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

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 Mourns the Passing of Anna Martha Matheny

Anna Martha Matheny, 89, Wapella, died at 12:20 a.m. Tuesday (Nov. 29, 2011) at Manor Court, Clinton.

Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with Tim Barbee officiating. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery, Clinton. Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to American Cancer Society or Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

She was born Aug. 14, 1922, at Weldon, to Lawrence and Mildred Gibson Long.

Surviving are her children, Jack E. (Joan) Morris, Clinton; Marvin (Linda Hardesty) Morris, Wapella; Allen (Della) Morris, Clinton; and Linda (Fritz) Jackson, Wapella; 12 grandchildren; and 26 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, three grandsons and one sister, Twila West. Our condolences to the the Morris family, and all of Anna-Martha's relatives.

Saturday, November 12, 2011 Mourns the Passing of Dorothy Cisco

Dorothy Jane Cisco, 89, Maroa, died at 6:15 a.m. Thursday (Nov. 10, 2011) at Manor Court, Clinton.

Her funeral will be at 2 p.m. Monday at Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with Tim Barbee officiating. Burial will be in Maroa Cemetery, Maroa. Friends may call from 1 to 2 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to Wapella Christian Church.

Dorothy was born Sept. 19, 1922, at Maroa, daughter of Derrick and Bertha Ferree Braden. She married Wayne Thrift in 1941. He passed away in 1944. She later married Herbert Lyle Cisco on June 5, 1948, in Clinton. He passed away Dec. 8, 2003.

Dorothy had a great sense of humor, loved life and cherished her friendships.
Her church was very important to her and her main topic of conversation was her nieces and nephews who she loved dearly. Those nieces and nephews remaining are Bill Schroeder, Franklin Park; Robert Braden and Steve Braden, both of Maroa; Russel Hawks, Metamora; Ron Braden, Maroa; Mary Gualano, Estero, Fla.; Charlotte Crabtree, Decatur; Ruth Ann Wilson, Clinton; and Margaret Jane VonBoeckman, Peoria; and a special cousin, Jerry Cisco, Waynesville.

She was preceded in death by her parents; four brothers; two sisters; nephew, Dick Schroeder; and niece, Jane Blanchard.

She was a member of Wapella Christian Church.

She was a retired employee of Ace Hardware, Clinton, and former employee of General Telephone Co. and Thorp Seed Co.

Dorothy Cisco was a great neighbor and friend to many in the village of Wapella. She will be sadly missed. Our condolences to the Cisco family.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

RIP Joe Frazier

Joe Frazier, one of the all time great boxers and athletes, and tonics to the hype of professional sports, has died at age 67. Frazier had one of the all-time great rivalries with Muhammed Ali, which brought on some tough reactions

As usual, Ali didn't miss a chance to verbally attack his foe in the days leading to the bout. This time it was worse than ever: He gave Frazier the nickname "Gorilla", called him ignorant and mocked him because of his ghetto slang. Frazier reciprocated with untypically bellicose statements: "I want to hurt him. I don't want to knock him out. I want to take his heart out."

Good obituary lifted here.

Joe Frazier, the heavyweight boxing champion who in 1971 became the first fighter to defeat Muhammad Ali, then lost two epic rematches including a ferocious battle known as the "Thrilla in Manila," died Monday night. He was 67.

Smokin' Joe, as he was known, died in Philadelphia, said his manager, Leslie Wolff. He had liver cancer.

It was a golden age of heavyweight boxing in the 1970s, when fight fans filled massive arenas and boosted the sport's television ratings to watch the likes of Ali and Frazier and George Foreman, Jerry Quarry and Ken Norton.

Photos: Joe Frazier through the years

In his 37 professional fights, Frazier won 32 times — 27 by knockout — and lost only four, with one draw. But he never really accepted his 1-2 record against Ali.

"I whupped him three times," Frazier said many times over the years.

They met for the first time on March 8, 1971, in New York's Madison Square Garden, with each fighter guaranteed $2.5 million. Ali, then 31-0, had been stripped of his heavyweight titles when, as Cassius Clay, he refused to be inducted into the military after being drafted for the Vietnam War. Frazier, at 26-0, had captured the title of undisputed heavyweight champion in 1970 with a technical knockout of Jimmy Ellis.

It was a brutal battle, rated by many as the "fight of the century" and considered the best boxing match of all time at any weight. When Frazier knocked Ali down in the 15th and final round and won on points, both received rave reviews for their performances. Both also went immediately to the hospital.

Before they could be paired again in the ring, Frazier defended his title four times, most notably on Jan. 22, 1973, against Foreman in Kingston, Jamaica.

Even the burly, fearsome-looking Foreman, who was 4 inches taller, admitted that the thought of getting into the ring with the brawling fireplug Frazier frightened him.

"Every time he swung at me," Foreman said, "it scared five years out of my life."

Nevertheless, in the second round, Foreman caught Frazier with a right uppercut that sent the fighter from Philadelphia to the canvas.

Sitting ringside for the boxing telecast was announcer Howard Cosell, by now internationally known for his boisterous and opinionated broadcast style. When Frazier, the champion, hit the deck, Cosell stole the moment and the show with his dramatic bellowing of the call:


It was as if he was calling an airplane crash rather than a boxing match. It not only stuck with Frazier, who got to his feet too late to avoid being counted out, but it is a mocking call to this day among boxing fans for all such spectacular knockdowns.

After Foreman took Frazier's title away, Frazier fought Ali twice more, losing in a more subdued battle in the Garden in 1974, when Ali kept Frazier away more effectively with holding and clinching, and a year later, after Ali had gotten his title back by beating Foreman in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo).

It was for this third match, on Oct. 1, 1975, in Quezon City, the Philippines, that Ali predicted he would have an easy time with Frazier. In the pre-fight promotions for what was dubbed the "Thrilla in Manila," Ali called Frazier an "Uncle Tom" and a "gorilla" and repeatedly ridiculed him. The fight was anything but easy, and Ali later likened it to being "the closest thing to dying." By the 14th round, both having hit and been hit too many times to count, Frazier's eyes were nearly swollen shut and he couldn't see Ali's punches, even though he had stood in and flailed away for several rounds right through his near-blindness.

Finally, after the 14th round, his veteran trainer, Eddie Futch, over loud protests from Frazier, threw in the towel to end the fight.

"Sit down, son," Futch told Frazier. "It's all over. Nobody will ever forget what you did here today."

Frazier and Ali had fought 41 rounds and served up a boxing trilogy for the ages.

Frazier fought only two more times. In 1976, he lost to Foreman in a fifth-round knockout, announced his retirement, then finished for good in 1981 after a 10-round draw with Floyd Cummings.

Joseph William Frazier was born Jan. 12, 1944, in Beaufort, S.C. He was the youngest of 12 surviving children of Rubin and Dolly Frazier and lived his early life on a farm, where his parents worked as sharecroppers.

He was inspired to think about being a boxer when somebody told him he was built like a young Joe Louis, and when he was 15, he moved north to Philadelphia to stay with relatives and find work. One of his first jobs was in a slaughterhouse, where he would pummel the hanging slabs of beef for exercise. Years later, Sylvester Stallone borrowed from that scene for his "Rocky" movies.

Frazier worked his way through the ranks of local Golden Gloves competition in Philadelphia and lost only once as an amateur, to Buster Mathis, who beat him out of the heavyweight spot on the U.S. Olympic team for the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo. But Mathis was injured before the Games, Frazier won the spot back and took home a gold medal.

After his boxing career ended, Frazier purchased a gym in Philadelphia, where he lived in his later years. Along the way, he sang with a group called the Knockouts and had a clothing brand, a restaurant and a limousine service. He dabbled in investments and real estate.

The tension between Ali and Frazier remained for decades. Frazier could not forget the taunts and the insults — Ali always said they were nothing more than fight promotion hype — and when Frazier was interviewed shortly after Ali, shaking and feeble from dementia and Parkinson's disease, lighted the torch to begin the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, he said he wished Ali had "fallen into the fire."

But in an interview in Jet magazine later that year, and in some subsequent interviews, an aging Frazier said he no longer held a grudge.

"It's like we were fighting the Vietnam War," he said. "We should meet and hug."

Frazier, who was divorced from his wife, Florence, is survived by 11 children. His son Marvis was a heavyweight contender in the 1980s, and daughter Jacqui Frazier-Lyde fought and lost to Ali's daughter Laila in 2001.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 Mourns the Passing of Katie Marie Lord Floyd

Katie Marie (Lord) Floyd, 23, of Charleston, passed away Saturday, October 29, 2011 as a result of an automobile accident. The funeral service honoring her life will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, November 3, 2011 at Salisbury Church-Charleston Campus, 2350 Madison Avenue, Charleston, with Scott Sims and Bret Hammond officiating. Burial will follow in Fairview Cemetery, Kansas. Visitation will be Wednesday evening from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the church. Arrangements: Harper-Swickard. Memorials in her honor may be directed to: The Epilepsy Foundation, Salisbury Church, or the Kansas Christian Church-Building Fund.

Katie was born September 25, 1988 at Mattoon, daughter of Alan (WHS '71) and Lisa (Kirchner) Lord. She married Riley Nathaniel Floyd, November 7, 2009 at the Kansas Christian Church; he survives. Also surviving is their son: Braxton Floyd at home; her parents: Alan and Lisa Lord of Charleston; her mother-in-law: Patty Peterson and husband Randy of Mattoon; her father-in-law: Scott Floyd of Mattoon; one brother: Jason Lord of Charleston; maternal grandparents: Charles and Glynette Kirchner of Kansas; paternal grandmother: Bernadine Hickman Lord of Clinton, IL; maternal great-grandfather: Glenn Hutchison and wife Nancy of Paris; Riley's grandparents: Malcolm and Carol O'Neil of Mattoon and James Floyd of Mattoon; uncles and aunts: Kurt Kirchner and wife Tara of Kansas, Ronald Lord and wife Louann of Clinton, Mary Hurst and husband Gordon of Mattoon, Linda Wooldridge (WHS '74) and husband Rick of Clinton, Rick Lord (WHS '77) and wife Elizabeth nee Holland (WHS '79) of Clinton, and Mark Lord (WHS '79) of Clinton; brother-in-law: Tyler Floyd of Dallas, TX; and sister-in-law: Mackenzie Floyd of Bloomington, IL. She was preceded in death by her paternal grandfather: Richard (Dick) Lord (WHS '43); and maternal great-grandparents: George and Lucile Kirchner and Leah Hutchison.

Katie was employed by Kirchner Building Centers in Charleston and Mattoon. She attended Salisbury Church-Charleston Campus, and was a member of the Kansas Christian Church. She graduated from Lake Land College with a degree in Cosmetology. Katie enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, and being a devoted mother to Braxton.

Our condolences to the Floyd and Lord families. May she Rest in Peace.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Raging Eyes Rock Video Circa 1983

I'm not much of a moviegoer, though I do enjoy the occasional Matt Helm movie, and of course music videos. This is Nick Lowe doing "Raging Eyes", sort of the arch-video of 1983, so un-creative that is sort of mocks the very process while doing exactly what it is mocking...while of course the white whale in the room is that the song is a timeless rocker regardless of the dated visual.

Check out the English Dentistry on Nick Lowe and (pretty much) his Cowboy Outfit Band. That's Martin Belmont (from Graham Parker's Rumour) on guitar and Paul Carrack (Tempted singer from Squeeze) on keyboard.

Sunday, October 16, 2011 Mourns the Passing of James Wickenhouser

James L. Wickenhauser, 75, of Heyworth passed away at 1:28 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 13, 2011) at Advocate BroMenn Regional Medical Center, Normal.

His funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Heyworth Christian Church, Heyworth. The Rev. Kurt Flora will officiate. Burial will be in Randolph Township Memorial Cemetery, Heyworth. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, Heyworth.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Heyworth Ambulance Service or the Heyworth Christian Church, Heyworth.

Mr. Wickenhauser was born Dec. 9, 1935, in Wapella to Louis O. and Pearl Aileen Green Wickenhauser. He married Thelma J. Ringo on July 31, 1960, in Heyworth. She passed away Aug. 18, 2011.

Surviving are two sons, James Brett (Marcia) Wickenhauser of The Colony, Texas, and Troy James (Kelley) Wickenhauser of Downs; three daughters, Wendy Lee (Frank) Bartels of Heyworth, Terri (Howard) Springer of Bloomington, and Tammy J. (Dave) Stephens of Heyworth; 10 grandchildren, Craig (Lisa) Bartels of Downs, James (Krista) Bartels of Heyworth, Shane Cole of Texas, Mollie Springer of Bloomington, Tanner (Kate) Springer of Downs, Taylor Springer of Bloomington, Cody and Cami Wickenhauser of Downs, and Scott and Bryce Stephens of Heyworth; four great-grandchildren, Colton and Kelsey Bartels of Downs, Lucas Bartels of Heyworth, and Deacon Springer of Downs; two brothers, Don (Jackie) Wickenhauser of El Paso and Larry (Nancy) Wickenhauser of Heyworth; and one sister, Doris (Ken) Stalter of Clinton.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Dick and Mike Wickenhauser.

Jim was a 1953 graduate of Wapella High School. Jim was a U.S. Army veteran and served from 1959 to 1961. He was a residential contractor and built homes for 51 years in McLean County. He was a member of the Heyworth Christian Church and was a past president of the Heyworth Summer League for many years. In his retirement he enjoyed playing golf at the golf course in Atlanta.

Jim was a social, outgoing person who always had a joke to share. His family and friends were blessed to have known and loved him. He had many health issues with his heart, but it was made of gold. He was a wonderful father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Because family was so important to him, it is fitting that his grandsons will carry him to his final resting place.

All flags 1/2 mast please for US Army Veteran, Jim Wickenhouser.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Porter and Dolly Say Happy Friday, but Come Home on Time!

Nothing says Friday like Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner, and here Dolly tells it like it is to her duet-husband Porter, demanding that he cut his taverning short and "Better Move It On Home".

As Dolly says

I've been here cooking you a nice hot supper
and you can't even eat it on time
heating up the meat loaf and stiring up the gravy
is kind a messing up my mind
You better move it on home boy, you better move it on home.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 Mourns the Passing of Cecilia Ellen Burns Dolanc

Cecelia Ellen Dolanc, 89, Normal, died at 8:55 p.m. Monday (Oct. 3, 2011) at Heritage Manor Nursing Home, Normal.

Her funeral will be at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Carmody-Flynn Williamsburg Funeral Home, Bloomington, and at 10 a.m. Friday at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Bloomington, with Monsignor Douglas Hennessy officiating. Entombment will be in East Lawn Mausoleum, Bloomington. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to Holy Trinity Catholic Church; St. Vincent de Paul Society; or Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, Chicago, 2211 N. Oak Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60707.

Ellen was born Aug. 17, 1922, in Clinton, the daughter of Dennis and Cecelia Reynolds Burns. She married John (Jack) J. Dolanc on April 14, 1956, in Bloomington. He died Oct. 22, 1992.

She is survived by four sisters, Betty Maxwell, Heyworth; Patricia Powers, Wapella; Dolores Burns, Bloomington; and Helen (Bob) Haas, Clinton; one brother, William Burns, Bloomington; three sisters-in-law, Mildred Burns and Alma Burns, both of Clinton; and Frances Burns, LeRoy; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by three brothers (Lawrence, James and Francis) and one sister (Mary Medler).

Ellen graduated from Wapella High School in 1940. She worked for State Farm Insurance Cos. for 40 years, retiring July 1, 1983. She was a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, the Altar and Rosary Society of the church, Young at Heart Club and St. Vincent de Paul Society. She volunteered at the St. Vincent de Paul Society food pantry and OSF St. Joseph Medical Center.

Ellen is warmly remembered in Wapella a great friend, neighbor and cousin to many in town. Our condolences to the Burns and Dolenc family (and yes, that is condolences to the Dolences)

Friday, September 23, 2011 Mourns the Passing of Ron Thomas

Ronald Dean “Whitey” Thomas, 75, Clinton, died at 7:14 a.m. Tuesday (Sept. 20, 2011) at Dr. John Warner Hospital, Clinton, after a three-year battle with cancer.

His funeral will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with J. Kent Hickerson officiating. Burial will be at McClimans Cemetery, Hallsville, with military honors. Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the American Diabetes Association or Cancer Care Center of Central Illinois.

He was born Dec. 25, 1935, in Logan County, son of June H. and Helen L. Burwell Thomas. He married Jane Ann Cain on April 22, 1962, at Wapella.

He is survived by his wife, Jane Ann Thomas, Clinton; children, Bradley (Janelle) Thomas, Clinton; Sarah K. (Lyn) Holt, Waynesville; Bruce (Sandra) Thomas, Wapella; and Susan Thomas, Champaign; seven grandchildren, Ross Thomas, Brent Thomas, Hannah Holt, Paige Thomas, Reid Thomas, Blake Holt and Brooke Holt; brother, Robert (Barbara) Thomas, Clinton; and sisters, Rachel Woolridge, Clinton, and Reva Stillman, Frankfort.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1958 to 1960.

Ron served on the DeWitt County Farm Bureau board and was president of the 4-H Fair board, a Khoury League baseball coach, a YMCA basketball coach and staunch supporter of all his children’s activities.

Ron was a great steward of the land and was an expert farmer, having lived on the same farm for 50 years. Ron was a great neighbor, friend and mentor to many in the Village of Wapella. His athletic intensity, sportsmanship and dedication were very much appreciated by all that knew him.

All flags 1/2 mast please for US Army Veteran Ron Thomas.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 Mourns the Passing of Walter Riddle

Walter F. Riddle, 54, Decatur, died at 12:19 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 10, 2011) at Barnes Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, Mo.

His graveside service will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Memorial Park Cemetery, Clinton, with Ed Bacon officiating. There will be no visitation. Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be made to Wapella Christian Church or Illinois Lung Association.

He was born Dec. 5, 1956, at Clinton, to Glenn F. and Lila Jane Crum Riddle.
Surviving are his mother, Lila Jane McNees, Clinton; brother, Vic (Donna) Riddle, Wapella; and sister, Sharon Riddle, Wapella. Two nieces, three nephews, two great-nieces and five great-nephews also survive.

He was preceded in death by his father.

He was a member of Wapella Christian Church.

Walter Riddle was a 1976 Graduate of Wapella High School. Our condolences to the Riddle family and all of those who were friends with Walter.

Saturday, September 10, 2011 Remembers 9/1/01

It was 10 years ago tomorrow that New York City, Washington DC and the United States in general came under a massive terrorist attack. It was a mess but the country has been relatively safe from terrorism since then, due to the hard work of our armed forces and law enforcement officials everywhere. Thanks for that.

So how about a moment of it....but how do you celebrate the USA better than with what is best about it? You guessed it, with some Rock and Roll written by a guy from East St. Louis, sung by a Mexican-American, in a band led by a tax-refugee from a London suburb (Dartford). Here's Chuck Berry's "Back in the USA" sung by Linda Rondstadt (#16 hit from #1 album "Living in the USA"), arranged by Keith Richards with a little help from Eric Clapton, Robert Cray and Johnnie Johnson.

Thursday, September 8, 2011 Mourns the Passing of Jerry Corwin

Jerry Wayne Corwin Sr., 79, Clinton, died at 12:40 p.m. Friday (Sept. 2, 2011) at his family residence, Clinton.

His funeral will be at 2 p.m. today at the Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, with J. Kent Hickerson officiating. Burial will be in Sugar Grove Cemetery, Wapella, with military honors. Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, is in charge of arrangements. Memorials may be made to Clinton Animal Shelter.

He was born April 2, 1932, in Wapella, son of Paul and Opal Coppenbarger Corwin. He married Katherine L. Bray on Sept. 25, 1954, in Clinton. She passed away April 6, 2009.

Survivors include son, Jerry Corwin Jr., Clinton; daughter, Sharon (Nelse) Woods, Grapevine, Texas; three grandchildren, David Corwin, Clinton, and Sara Pedersen and Chris Copeland, both of Grapevine, Texas; one great-granddaughter, Chloe Corwin, Clinton; one sister, Evie (John) Harrold, Wapella.

He was preceded in death by his parents and and one brother, Don Corwin.

He was a corporal in the U.S. Army, serving during the Korean conflict.

He was a supervisor at Staley’s in Decatur, retiring after 48 years of service.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, gun and knife collecting. Most of all he loved spending time with family and friends.

Our condolences to the Corwin and Bray families.

All flags 1/2 mast please for Jerry Corwin, US Army, Korea.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Trying This Out

  • I love hearing all these stories about Wapella! It's a great little town I wasn't born here but I've been here for 44 years so I call it home and I can remember most of what you all have written, so does that mean I'm old????
    · · · Tuesday at 7:16am
  • Remember went you could take the interurban to Clinton for 12 cents round trip, go to the show at the show for 15 cents,all for less than a quarter!
    · · · Tuesday at 9:09am via mobile
      • Audrey Reynolds Yes we rode the interurban to the Y for swimming lessons - heck I never did learn to float - scared of the water - kept going back - still do not know how to swim - but I sure could drive the boat and whip the skiers back and forth- now that was funnnnnn!!!!!!
        Tuesday at 3:43pm ·
      • Linda Powers I remember Mom taking me on the interurban the last trip to Clinton....Dad drove to Clinton and picked us up.:D
        Wednesday at 9:23pm ·
  • I loved the Christmas presentations at the high school gym every year from all the different school classes. Then Santa would bring out the paper sacks to us with an orange, apple and candy in it. It was so fun to watch my family be in it from the different classes sining and playing in the band. When I was little and went to school there, I got to be dressed up as an angel to sing with our class (1st grade). Only time I was considered for an angel part in my life since. Bahaha. Good memories for sure!
    · · · Wednesday at 11:12am
  • Leslie Trimble Cyrulik and Ann Jones were added by Mary Westfall.
    · · · Wednesday at 10:47am
  • When i retired from teaching, we moved to Lake Summerset up in N. Illinois. One day i was fishing on a dock and some high school age kids needed some help so i showed them how to catch some crappie. One lady that was there said "Thanks for helping the boys". I said" Oh i am used to it, i taught school for 37 years". So, she asked me where did i teach and i rattled off the schools. She said Wow, my husband used to teach at Wapella. I turned around and standing back on land was this guy who i had not been paying attention to at all. I recognized him was the former band instructor who was there when i was at Wapella. His name is Richard Hammond. I have one Retro yearbook saved from the storm...the yearbook was the 1966 edition ...dedicated to Richard Hammond. Small world huh? Had not seen him for over 40+ years
    · · · Tuesday at 11:08pm

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