News and Observations from Wapella, Illinois: Home of the Wildcats.

Facebook Activity for Wapella

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 Mourns The Passing of Helen Toohill

Helen Toohill has died this morning.

Visitation is on Friday at Calvert's Funeral Home in Clinton, Illinois. The Rosary at 4pm. The Funeral at St. Patrick's Parish, in Wapella, Illinois on Saturday at 10am.


Helen A. Toohill, 89, St. Charles, Mo., formerly of Heyworth, died at 5:55 a.m. Tuesday (Aug. 31, 2010) at Mount Carmel Senior Living Center, St. Charles, Mo.
A funeral Mass of Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Patrick’s Church, Wapella, with the Rev. Peter Pilon officiating. Burial will be in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Wapella. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with the rosary recited at 4 p.m.

Memorials may be made to the Altar Society of St. Patrick’s Church, Wapella.

She was born Sept. 17, 1920, at Greenville, Mo., daughter of Ira and Myrtle Daffron Rhodes. She married Clement M. Toohill on July 4, 1942, at St. Francis Xavier College Church, St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo. He passed away July 20, 2002.

Surviving are her children, Ann (Robert) Dixon, WHS '62, Homecoming Queen. Plano, Texas; Jean Thorp, WHS '62, St. Charles, Mo.; Daniel (Rose Ann) Toohill, WHS '66, Heyworth; Clement (Marjorie) Toohill, WHS '70, Davenport, Iowa; Teresa (Richard) Carroll, WHS '72, Bloomington; (FFA Sweetheart) Connie (Herb) Buttrick, WHS '73, Green Bay, Wis.; Edward (Kim) Toohill, Normal, WHS '76; Thomas Toohill, WHS '77, Mount Pulaski; Matthew (Catherine) Toohill, WHS '79, Not the Homecoming King as his handsomeness and regal nature were uncontestable, Fairbury; and Kate (Tim) Watson, WHS '81 and Dennis (Marti) Toohill, WHS '82, Homecoming King, both of Bloomington; sister, Mary Bennett, Greenville, Mo.; son-in-law, Rob Fanning, Wilmette; daughter-in-law: Kathie Toohill, Granite City; 30 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Mary Helen Fanning, WHS '68; son, William Hugh Toohill, WHS '75; son-in-law, Carl Dean Thorp, WHS '62; and two sisters, Verna and Virginia.

She was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Wapella, and the Altar Society.

She graduated from Greenville High School in 1936 and Brown’s Business College. She received an honorary degree from the University of Illinois, Department of Home Economics Extension. During World War II she proudly went to various cities that her husband was deployed to during his tour with the U.S. Army Central Intelligence Corps. After the war, they then settled on the family farm in Wilson Township, DeWitt County.

She was a member of Joyful Hearts in Wapella; DeWitt County Farm Bureau; and DeWitt County Homemaker’s Extension. She also dutifully served as an election judge.

She treated all her children as individuals. Making them each feel like they were the most important person in her life. If they felt joy, she felt joy. If they grieved, she grieved. She was more than a grandmother, she was our inspiration. She was more than a mother, she was our friend. She was more than a wife, she was our anchor. She was a beautiful gift from God.

Helen Toohill was one of the matriarchs of Wapella. She possessed a monumental amount of patience and infinite amount of kindness. A generous and caring person, Helen brought a peaceful wisdom to every conversation and had a profound and pleasant effect on the Village of Wapella, St. Patrick's Parish, Wapella School District, Wilson Township, and Irish Row as well as her family and relatives.

Our condolences to the Toohill family.

image a tapestry of the Holy Rosary.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Happy 40th Birthday Paul Roesch! sending 40th birthday greetings to a future hall-of-famer, and top face about town, Paul Roesch. Paul turned the big 4-0 on Thursday, and was said to have celebrated at Texas Roundhouse, followed by an evening of slow dancing with Raymond and Steve Toohill. A perfect gentlemen's birthday, no doubt.

In tribute, here's U2 (admittedly not the edgiest choice) live in Chicago doing '40'.

Happy birthday, PBR!

Friday, August 27, 2010

239 Beans

Why did the Irishman make his chili with 239 beans?
Because if he added one more it would be 2-40

(Say the punchline in Brogue for full comic effect)

Here's the Byrd's doing "Have You Seen Her Face", good tune written by the underutilized Chris Hillman, the Bassist for the Byrds.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Martin and Lewis of Wapella

Chris Ooms has a question: Do fish get cramps after eating?

    • John Powers Nah, they wait 30 minutes before they start swimming again
      Yesterday at 7:28am · ·
    • Chris Ooms Thanks John, I was taking my fish out of the bowl when feeding them. I didn't want them to be uncomfortable.

      Ribald laughter ensues throughout Facebook.............

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bloomington Man is Married to Wapella Woman. Meets Bill Buckner. Sort of Looks Like Billy Jack

I lift this pleasant article by Bill Flick about Jamie Defenbaugh, who kind of looks like Billy Jack. Jamie is married to Jackie Toohill, WHS '86. From the Pantagraph

As a 12-year-old back in Little League, at the launch of a life that would evolve into an endearing, enduring devotion to the Chicago Cubs, Jamie Deffenbaugh had a favorite player, an idol, one of those summertime heroes you follow in the papers, on TV and up in your room in the calm of a July night, listening to the grainy A.M. din of the game on the radio.

He was Bill Buckner.

Jamie wore the same number — 22.

He was left-handed and played first base, just as Buckner did.

An idol of his mom’s as well (“But I think she liked him for his looks”), he memorized Buckner’s statistics, tried to emulate his playing style (“tough, gritty, hard-nosed”) and got to know him so well, he learned even his idiosyncrasies — down to the black, high-top baseball shoes Buckner wore when few other players did.

“I idolized the guy,” says Jamie.

Which brings us to the other day, 30 years later.

Bill Buckner got into Jamie’s van. On purpose, even.

Then he actually sat there, in the passenger seat, for three hours, right where other mere mortals usually sit.

Asked if he’d mind doing a favor before last weekend’s “State Farm Legends” game at the Corn Crib, Deffenbaugh drove Buckner down from O’Hare International, fetching him there so the retired star could play here.

At one point, Buckner needed to use the restroom, says Jamie.

Idols apparently even need to do that.

Another time, Buckner said he was a bit hungry and they pulled off at a diner where Buckner wolfed down a feta and spinach omelet, hash browns and blueberry pancakes, and Jamie picked up the tab.

In life, there are those big moments — graduations, marriage, buying a home, parenting your children — and at age 42, Jamie has experienced them all, plus one.

He drove 135 miles with his childhood idol.

For days, Jamie had been a bit nervous before heading to Chicago. “He was beside himself,” chuckled Jackie, Jamie’s wife.

Then came the actual day.

Arriving early and, like a pilot, he circled O’Hare rather than parking and sitting, which would have made him more nervous. Then, he swiveled to a designated point and suddenly saw the mustached man he’d so revered as a child.

It didn’t go exactly as planned, though.

Instead of lifetime batting averages, they talked about parenting.

The father of a college player himself, the now 60-year-old Buckner talked about playing fungo with his own boy, following his exploits, being up late the night before to enjoy the fact his son had flown home (Buckner now lives in Boise, Idaho) to fly fish with Dad. And he wanted to know about Jamie’s sons, too.

Instead of discussing just success, Buckner talked about his post-baseball life, dabbling in commercial real estate, being a partner in a car dealership, being downwind to a fraud scheme by a former partner that had led to million-dollar lawsuits.

Instead of lavishing in baseball lore, Buckner talked about a night in Pennsylvania with Mickey Mantle, the timeless icon of the New York Yankees, when the two of them were part of a program and Mantle, who later died waiting for a liver transplant, had too much to drink.

It was that kind of afternoon for Jamie — meeting his object of worship, totally awed, and then subtly realizing they now were on the same level, on the same plain of life, pursuing the same interests — some moments of great joy and others not so great.

“It went frankly perfect,” says Jamie. “He was exactly the guy that I always wanted to know. He acted like the person I had hoped he would always be.”

Yup, in an age of baseball steroid use, inflated egos and humongous salaries, Bill Buckner was something even more than just a hero for Jamie Deffenbaugh.

He was a mere human being, sitting in the van like anyone else.

In an odd twist to the story, I was able to meet Pete Toohill last week, exactly 30 years after I declared Pete as one of my summertime heroes, for his bean walking techniques. Seeing Pete in person was nothing less than spectacular, and did not sit in a van like anyone else. I had actually met Pete many many times before, a fact conveniently overlooked by both of us in developing the odd twist.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hot Afternoon with Some Hot Boogie

Blazing on this sunny afternoon in Cook County, here is something from one of the hottest groups of the late 60's early 70's England.

Steve Marriott lets loose a cannon load of rock and roll hooks tied together by his amazing voice on "Natural Born Bugie". Spelling and copyright infringement weren't Humble Pie's strong suits. So sit back and enjoy Frampton and Marriott firing away.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Clyde Leggett Jr.!

Wapella great Clyde Leggett Jr. celebrated his 91st Birthday on Sunday. Count-Em 5 generations of Leggetts were present yesterday. And all 3 Clyde's were there, too.

Knowing Clyde Legget and many of the other Leggets from my brother's northside paper route, I always thought CLJ sounded like a very young guy. Thirty-five years later, and still batting it out of the park, Clyde has always been a Wapella all-star.

Happy Birthday Clyde Leggett Jr!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

From the Lone Elm Memorial

Memorable shot from the South Side of Wapella Twp. The Lone Elm is long gone, but still in the memory of all of Wapella.

This is the meeting place for the Board of Wapella Historians, as we all know.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Shameless Nepotism

I am not so sure it is nepotistic when it is your Third Cousin once removed running for office. I don't know how Layne Toohill and I could be any less related than that, so per the guidelines of the Wapella Board of Historians, this shameless plug is perfectly acceptable

Layne Toohill is running for Baby Idol on a 107.7FM Radio contest, as a cute baby. That is undeniable! Vote early and often, Chicago Style, but I think it is only via Facebook here

Here is the link, I think you have to be a Facebook user to vote...this election only. For example, in the general election for Governor, you don't have to be a Facebook user etc. Vote Layne!

Update: A heads up for those who like to vote on these such matters. You must click the Thumbs Up LIKE button for 107.7, then you can go on to click again for the individual photo for Layne (again with a Thumbs Up LIKE button). Well worth the effort!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

26 Years of Hollywood in Central Illinois

Shamelessly lifted from Top Maroon Joe Alexander. Hat Tip Joe, for this great memory!


I have had a number of FB friends like Dave Wischnowsky, Steve Raquel, Kirsten Rogers, even the Hon. Dan Brady showing pictures & or making comments about the present filming of Transformers III presently being shot in Chicago. However, lest we forget when Hollywood came to central IL, as today we celebrate the 26th anniversary of the release of Grandview, U.S.A.!

Filmed largely in Pontiac, Illinois & Fairbury, Illinois in Livingston County, we note that there is more here than just the home of Dan Rutherford, Route 66, & a correction center! Yes, Jaime Lee Curtis, the late Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, John & Joan Cusack, were all in this movie & seen around town.

I enjoy watching long time Pontiac alderman, Frank Panno, pictured with me, with his role in the movie. Frank & Panno Reality, helped with housing during the film! He still gets royalty checks from his acting debut. Pontiac/Livingston County folks, please share your thoughts, memories, or stories!

Blog Archive