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

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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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