Zion-Benton News


Lester ‘Ozzie’ Koetz

Lester "Ozzie" Koetz, 87, of Gurnee,  left this Earth for his heavenly home on Aug. 25, 2015 at Winchester House in Libertyville. 

Ozzie loved life and loved people.  He was a sharing, caring, loving, godly man, who read his Bible and prayed daily for every member of his family,  extended family, and anyone else who needed prayer! His home with his beautiful wife was always a hub of activity for friends, neighbors, family, youth groups from church, and his Sunday School class from Grace Missionary Church in Zion. Everyone felt loved and accepted.

He served as choir director for 20 years, sang in a quartet, played trumpet, served as an AWANA leader, then served as choir director at their church in Libertyville when they moved to Gurnee.  Most recently he sang in the choir at Gurnee Community Church, where he and his wife were members.

Ozzie was part owner of Koetz and Barton Plumbing and Heating, co-owner of Koetz Plumbing and Piping with his son, Dan, and was politically involved in the governor's code committee for the industry, eventually becoming state president of the ILPHC Contractors Assn. Ozzie was an avid enthusiast of fishing, camping, water skiing, scuba diving, hunting pheasant, golf, volleyball and anything related to planes, including flying Piper Cubs. He loved boating and built several boats of his own. He and June travelled to all 50 states, as well as Spain, Canada and many of the Caribbean islands.

Cherishing his memory are his favorite son, Dan (Susan), favorite daughter, Julia, and favorite son, Allan (Marie); five treasured grandchildren, Kirsten (Todd) Klein, Regan (Wendy) Koetz, Meggen (Matt) Davis, Collin (Alyssa) Koetz, and Madeline Koetz;  five adored great-grandchildren, Brady, Allyson and Lexi Koetz, and Brock and Bryce Davis, who knew him as "Pop Pop Pop"; siblings Harry, Cynthia Ann, Opal and Kim.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 66 years, June, as well as two brothers and two sisters.

We will deeply miss our precious Ozzie, but he has left a legacy of deep faith in Jesus, of caring and sharing, of doing your best with joy in the process. Romans 12:10-12 summarizes Ozzie's life: " Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but serve God with fervor. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with those who are in need. Practice hospitality." These things he did so well, even to the very end. We wish to thank the staff at Winchester House for the special care he received from them while a resident. They are deeply appreciated by his family.

A funeral service will be held on Monday, Aug. 31, at 11:30 a.m. at Gurnee Community Church, 4555 Old Grand Road, Gurnee. Entombment will be private. Friends may greet the family on Monday from 10 a.m. until time of service at the church. Ozzie specified that memorial donations be made to Gurnee Community Church, memo GCC Funeral Luncheons, so there will always be enough for everyone.  Please visit the online guest book at congdonfuneralhome.com.


Dolores Van Wie

Dolores Van Wie, 85, of Pleasant Prairie, Wis., passed away peacefully on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015 at Sheridan Medical Complex surrounded by her loving family.

Dolores was born on Sept. 18, 1929 in Chicago,  the daughter of the late Arthur and Molly (Mandes) Schulze, and moved to Winthrop Harbor at the age of 5.  She was educated in the schools of Zion, graduating from Zion-Benton Township High School in 1948.  Dolores married the love of her life, Gene A. Van Wie, USMC, on Aug. 15, 1953 at St. Mary’s Lutheran Church.  Dolores and Gene shared a beautiful life together. In 1956 they built a home together in Pleasant Prairie and resided there the rest of her years. Dolores was employed at Electronic Supply Office in Great Lakes.

 Dolores was a devoted and loving wife, mother, daughter, grandmother and friend.  She lived each day to the fullest and could light up a room with her warm smile. Dolores spent her days as a homemaker and enjoyed vacationing to Kentucky and Florida, dancing, sewing, bowling, and was known as the “butterfly lady.” Dolores was a member of St. Mary’s Lutheran Church and a member of Women of the Moose.

Dolores will be deeply missed by her dedicated and loving husband of 62 years, Gene Van Wie of Pleasant Prairie; their two children, Randy (Sally) Van Wie of Forest Grove, Ore. and Terri Wright of Pleasant Prairie; grandchildren, David, Matthew, Gina, Christine and Kristen; and five great-grandchildren. 

Dolores was preceded in death by her brother, Arthur Schulze Jr.

A visitation will be held  Thursday Aug. 27,  at Kenosha Funeral Services, 8226 Sheridan Road, Kenosha, Wis., from 5-7 p.m. Funeral service to be held Friday, Aug. 28, at St. Mary’s Lutheran Church, 2001 80th St., Kenosha, at 1 p.m. 


Richard Raymond Sauvé

Richard Raymond Sauvé, 70, of Winthrop Harbor, went peacefully to be with the Lord on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015 at home with his wife and daughter by his side.

Rick was born April 28, 1945 in Waukegan to Raymond and Helen Sauvé (nee Schueneman) and was a lifelong resident of Lake County. He attended Holy Family Grade School in North Chicago and graduated from North Chicago Community High School in 1963. It was during high school years that he met Margaret O’Brien, who was to become his wife shortly after graduation. Together they raised two daughters, Carol Ann and Barbara Lynn. They lived in North Chicago many years, later moving to Waukegan and finally settling in Winthrop Harbor. He was a member of St. Anastasia Church in Waukegan.

Volunteering at St.Therese Hospital, Vista East Medical Center, Aurora Medical Center and Kenosha Area Family and Aging Services in Kenosha, Wis. kept him busy and made him happy for many years. After volunteering, he decided on a hobby of raising fish.
What started with a couple of discus turned into a business with about 60 fish tanks in his basement and thousands of Angel Fish that were eventually sold to pet shops in Illinois and Wisconsin. When his health began to deteriorate, the fish room was closed down and eventually sold.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Margaret; his daughter, Barbie; three grandchildren, Rebecca Cantrell (Mandy Ward), Thomas Cory Cantrell and Jeremy Freeman (Riane Nourigat); two sisters, Caron Kennedy-Perry and Rita (Dennis) Hollingsworth; his brother, Robert (Leslie) Sauvé; sister-in-law, Joyce Denney-Meyers; brother-in-law, Lou (Teresa) Bunk; two loving aunts, Sr. Margot Schueneman and Betty (Ray) Beyer, along with many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, cousins and his faithful cat “China.”

He is preceded in death by his parents and his daughter, Carol Ann Cantrell in 2004.
Fr. James Merold officiated at the funeral service held Aug. 23 at Bradley Funeral Home, North Chicago. Inurnment was private. Please sign the online guest book at bradleyfhnorthchicago.com.


Richard E. ‘Chip’ Simms

Richard E. “Chip” Simms, 69, of Winthrop Harbor, died on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015 at home with his family by his side.

Chip was born April 5, 1946 in Baltimore, Md. and served with the United States Army in Vietnam. He was a graduate of the University of Maryland. Chip married Mary Ellen Roblee on Sept. 13, 1986 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wis. He established and owned Chip’s Pet Shop in Waukegan and also served with the Waukegan Police Department as a part-time officer. He also had a medical background as an histologist and worked in that capacity at St. Therese, Vista and ACL Lab. He was a loving husband and father who enjoyed sailing and his pets, two golden retrievers, three dachshunds and his horse.

Chip is survived by his wife of 28 years, Mary Ellen; and daughter, Rachel Simms of Winthrop Harbor.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Betty Simms.

A Memorial Service will be held Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015 at 4 p.m. at Congdon Funeral Home, 3012 Sheridan Road, Zion. Friends may greet the family on Sunday from 1 p.m. until the time of service at the funeral home.

Please visit the online guest book at congdonfuneralhome.com.


Alfred E. Jones

Alfred E. Jones, 72, of Zion died peacefully at home on Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, surrounded by family.

Alfred was born Feb. 16, 1943 in Bloomington, Ill. He married Patricia Bennington of Bloomington in Bloomington on Dec. 28, 1963. Alfred was a Vietnam veteran having served in the United States Navy for 10 years, was a police officer at Great Lakes, managed Zion Industries Standard Oil gas station, was an electrician for both American Motors and Johnson Motors, and owned and operated Jones Furniture Refinishing in Zion for 30 years. He loved people, music, a good joke, wood carving and oil painting.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Patricia; two sons A. Thomas Jones and John Paul (Mary) Jones; siblings Barbara (Gerald) Kelly and Carol (Donald) Mulhall both of Normal, Ill.; and four nieces and two nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents Alfred and Marie Jones; and a nephew Kevin Kelly.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 3 p.m. at the Congdon Funeral Home, 3012 Sheridan Road, Zion. Visitation will be at the funeral home on Saturday from 2 p.m. until time of services. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Disabled American Veterans at donate.dav.org have been suggested. Please sign the online guest book at congdonfuneralhome.com


Michael W. White

Michael W. White, 63, of Pleasant Prairie, Wis., died Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Zion.

Michael was born Jan. 24, 1952 in Libertyville. He received his bachelor’s of science degree from Black Hills State College in Spearfish, S. Dak. in 1974. Michael married Denise L. Raymond on Nov. 14, 1980. He was a member of Grace Missionary Church in Zion. He was the Senior Vice President of National Construction and Major Medical Equipment at Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Michael is survived by his wife, Denise L. White; children Justin M. (Katherine) White, Sarah M. (Cory) Kloeffler, Rayme L. (Matthew Hylinski) White; loyal dog Rylee; grandson Vincent W. Tracy; sisters Starr L. Spencer and Dawn L. Biglow; brother Douglas M. (Kathy) White; Uncle Kenton and Aunt Helen Marquiss.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Calvin G. White, and Beverly J. Ernstmeyer.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Aug. 22, at 1 p.m. at Christ Community Church, 2500 Dowie Memorial Drive, Zion. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of the service at the church. Interment will be private for the family.

In lieu of flowers, please donate in Mike’s name to Assistance in Healthcare Foundation, aih.org/zion; or the Spearfish Canyon Foundation, spearfishcanyon.com.

Please visit the online guest book at congdonfuneralhome.com.