Dreher; and his mother-in-law, Mary Lark of Columbia. He was preceded in death by a brother, Chester Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell had owned and operated the Century 21 - O'Neal Mitchell Real Estate Office in Columbia. He previously worked at the Missouri Pacific Railroad in Dupo. James was a member of the Columbia American Legion Post 581, Columbia Sportsman Club and the Millstadt Sportsman Club. He had served in the U.S. Army Reserves. Visitation is Friday, Jan. 17, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Lawlor Funeral Home. Funeral is Saturday, Jan. 18, at 11 a.m., at the funeral home with Pastor R.J. Morgan officiating. Mr. Mitchell will be buried at the Evangelical St. Paul Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Columbia American Legion Post 581, Columbia Volunteer Fire Department, Columbia E.M.S., Zoar UCC or de Greeff Hospice House.
 
Earl Sylvester Shondy, 95, of Millstadt, died Jan. 10, 2014 at Columbia Rehab and Nursing. He was born Feb. 12, 1918 in Dupo, the son of the late Andrew and Mamie (nee McBride) Shondy. Mr. Shondy is survived by his son, Gary Shondy of Columbia; grandchildren, Sherri (Dale) Vogt of Paderborn, Amy (Mike) Webster of John’s Creek, Ga., and Chris (Sherry) Shondy of Lake Zurich; great-grandchildren, Megan and Derek Vogt, Mitchell, Matthew and Jack Webster, and Kate and Gavin Shondy; and a sister-in-law, Amanda Ruhrmann; along with nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of 71 years, Edna (nee Ebersohl) Shondy; a daughter-in-law, Karen Shondy; a brother, Floyd Shondy; and sisters Gladys Shondy and Alice Rehg; along with sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. Mr. Shondy served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Earl retired as a project planner at Monsanto’s Queeny Plant. He attended Zion Evangelical Church in Millstadt, where he served on the church council and was a past president of the Zion Men’s Fellowship. Mr. Shondy was a member of the Millstadt Gross Bieberau Sister Cities, the Waterloo Porta Westfalica Sister Cities, St. Clair County Historical Society and the Genealogical Society of Belleville. Earl was also active in the Millstadt American Legion Post 502 and also served as adjutant for area branches of the Legion. Visitation and funeral were at Zion Evangelical Church with Rev. Darrell Weber and Rev. Craig Frazier officiating. Mr. Shondy was buried at Mount Evergreen Cemetery in Millstadt. Memorials may be made to Zion Evangelical Church in Millstadt or Hospice of Southern Illinois.
 
Arthur A. Koch, 70, of Waterloo, died Jan. 8, 2014. He was born Dec. 16, 1943 in Maeystown, the son of the late Alvin and Irene (nee Woodcock) Koch. Mr. Koch is survived by his wife, Mary Ann (nee Wilde) Koch; children Daniel (Rachel) Koch, Thomas (Nicole) Koch, Jonathan (Bethany) Koch and Rebecca (Michael) Mudd; grandchildren Elizabeth Koch, Nathan Koch and Jacob Mudd; sisters Alice (Herman) Petsch, Dorothy (Ron) Tomlinson and Doris (Wayne) Matthews; and a brother-in-law, Carlyle (Sarah) Wilde; along with nieces, nephews and cousins. Mr. Koch served in the U.S. Army and attended Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Wartburg. He was a bus driver for the Valmeyer School District. Arthur was a member of the Renault American Legion, the Monroe County Farm Bureau, FFA Alumni, Maeystown Sportsman Club and the Monroe County Fair Association. Visitation was at Quernheim Funeral Home. Funeral was at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Wartburg with Pastor Stuart Rethwisch officiating. Mr. Koch was buried at the Monroe City Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois, Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Wartburg or the Monroe City Cemetery.
 
Loralee Marion Presler, 86, of Millstadt, died Jan. 3, 2014. She was born Oct. 19, 1927, the daughter of the late Carl and Audrey (nee Muether) Bruckmann. Mrs. Presler is survived by daughter Sharon (James) Bertrand; grandsons Christopher and Matthew Bertrand; granddaughters Angela (Darren) Beste, Jennifer (Tony) Esker and Jody (Jamie) Schanz; great-grandchildren Graden Presler, Jacob Schanz and Jenna Schanz; cousins John (Susan) Muether, Kathy (Rick) Weygandt, Marianne (Glenn) Schaefer and Marge Walthers; and her dear friend Patricia Hogrebe. She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Paul Presler; and her son Mark Curtis Presler. Mrs. Presler graduated from Belleville Township High School and attended McKendree College. When her children were older, she worked many years as executive secretary for the United Way of Belleville. Loralee is a former member of the Millstadt Civic Club and the Belleville Garden Club. She volunteered with the Literacy Volunteers. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to the Humane Society.