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Local Obituaries

Jane M. Rockwell

Jane M. Rockwell, age 87, of Dixon, formerly of Rock Falls and Tampico, died Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at Liberty Court in Dixon.

            Jane was born April 1, 1931 in Sterling the daughter of Jesse and Demarius Adele (Robinson) Warner. 


She was a 1950 graduate of Central Catholic High School in Sterling and later met and married the love of her life, Lowell D. Rockwell, on May 7, 1951 in Rock Falls.  He preceded her in death on December 15, 2009.  Jane was a homemaker who raised five children and loved them unconditionally.  She also loved her grandchildren, great grandchildren and animals very much.  Jane was involved at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tampico and was named Catholic Woman of the Year for the Rockford Diocese.

            Survivors include her children, Dave (Rhonda) Rockwell of Tampico, Dennis (Deborah) Rockwell of Rock Falls, Denise (Randy) Blackburn of Dixon, Doug Rockwell of Rock Falls and Diane (Karen Kradle) Rockwell of Dixon; six grandchildren, Kelly Jo Rockwell, Jeannie (Lee) Haigwood, Tina (Mike) Rockwell, Kenny (Brittany) Rockwell, Purdue (Marisa) Blackburn and Rylie (Nick) Blackburn; and six great grandchildren, Keegan Rockwell, Noah Blackburn, Zoe Blackburn, Marlee Blackburn, Jax Blackburn and Ella Rockwell.

            She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; one brother, Cletus McFadden; and three sisters, Mary Middleton, Martha Kreider and Katherine Hansen.

            A celebration of life will be held on Friday, June 1, 2018 from 3 – 5 PM at Liberty Court in Dixon.

            The Rockwell family would like extend a special thanks to Liberty Court for all of their love, care and concern over the last nine years.  You are truly amazing and appreciated very much and we thank you and love you.  Also, thank you to Serenity Hospice for making mom comfortable in her time of need and to Fr. Easton for his blessings.


            Online condolences may be sent to

Richard J. Strong


Richard J. Strong, age 82, of Sterling, died Sunday, May 20, 2018 at his home in Sterling.

          Richard was born May 4, 1936 in Atchison, Kan. the son of Albert and Irene (VanDyke) Strong.  He served in the US Marine Corps and later married Carolyn Ortscheid on December 31, 1960 in Rock Island.  Richard was a teacher at Challand Middle School for 32 years retiring in 1999.  He had previously taught at Lyons Jr. High in Clinton for 4 years and St. Mary’s in Sterling for 3 years.  Richard was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Sterling, the Sterling Optimist Club for over 20 years, and was President of the Sterling Education Association.  He was a referee, Jr. High basketball coach and was an avid golfer.

          Survivors include his wife, Carolyn Strong of Sterling; one daughter, Karen (Dan) Avery of Clinton, Iowa; two sons, John (April) Strong of Dixon and Tim Strong of Chicago; and five grandchildren, Josh Avery, Jake Avery, Ryan Avery, Audrey Ritchie and Michael Ritchie.

          He was preceded in death by his parents; one daughter, Barbara Ritchie; and two brothers, Bill and Bob Strong.

          A gathering of family and friends will be Thursday, May 24, 2018 from 5 – 7 PM at the McDonald Funeral Home in Rock Falls.  Celebration of the Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday, May 25, 2018 at 10:00 AM at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Sterling with Reverend Bruce Ludeke officiating.

          In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established to the Sterling Optimist Club.

          Online condolences may be sent to

Estelle M. Burritt

Estelle M. Burritt, 92 of Sterling passed away on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at CGH in Sterling.
Estelle was born on February 28, 1926 in Milwaukee, WI, the daughter of Joseph LaFata and Angela
Surviving is her daughter, Charlotte (Kenneth) Elliott of Sterling; grandchildren, Adam (Brynn Schultz)
Walters of Rockford and Jennifer Freil of Sterling; and great-grandchildren, Alexandra Walters and
Bryaden Freil.
Preceding Estelle in death are her parents; first husband, Stanley R. Wells; second husband, Albin R.
Burritt; son, Ronnie Wells; and one sister, Mary Jane Malmstadt.
Estelle had a great love for music. She taught piano and organ to many people over 30 years. When she
wasn’t playing or teaching, you could find her dancing. She loved flowers, and in her younger years, she
loved riding motorcycles.
She was strong-willed, had a great sense of humor, and was a loving mother, grandmother, great-
grandmother, and friend. She will be greatly missed by all those that knew her.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm at Chapel Hill Funeral
Home, 1121 N. Galena Avenue, Dixon. A Celebration of Life will follow at 12:00 pm at the funeral home.
Burial will be in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Dixon.
Please visit to offer your condolences.

N. Nadine Cecchetti

N. Nadine Cecchetti, 85, of Dixon, died Thursday, May 17, 2018, at Katherine Shaw Bethea
Hospital in Dixon. She worked as a secretary at Loveland Community Building prior to her
Nadine was born November 4, 1932, in Macedonia, IL, the daughter of James William and
Ruby (Shirley) Bain. Nadine married Milo Cecchetti on November 24, 1950, in Dixon. He
preceded her in death on September 5, 1991. She was a member of First United Methodist
Church in Dixon. Nadine was an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan and also enjoyed reading,
gardening, cooking and most of all spending time with her family.
Nadine is survived by three sons, Michael Cecchetti, Steven (LaDonna) Cecchetti, Mark
(Julie) Cecchetti all of Dixon; five grandchildren, Megan Cytrych, Jon Cecchetti, Jeremy
Cecchetti, Olivia Blackert, Joey Ceccehetti; and seven great grandchildren
Nadine was also preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Wilma Wren, Wanda
Frederick; two brothers William Bain, and Logan Bain.
Visitation will be from 4-7:00 p.m., on Monday May 21, 2018, at Preston-Schilling Funeral in
Dixon. Funeral Service will be10:30 a.m., on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at First United
Methodist Church in Dixon with Rev. Heewon Kim, pastor, and Rev. Stan Rhodenbaugh,
pastor, co-officiating. Burial with will be at Oakwood Cemetery following the funeral service.
In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established to the Loveland Community Building.
Arrangements were completed by Preston-Schilling Funeral Home in Dixon.
Condolences may be sent to

Dolores Y. Ludwig

ROCKFORD-Dolores Y. Ludwig, 84 of Rockford, formerly of Walnut, died Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at Presence St. Anne Center in Rockford.


Dolores was born on May 23, 1933 in Rockford, the daughter of Robert T. and Gladys T. (Morris) Needham. She married Alvin L. Ludwig on February 21, 1967 in Mt. Morris, IL. He preceded her in death on August 11, 1989. Dolores worked for the Illinois Youth Commission.


She is survived by her cousin, Margaret Knott of Rockford. She was preceded in death by her husband and her parents.


Visitation will be Saturday, May 19, 2018 from 12:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M. at the Garland Funeral Home in Walnut. Funeral service will follow at 1:00 P.M. at the funeral home. Burial will be at Walnut Cemetery.

Dave E. Hoge


Dave E. Hoge, age 74, of Thomson, Illinois, died on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at the Rock River Hospice House in Sterling, Illinois.  Cremation Rites have been accorded.  Friends and family are invited to share in Dave’s life at

            Dave was born on July 13, 1943, the son of Elmer and Edna Hoge in Walnut, Illinois.  He proudly served his country in the United States Army and the United States Marine Corp for thirty years.  While enlisted, Dave served in the Vietnam War and was held captive as a Prisoner of War for thirty days.  Dave married Nina Audrey Albright and later married Carol Ann Isenhart. Carol Ann died on August 14, 2015.

            Dave was an amazing man and was always willing to help others.  He loved the outdoors, especially gardening and fishing.  Dave also enjoyed watching westerns and listening to Johnny and June Cash.  Most of all, Dave cherished spending time with his family and close friends.

            Dave will be dearly missed by two daughters, Angelina (Douglas) Matthews, and Patsy (James) Searcy; one granddaughter, Amber Matthews; five great grandchildren, Connor and Natalya Searcy and Reilly, Eliette, and Adelaide Matthews; and two brothers, Don and Danny Hoge.  Dave is preceded in death by his parents; and his wife, Carol Ann Hoge.


Esther Mae Wallace Long Jones

Esther Mae Wallace Long Jones

          Esther Mae Wallace Long Jones, age 81, of Sterling, died Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at Central Dupage Hospital in Winfield.

          Esther was born February 26, 1937 the daughter of James and Winnie (McGee) Wallace.  She moved to Sterling in 1968 and was employed at the Dixon State School.  She was a member of Macedonia Baptist Church and enjoyed praying, family, walking, flowers and most of all, beauty queen.

          Survivors include four children, Lonnie Lee McGee, Gerald Ann Long, Beroma Elaine McClenon and Gina Angela Long; siblings, Minnie B. Simmons, Earnestine Griffith, Jimmie Lousis McGee, Jr., James Wallace, Jr., Bobby Jean Johnson, Brenda Reese, and Frank Hart; 23 grandchildren; 8 great grandchildren; several great great grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; special nephew, Monte Yarbrough; and special friend, Christi Shaw.

          Visitation will be Saturday, May 19, 2018 from Noon - 1:00 PM at Macedonia Baptist Church in Sterling.  Funeral services will be Saturday at1:00 PM at the church with Pastor John Cooper officiating. 

          A memorial has been established.

          Online condolences may be sent to