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We intend to note the passing of Elmwood and Yates City residents.

When seeking information the Oaks Hines web site is often the place to learn about service times.

John Simpson


An email just arrived stating that John Simpson died today after a long battle with brain cancer. John is a retired United Methodist minister. He and his wife Mary Nell have many family and friends in Elmwood and are much beloved.

ELMWOOD - The Rev. John Edward Simpson, 67, of 103 N. Rose St. passed away at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, 2009, at his home after an 11-year courageous battle with cancer.

Born Aug. 4, 1942, in Galesburg to Wayne William and Elizabeth Jean (Mers) Simpson, he married his high school sweetheart, Mary Nell Archibald, on July 13, 1963, at the Brimfield United Methodist Church in Brimfield. She survives.

Also surviving are three daughters, Jonnell (Matt Volk) Simpson of Chicago, Stacey (Shawn) Kemp of Hennepin and Brooke (Shawn) Gates of Ypsilanti, Mich.; five grandchildren, Alyx Kemp, Ashley Kemp and Cooper Hamby, all of Hennepin, and Lillian Gates and Chloe Gates, both of Ypsilanti, Mich.; two brothers, Phil (Kathy) Simpson of Surprise, Ariz., and Curt (Connie) Simpson of Dunlap; three sisters, Patricia Plotner of Galva, Leah (John) Kuhlmann of Redmond, Wash., and Cathy (Bob) Bowen of Morton; and many nieces and nephews.

His parents preceded him in death.

A 1960 graduate of Elmwood High School, he attended Canton Community College, Sangamon State University and Bradley University. He graduated in 1988 from the Garret Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston. While in full-time ministry, the Rev. Simpson pastored United Methodist Churches at Elmore, Canton Evangelical, Mount Pleasant in Little America, Oakwood, Kingston Mines, Glasford, London Mills and Avon. He retired in 2007 due to illness.

He was a member of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church. He had served on several conference committees, including the District Committee on Building and Location and the Rural Church and Community Committee. During his pastorate at Glasford, the church received the Conference Evangelism Award for Church Growth. In 1996, he was honored by the Epheta Choir as their spiritual director to accompany them on a trip to Europe. He also enjoyed serving as a spiritual leader and on the board of directors for the Walk to Emmaus Community. He also served the College of Christian Life as treasurer and as a member of its board of directors.

The Rev. Simpson will be remembered as a hands-on pastor who was on call 24/7. He loved his church family and was active in all aspects of the church.

Prior to serving in the ministry, John worked for Gale Products in Galesburg as a cost accountant and later for the Peoria Journal Star as a district circulation manager. He also had worked with his father at Simpson Electric in Elmwood and formerly co-owned Gambles Hardware in Elmwood with his brother, Curt. He was a co-founder and EMT with the BYE Ambulance Service and a former volunteer fireman with the Elmwood Fire Department.

John enjoyed golfing, photography, fishing, traveling and spending time with his family and grandchildren. He was a die-hard Chicago Cubs baseball fan.

His celebration of life service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at the First United Methodist Church, 116 NE Perry Ave., in Peoria. The Rev. Mark Graham, the Rev. Curt Rush, and the Rev. Dr. Robert Phillips will officiate. Visitation will be from 1 to 2:45 p.m. Saturday at the church. Cremation will be accorded. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Preston-Hanley Funeral Home, Pekin Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the BYE Ambulance, 112 E. Hawthorn, Elmwood, IL 61529; or to Elmwood United Methodist Church, 821 W. Main, Elmwood, IL 61529; or to the Preachers Aid Society, P.O. Box 19207, Springfield, IL 62794.

To express condolences online, visit

Published in the Peoria Journal Star on 11/19/2009



Dan O'Connell

Dan O'Connell died in the morning on July 13th 2009. He had fought a long battle with cancer.

Ernie Sprout

Ernie died on Saturday May 30, 2009. Ernie had been taking computer repair referrals from Elmnet while battling cancer. Ernie appeared little changed as he had resumed chemo treatments last Fall, but he had become worn down. We at Elmnet express our sympathies to Ernie's family and friends.

He had previously worked for Byerly Aviation in Peoria. Ernie is survived by a wife and three children. A memorial service has yet to be planned. I will post more details as I become aware of them.

Susan Hogue of Elmwoood

Ms. Hogue's car was caught in the flood waters rushing down Spoon River in Knox County, around midnight on Saturday. Her body was recovered on Sunday. In another tragedy the Spoon River flooding claimed the life of an Avon man. John Meyer's body was recovered on Monday; his car was swept off the road about 5:30 pm, also on Saturday.

Here are links to web articles:

Galesburg Register Mail

Peoria Journal Star

WEEK Channel 25



PJ Star Obituary

ELMWOOD - Dan Wayne "Doc" O'Connell, 50, of Elmwood died at 7:54 a.m. Monday, July 13, 2009, at his residence.

He was born Sept. 30, 1958, in Canton to John "Dick" O'Connell and Doria Grubb Malmgren. He married Denise Haahn on Nov. 9, 1988, in Elmwood. She survives.

Surviving are one son, Curtis O'Connell of Kewanee; his father, John "Dick" O'Connell of Peoria; mother, Doria Malmgren of Banner; sister, Crystal (Delbert) Plain of Edwards; brother, John (Shelli) O'Connell of Knoxville; sister, Kelly O'Connell of Canton; brother, Larry O'Connell of Morton; and several nieces and nephews.

Dan worked for Rohn's Corporation for 26 years. He later worked at Caterpillar for six years.

He was a member of the Crossroads Church of Elmwood.

He enjoyed bowling, tennis and listening to music.

Dan had a wonderful sense of humor and positive attitude.

Funeral services will be held at 12 noon Saturday at Oaks-Hines Funeral Home in Elmwood. The Rev. Scott Livengood will officiate. Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. Burial will be in Elmwood Township Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or BYE Ambulance service.

Online condolences are available at


Ernie Sprout Jr.
Yates City - Ernie Carl Sprout Jr. of Yates City, Ill., passed away Saturday, May 30, 2009, and ended his two-year and three-month battle against cancer.

Always the Marine, he never gave up the fight so that he could live long enough for his young boys to have memories of their father.

John Wayne Sprout, age 4 1/2, and Jim Howard Sprout, age 3 1/2, are left behind, along with their mother, Gilda Sprout, and her son, Ken Lumen.

His mother, Gail Sprout; his father, Ernie Sprout Sr.; and his sisters, Vicki Weatherington and Amy Sprout, always will be proud to have had him as a son and brother.

His humor and outlook on life will put a smile on the faces of many long after his 44 years of life with all of us.

He donated his body to medical science so that others may benefit from his illness.

Memorial services will be held at a later date.

Hurd-Hendricks Funeral Home and Crematory in Knoxville, Ill., is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences can be made at



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