Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Robert G. Miles

CATLIN — Robert G. “Bobbie Gene” Miles, 71, passed away at home at 8:45 p.m. Sunday (July 16, 2017).
He was the husband of Joyce Ann Wimberley Miles. They shared nearly 47 years of marriage together.
Born in Danville on Sept. 3, 1945, Bob was the youngest child and only son of Harold and Esther (Sharp) Miles. He attended Perrysville grade school and Westville and Bismarck HighSchools.
After graduating from Bismarck, he was drafted into the Army and stationed in Korea during the Vietnam War.
Post-Army, he moved to Chicago as part of the Woolworth’s management training program, where he worked with Ms. F. Eulalia Wimberley and there met her daughter Joyce, with whom he fell in love and spent the rest of his life.
A year after they were married, they moved from Chicago to Danville, ultimately settling in Catlin. He spent most of his career as a union carpenter, retiring in 2003 to enjoy ample sunshine and great friendships in Fort Myers Beach, Fla.
Bob loved the great outdoors, whether gardening, hunting, home repairs or traveling road trips. He was a member of GAO Grotto, American Legion and the infamous Rush Poker Posse.
He loved his family and truly lit up when getting to spend time with the newest family member, his grandson and namesake, Miles Jameson Ellis.
Bob is survived by his wife, Joyce Miles; his daughter, Chloe (James) Ellis; his son, Brad (Kim) Miles; his daughter, Shelley (Steve) Shafer; his sisters, Betty Sue Thomas, Patti Jo (Don) Gillis and Carol Ann (John) Butler; and his grandson, Miles Ellis.
He was predeceased by his father, Harold Miles; mother, Esther Miles; brother-in-law, Harold Thomas; and son, Bryan Miles.
Because he had such a fun-loving spirit and joy for life, the family will be hosting a celebration of his life at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 22, at the GAO Grotto (2800 N. Denmark Road, Danville), with a reception and fellowship to follow. Please join his family for this celebration by bringing your favorite memories of Bob to share as they celebrate a long and happy life full of fun moments and a lot of love and laughter. Light refreshments will be served; casual dress is appropriate.
Memorials may be made to the Vermilion County Conservation District or Catlin Historical Society.
Robison Chapel, Catlin, is handling the arrangements. Online condolences may be offered at www.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

John "Jack" A. Balsley

DANVILLE — John “Jack” A. Balsley left this earth on Monday (July 10, 2017) at Presence United Samaritans Medical Center, Danville, with family by his side to be with our Heavenly Father. He passed away peacefully in his sleep from complications of Parkinson’s disease.
Jack was born Nov. 12, 1931, the only child of Richard and Madell Balsley, who both preceded him in death. He married Beulah Thompson, the love of his life whom he met on a blind date, on Sept. 18, 1955; she survives.
Jack served in the Navy during the Korean Conflict on the USS Estes in the Sea of Japan. He is survived by his wife, Beulah Balsley; his three daughters, Sharon (John) Kramer, Carol (Paul) Coons and Judy
Mackovic; and his cousin, Phil (Bev) Griesheimer, whom he was very close with.
When he was younger, he loved fishing, hunting, playing cards and traveling, especially on cruise ships with close friends. He still enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, especially going out to eat every Friday night. He loved watching and rooting for the Fighting Illini, Cardinals and the Bears on TV.
He was a member of the Masonic Temple and the Gao Grotto for several decades. He worked at Danville Sheet Metal, the family business with his father, and also at Hyster as a welder until his retirement.
Visitation will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon Friday, July 14, 2017, at Pape Family Funeral Home, 10 E. Williams St. in
Danville. Services will be at noon at Pape’s with Pastor Bob Arnold officiating.
Messages and memories may be left on our website at www.papefuneral. com or on the Pape Family Funeral Home Facebook page.
The family has requested that, in lieu of other expressions of sympathy, contributions be made to the American Parkinson’s Disease Association or Central Christian Church.

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Midnight Freemasons: Broken Columns

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Friday, July 7, 2017

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Clifford Howard Wilford

Clifford H WilfordClifford Howard Wilford, a highly honored and much respected WWII Combat Veteran, 93, of Danville, IL, passed away on July 6, 2017 at 5:29pm. He was born January 18, 1924 in Middlesboro, KY. He was born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains to his parents, William F. Williford and Sarah Elizabeth Reed Williford. He joined the Army at the age of 16 on October 20, 1940. His unit was the 10th Infantry Regiment at Fort Thomas, KY. He was deployed to Iceland before the start of WWII, relieving the British Army. They guarded the shores protecting the Naval bases and shipping lanes. He was then sent to England and Ireland for training for the D-Day Invasion of Normandy. His unit landed on Utah Beach. After the landing, the 10th Infantry Regiment became part of the 5th Infantry Division of the 3rd Army commanded by General George Patton. The 10th Infantry participated in 5 European campaigns, 23 river crossings by assault, the taking of Angers, Fontainebleau, Rheims, Metz, the Battle of the Bulge, and through the Siegfried Line across Germany. Recently, he was awarded the “French Legion of Honor” medal, the highest distinction awarded by the French Government, for his bravery in the liberation of France from the Germans.

After victory in Europe, he returned to Kentucky where he met his wife of 45 years, Jewell Studdard. He was trained as an electrician in the coal mines of Harlan County where all 3 of his children were born. He moved the family to Michigan in the early 50’s to work in the auto industry. He attended night school at the University of Michigan and received his degree in Electrical Engineering. He retired from General Motors as “Superintendent of Environmental Services”. 

After the death of Jewell, he married Cathy Black of Elkmont, AL. He had a deep faith in God and lived his life in a way to bring glory to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He had many interests before and after retirement. He loved to write music and play his guitar. He could play any stringed instrument and the piano. He has many copyrighted songs, his music has been recorded, and he has played at the Grand Ole Opry. He loved to net and band birds and he kept a log for the National Audubon Society. He was an active member of the Masonic Lodge, was a Master Mason, and on the membership roles for just short of 65 years. He was an avid golfer who was on the links as much as possible. He traveled with his first wife, Jewell, on numerous trips to Europe to retrace his time spent there during the War. Later in life, with his second wife, Cathy, he enjoyed watching the Atlanta Braves baseball and Alabama football, Roll Tide. He loved desserts after dinner and we’ll never forget his love for peanut butter on those desserts. He taught his children to live life with love of family, compassion and respect for others, and a work ethic to do the best you can. He was the personification of the Greatest Generation, a true American Hero. He lived the American Dream.

He was preceded in death by: his wife, Jewell L. Wilford; his sisters, Elsie, Lillie, Dalley, & Dorothy; his brothers, Thomas, William, Jacob, Dewey, Jake, & Bud. He is survived by: his present wife, Cathy Black Wilford of Elkmont, AL, and her two sons, Jimmy (Wanda) Black of Rodgersville, AL, & Mickey (Teddy) Black of Paducah, KY; a sister, Beulah Sutton of Middlesboro, KY; his daughter, Carolyn Sue Hall (Jeffery, deceased) of Hilton Head, SC; and his sons, Gary Lynn (Judy) Wilford of Georgetown, IL, & Howard Eugene (Gloria) Wilford of Fort Mill, SC; his 10 grandchildren, Kevin Wilford, Kelli Wilford Voss, Shane Wilford, Rebekah Wilford McGuirt, Jonathan Wilford, Joshua Wilford, Jeffery Hall Jr., Jeremy Hall, Christina Wilford Gherna, & Melissa Wilford Wilson; his 21 great grandchildren; and his one great-great grandchild.

A celebration of Clifford’s life will be held at 11:00am, Thursday, July 13, 2017, at Stark Funeral Home, Ypsilanti, MI. Visitation will be 4:00pm to 7:00pm, Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at the funeral home with Masonic rites at 6:30pm. He will be laid to rest in Washtenong Memorial Park, Ann Arbor, MI. Memorial donations may be given in his name to Gary Sinise Foundation, PO Box 50008, Studio City, CA 91614-5001 (

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Steven D. Kelley - Olive Branch

RIDGE FARM — Steven D. Kelley, 75, of Ridge Farm passed away at 10:15 p.m. Wednesday (June 28, 2017).
Steven was born on Feb. 9, 1942, the son of Dwight and Syble Kelley. In November 1988, Steven married the love of his life, Nancy J. Hurt, and they spent the next 16 years together before her passing on Dec. 1, 2004.
Steven is survived by his stepson, Troy Adamson; stepdaughter, April (Mitch) Herman; and three grandchildren, Isabelle Serio, Nathan Adamson and Ellie Adamson.
Steven is preceded in death by his parents and wife.
Steven graduated from Danville Area Community College in 1962 with an associate degree. He then transferred to Eastern Illinois University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1965.
Steven was a veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard in Illinois as well as a member of many organizations, including the Ridge Farm Lions Club, where he was District 1-E Lion of the Year in 2000, Vermilion County Mayors Association,
where he was charter member and founder, director of the National Guard Association of Illinois from 19891993, Olive Branch Lodge 38, AF & AM, 32nd-degree Danville Consistory, Eastern Illinois Shrine Club and GAO Grotto.
Steven was also trustee on the Ridge Farm Village Board from 19691972, mayor of the village of Ridge Farm from 1981-1987 and again from 1997-1999, as well as being a member and secretary of the Vermilion County Board of Health from 1968-1982. In 2002, Steven retired from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Champaign County region. Steven devoted his life to helping the people around him, and for that he will be deeply missed.
A celebration of life service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 8, 2017, at Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 3940 N. Vermilion St. in Danville. Officiating will be Pastor James Blue. Burial will be at Crown Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 7, 2017, at the funeral home.
Please join Steven’s family in sharing memories, photos and videos on his tribute wall at www.
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