Obituaries: Baker, Kuntz, Smith, Spence, Dyer



Joann Spence Dyer 

Joann M. Spence Dyer, 80, Fairbury, died at 5:30 am Thursday, February 16, 2017 at her residence surrounded by her loving family.

Her funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 am Thursday, February 23, 2017 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Chenoa with Fr. Carl LoPresti officiating.  Burial will be in Payne Cemetery, rural Chenoa.  Duffy-Pils Memorial Home, Chenoa is assisting with arrangements.  The family suggests memorials be given to South East Livingston County Ambulance Service; Prairie Central Boys and Girls Club; or Fairview Haven Retirement Community.

Joann was born May 11, 1936 in Chenoa, IL the daughter of Harold and Bernadine Schopp Nicol.  She married Robert G. Spence on November 7, 1953 in Chenoa.  He died on August 27, 1996.  She then married Bert Emery Dyer on November 6, 1998 in Chenoa.  He died on November 23, 2016.

Survivors include her children, Debra Spence, Fairbury; Vicki Burney, Bloomington, IL; Mary (Tim) Wimp, Heyworth; Anthony (Leatrice) Spence, Billings, Montana, Curtis (Teri) Spence, Boone, IA; Harold (Carol) Spence, Boone, IA; David Dyer, Cropsey; 20 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by 4 grandchildren.

Joann was a graduate of Chenoa High School and the Mennonite School of Nursing, Bloomington.  She was a Licensed Practical Nurse working at Bromenn Regional Medical Center, OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, McLean County Health Department and Fairbury Medical Office.  She also owned and operated Green Towers in Latham, IL with her husband Robert for 16 years.

She was a member of St. Andrew Catholic Church, Fairbury.

Joann will be greatly missed by all who loved her.  She was a kind, soft hearted person who saw good in everyone.  Our lives will be greatly changed by her passing.  We have countless wonderful memories to draw from, especially her quirky sense of humor.  We will love you forever!

An online guest registry is available at


Marjorie Baker

Marjorie J. Baker, 85, Forrest, died at 2:10am Friday, February 17, 2017 at OSF St. James-John Albrecht Medical Center, Pontiac.

Mrs. Baker was born December 29, 1931 in Forrest, IL the daughter of Lawrence and Polly Ann Baysinger Whitfill. She married Russell D. Baker on February 3, 1948 in Fairbury. He died on February 17, 2007.

Surviving are her children, Russell David (Vicki) Baker Jr., Earl Baker, Theresia (Denny) Quigley, all of Forrest; James Baker, Piper City; John (Glenda) Baker, Chatsworth; Michael (Laurie) Baker, Fairbury; Randy (Shelia) Baker, Forrest; Suzanne (David) Johnson, Russell Springs, KY; Julie Reynolds, Paxton; 17 grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren, 2 great great grandchildren and 1 sister, Helen Meyer, Fairbury.

She is preceded in death by 2 brothers, 3 sisters and 1 son.

Graveside inurnment will be Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 10:30 am in Forrest Twp. Cemetery. Duffy-Pils Memorial Home, Fairbury is in charge of arrangements. The family suggests memorials be given to the charity of their choice.

An online guest registry is available at


Marjorie Kuntz

Marjorie J. Kuntz, 89, a resident of Fairview Haven Retirement Community in Fairbury, IL formerly of Forrest, IL, passed away at 2:14 am on Saturday, February 18, 2017.

She was a member of the Forrest Apostolic Christian Church where funeral services will be held at 10:30 am on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 with ministers of the church officiating. Visitation will be held from 9:00 to 10:15 am on Wednesday, prior to

the service at the church. Burial will take place following services at the South Apostolic Christian Cemetery in rural Fairbury, IL. Calvert & Martin Funeral Home in Forrest is handling arrangements for the family. Memorial contributions may be made to

Fairview Haven Retirement Community in Fairbury.

Marjorie was born June 3, 1927 in rural Forrest, IL a daughter of Sam and Lydia (Sohn) Maier. She married Leland E. Kuntz on November 26, 1949 in Fairbury, IL. He passed away on January 29, 2011.

She is survived by one daughter, Carla (Curtis) Stoller of Gridley; one son, Kevin Kuntz of Forrest; three granddaughters, Carrie (Troy) Blunier of Oakbrook Terrace, IL; Christy Stoller of Croton on Hudson, NY, and Chelli Stoller of Princeton, IL; three

great grandsons: Peter, Lincoln and Miles Blunier; her siblings: Thelma Maier of Forrest, IL and Vernon (Beth) Maier of Fairbury, IL; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and one infant granddaughter.

Marjorie was a homemaker as well as working at Forrest Savings and Loan until 1986 and being the Forrest Township Clerk for many many years.

She enjoyed seeing and spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Marjorie was a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend who will be greatly missed.

This obituary may be viewed and condolences sent to the family at

Gary Smith

Gary L. Smith, 68 of Bloomington, passed away on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 12:04pm at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center, Bloomington.

Gary’s service will be held on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 2pm at Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington with Pastor Jason Collins officiating. Following services burial will be at Blooming Grove Cemetery, Bloomington. Visitation will be held on Wednesday from 12-2pm at the funeral home.

Beck Memorial Home, Bloomington, Illinois is in charge of arrangements.

Gary was born on June 22, 1948 in Bloomington, the son of Leslie and Mildred (Long) Smith. He married Mary Lake on September 27, 2013 in Bloomington.

He is survived by his wife Mary of Bloomington, his children; Alicia (Mike Simpsen) Smith, Gary A. (Marie Murphy) Smith and Robyn Smith all of Bloomington. Also surviving are his grandchildren; Zackare, Dalton, Ethan, Tessa and Connor, and a great granddaughter; Astella, his brothers and sisters; Leslie Ray Smith Terry Smith Jackie Smith Danny (Tina) Smith Tammy (John) Sudduth Carmela Smith Carol (Mike) Carmichael Barbara Smith Kurt Smith and his beloved dog Lexus.

He is preceded by his parents and 1 brother; Ron Smith.

He was a member of the Bloomington VFW Post 454. Gary loved animals and loved working on cars and fixing all types of engines from small lawn mower engines to the larger car engines. There truly wasn’t any engine he couldn’t fix.

The family would like to thank the staff of OSF St. Joseph Medical Center for their compassionate care and support they gave to Gary and the family through this difficult time.

Online condolences may be made to


WJBC Voices: Words fail me

One of the sayings that was popular in the law enforcement community back then was that “There’s no Miranda north of I-80.”

WJBC Voices: Irish chutzpah

By David Stanczak Many years ago, a friend of mine explained by way of example, the meaning of the term “chutzpah.”  He said it’s like a kid who killed his parents asking the court for clemency on the ground that he’s an orphan.  While the term is Jewish, and incredibly colorful, it’s an equal opportunity…