Zion-Benton News


Nell Rose McKinney

Nell Rose McKinney, 81, of Zion, died Monday, Oct. 20, 2014.

She was born Nell Rose Rowin in Mooresville, Miss. on Aug. 21, 1933 the youngest of 15 children born to the combined families of J.O. and Mattie Rowin. She was raised in the Ryan's Well community, graduated from Itawamba County High School and was employed at Warwick Electronics in Zion when she met George McKinney on a blind date to Riverview Amusement Park in Chicago. George was smitten and proposed the next day. They were married on Nov. 22, 1952. She was an active member of Lakeview Church, an avid reader, and faithful volunteer in the church library. Nell's authentic faith in and unique relationship with Jesus Christ lent her many a conversation with those around her about spending eternity in Heaven with her Savior. Her family and friends have no doubt that she is now rejoicing in that homecoming she so often talked about.

Nell is survived by her husband of almost 62 years, George McKinney of Zion; her son, Steve (Diane) McKinney of Birmingham, Ala.; her daughters, Cindy (Bruce) Pracht of Zion, and Amy (Curt) Palmer of Kenosha, Wis.; seven grandchildren, Meridith (Will), Evelyn (Hunter), Stephanie (Parker), Suzanna, Lauralei, Steven and Bradley. Dozens of nieces and nephews; and many friends will also mourn her passing.

A funeral service was held Oct. 22 at Lakeview Church, Zion. Interment followed at Mt. Olivet Memorial Park, Zion.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lakeview Church Library Fund. Please sign the online guest book at congdonfuneralhome.com


Shirley M. Hall

Shirley M. Hall, 89, dearly loved mother, grandmother and friend, died Monday, Oct. 20, 2014.

Shirley was a lifelong resident of Zion, graduating from Z-BTHS in 1943 and from the College of Lake County in 1981. She was an industrious stay-at-home mother and wife who thoroughly enjoyed raising four children and was happily married to Chauncey D.
Hall for 59 years. Shirley was a trained artist and designed who loved to sew and created more than 100 custom-designed, handmade quilts and countless hand-knit sweaters, hats, slippers and scarves. During the last few years of her life, she knit and crocheted over 200 hats that were sent to U.S. servicemen in the Middle East. Shirley had a deep abiding love for God and His word and studied it carefully, often taking notebooks full of handwritten notes. She hosted a bible study group, prayed faithfully and was always ready to listen and discuss things that really mattered with friends and family.

Survivors include her four children, Thomas (Angela) Hall, Michael (Pamela) Hall, David (Susan) Hall and Susan (Bill) Sartain, all of Zion; five grandchildren, Cheryl Hall, Evelyn Hall, Carrie Hall, Rebekah (fiance Tim Luken) Hall, Joshua Hall, Julia Kaplan and Hannah (William) Harold; two great-grandchildren, Jessica (Christopher Grubbs) Richardson and Zachary Harold; one great-great-grandchild, Emma Rose Richardson; brother Jack (Nancy) Wright of Venice, Calif.; brother-in-law, Ozzie Koetz of Gurnee; sister-in-law Nancy Wright of Apple Valley, Calif. and a host of dearly loved extended family members and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles G. Wright and Julia Edward Hopkins; her husband Chauncey; brothers Wendell P. Wright and Richard C. Wright and recently by her sister, R. June Koetz.

A funeral service will be held Sunday, Oct. 26 at 2:30 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. Entombment will be private at Mt. Olivet Memorial Park, Zion. Please sign the online guest book at congdonfuneralhome.com.


James Franklin Nix, Jr.

James Franklin Nix, Jr., "J.F.", 85, died peacefully at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014 with his wife, LaVara by his side.

Known by friends and family as "J.F.", he was born on Dec. 14, 1928 in Red Bay, Ala. to James and Leona Nix. One of 11 children, J.F. was a veteran of the U.S. Army and a 37-year employee of Johns Manville Corporation. J.F. and LaVara were married for 64 years, raising their two daughters in Zion before moving to Arizona in June of this year.
J.F. was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was an avid fisherman but never missed his children's or grandchildren's athletic, school and church events. The center of his life was his family, and for his family, he was the center of theirs.

J.F. is survived by his wife, LaVara; daughters, Debra Warren and Marsha Hudson, both of Fountain Hills, Ariz.; grandchildren, Rachel Coleman, Matthew Roe, Matthew Hudson; and great-granddaughter, Halle Roe. He is also survived by Barbara Sawicki, Michael Hudson, Tyler Coleman, and Farina Roe who he loved as if they were his own children; his three sisters, Beauton Bolton, Tumy Bolton and Treon Frederick, all of Red Bay, Ala.

Visitation and services will be held Monday, Oct. 27, at 10 a.m. at Messinger Fountain Hills Mortuary, 12065 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills, Ariz.. A celebration of his life will take place following interment. In lieu of flowers, donations to Wounded Warriors would be appreciated.


Frances Child

Frances Child,
89, of Hillsboro, Ill., died Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014 at her residence.

Frances was born Jan. 16, 1925 in Pearson, Miss., to Johnie and Lena (Boehle) Gilmore. She previously lived in Jackson, Miss., Zion, Lake Villa and Viola, Wis. before moving to Hillsboro in 1998. She graduated from Central High School in Jackson in 1942. She married Joe Thomas Childs, Sr. on Oct. 3, 1942 in Jackson. She had worked as a beautician and librarian and was a homemaker. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Senior Citizens in Coffeen, Hillsboro Free Methodist Church, Prime Timers of HFMC, Birthday Club, Hillsboro and was a volunteer at the Hillsboro Area Hospital Gift Shop.

She is survived by four children, Jerel Dean Henderson, Brownstown, Ind., Martha (Joe) McGuffin, Conyers, Ga., Barbara (Larry) Hewitt, Hillsboro and Tom (Debra) Childs, Martinsville, Ind.; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren; a brother Sonny Gilmore and a sister, Joan Holmes.

She was preceded in death by her husband on Dec. 24, 1999; her parents and a brother Gaston Gilmore and a sister Orva Ayhens.

The Rev. Randy Sands of the Free Methodist Church, Hillsboro officiated at a funeral service held Oct. 21 at Bass Patton Dean Funeral Home in Hillsboro, Interment as at Woodside Cemetery in rural Hillsboro. Memorials are suggested to the Free Methodist Church Building Fund or the Hillsboro Area Hospital Foundation. Send condolences online to basspattondeanfh.com.


Darwin Donald Airola, Jr.

Darwin Donald Airola
, Jr., of Fordsville, Ky., died in his sleep while on a business trip on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014 at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.

Darwin was born to Darwin and Clothilda (Kriedel) Airola. He graduated from Round Lake Senior High School. He enlisted in the National Guard and served from March to September 1962, He was transferred to the United States Army and served two years, Oct. 22, 1964 to Oct. 12, 1966, including one tour of duty in Vietnam where he was wounded and received the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Combat Infantry Man's Badge, the Good Conduct Medal and the Expert Rifle M14 Medal.

Darwin married his first wife, Sherry (Eake) Airola, when he worked at Union Station in Chicago in 1968. They had two sons, Darwin III and Darren. The couple moved to Oshkosh, Wis. and he worked as a salesman for radio station KFIZ in Fond Du Lac, Wis.
He later became a police officer for the city of Round Lake Beach for seven years, the village of Lake Villa for 6.5 years, Feb. 1, 1976 to July 15, 1982, in Round Lake Heights for seven years and the city of Zion, where he worked for seven years. Darwin was also the Marshall of the township of Old Mill Creek. He later became a salesman again, employing his two sonsfor a time in Illinois and continued in sales-related businesses throughout his life. He later lived in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

At some point, Darwin met, accepted and started to serve the Savior of humanity, Yehoshua Ha'Mashiach (aka Jesus The Christ), with whom he now resides in paradise. His phrase that he would tell people in times of despair was, “Give it [all of your problems] to the Lord [Jesus Christ] and all will be good!”

He is survived by his sister Carol Zevodny, two sons Darwin Airola, III and Darren Airola, daughter-in-law Rejani Airola, niece Debbie Walsh, nephews Robert Render, Dennis Render and Troy Zevodny, four grandchildren, Cody Airola, Lillian Airola, Nessiyah Airola and Darwin Airola, IV, and his wife of four years, Karren Schmiechen.
We love and miss you, Dad, Uncle, Grandpa and Friend to many!

A memorial service will be held for all of Darwin's family and friends who would like to attend at the Providence Baptist Church, 13949 Kentucky 69, Fordsville, Ky. on Oct. 28, 6 p.m. CST. If possible, please RSVP darwin@hypergalaxy.com or 858-633-6630 if you plan to attend.


Cecil Freeman

Cecil Freeman
, 79, formerly of Zion, died Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014 at his home in Rienzi, Miss..

He was born Jan. 29, 1935 in Telico Plains, Tenn. to Ulis and Martha Duckett Freeman.
He was in the automotive business and was of the Baptist faith. He enjoyed anything involving racing, from competing in drag strip and dirt track races to building race cars, going to flea markets, farming, football and carpentry work. He also loved his dogs.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Marcella Wright Freeman of the Pisgah Community; three sons, Jeffrey Freeman of Pleasant Point, W.Va..; Leo (Renee) Freeman of Pleasant Prairie, Wis.; Willie (Carolyn) Freeman of Rienzi; three daughters, Deborah Thibodeau of Sparta, Ky.; Margaret (Robert) Foster of Rienzi; and Darla (Danny) Day of Rienzi; two sisters, Linda Vanderpool of Oak Ridge, Tenn. and Barbara Turner of London, Ky.; 13 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by two sons, Cecil Freeman Jr. and Timothy Wayne Freeman; two grandsons, Chris Grady and Shane Foster; two sisters, Betty Yanigga and Mini Sue Upton; and three brothers, Kermit Freeman, Aaron Freeman and Lawson Freeman.

Services were held Oct. 14 at Booneville Funeral Home, Booneville, Miss. followed by cremation.