Obituaries Tuesday May 14th


Dixie L. Johnson, 92 of Macomb, Illinois, formerly of rural Stronghurst, died at 2:23 p.m. Saturday May 11, 2013 at Wesley Village in Macomb. She was born August 18, 1920 in Damascus, Virginia, the daughter of Oscar and Marie Wright Gray. On June 5, 1943, she married Elmer W. Johnson in Stronghurst. He preceded her in death on July 5, 1979.

Dixie moved to Illinois, with her family, at the age of eight and attended Warren County schools. She spent many years farming with her husband near Stronghurst. Following his death, she moved to Georgetown in Macomb, where she enjoyed spending time with a group of neighborhood friends nicknamed “The Dixie Chicks”. She was a member of the Bethel Lutheran Church of Stronghurst.

Survivors include two sisters-in-law, Ruby Johnson of Monmouth, and Betty Gray of Davenport, IA., several nieces and nephews, including Mike Gray, Barbara Gray, Joanne Cravero, Larry Johnson, Charles Headley, Royce Headley, Marjorie Butler, Leon Johnson, Ronnie Johnson, Elaine Wilson and Marsha Bagley. She was preceded in death by her husband, one brother, Tom Gray and one sister, Betty Keister.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday May 16, 2013 in the Bethel Lutheran Church in Stronghurst with Rev. Terry Muller officiating. Burial will be in the Terre Haute Cemetery, Terre Haute, Illinois. No visitation is planned. A memorial fund has been established for the Bethel Lutheran Church. Banks & Beals Funeral Home of Stronghurst is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be left at


Crafton E. Meeker, 74, of Kingston, died at 1:11 AM Sunday, May 12, 2013, at his home in Kingston.


Born April 2, 1939, in Pekin, IL, he was the son of Daniel Rodney and Hazel Williams Meeker. On August 2, 1959, he married Marie Stevenson at West Hill Methodist Church in Burlington.


Crafton farmed with his dad, brother, son, and grandsons on the Meeker Family Farms.  He had also been a truck driver for Tri-Oak Foods for the last 14 years.


He was a 1957 graduate of Huron High School in Oakville.


He attended church at First Baptist Church in Mediapolis and also taught Sunday School and served as an Elder and AWANA leader at Harmony Bible Church and Kingston United Methodist Church.  He had a passion for sharing his faith of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He also volunteered his time as a 4-H leader, and little league coach, and served as a Trustee for Drainage District #7.  He enjoyed bowling and played American Legion baseball after high school for many years.  He also enjoyed family vacations and cherished the times spent with family and friends.


Survivors include wife, Marie; one son, Mark (Cathy) Meeker of rural Burlington; one daughter, Linda (Donald) Springsteen of rural Burlington; two grandsons, Ryan Springsteen and Matthew (Rachael) Springsteen, both of Mediapolis, one brother, Marvin (Dolores) Meeker of rural Burlington; and several nieces and nephews.


He was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents.


Visitation will be from noon until 8:00 PM with the family to receive friends from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at Thielen Funeral Home.


The funeral service for Mr. Meeker will be 10:00 AM Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at Thielen Funeral Home with Pastor Dan Baker officiating.  Burial will be in Kossuth Cemetery.


In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established for Great River Hospice and Home Health.  


A photo tribute can be viewed and condolences can be sent to the family by visiting Crafton’s obituary at