Thursday, December 25, 2014

Roger L. Bidwell

Roger L. Bidwell, 79, passed away at his home in Springfield on Monday, Dec. 22, 2014.

Roger was born Dec. 11, 1935, in Milwaukee, WI, the son of the late Harry and Pearl (Wells) Bidwell. Roger married Marilyn Evans on Oct. 14, 1961. They celebrated 53 years of marriage. Roger worked as a salesman throughout Illinois for over 50 years. He worked at Allis Chalmers, sold office machines, and then went on to work for Pierce-Royal bond selling supplies to funeral service providers. 

Roger loved working and enjoyed all of the people he met over the years through his work. He loved to dine out and travel with friends and family. Roger was an avid golfer. Roger was especially proud of his daughter, who became his caretaker during his final illness.

Roger is survived by his loving wife, Marilyn; his daughter, Linda Bidwell both of Springfield; nephews, Scott and Michael (Cathy) Evans of Champaign, IL; great-nephews: Fletcher, Parker, and Spencer Evans of Champaign, IL; and a sister-in-law, Judy Evans of Champaign.

He was preceded in death by a brother-in-law, Mark Evans.

Arrangements are under the direction of Bisch & Son Funeral Home, 505 E. Allen St., Springfield, IL 62703. A funeral service officiated by the Rev. Bob Dykman will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 26, 2014, at the funeral home. The family will receive guests at the funeral home from 9 a.m. until the time of services. Burial will follow at Oak Ridge Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Roger's name may be made to: The YMCA Soccer Program, P.O. Box 155, Springfield, IL 62705 or Memorial Home Hospice, 720 N. Bond St., Springfield, IL 62702.

Please share in Roger's photo gallery and online Video Memory.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Charles Arthur Elbertson

Charles Arthur Elberson, 80, died on Monday, October 13, 2014 at his residence in Springfield. He was born on October 8, 1934, in Pana, the son of Arthur Fay and Euna Corley Elberson. He married Mary C. Houghton on May 6, 1972, in Springfield.

Chuck was a member of Real Life Church where he was proud to serve as an usher. Chuck retired from Springfield School District 186 where Mr. Chuck was known to buy Pepsis for his helpers at Wilcox School. A prolific woodworker, he followed NASCAR driver Bill Elliot, Kasey Khane, and the Chicago Cubs. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, Albert Elberson; and two sisters, Harriett Schrame and Fannie Betzold. He is survived by his wife, Mary Elberson of Springfield; son, Charles Rob (Nichole) Elberson of Springfield and his children, Alaina, Alec, and Eli; daughter, Pam Huffstodt of Princeton, Ill., and her daughters, Christina and Michele; stepdaughter, Peggy Fowler of Lawrence, Kan., and her children, Madison and Malcom; seven great- grandchildren; and his beloved, Rottweiler Kasey.

Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, October 23, 2014, at Real Life Church, 2700 Hermitage Road in Springfield. Memorial services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, October 24, 2014, at Real Life Church with Pastor Rick Hector officiating. Inurnment will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park.

Memorial contributions may be made to Real Life Church Building Fund, Adopt-a-Pet in Benld.
Ellinger-Kunz & Park Funeral Home, 530 N. 5th St., Springfield, IL 62702, is in charge of arrangements. Visit our online obituary at

Published in The State Journal-Register from Oct. 22 to Oct. 23, 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mary June Griffith Nesbitt

Mary June Griffith Nesbitt, 93, passed away at 6:10 a.m. on Friday, June 20, 2014, at St. John's Hospice. She was born June 10, 1921, in Galesburg, Ill., to Harold Griffith and Ruth Shotwell Griffith.

Mary June attended the University of Illinois, where she lived in the 4-H House and received her Home Economics undergraduate degree in 1943. In 1972, she received her master's degree from Sangamon State University (currently the University of Illinois at Springfield). 

Early in her career she taught Home Economics in Chenoa, Mason City, and Pawnee, Ill. She then spent 30 years in Springfield at Lanphier and Springfield High Schools before retiring in 1983. 

She was a member of First Church of Christ Scientist in Boston, Mass. She was also a member of Philanthropic Education Organization (P.E.O.), Chapter ES, in Springfield, an organization that promotes educational opportunities for women. Mary June did significant traveling in North America, having visited all 50 states and all 13 Canadian provinces and territories.

She was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her children, Byron Nesbitt of Springfield and Edith Nesbitt of Cypress, Texas; her brother, Harold Junior Griffith of Galesburg, Ill.; three grandchildren, Jennifer (husband, John) Styrsky, Sean Nesbitt, and Bill Nesbitt; and five great-grandchildren.

Per Mary June's request, no ceremonies will be held. Cremation will be accorded by Lincoln Land Cremation Society. A private family graveside service will be held at a later date in Galesburg, Ill.

Memorial contributions may be made to Mary McKee Educational Fund, c/o Teri Travis, 2061 County Rd., 2400 North, Thomasboro, IL 61878, 4H House Alumni Scholarship Fund.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hella Maria Holman

PUEBLO, CO - Hella Maria Holman passed away at age 99, April 4, 2014, while living in Pueblo, Colo. She was born Hella Maria Hochstadter in Berlin, Germany, Nov. 28, 1914. After the end of WWI, her parents settled in Munich, her father's hometown. She attended primary and secondary schools in Munich and graduated from the Gymnasium. After her education was completed, she worked for the Deutsche Acadamie. 

Her future husband, John, was a medical student at the University of Munich; and they met because Hella was seeking American English conversation and he responded to the newspaper help-wanted ad. In 1937, she emigrated to the United States, due to the threats of war and the increasing repressive Nazi politics. Her parents followed her to the U.S. in 1938 and 1939. She lived in New York City and married John in 1938, after he completed his studies and returned to the U.S. Until the outbreak of WWII, when her husband was drafted into the medical corps of the U.S. Army, they lived in various parts of New York City and during the war in Austin, Texas. 

After the war, they settled in central Illinois, first Pawnee, where John started a medical practice, then Springfield in 1947, which was their long-time home. She was active in all aspects of a public life. In Pawnee 1951, she was responsible for starting a library in the former city hall. In Springfield, throughout the time she lived there, she was active both as a member and in leadership roles in the Medical Auxiliary, the Art Association, and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. Until her death, she was a lifetime community board member of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church. 

In addition to art and music, she loved to write and while in New York wrote for the German language newspaper the Staats-Zeitung und Herald and in Springfield wrote a series of essays for the Bulletin of the Sangamon County Medical Society from 1967 until 1974. In 2004, the essays were published in book form "From Month to Month" and in 2013 she published her memoirs "Episodes of a Life". In late 2011. 

Due to declining health, she moved to Pueblo, Colorado, where almost all of her immediate family now lives. She continued to follow her great loves: music, reading, and writing, in spite of failing eyesight and hearing. She was very happy living with her family in Pueblo, but she also continued to communicate with and missed her lifelong friends and life in Springfield and Munich, her other great love about which she often reminisced. 

She was preceded in death by her father, Otto R. Hochstadter, in 1958, her mother, Olga L Hochstadter, in 1974, and her husband, John Holman, M.D., in 1995. Surviving are her sons, Andrew P. Holman (Vera) and Robert L Holman (Laura); four grandchildren, Andrea Weyersberg of Schwabisch Gemund, Germany, Justin Holman (Bronwyn), Shana Holman-Hanna (Steve) of Las Vegas, Nev., and Rachel Holman-Langseth (Eric) and three great-grandchildren in Pueblo. In Germany, three great-grandchildren, several cousins, and a Goddaughter in Munich survive her. 

The family wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to Cindy Orgaz and Jaye Ordaz for their loving and loyal care to Hella, and many thanks to the staff and residents at Primrose Retirement Center and Sangre de Cristo Hospice. Funeral services are to be held in Springfield, Illinois. A celebration of her life is planned at Primrose on Friday, April 25. The date of her memorial services in Springfield will be announced on a separate date. At her request, donations to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, instead of flowers, may be made in her memory.

Memorial tributes may be posted at the SJR Legacy page for Hella Holman.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Richard Hollis

In Memory of Richard A. Hollis 
January 1, 1940 - March 31, 2014 
Obituary by Ken Hollis, Richard’s brother

Richard Hollis was a fighter—he had to be! At age 19, he began his lifelong struggle with severe mental illness. You see, he was a member of a very unfortunate minority—those who are stricken with schizophrenia, which afflicts 1 of 100 people throughout the world. 

Perhaps you have read about soldiers who have volunteered for military service and later suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome after being in combat. Well, talk about traumatic stress, Richard did not volunteer for combat but he had to fight battles against his inner demons every day for 50+ years. And fight he did! 

Whether while attending the University of Montana or later Illinois College, from which he graduated with honors, all the while hearing and being tormented by voices only he heard. I'm sure he was often made fun of by young students who couldn't begin to understand. He had to try so very, very hard each and every day. 

Before becoming sick, he was a very good athlete, and a Little League teammate of his later said that Richard could throw a baseball thru a brick wall and was perhaps the best little league baseball player in Springfield when there were only some 12 teams in the whole city. He pitched for the Red Comets, coached by his father H. B., which lost the city championship game to a team called the Mud Hens when he was 12. 

He later played baseball and some basketball for Springfield High. He was also considered a real leader by his friends then. After college, he did menial jobs—such as being a window washer—just to survive and because his illness made it impossible to do the kind of work his education and innate abilities made him more than qualified to do. 

Richard was also a very nice guy and a very decent human being. I often told Richard that he was the best of us—Martha and Harold Hollis's five children. Richard had truly lived a quietly heroic life, never complaining or saying "why me?" If there was the equivalent of The Congressional Medal of Honor, for not a few minutes or a day of bravery in battle, but for a lifetime of bravely and gracefully fighting against an unconquerable enemy, Richard had surely earned that honor. 

Some people believe thru suffering we come closer to God. Richard Hollis's suffering is now over. If there is a God and Heaven—Richard Allen Hollis is there. God Bless and Keep you Richard.

(To leave memorials, visit the Dignity page for the Bisch & Son Funeral Home in Springfield)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

John Hawley

HOUSTON, TX - John E. Hawley, 73, formerly of Springfield, IL, passed away Feb. 15, 2014.

Born Feb. 26, 1940, to Irving H. and Mary E. Hawley, he graduated from Springfield High School in 1958. He earned a bachelor's degree from SIU in Carbondale; a master's degree from Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison; and a PhD in Oceanography from Oregon State in Corvallis, OR.

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Martha Isaacson.

Survived by his daughter, Christina (Murat) Yaman, and two granddaughters, all of Houston, Texas; sister, Millie Hellyer of Springfield; six nieces and nephews, including Kim Dresch of Chatham and Brad Milliman of Springfield.

A private family service was held.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

John (Jack) Cooler

John "Jack" Cooler died Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, at his home in Springfield.

He was born June 15, 1934, to John M. and Gladys Cooler in Morrisonville, Ill. He was a member of the U.S. Naval Reserves for 12 years and the American Legion Post #32. He married Mary Alice Geibel on Aug. 15, 1959.

He is survived by his wife; two daughters, Alice (husband, John Tadla) Cooler and Joelyn (husband, Mark) Taylor; and three grandchildren: John, Brett and Ryan Taylor.

He taught in the biological sciences for 38 years at Springfield High School and was a member of St. Joseph Parish in Springfield.

Cremation was accorded by Lincoln Land Cremation Society. A private funeral mass was conducted by Rev. Steven Janoski with a private burial at Calvary Cemetery.

Friends may leave remarks at the online Legacy Guestbook.