Decatur, Illinois

Decatur, Illinois
Curve-In, Fairview Avenue

Monday, April 19, 2010

Who Has Died?

No, I'm not selling anything. Indeed, out of frustration on my part with the various high school "classmate" locations that require fees to make connections with past high school alumni, I've decided to create this free site to facilitate information exchanges and research.

Here is the first task: Find everyone. Several members of the Class of 1965, MacArthur High School, Decatur, are missing.

I am assisting the efforts to locate folks, and compile data on all members of the class, in conjunction with the Class of 1965 Reunion Committee (see names, at bottom). A reunion of the classes of 1965, 1966, and 1967, is now being planned for Decatur, to be held over the weekend of June 24th and 25th, 2011.

Even for those who cannot attend, the interest in info being found is high. It can be made available online, for all. I thought, why not start now, for this will help build on what we know.

One item that Millie McCaddon and others have already started developing was a very bare bones list of those from Mac '65 who reportedly had died. Using Millie's initial simple list, I am sharing it below, with new enhancements and edits to reflect the full names of these individuals from the 1965 Yearbook and new added information. Keith Rogers, Donna Camp, Gary Blackburn, Greg Dent, Pat Ryan, Stephen Day, Sandy Rentfro and Mike Braughton have gotten in touch and assisted with further data. Thank you all.

If you have dates, causes, and locations of death, please pass this information along. I will continuously be updating the list and writing brief bios/obits on each of these classmates. This list and page will be revised often, with your assistance. (Remember to leave your own email address, or the noted address will show up as mine and I cannot reply to or thank you for your emailed info.)

Therefore, here is the list of over 25 individuals who are known to have passed away from the Class of 1965, MacArthur High School. Married names of the women and nicknames, when they are known, will be placed in brackets. Any info on these individuals' causes of deaths, even minimal, will be noted.

Mac '65: Who Has Died?

Daniel ["Danny"] Bouchez - Killed in Vietnam. Danny is listed on The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D. C., among the list of 58,195 names.
Here is more information:
PFC - E2 - Marine Corps - Regular
Length of service 1 years
His tour began on Jan 2, 1968
Casualty was on Mar 24, 1968
In Quang Nam, South Vietnam
Hostile, ground casualty
Other explosive device
Body was recovered
Panel 46E - Line 3.
(Danny started out with the Class of 1965, and graduated with the Class of 1966.)

Pat Charles Bilyeu. Word has been received that she passed away 12 - 14 yrs ago from liver cancer.

Fred Boyer. Fred Schaefer Boyer III, 62, of Decatur died Saturday May 30, 2009 in Lincoln Manor Nursing Home. Fred was born on May 17, 1947 in Decatur the son of Fred Schaeffer and Virginia (Boland) Boyer, Jr. He attended grade school at St. Patrick Grade School, graduated from Mac Arthur High School, and attended SIU Carbondale. He formed the Rock Bands the Fugitives and the Mystics. Fred left behind his wife, Hilda Boyer, children, Nichole Pantano and Robin Boyer; grandchildren Fiona Pantano and Giacomo Pantano; sisters, Anne Ruble (Robert) of Lawrenceburg, KY; Mary Jo Hammer (Bill) of Cerro Gordo; Dorothy Jenkins of Decatur; Kay Shaw (Brian) of Decatur; and Sharon Gantt (Curt) of Montgomery, AL. He was preceded in death by his parents, one son Justin Boyer.

John Edward ["Bob"] Burchard. John Edward Burchard, 54, of Decatur died 4:49 a.m. Saturday (Jan. 19, 2002) in Decatur Memorial Hospital. John Burchard was born Feb. 5, 1947, in Decatur, the son of William E. and Doris Strickland Burchard. He was a shift supervisor at A.E. Staley Mfg. Co. for 25 years. He was a member of Central Baptist Church. He married Debra Morgan Nov. 4, 1972, in Forsyth. Surviving are his wife; sons, John Erik Burchard and wife Jenny of Knoxville, Tenn.; Andrew Edward Burchard and fiancee Kim Bland of Decatur; grandchildren, Samuel, Sarah, Grace and Hannah, all of Knoxville.

Judith E. Burke [Wilson]

Thomas Chambers

Joan Elaine Clapp

Timothy Cleary

Michael Graham Cottle. Michael Graham Cottle, a loving and devoted father, son, brother and friend, died Monday (November 2, 2009) in his home in Decatur. He was 62. The son of Gene F. and Gloria J. (Graham) Cottle, Mike was born March 21, 1947 in Decatur Memorial Hospital. He graduated from MacArthur High School in 1965 and from Yale University in 1970. He was an avid gardener who volunteered for many years with the Macon County Master Gardeners. His passion for horticulture and attention to detail are evident in gardens throughout the city, including the gardens at the Decatur Public Library. He was the self-employed owner of MaGiC Landscapes and worked for many years as a tax specialist with H&R Block. Left behind are his parents of Decatur; his daughter, Selket Nicole, of Washington, DC; his son, Graham Gene, of Park City, UT; and their mother, Gus Heinzmann, of Norris, MT. He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Randall and Joy Cottle, of Seymour, MO; a niece, Heather Cottle, and a nephew, Shane Cottle, both of Springfield, Missouri; and an aunt, Jesse Rowe.

John Robert Coutrakon. John Coutrakon was apparently killed in a car/logging truck accident in the late 1980s. More info is needed.

Mary Ann DeCrevel. Mary Ann DeCrevel was murdered. See a separate blog entry about Mary Ann.

Carol Sue Deremiah. The Daily Herald (a Chicago suburban newspaper) listed Carol Deremiah [Heinrich-Kramer] as having died at the age of 53, in Glendale Heights, Illinois. Born Dec. 25, 1946, she died Sunday, Oct. 15, 2000, while visiting a friend's home in Evansville, from complications of a ruptured spleen. Carol worked for the Marriott Corporation. She was a member of Parkview Community Church in Glen Ellyn for the past one and one half years. Carol loved to needlepoint. Survivors include her husband of four years, James E. Kramer of Glendale Heights; sons, James W. Heinrich of Evansville and John B. Heinrich of Evansville; mother, Audrey Borchers of Decatur, Ill.; sister, Diane Brelsfoard of Decatur; and brothers, James Deremiah of Decatur, John Deremiah of Midville, Ga. and Jeffrey Deremiah of Decatur.

Donna Jean Derr.

Greg Duncan Dye. Gregory Duncan Dye, 22, of 1975 S. East Gate Dr. was killed in a hunting accident Sunday morning, November 23, 1969, in Marinette, Wisconsin. Greg Dye was born in St. Louis, a son of Wilber F. and Eileen Hanks Dye. He was a member of Central Christian Church and was a senior at the University of Illinois. Greg Dye left his parents, brother Bradley at home and a sister Pamela of Miami, Fla.

Updated details: Near Wausaukee, Wisconsin, Greg was hunting with his brother, the Rev. Bradley F. Dye, when Greg wounded a deer. When Greg started tracking the wounded animal, Greg tripped and discharged his rifle. The Decatur Review, reporting on the incident on November 24, 1969, noted: "The bullet struck him beneath the jaw. After emergency treatment, he was taken to the hospital, where he was dead on arrival." The death was ruled "accidental" by the Marinette County coroner in Wisconsin. During the funeral, the newspapers' mentioned that Wolfe Furniture in Decatur was closed in memory of Greg, as his father owned Wolfe Furniture.

Michael William Elbl. Michael W. Elbl, 51, University of Illinois ’72, of Mount Auburn, Ill., died on December 28, 1998, at home. Mike Elbl was born on July 7, 1947, in Manhatten, Kan., the son of Bill and Betty Massey Elbl. He was an engineer for the State of Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. He graduated from MacArthur High School, received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Illinois and received a masters of science degree in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois in 1972. He was a member of the U.S. Energy Engineers Association and the University of Illinois Alumni Association. He was an avid tennis player, nationally ranked in high school and continued to play on the University of Illinois Tennis Team. He enjoyed hunting and raising reindeer and other animals. He married Deborah S. Kayhs on Oct. 15, 1969. Surviving are his wife of Mount Auburn; daughters, Amy Elbl of Decatur; Erin Summers and husband Scott of Philadelphia, Pa.; son, Joe Elbl of Mount Auburn; parents, Bill and Betty Elbl of Festus; three brothers, Rick Elbl and wife Pam, Marty Elbl and wife Kim, Jeff Elbl and wife Laura, all of Festus; one sister, Cynda Roberson and husband Terry of Cisco.

Linda Carol Garver [McLaughlin] - Linda Carol McLaughlin, 60, of North Manchester, Indiana died Tuesday, December 18, 2007, at her home on East Seventh Street. She was born March 7, 1947, in Decatur, Illinois, to Loren W. Garver and M. June (Small) Garver. She married Michael (Mike) J. Mclaughlin in Decatur, Il, on June 29, 1969. He survives. Also surviving are two sons: Timothy (Tawn) McLaughlin and Benjamin (Janelle) McLaughlin, and five grandchildren. Also surviving are one sister, Donna (David) Brian, of Knoxville, TN, and one brother, Curt Garver, of Decatur, IL. Linda graduated from Manchester College in 1969 with a degree in Art Education. She taught just three years when their first son was born. She was a stay at home mom until their younger son entered Kindergarten. She then worked part-time at the News-Journal designing ads for 14 years. The last twelve years, she worked at Timbercrest Senior Living Community as the activities coordinator. She loved working at Timbercrest, and she especially loved the residents who live there. Linda loved spending time with her family and her grandchildren, which brought her the greatest joy of all. She also enjoyed taking care of her backyard birds and her perennial flower gardens. Linda struggled with brain cancer during 2007.

David Robert Gross. David Gross died in a drowning accident a year or two after graduation (1966? 1967?), when he and a friend went to Lake of the Woods (near Mahomet), where he died accidently.

Rebecca Diane ["Becky"] Grant [Revell]. Becky Revell, 52, of Decatur died 10:55 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 23, 1999, in her residence. (Burial was in Ponting Cemetery, Stonington.) Becky was born on April 5, 1947, in Decatur, the daughter of Bob and Mary (Collenberger) Grant. She was a member of the First Christian Church and formerly employed by Grigoleit Co. for several years. She retired as a cook and housekeeper at Hickory Street Group Home. She married Norman Revell, who survives.Surviving are her husband, Norman; son, Joseph Hollingsead of Decatur; stepson, Larry Revell and wife Lisa of Florida; daughter, Wendy McGinnis and husband David of Decatur; stepdaughter, Norma Morr and husband Tom of Heyworth; mother, Mary Chadwick of Decatur; brother, Michael Grant of Decatur and six grandchildren. Special thanks to dear friend Carol Morville and also St. John Hospital Home Health Services. She was preceded in death by her father and one grandson. Source: Herald & Review - Decatur, Illinois; November 26, 1999 - B2.

Frances Diane Johnson. Nov. 1973

Richard Lynn Morris - Died of lung cancer. Richard L. Morris, 58, of Peoria, Ill., died at 12:40 a.m. Sunday, May 21, 2006, at his home surrounded by his family. He was born July 1, 1947, in St. Charles, Mo., to Bill and Barbara Morris. He married Barbara Jane Eubanks on Aug. 4, 1971, and she survives. Also surviving are three sons, William L. Morris of Springfield, Ill., Andrew A. (and Kristen) Morris of Three Rivers, Mich., and Benjamin W. Morris of Springfield, Ill.; one grandchild, Ethan C. Morris; and two brothers, Doug (and Patty) Morris of Peoria and Jim Morris of Peoria. He was a dedicated school teacher for 32 years and retired from Mossville Elementary School in 2003. He attended Living Water Community Church in Creve Coeur. He enjoyed golf, poker and the Cubs. He waited his whole life for a Cubs World Series title, and said before he died "Well, at least I won't have to wait until next year."

Edward Albert Palmer

Michael Wade Paul. Michael Wade Paul, 27, of 3253 Greenlake Dr. died 11:15 a.m. Saturday, April 5 (?), 1975, in Decatur Memorial Hospital. Michael Paul was born in Columbia, MO., a son of Festus W. and Doris Paul. He was a member of Christ United Methodist Church and was employed by Tolly's. He married Carol Danner in 1969. Surviving are his wife; daughter, Rebecca Christine, at home; parents of Decatur; brothers, Dennis and Jeffrey, both of Decatur; sister, Jennifer of Decatur; grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Schoppe of St. Louis, MO.

Stanley Landon Pogue. Stanley L. Pogue, 51, Sioux Falls, S.D., formerly of Decatur, former employee of Sturgis Meat Service, died Nov. 22, 1998. Air Force Vietnam War veteran. Survivors: wife, Dorothy; son, Roger, Sioux Falls; daughter, Jacqueline, Sioux Falls; father, Roger, Decatur; brother, Roger Jr. of Oklahoma City, Okla.; sister, Becky Erickson, Decatur. Stanley Pogue was buried in Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, S.D.

Sandy Lee Reed. Sandra Lee Reed Spain, 33, of 1910 Indiana Court, died Saturday (Dec. 6, 1980) in her home. Mrs. Spain was born in Decatur, daughter of Wallace C. & Marjorie E. (Karia) Reed. She was an employee of Borg Warner Corporation, York Division. Surviving are a son, Anthony Todd at home; parents of Decatur; brother, Robert David Reed of Decatur; sister, Cathy Gibbens of Decatur.

Gina Kay Taylor [Sanders]. Gina Taylor Sanders died on July 3 (?), 1992, in Decatur, IL of pancreatic cancer. She is survived by her husband Ed, daughter Kelly and son Steven.

Steven Alan Volle.

Douglas O. Wilcox. Douglas O. Wilcox, 61, of Decatur passed away Saturday February 28, 2009 at Decatur Memorial Hospital. Burial will be at Hall Cemetery in Blue Mound with military rites conducted by the Macon County Honor Guard. Douglas was born on November 8, 1947 in Decatur the son of Orval R. and Helen B. Ficker Wilcox. Douglas was a graduate of SIU in Carbondale with a degree in Marketing. Douglas worked for Standard Oil Credit Union and Norfolk and Western Railroad, was a member of Bethlehem Presbyterian Church, and a member of the VFW and DAV. He was in the Army Transportation Corp in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era. He is survived by his parents: Orval and Helen Wilcox of Decatur; sons: Greg Wilcox, Jamey Wilcox and Aaron Jacobus all of Decatur; sister: Deborah Shepherd and husband Dwaine of Orland Hills, IL; nieces and nephews also survive.

Donald Gene Yelverton. Donald Yelverton, 28, of Santa Ana, Calif., formerly of Decatur, died Tuesday night November 18, 1975 in a traffic accident in San Jose, Calif. Don Yelverton was born in Decatur, a son of Buford and Katie Yelverton. Surviving are his wife, Jane; sons, Jimmy and John, at home; daughter, Julie, at home; brother, Ronald D., of Tustin, Calif.; sister, Linda Paschal of Burkley, MO.; mother of Warner, Okla.

Philip Yocum. Phil Yocum, though technically not Mac '65, was in the Class of 1965 for three years before he traveled to Germany for high school as an American Friends Service student. He died in 2002. Part of the obit from the Bloomington Pantagraph read: "Philip Scott Yocum, 55, of Decatur, formerly of Normal, died at 2:14 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 12, 2002) at BroMenn Regional Medical Center, Normal."

If you have corrections, updates, or additional information, please use this safe contact form here.

I understand Judy Quinlan is doing something similar for the Class of 1966. I will share about that project when I learn more.

The Class of 1965 Reunion Committee Membership
Rick Livesay - Chairman
Debbie (Burrows) Wilcox
Donna (Camp) Maddox
Millie (McCaddon) Smith
Sandy (Rentfro) Porter
Keith Rogers
Pat Ryan
Julie (Sederlund) Delahunty


Greg Dent said...

Well, it's a sad way to start a blog, but what a great idea to do this. Thanks, Loren.

And Loren, there's still time to make something of yourself before the reunion. (A little envy coming out.) You're an inspiration to every kid wanting to follow some whacko career path that can't possibly work.

Linda Cunningham Hawke Neps said...

Thank you for the work you are putting into this blog. I'm sure most of the Class of '65 will appreciate this information....I know I do.