May 23, 2024

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.

Memorial Day Services
Sidell, Sunday, May 26, 12:00 - Hometown Band, 12:30 Service at Veterans War Memorial
Catlin, Monday, May 27, 11 am at Memorial Board by Museum

Sidell residents need to answer lead line letter

Fairmount Fire gets surprise $25K grant from Senator Rose

Cemetery fees will not increase after all

Memorial Service Sunday

Catlin hires Stiles for street dept.

Salt Fork looks at registration fees, security updates


Storm advances to Regional Championship before ending season to Arcola Raiders

Boys win track sectionals, advance to state in 10 events

Macie Russell moves to State finals in 800, breaks personal record and finishes 10th

Softballers can’t get past Bearcats, season ends


  Karen Joy (Thorne) Lukehart, age 81, of Rittman, Ohio formerly of Catlin, went to be with her Lord and Savior on May 17, 2024, at 12:10 p.m. at Barberton Hospital, following a period of declining health.
    Karen was born on Dec. 18, 1942, in Akron, Ohio, to the late Hubert and Ellen (Neal) Thorne and graduated from Green Twp. High School. She married Donald L. Lukehart in East Liberty, Ohio on Sept. 29, 1962.
    Karen was an avid reader and liked to write short stories. She enjoyed canning, gardening, sewing, going to church and playing games with her children and grandchildren, but enjoyed Scrabble above all others. She was a Sunday School teacher for many years in both Ohio and Illinois, leading many people to the Lord, and once enjoyed a missionary trip to Navajo Reservation in Colorado in 2010.
    Prior to moving to Illinois in 1983, Karen was a dedicated 4-H advisor. She had a love of the theater from her youth into adulthood where she participated in school and for several years as an adult as an actress in Christian Arts Productions when she lived in Illinois. This love and talent of the theater she passed on to her children and grandchildren. Karen enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom but began a career at Kmart in 1982 at Wadsworth, Ohio before transferring to Danville in 1984; she then transferred to Middletown, Ohio in 1988, and Cambridge, Ohio before retiring in 1998.
    Karen loved being a wife, mother and grandmother most of all. The love she held in her heart for her family and friends defined her and even in her latter days, you could sense it pouring out of her still.
    Surviving are three daughters, Pamela J. (Jim) Wolfe and Polly K. (Rob) Puckett, both of Rittman, Ohio and Suzanne M. (Greg) Woodard of Fairmount; son, Reese (Angela) Lukehart of Rittman, Ohio; one brother, Ted Thorne of Akron, Ohio; a brother-in-law, Ken (Donna) Lukehart; sisters-in-law, Erma “Doll” Koedel and Regina Learn; and an aunt, Betty Thorne; 14 grandchildren: Erica Henry, Anna Marie Puckett, Wesley Puckett, Michael Puckett, Luke Wolfe, Belle Levan, Cordell Wolfe, Zach Woodard, Chelsey Woodard, Kendra Woodard, Kira Lukehart, Olivia Lukehart, Claire Lukehart and Samuel Lukehart; six great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
    She was preceded in death by husband, Donald Leroy Lukehart; brother, Jeffy Thorne; her mother and father; two sisters-in-law; five brothers-in-law. Services were at Auble-Gillman Funeral Home in Rittman, May 22 with niece Tarah Thorne Ray officiating. Burial will take place at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery at a later date.
    Memorials can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or

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    Lois Ilene Moore, 93, of Indianola, passed away at 10:45 a.m. on Thurs., May 16, 2024, at the Pleasant Meadows Senior Living, Chrisman. Lois was born July 10, 1930, in Indianola to Earl and Hallie Bradfield High. She married Edward Leslie Moore on Nov. 13, 1948, in Westville. He preceded her in death in 2002. Surviving are one brother, Ray (Vicki) High of Indianola; one sister, Charlene Estock; two daughters-in-law: Rhonda Moore and Mary Moore; 10 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by five sons, Gary, Dennis, Charles, Kevin and Brian; five brothers, Donald, Earl, Jerry, Charles and Merle High; and one grandson, Justin.
    Lois had worked for Continental Filling for 10 years, AT&I, and Colonial Manors for seven years. She was a member of Bethel Baptist Church, Georgetown. She enjoyed yard work and cooking, especially baking pies, breads, noodles and enjoyed serving Sunday dinner for her family and sharing her food with others. Ilene was especially proud of keeping a “tidy’ home.
Funeral services were May 21 at Robison Chapel, Catlin, with Pastor Aaron Rohde officiating. Burial was in Woodlawn Cemetery, Indianola. Memorials to Bethel Baptist Church. Online condolences at

    A Memorial Service for Shirley (McDaniel) and Ralph McCown Jr. will be held for family and friends on Sat., June 1, 2024 at the Fairview Cemetery, Sidell, at 10 a.m. Pastor Craig Roller will officiate.
    Shirley McCown passed away at age 82 on April 7, 2020 at her residence in Muncie, Ind. She was born March 26, 1938 in Sidell, the daughter of Clifford and Della McDaniel. She graduated from Sidell High School. Ralph Edwin McCown, Jr. passed away at age 86 on Dec. 11, 2021 at I.U. Health Ball Memorial Hospital. He was born May 16, 1935 in Sidell, the son of Ralph and Flo McCown, Sr. He graduated from Sidell High School.
    Ralph served his country honorably in the United States Army. He was a member of Teamsters Local 135 and retired from Marsh Transportation after 34 years.
    Shirley and Ralph were married Nov. 18, 1956.
    Survivors of the couple include three sons, Bob (Dee) of Clearwater, Fla., Brad (Kathy) of Austin, Texas and Tim of Muncie, Ind.; nine grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
    They were preceded in death by their son, Jeff McCown. Surviving Shirley also include two brothers, Wayne (Joan) McDaniel and Keith (Jane) McDaniel. She was preceded in death by four sisters, Ailene Hillary, Betty Jackowski, Esther Lahne and Ruth Callahan; and three brothers, Kenneth, Donald and Larry McDaniel. Ralph was preceded in death by three brothers, Ronnie, Gary and Dick.

    Bobbee Lee (Songer) Hawkins, 72, of Catlin, Illinois passed away in hospice care at 10:12 pm on Friday, May 17, 2024, at the Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. At the end of her life, Bobbee was surrounded by her surviving family; husband Gregg Hawkins; son, Matthew Depratt; daughter Gracie (Brooks) Ruyle; stepdaughter Haley (Joe) Miller and stepson Jesse (Abbey) Hawkins. Also surviving Bobbee are beloved nieces, a nephew, grand-nieces and nephews and a very new great grandnephew, Killian Lee. She was the youngest of three daughters and was born on October 18, 1951, in Danville, Illinois to R.L. and Jeane Jamison Songer. They preceded her in death, as well as her much beloved sisters Maryann and Janet. Bobbee was a member of the Catlin High School class of 1969 and attended Katharine Gibbs College in Boston, MA. She has been employed by Danville Area Community College, Carle Hospital and lastly Blue Cross Blue Shield until her retirement in 2007. She married the love of her life and best friend, Gregg Hawkins on the white sands of Crescent Beach at Siesta Key, Florida on New Years Eve 1999.
    Bobbee discovered her greatest joy in life when she became Nana. Her eight grand babies were her world and she lit up in their presence until the very end. Will Songer, Grayson Robert, Zoe Jeane, Lucille Elizabeth, Scarlett Anne, Leonard Jesse, Sutton Frances and Eloise Ann had the biggest part of her heart. She was always quick with a song or story to entertain them and rarely “say them no”. They are a bit more silly and sweet for having had her as Nana. Bobbee’s Little Free Library stands proud in her front yard and is a testament to her love of reading and books. She was a lover of all music from classical to show tunes and kept Siri on her toes with her frequent requests spanning decades. Her recall of song lyrics was impressive as was her karaoke singing voice. Much like her mother, her love language was feeding her family and once she zeroed in on your favorite recipe, she would double the batch and make it for you often. Her happiest spot in the world was Siesta Key, Florida and she had been visiting this slice of heaven for over 50 years.
    Bobbee had an extraordinary gift for wit and laughter. She brightened our lives and brought joy to countless gatherings. Her ability to find humor even in challenging times was remarkable and her legacy will forever live on in the hearts of her family.
    Memorial Services to honor her life will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at Robison Chapel, Catlin, Illinois. Visitation from 10:00 to 11:00 am on Thursday at Robison Chapel, Catlin, Illinois. Bobbee loved flowers so there are no memorials, flowers would be appreciated. Online condolences at








Special Issues 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. $15-pick up at Sidell Reporter; $17.50 to be mailed.

“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. $15-pick up at Sidell Reporter; $17.50 to be mailed.

“Jamaica High Alumni Photo Album 1956-2015”
64-page album of each senior composite that hung in the hallway at Jamaica High. $15-pick up at Sidell Reporter, $19.50 to be mailed.