Zion-Benton News


Virginia Hammond

Virginia Hammond, 99, of Zion, went to be with her Lord and Savior July 14, 2016 in Zion.

Virginia was born Aug. 15, 1916 in Carlton, Ga., and attended school in the area. She was one of 15 children born to Marshall and Gussie Bridges. She married Truman Hammond on June 29, 1938 and moved to Zion where Truman started working at OMC. She was an active member and served at Grace Missionary Church for many years. She became involved with Child Evangelism Fellowship for 38 years and served as director for 22 years. Virginia loved to entertain and her wonderful meals, amazing pies and vegetables fresh from Truman’s garden were savored by family and friends.
She loved to be around people and was never idle.

Survivors include two daughters, Connie (Douglas) Knox of Zion and Lana Engel of Gurnee; 10 grandchildren, Jeff, Rick, Leslie, Christopher and Ryan Knox, Gary, Dennis and Danny Hammond, and Christine Engel-Caponi and Lisa Engel-Loos; 16 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and three sisters in Georgia, Laura Bridges, Elree Worley and Dorothy (Lawrence) Cecchini.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Truman, in 1995; son, Jerry in 2014; her parents; and 11 siblings and their dear spouses.

Visitation will take place Sunday, July 24, from 4 until 5 p.m. at Congdon Funeral Home, 3012 Sheridan Road, Zion. A funeral service will follow at 5 p.m. with Pastor Doug Carlson officiating. Interment will be private for the family at Northshore Garden of Memories in North Chicago. Memorial donations to Child Evangelism Fellowship of Northeast Illinois, 888 E. Belvidere Road, Suite 303, Grayslake, IL 60030; Grace Missionary Church, 1415 27th St, Zion, IL 60099; or Lakeview Church, 1821 Sheridan Road, Zion, IL 60099 have been suggested.

Wayne Pierson

Wayne Pierson passed away peacefully on July 17, 2016 with his family at his side.

Obituary and memorial on July 29th to follow.

Please visit the online guest book at congdonfuneralhome.com.


John Szymanski

John (Jan) Szymanski, 93, of Darien, Ill., passed away Sunday morning, July 17, 2016.

John was born on June 21, 1923 in Wilcze, Poland. At the age of 16, John was taken from his home and was forced to endure five years of hard labor and suffering at Stutthoff-Potulice Concentration Camp during World War II. Having survived the camp, he met his wife Halina (nee Plucinska) shortly after the war at a church in Germany, They married in Künsebeck, Germany on April 18, 1949.

John and Halina immigrated to the United States with daughter, Myra in 1951. They settled on the south side of Chicago in the Back of the Yards neighborhood and became parishioners of St. John of God Church. John retired from the Teamsters Union as a forklift operator for Centrella Foods in Franklin Park. He enjoyed his garden, his perfectly manicured lawn, bird watching and loved all animals. John was an exceptional handyman and there was nothing he could not fix. He also had a fondness for clocks, in particular, Cuckoo clocks, where he would buy broken clocks and fix them to add to his collection. Daylight Savings time was quite the event.

John is survived by his beloved and devoted wife of 67 years, Halina, nee Plucinska. He was the loving father of Myra (Michael) Muellner of Darien, Ill., Christopher Szymanski (Malia) of Zion, and Gregory Szymanski (Tracy) of Romeoville, Ill.

Devoted to his beloved grandchildren Michael II (Joanne) Muellner, Mark (Kara) Muellner, Christopher (Nova) Szymanski-Aldridge , John Szymanski (fiancée Samantha), Alexander Szymanski, Ashley Szymanski and Tiffany Szymanski.

Dearest great-grandfather of Ava, Eleanor, Nolan, Natalie and Nathaniel Muellner.
John was preceded in death by his father Antoni and his mother Maria; and his brothers Florian and Marian; his sisters Lucja, Anna, Regina, Jadwiga, Maria; father-in-law Aleksander Plucinska ; mother-in-law Barbara Plucinska; brother-in-laws Tadeusz Plucinski , Boleslaw Plucinski, Jedrzej Plucinski ; and sister-in-law Zofia Wozniak.

Visitation services will be from 3 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, July 24, at Modell Funeral Home, 7710 S. Cass Ave., Darien, Ill. Funeral services will be on Monday, July 25, at 9:15 a.m. from Modell Funeral Home to Our Lady of Peace Church, 701 Plainfield Road, Darien, Ill. Mass will be held at 10 a.m. followed by entombment at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines.


Jana Joy Lee

Jana Joy Lee, 52, of Winthrop Harbor, went to be with Jesus on July 12, 2016.
Jana was born July 13, 1963 in Zion to Verne and Lillian Lee. She worked for the Village of Winthrop Harbor as Director of Administration, Village Clerk/HR Director/ Collector.

She embraced her faith and family first and foremost. She was devoted to all her family and loved by everyone who came to know her. Jana enjoyed traveling, both near and far, including motorcycle trips to nowhere.

Jana is survived by her four brothers whom she loved, Vernon (Nita) Lee, Timothy (Gail) Lee, Daniel Lee and Robert (Linda) Lee, all of Winthrop Harbor; nine nieces and nephews; 22 grand-nieces and nephews; her special friend, Mike Bitton; and her best friend, Lisa Shaw.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Constance Irene Lee; and her niece, Lisa Lee.

Funeral services were held Saturday, July 16, at Lakeshore Tabernacle, 8900 34th Ave., Kenosha, Wis., with Pastor Dan Remus of Journey Church officiating. Suggested donations payable to Journey Church, earmarked to Hope Run Kenosha, to stop women’s trafficking. Please visit the online guest book at congdonfuneralhome.com.


Janet A. Schleter

Janet Arlene Schleter (nee Maynard) of Rockford, Ill., died Thursday, July 14, 2016, at home with family following a stroke.

Janet was born to William and Muriel (Mintern) Maynard on April 29, 1936, in Zion. In birth, life and death, she was and is, like all people, a precious child of God. Janet was also a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, and ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She was a brilliant student and teacher of the Bible, theologian and disciple of Jesus Christ.

Janet is survived by Everett, her husband of 58 years; daughters, Lisa (Lewie) Mitchell and Janine (Mike) Solberg; grandchildren, Lauren, Tyler (Amanda), Louisa and Gavin Mitchell, and Henry and Muriel Solberg; sister, Carol (Marlin) Bird, and brothers, Loren and John (Margaret) Maynard.

A service to celebrate Janet's life and witness the hope of the Gospel will be held at 11a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13, in Second Congregational (UCC)/ First Presbyterian Church, 318 N. Church St. Rockford, with the Rev. Rebecca Newgren and the Rev. Mike Solberg officiating. A reception at the church to follow.

Memorial gifts may be made to Second Congregational (UCC)/ First Presbyterian Church. Please, no flowers. To share a memory or online condolence, visit olsonfh.com. Olson Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.


Brenda S. McCoy-Padgett

Brenda Sue McCoy-Padgett, of Zion, died July 17, 2016.

Born Dec. 19, 1957, she lived a beautiful life with many blessings including a 42-year long marriage to her loving husband, three wonderful children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren with one more on the way. Raised by her mother with five sisters and two brothers, she always had a deep love for family. She was diagnosed on Dec. 19, 2014 with stage 4 lung cancer and fought up until the very end.

A celebration of life gathering will be held a later date. Please visit the online guest book at congdonfuneralhome.com.

Zion Obit