Obituaries Thursday March 8th

Patrick Edmond Brokaw, 61, rural Stronghurst, died on Monday, March 5, 2018, at his home. He was born September 27, 1956 in LaHarpe, Illinois, the son of William and Alice Kane Brokaw. On August 22, 1981, he married Brenda Harden at St. Patrick Catholic Church of Raritan.
Patrick was a 1974 graduate of Southern High School and a 1977 graduate of Western Illinois University. He loved his family and farming as a way of life in the Raritan community. He co-owned and operated the last custom ear corn shelling business in the area with his brother Ray and neighbor Dick Grant. He was an innovator in no-till and strip-till farming techniques from the 1970s to the present and enjoyed raising Katahdin Hair Sheep with his family for many years.
Patrick was an active member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church where he served on the Cemetery Board. He was a current Raritan Township trustee, a member of the Warren-Henderson Farm Bureau, Henderson County Historical Society, West Central FFA Alumni, and a former member of the Henderson County 4-H Extension Council and Henderson County Soil and Water Conservation Board. He was a proud supporter of Southern and West Central athletics and FFA programs. He was a Junior High and High School track and cross-country coach, which he greatly enjoyed. He believed in every child he coached and those from other teams and made them realize their true potential on and off the course. He was an avid Fighting Illini fan.
Survivors include his mother, Alice Brokaw of rural Stronghurst; wife, Brenda of rural Stronghurst; three daughters, Sarah (Ryan) Sextro of St. Louis, Missouri, Theresa Brokaw of Monmouth and boyfriend Bob Meade, Mary (Landry) Williams of New Haven, Indiana; one son, Father Lee Brokaw of Champaign; one granddaughter, Elizabeth Christine Williams; three brothers, Joe (Tammy) Brokaw, Ray Brokaw and friend Karen Richardson, Richard (Wendy) Brokaw; mother-in-law Norma Harden, brother-in-law Bob (Sharie) Harden and sister-in-law Melinda (Vince) Whiteman; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, William Brokaw; one brother, Paul Brokaw; and father-in-law Duane Harden.
The rosary will be recited at 5pm on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at Banks and Beals Funeral Home in Stronghurst followed by visitation with the family until 8 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 3pm on Friday, March 9th at Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church near Raritan with Father Lee Brokaw as celebrant. Burial will follow in Saint Patrick’s cemetery. A funeral dinner will be served in the Community Building following the burial. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established for St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. To leave a condolence, please visit his obituary at

Betty J. Keith, age 87, died Tuesday afternoon, wrapped in the arms on her granddaughter, Dana, at the Hospice House in West Burlington, IA.

She was the third daughter of Charley and Catherine Jackson, born November 24, 1930; and was raised in Morning Sun, IA. She graduated from Morning Sun High School in 1948, then moved to Burlington where she would meet and marry John T. Keith on September 2, 1952. They would make their home in Burlington, where they would have two kids and live a long and wonderful life.

She worked at Schramm’s in Downtown Burlington, National Research Bureau, and Montgomery Ward.

Betty enjoyed spending her life camping, quilting, going to flea markets, word books, and any and all things with her grandkids, great-grandkids, family and friends.

Her family includes two children, Terry (Sue) Keith of West Burlington and Kris (Dennis) LaVeine also of West Burlington; three grandkids, Amber (Ryan) Long of Iowa City, Dana (Aaron) Strawhacker of Danville, and Dustin LaVeine (friend, Jocelyne Wagner) of West Burlington; two step-granddaughters, Kathy House of Burlington and Serbreena (Curtis) Nichols of Burlington; five great-grandkids (Riley LaVeine, Aiden Long, Ava Long, Reese Strawhacker, and Camryn Strawhacker; one step-great-grandson, Jacob Nichols; and two siblings, Pauline Neff of Burlington and Barbara Shelman of Winfield, IA.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, John, one brother, Dean Jackson, two sisters, Mary Varvel and Charlotte Parkhurst, and one step-granddaughter, Teresa House.

Friends may call from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Friday, March 9, 2018 at Prugh’s Chapel Downtown.

The Funeral for Mrs. Keith will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at Prugh’s Chapel Downtown with Reverend Shane McCampbell officiating. Burial will follow at Aspen Grove Cemetery in Burlington. There will be a time of food and fellowship at —– following the Burial.

Prugh~Thielen Funeral Home is in care of the arrangements.

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

Richard Lee ”Dick” Knutstrom, 83, of Stronghurst, IL, passed away at 9:48 a.m. Tuesday March 6, 2018 at Great River Hospice House in West Burlington, Iowa. He was born November 15, 1934 in Burlington, the son of Ralph and Ruth Howell Knutstrom. On June 19, 1954, he married Marlene Cleek in Gladstone, IL.

Dick graduated from Stronghurst High School in 1953 and the DeVry School of Television and Radio, in Chicago, in 1954. He returned to Stronghurst and opened Knutstrom Radio and TV Store. Later, he joined his father in the operation of Knutstrom Chevrolet dealership in Stronghurst until 1985, when the dealership closed. He then was a salesman for Deery Brothers in Burlington until his retirement, and was often their top salesman.

Dick loved his family and was a top notch woodworker. He was an avid gardener and landscaper. Besides being a businessman, Dick was very community minded. He was instrumental in bringing a doctor to Stronghurst, and also was one of the founding members and EMT’s of the Stronghurst Ambulance Service. He and another friend developed the plan to bring Stronghurst’s first nursing home (Oak Lane Nursing & Rehab) to town. He was a member of the Stronghurst Booster Club, Lions Club and the Optimists Club. He was a life long member, and served on several boards of the Stronghurst Presbyterian Church.

Survivors include his wife, one daughter, Karen (Dennis) Dehner of Urbandale, IA, one son, David Knutstrom of Stronghurst, four grandchildren, Jared Knutstrom, Joseph Dehner, Julie Pollard, Jaclyn Dehner, seven grandchildren, Wyatt, Ella, and Anna Pollard, Kinsley Knutstrom, Marley and Grayson Inaclang, David Dehner, and one brother, Kendall (Nancy) Knutstrom of Cordova, IL. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Visitation will be 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. Friday at Banks & Beals Funeral Home in Stronghurst. The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday March 10, 2018 in the Stronghurst Presbyterian Church with Pastors Phil Cooper and Amy Booker-Hirsch officiating. Burial will follow in the Stronghurst Cemetery. Memorials have been established for the Stronghurst Presbyterian Church and Henderson County Hospice. Please visit to sign the guest book and leave a condolence.

Virgil Allen Kroll, Sr., age 79 of Sperry, died Monday afternoon, March 5, 2018, at the Great River Medical Center in West Burlington. The son of Harold and Leona Ruhser Kroll, he was born on April 7, 1938 in Jamesville, Minnesota. He married Patsy Marie Schnedler on May 26, 1957 at the Latty Church, rural Burlington.

Virgil graduated from Sperry High School in 1956. He served for several years with the Army Reserves. Virgil was a farmer and had worked at the Sperry Elevator and then with Hawkeye Concrete, retiring after 28 years. He was a member of the First United Presbyterian Church at Mediapolis where he had served as a deacon. His passion was farming and he also enjoyed gardening and raising cattle. He volunteered with the Mississippi Valley Blood Center both as a donor and also in deliveries.

His family includes his wife, Patsy; five children, Virgil ‘Allen’ & Debbie Kroll, Jr. of Littleton, Colorado, Larry & Diane Kroll of Burlington, Lisa & Jeff Sisco of Mediapolis, Wayne & Karie Kroll of Burlington, and Sharon & Tom Lingenfelter of Yarmouth; 13 grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren; and three siblings, Betty & Mike Sisco of Mediapolis, Stanley & Sharol Kroll of Washington, and Shirley & Ed Allen of Longmont, Colorado. He was preceded in death by his parents; a granddaughter; two sisters, Eunice Seaman and Maxine McCain; and a brother, Roger Kroll.

Friends may call from 2:00 to 7:00 PM on Thursday at the Hagele and Honts Funeral Home in Mediapolis where the family will meet friends from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.

The funeral ceremony for Virgil Kroll will be held at 10:30 AM on Friday, March 9, 2018, at the First United Presbyterian Church in Mediapolis. Burial will follow at the Kossuth Cemetery with family and friends gathering at the church fellowship hall for a lunch.

Memorial gifts will benefit the Mediapolis Volunteer Fire Department and the Mediapolis Community Ambulance Service.