Listen Live:

Local Obituaries

Ruth Elizabeth Williamson

Ruth Elizabeth Williamson, 90, of Dixon, died Friday, June 1, 2018, at Dixon Rehabilitation
and Health Care Center in Dixon. She and her husband Laurin owned and operated
Blankenberg Studio until their retirement.
Ruth was born May 12, 1928, in Milwaukee, WI, the daughter of Otto August Arnold and
Meta Augusta (Paetz) Bulgrin. She married Laurin Edwin Williamson on September 1,
1948, at St. Peters Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, WI. He preceded her in death a year to
the date on June 1, 2017. Ruth was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Dixon, the
Petal Pushers, and the Dixon Elk’s Ladies Auxiliary. She was a member, a volunteer, and
served on the board at the Volunteer Care Center in Dixon.
She is survived by her son, Mark Williamson of Dixon; two grandchildren, Eric Williamson of
Ames, IA, and Samantha (Alex) Wagner of Indiana; and two great grandchildren, Houston
Williamson and Cole Wagner.
Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; one daughter, Joan Williamson; seven siblings,
Esther Krause, Eveyln Schafer, Harold, Norman, Erwin, Harvey, and Robert Bulgrin.
Visitation will be from 10-11:00 a.m., on Saturday, June 9, 2018, at St. Paul Lutheran
Church in Dixon, followed by an 11:00 a.m., funeral service, at the church, with the Rev.
Joseph O’Donnell, officiating. Burial will be at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Dixon.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Dixon.
Arrangements are being completed by Preston-Schilling Funeral Home in Dixon.
Condolences may be sent to

Lawrence "Larry" Eugene Blocher

Lawrence “Larry” Eugene Blocher, 75, of Franklin Grove, died Thursday, May 31, 2018, at
his home. He was an insurance and real estate agent with the Kirchoffer Agency in Franklin
Grove, prior to his retirement.
Larry was born December 12, 1942, in Dixon, IL, the son of Leland and Verda (Miller)
Blocher. He was a volunteer fireman for the Franklin Grove Fire Department for many
years. Larry enjoyed being on the Rock River entertaining his friends.
He is survived by one sister, Dolores Miller of Dixon; two nephews, Ron (Amy) Smith of Mt.
Morris and Tim (Maria) Smith of Fareham, England; one niece, Diane (Ray) Driver of
Independence, MN; and great nieces and nephews, Samantha, Joshua, Nicholas, Tabitha,
Zachary, Thomas, Katie, Janie, Alyssa, and Eleott.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Visitation will be from 4-6:00 p.m., on Monday, June 4, 2018, at Preston-Schilling Funeral
Home, in Dixon. Private graveside services will be at Emmert Cemetery in rural Nachusa,
with Pastor Jack Briggs, officiating.
A memorial has been established to the Franklin Grove Fire Department.
Condolences may be sent to

Richard "Dick" Wayne Hann

Richard “Dick” Wayne Hann, 88, of Franklin Grove, IL, died Sunday, May 27, 2018, at
Serenity Hospice & Home in Oregon. Dick farmed for 66 years until his death for Winifred
Hausen Knox.
Richard was born June 18, 1929, in Franklin Grove, IL, the son of Paul and Nelta (Mall)
Hann. He married Helen Beard and she preceded him in death in 2011. Richard was a
member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Franklin Grove and served on the church council.
He also served on the board for Franklin Grove Schools. He was a founding partner and
past President of White Oaks Corporation. Dick enjoyed fishing, wood working, hunting for
arrowheads, and anything to do with nature. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his
great grandchildren.
He is survived by one son, Thomas (Elaine) Hann of Dixon; one daughter Kathy Hann-King
of Mt. Pleasant, SC; two brothers, Paul “Rudd” Hann of MN, Allan (Janet) Hann of Rochelle;
two sisters-in-law, Wilma Hann of AZ, Shirley Hann of Franklin Grove; two grandchildren,
Becky (Jeremy) Drish, Kelly (Jon) Mandrell; four great grandchildren, Nolan Drish, Nya
Drish, Laynie Mandrell and Macie Mandrell
Richard was preceded in death by his parents; one grandson, Brian King; two brothers,
Robert Hann and Stanley Hann; three sisters, Frances (Gerald) Watson, Lois (Bob) Ford
and Jean (Bob) Whitebread. Richard’s family would like to thank his devoted caregivers,
Atra, Surka, Yelena and Serenity House.
A memorial visitation will be from 5-7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 11, 2018, at St. Paul
Lutheran Church in Franklin Grove. Memorial services will be at 10:30 a.m., on Tuesday,
June 12, 2018, at the church with the Rev. David Schweppe, pastor, officiating. Burial of
cremains will be 2:30 p.m. at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Dixon following a luncheon at
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established to St. Paul Lutheran Church in Franklin
Arrangements were completed by Preston-Schilling Funeral Home in Dixon.
Condolences may be sent to

Doris Milne

Sterling- Doris Milne, 96, of Sterling, died on Saturday, May 26, 2018 at Citadel of Sterling.


She was born on July 8, 1921 in Evanston to William James and Lillian (Fuhrman) Reifenberg.  She married George Milne on May 20, 1950 in Evanston.  He preceded her in death.  Doris was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Sterling.


Survivors include her daughters, Mary Milne of Sterling, Donna (Joe Ferguson) Milne of Escondido, Calif., Teresa (Robert) Prescott of Phoenix, Ariz., and Kathleen (Brad) Ferguson of Tempe, Ariz.; her sons, William (Theresa) Milne of Rock Falls, David (Lucy) Milne of Rock Falls and Michael Milne of Sterling; 9 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.  She also was preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Barbara Lawson and a sister Mary Lou Woske.


Cremation rites have been accorded.  Private family services will be held.  Arrangements are through McDonald Funeral Home and Crematory in Rock Falls

Louise Shepherd

 Louise Shepherd, age 85, of Savanna, Illinois passed away Thursday, May 25, 2018 surrounded by her loving family. A funeral service will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, June 2, 2018 at Law-Jones Funeral Home, Savanna. Visitation will be held from 11:00 to 3:00 p.m., prior to the service at the funeral home. Cremation Rites will be accorded following the service. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established.  Family and friends are invited to share in Louise’s life at

            Louise was born August 9, 1932 in Hindman, Kentucky the daughter of Harm and Martha Patrick. Louise married Charlie Shepherd on August 14, 1954 in Hazard, Kentucky. They celebrated 57 years of marriage until Charlie’s death in 2012.

            Louise and Charlie moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1954.  Louise was a homemaker who cherished taking care of her family. Louise and Charlie enjoyed spending time in Savanna and officially retired to Savanna in 1995. She enjoyed gardening, cooking, and going on walks. She enjoyed spending time with family and friends, but she especially cherished spending time with her grandchildren.

            Louise will be dearly missed by four children, Janice (Chester) Pasciewicz of Chicago, Illinois, Gale (Renee) Shepherd of Chicago, Jimmie (Bonnie) Shepherd of Chicago, and Charlie (Dee) Shepherd of Savanna; 10 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; one brother, and one sister.



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