Obituaries Thursday May 23rd

Christopher Joel Johnson, 55, of Burlington, died at 5:48 PM Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at his home.


Born April 2, 1958, in Burlington, he was the son of John Oscar and Florence Kathleen Sheridan Johnson. On August 25, 1979, he married Sheri Jean Boyd in Burlington.


Chris had retired as a Locomotive Journeyman Machinist.


He was a 1976 graduate of Burlington High School.


He was a member of Parkside First Baptist Church, Railroad Retirees, and a former member of the Eagles Club.  He volunteered his time as a Sunday school teacher, Cub Scout leader, and for the Dubuque Colts Bugle Corps, and served as President of the South Hill PTA.  He was an avid fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Iowa Hawkeyes, NASCAR, especially Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Dale Earnhardt Sr.  He enjoyed cooking, reading and especially spending time with his grandchildren and nieces and nephews.  He was known for his Easter baskets.  He cherished time spent with his family.


Survivors include his wife, Sheri; two sons, Dusty (Jen) Johnson of Tipton, IA, and Lance Johnson of Iowa City; two grandchildren, Noah Christopher and Lily Susan; three sisters, Diana (Brent) Neeley of Roseburg, OR, Marlene (Robert Jr.) Brissey of West Burlington, and Vicky (Lee) McKnight of Davenport, IA; and several nieces and nephews.


He was preceded in death by his parents, and one nephew, David Stout.


Visitation will be from noon until 7:00 PM with the family to receive friends from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM Thursday, May 23, 2013, at Thielen Funeral Home.


The funeral service for Mr. Johnson will be 2:00 PM Friday, May 24, 2013, at Parkside First Baptist Church with Reverends Tyrone Henderson and Rob Carleton officiating.


As per Chris’s request, cremation will be entrusted to Thielen Crematory following the funeral.


A memorial has been established.


Thielen Funeral Home & Crematory is in care of the arrangements.


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

Willard E. (Bill) Pickard, 85 years, of Ft.Madison died Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa.  He was born February 13, 1928 in Donnellson Iowa.  He married Anna Thomas on March 22, 1947 and had celebrated 66 years of marriage.


He began his work career with the Santa Fe Railroad as a carman, the Iowa State Highway Patrol as a trooper, and J.I. Case where he retired as a machinist. His greatest joys were his family, working in the yard and especially his beautiful flower gardens.  He was an avid yard-saler and loved bargains.  He faithfully made home-made peanut brittle, each Christmas, for his family, which he excelled at.  Bill was a 50 year member of the Masonic Lodge #13, AF & AM and a member of the First Christian Church.


He is survived by his wife Anna, two daughters, Deborah McElderry of Exline, Iowa and Carol (Dan) Kelley of Kirksville Missouri; and son Greg (Monika) Pickard of Round Lake, Illinois; five grandchildren: Shane (Kim) Kelley of Trophy Club Texas, Robyn (Brian) Hamilton of Knoxville Iowa, Heather (Tom) Rohn of Kirksville Missouri, Brandon McElderry of Lancaster Missouri and Kristina Pickard of Round Lake Illinois; four great- grandchildren:  Hunter Kelley, Chase Brown, Aiden and Charlotte Kelley; and step-granddaughter Rebecca Rohn.  Also surviving are three brothers: Darrell (Pat) Pickard, Duane (Joan)Pickard and Jerry (Barbara) Pickard all of Ft. Madison, two sisters, Shirley (Earl) Hoskins of Burlington and Mary Ward of Ft. Madison.   He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Helen Heisig and Betty Pickard.


Visitation will be held from 10:00 – 11:00 amFriday, May 24, 2013 at the Barr Memorial Chapel, FortMadison.  A Masonic Service will begin at 11:00 amFriday, May 24, 2013 at the Barr Memorial Chapel with a funeral service to follow officiated by Reverend John Simpson.  Following the services his body will be cremated.  A family burial will be held at a later date at ClaypooleCemetery, Wever, Iowa.  A memorial in his honor has been established to the Shriners Crippled Children’s hospital, and contributions may be made at the Barr Memorial Chapel, Fort Madison, Iowa.  Online condolences to the Pickard family may be made at the Barr Memorial Chapel website,

Barbara Ann Bentler, 74 years, of Mt. Hamill, Iowa died at 5:18 amTuesday, May 21, 2013 at the FortMadisonCommunityHospital, Fort Madison, Iowa.  She was born March 11, 1939 at Fort Madison, Iowa, a daughter of Harry and Elizabeth (Mertens) Nichting.  On November 23, 1967 she married Alfonse Bentler at St. John’sChurch, Houghton, Iowa.


In 1957 she graduated from St. John’sCatholicSchool, Houghton. She obtained her elementary education degree from MaryCrestCollege, Davenport, Iowa in 1963.  She taught at SacredHeartCatholicSchool in FortMadison and at St. John’sCatholicSchool in Houghton. She left teaching to raise her family.  For over 25 years, she volunteered for the Knights of Columbus in various capacities, especially the monthly fish fry. She was the rental agent for The Manors of Houghton for years.  She was co-owner of Mt. Hamill Elevator and Lumber, Inc.  She was a lifetime active member of St. John’s Catholic Church.  She enjoyed her gardening, baking, needle work, genealogy, and she tutored many kids.  She loved spending time with her family and friends.


She is survived by three sons: Jerry (wife Katie) Bentler, Donnellson, Iowa, Joseph Bentler, of Donnellson, Iowa, and Martin Bentler, Donnellson, Iowa; two sisters, Joan Hunold, of Montrose, Iowa and Clare (husband Ronald) Anderson, of Hudson, Iowa; one sister-in-law, Marlene Nichting, of Burlington, Iowa; two grandchildren, Eryn and Keira; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.  She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, two brothers, Harold and Joseph, in infancy.


A Rosary will be recited at 3:00 pmFriday, May 31, 2013 at the St. John’s Catholic Church, Houghton, Iowa.  The family will greet friends from 5:30 – 7:30 pmFriday, May 24, 2013 at the St. John’s Catholic Church, Houghton where a Christian Wake Service will be held at 6:30 pm.  Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 amSaturday, May 25, 2013 at the St. John’s Catholic Church, Houghton, Iowa with Reverend Dennis Hoffman, as Celebrant.  Burial will be at the St. John’sCemetery, Houghton, Iowa.  A memorial has been established for St. John’s Catholic Church and Houghton Fire and Rescue, contributions may be made at the Barr-Holtkamp Funeral Home or at the church during