December 2, 2021

A sampling of headlines in this week’s Sidell Reporter. To read the stories that go with this, plus many more articles in this week’s issue, subscribe today to read the Reporter in print and/or online. For details click here.

Fairmount Village holds special meeting to approve repairs to hydrants

Crawling Illinois’ libraries is a good way to travel the state
Catlin couple visits 85 libraries during Crawl

Salt Fork Christmas Concerts
North Elementary
Dec. 3
K-2, 1:30 & 6:00
3-4, 2:15 & 7:30
South Elementary
Dec. 8, 6pm
Salt Fork Junior High
Dec. 13, 6pm
High School
Dec. 8, 7:30pm

Salt Fork FFA Chapter continues to learn and serve

Time is running out but we are hopeful you will still share for our Christmas issue
    We are down to less than a week of needing stories, photos, remembrances of Christmases past to get our annual Christmas issue put together.
    As of today, we have zero stories, photos, remembrances from our readers to be used in this annual Christmas issue.
    We will start putting those pages together next Thursday, Dec. 9 so if you have any photos from your family albums, or a favorite memory to share, please send it now!
    Send to or P.O. Box 475, Sidell, IL 61876.


    BOBBY “BOB” D. THOMAS, 85, of Indianola, passed away at 9:30 p.m, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at Accolade Health Center, Danville. He had been in failing health for quite some time.
    He was born on June 29, 1936, the son of Albert and Elsie Lanham Thomas. On Sept. 5, 1959, he was united in marriage to Betty Staley. They have celebrated 62 years together.
Surviving are his wife, Betty; his two sons, Brian Thomas of Indianola, and John (Pamela) Thomas of Fairmount; his four grandchildren, Brittany (Aaron) Cain of Danville, Katelyn Thomas of Hume, Latoya Unroe (Brian Varbel) of Danville and Zach Thomas of Fairmount; and his five great-grandchildren with another on the way.
    He was preceded in death by his parents; all his siblings, Cloyd Camplin, Paul, Dale, and Harold Pearman, Charles Reffett, Blanche Delfose, Frances Wright, Edward Thomas, James Thomas, Alberta Livingood and Mary Clark.
    Bobby worked at Harrison Steel in Attica, Ind. and last worked at Teepak in Danville. He also painted houses and tore down old buildings with his brother, Edward. Bob always had a well-kept yard and grew a beautiful garden every year. He grew black raspberries, strawberries, as well as apple and peach trees. He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his sons. He and his wife loved to travel as they took tours of all 50 states and also cruises to the Panama Canal, Alaska, and Eastern and Western Caribbean. He will be sadly missed by his family and all those who knew and loved him.
    A celebration of Bobby’s life was held Dec. 1 at Sunset Funeral Home in Georgetown with Pastor David Almy officiating. He was laid to rest in Woodlawn Cemetery, Indianola. Share memories at

    DONALD W. “MOUSE” POTTER, 64, of Indianola, passed away at 6:56 p.m, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, at Carle Hospital, Urbana. He was born Nov. 22, 1956, the son of Milo and Mary (Norris) Potter. He was united in marriage to Pam Lee on July 19, 1999. She survives.
    He is also survived by his children, Jacob (Alison) Potter of Bellville, Courtney (Levi Hart) Fisher of Indianola and Cody (Lindsey) Rohour of Oakwood; his grandchildren, Atly, Brooklyn, Raigen, Brantley, Gracie, and Lenyx; his siblings, Sharon (Keith) Walker of Georgetown, Susan Malkus of Fairmount, Sara Mingee of Tilton, Rocky (Lesley) Potter of Marisa, and Shelley (Bobby Land) Potter of Ridge Farm; and several nieces, nephews and extended family and friends.
    He was preceded in death by his parents; his four brothers, Stephen, Sam, Albert and Willy Potter; two sisters, Vickie Jo Rouse and Lynn Potter (infant); his nephew, Travis Potter; and two great nephews.
    Mouse worked as a coal miner for many years. He enjoyed gardening, dirt track racing and John Deere Tractors. He also enjoyed going to tractor pulls and car shows. He was known to everyone to have a big heart and was devoted to everything he did. He was a loving person who will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
    A celebration of Mouse’s life was held Nov. 27 at Sunset Funeral Home in Georgetown. He was laid to rest in Woodlawn Cemetery, Indianola. Memorial donations may be given in his name to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Share memories through his Tribute Wall at

    WENDY ANN (MINGEE) TOTH, 46, of Bristol, Tenn., and formerly of Sidell,
entered in to eternal rest during the morning hours of Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, following an extended illness.
    Wendy was born Sept. 17, 1975 in Danville. She was a 1994 graduate of Jamaica High School.
    Wendy enjoyed the simplicity of life. Wendy was often described as a fixer and a giver, always respectful and kind. Wendy had a genuine interest in helping and giving to others. She was a huge promoter of live music. She considered all of her musician friends her family.
    Wendy was a loving daughter, aunt, cousin, and friend; she will be greatly missed.
    Wendy was preceded in death by her father, Melvin Dennis Mingee; step-father, Bruce Ronald Murray; grandfather, Forest Montgomery; and her grandmothers, Wilmetta Rowand and Madeline Montgomery.
    Left to cherish her memory are her mother, Nancy Ann Murray; stepmother, Renee Mingee; two aunts, Vicki Mclain and Sharon Thompson; special cousin, Thursa Hoskins; her “band family” and a host of friends.
    A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later time. In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorial contributions be made to help the family will final expenses by visiting
    Online condolences may be made to the Toth family at Blevins Funeral Home, Bristol, Tenn. served the Toth family.

    SANDRA KISER, 80, of Fairmount passed away Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.
    Services were Nov. 23 at Kirby Funeral Home, Homer. Burial was in Gundy Cemetery, Bismarck.
    Sandra was born Sept. 2, 1941, in Danville, the daughter of Ira and Edna Musson Wells. She married John R. Kiser. He preceded her in death Dec. 25, 1999.
    Survivors include two sons, Ralph Wombles of Fairmount and Steve Wombles of Homer; a stepdaughter, Julie (Justin) Kiser Rosnett of Broadlands; a sister, Betty Lewis of Georgetown; three brothers, Robert Wells and Kenny Wells, both of Danville, and Larry Wells of Westville; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
    She was also preceded in death by three sisters, Maryanne Earl, Josephine Caudill and Norma Boes; and three brothers, Ronnie Wells, Dannie Wells and Floyd Wells.
    Sandra and her husband were members of the Vintage Rods Car Club. She received her associate degree from DACC and worked at General Electric for over 25 years.
    She enjoyed knitting and crocheting. Sandra loved to cook and she made great noodles and pie. She loved taking care of all of her family and will be greatly missed by them.
    Memorials can be made to cancer research or the American Diabetes Association.

    DEBRA S. HALL, 68, formerly of Kingman, Ind. and had been residing in Frankfort, Ind. passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021 at 4:05 p.m. in the Signature Healthcare at Parkwood in Lebanon, Ind.
    Debra was born in Danville on May 7, 1953. She was the daughter of the late Glenn and Barbara (Schumacher) Baird. She was raised in Jamaica and graduated from Jamaica High School in 1971. She later graduated from the mortuary science program at Southern Illinois University in 1995.
    Debra worked at the Pape Memorial Home in Danville and later transferred to Sunset Funeral Home in Kokomo, Ind. In 2001, Debra purchased the Woodrow Funeral Home in Kingman, Ind. and operated until she was injured in a fall in 2010 and became disabled.
Debra enjoyed crafts and reading. She enjoyed studying history, especially that of two of her favorite presidents, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.
    Debra leaves behind her four children, Danny (Amber Slaughterbeck) Hall, West Terre Haute, Ind.; Christina Simmons, Frankfort, Ind.; Jason Hall, Tennessee and Jeremy (Charlotte) Hall, Aiken, SC; two sisters, Carol Smith, Clovis, Calif. and Rebecca Reed, Fresno, Calif.; a brother, William Baird, of Indiana; 10 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren plus one great-grandson on the way; several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister, Karla Mershon and her dear companion of several years, Larry Warnick.
    As per Debra’s request, no formal services will be conducted and cremation will be accorded her. Her inurnment will be held at a later date in the Woodlawn Cemetery near Indianola. Condolences may be sent online to

    MERRILL DUANE WOODWARD, 74, of Catlin passed away at his home in Catlin on Nov. 22, 2021.
    Merrill was born on April 25, 1947, the son of Kenneth Eugene and Iva Rose (Williams) Woodward in Danville.
    Merrill is survived by his sisters, Lois Woodward of Catlin and Marlene Owen, of Waxahachie, Texas. He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents and several aunts and uncles.
    Merrill attended Catlin schools and graduated from Catlin High School in 1966. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1968 and served in Vietnam where he was exposed to Agent Orange. After his discharge in 1972, Merrill worked at FAMCO in Tilton until he was hired at General Motors. Merrill bought the house he was raised in and resided there until the Tilton General Motors foundry closed. He moved to Arlington, Texas to continue to work for General Motors and moved back to Catlin in 2004 upon his retirement.
    Merrill was deeply religious and kept his family and friends close to his heart. He was extremely generous with his time. He and Lois made sure their mom attended special occasions of her in-laws, nieces and nephews after their dad’s passing in 1997. They shared caregiver responsibilities for their mom after she became disabled until her passing in 2015. Lois checked on him daily and took him to his numerous doctor appointments.
    A Celebration of Life was held Dec. 1 at Sunset Funeral Home in Danville with James Blue officiating. Burial was in Danville National Cemetery. Military Rites were accorded by American Legion Post 210 Honor Guard.
    Memorials may be made in Merrill’s name to the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) 1700 N. Lake Shore Drive Decatur, Illinois 62526.
Share memories at

    JANET E. MILLER, 83, of Danville passed away at 2:42 p.m. on Sunday,
Nov. 28, 2021 at the Pleasant Meadows Senior Living, Chrisman.
    Janet was born March 7, 1938 in Newman to Arthur Lee and Nellie Harshbarger Ambler. Surviving are one son, Arthur William (Letha) Reeves of Danville; two daughters, Teresa Lynn (Ed) Sudlow and Mary Susan (Mike) Bromley, both of Catlin; nine grandchildren, Paul (Alisa) Sudlow, Stephanie (Josh) Downing, Philip (Erika) Sudlow, Emily (Keith) Rancuret, Betsy (Nathan) Alderman, Molly (Trey) Harris, Maggie (David) Hundley, Samuel Bromley, and Zayden Bromley; and 13 great-grandchildren.
    She was preceded in death by four brothers, Dale, Glenn, Ralph and Bobby Ambler; and two sisters, Ruth Boyer and Frances Fonner.
    Janet had been a cosmetologist for Harding Pharmacy in Danville for many years and was a member of the Second Church of Christ. She was an avid reader who enjoyed history and classical movies. She volunteered at the Danville library where she loved reading books to the kids. She loved spending time with her children and grandchildren.
    Funeral services will be today (Thursday) Dec. 2, at Robison Chapel, Catlin, with Kiley Garrison officiating. Burial will be in the Oakridge Cemetery, Catlin.
    Memorials to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Behavioral Health Initiative Work Group at the Vermilion County Health Department. Masks will be required for entry into the funeral home. Online condolences at

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For Sale

FOR SALE—GREAT FOR JAMAICA ALUMNI—“A Look Back At 39 Years of Cardinal Pride.” 40 pages covering Jamaica sports from 1955-1995. Lots of pictures, stats and memories from fans and athletes. $12.50 includes postage. Make check payable to Sidell Reporter. Mail to P.O. Box 475, Sidell, IL 61876. Click here to order.
   “The 50th Anniversary of Jamaica High School – 1955-2006” commemorative issue. 32 pages with over 100 photos depicting the first 50 years of Jamaica High School. Includes a list of all graduates and teachers. $12.50 includes postage. Make check payable to Sidell Reporter. Mail to P.O. Box 475, Sidell, IL 61876. Click here to order.