Obituaries for Monday October 5th

Mr. Craig Warren Henry Sr. 65 of Burlington died at 5:53 p.m. Thursday, October 1, 2020 at Great River Medical Center, Emergency Department.
Born July 14, 1955 in Burlington, he was the son of Richard “Hap” Warren and Phyllis Darlene (Curtner) Henry. He married Tina Maye McPherson April 18, 1986 in Burlington.
Craig graduated from Burlington High School in 1974. He worked at J.I. Case Co. for over 30 years as a welder fabricator then retired as a quality control inspector.
He was a former member of A.B.A.T.E. He loved motorcycles, gambling, hunting, trap shooting, camping, and fireworks.
Survivors include his wife of 34 years Tina Henry of Burlington; three children, Mindy (John) Sutak of Ft. Madison, Ayla Henry of Monmouth, IL, and Craig Nicolus Henry Jr. of Burlington; six grandchildren, Hannah, Dryden, Kailey, Marley, Zak, and Jaxson; and one brother, Kirk (Nancy) Henry of Burlington.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
There will be a public viewing 6:00-8:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 7th at Lunning Chapel where the family will receive friends. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, October 8th at Lunning Chapel. Pastor Chris Day will officiate. His loved ones would be honored if you joined us in one last motorcycle ride to his final resting place. Inurnment will be in Oakland Cemetery, Ft. Madison, IA.

Mary Elizabeth (Orton) Cockrell, 69, beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother, passed away on October 1, 2020 at Great River Medical Center in West Burlington. Born on January 19, 1951 in Ft. Madison, she was the daughter of Earl and Stella Orton. Mary grew up in rural Lee County and was the only girl in a family with five brothers.

After graduating from Ft. Madison High School in 1969, she attended cosmetology school and worked as a beautician. Mary also worked as an in-home health care aide for many years, drawn to a life of service to others. She was a woman of devout faith and a member of the First Church of the Nazarene in Burlington. She was married to Francis (Ted) Cockrell, Jr. on March 7, 1970, who survives her today and resides in Burlington. Mary is also survived by their five children: son Sean Cockrell of Denver, North Carolina; identical twin sons Johnathan Cockrell of Ely, Iowa and Joseph Cockrell of Laguna Beach, California; and daughters Kerry Robertson of Burlington and Sarah Palmer of Middletown.

Among her greatest loves in life was spending time with her family, including her 14 grandchildren, a great-grandson, and many nieces and nephews. She also doted upon her rescue dog, Libby.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents and brothers Frank Orton, Earl Edwin (Eddie) Orton Jr., and Gary Orton. Other surviving relatives include her brothers Dave Orton and Tom Orton, both of Ft. Madison, and her very dear cousin Bill Orton of Burlington.

The family will receive friends 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 5th at Lunning Chapel in Burlington. A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, October 6th at Lunning Chapel. Interment will be in Long Creek Cemetery. Masks and social distancing will be required.

Edith Marie Conner McChesney, 95, of rural Gladstone, IL, died peacefully ovarian cancer, in her own home on September 30, 2020, at 9:30pm. Her two eldest daughters had been taking turns providing live-in care for Edith long before her cancer diagnosis last November and continued doing so until mid-April, when Edith’s physical needs required both daughters and a son-in-law to shoulder Edith’s around-the-clock care.

On February 18, 1925, Edith Marie was born in a farmhouse near Hillsboro, IA, the firstborn child of Columbus “Lum” Conner and Bertha Riley Conner. Based on the lowly consequence of Edith’s birth, the attending country doc gruffly proclaimed, “She’ll never make it!”, before leaving. It’s easy to imagine newborn Edith quipping, “Oh yah, Buddy? Just watch me!”

After Edith’s two brothers were born, the family moved to Mt. Pleasant, IA, but in ‘33, her father abandoned his wife and young family, causing Edith’s (now) single mother to move to the poorest section of Mt Pleasant, derisively dubbed Lee Town.

Baptized in Iowa’s Skunk River, Edith was ‘immersed’ in the Christian faith. Blessed with the gift of a godly, virtuous Mother, Edith’s budding faith was nurtured at The Lee Town Rescue Mission, faithfully manned by area farm wives. Even in Edith’s final months of life, she gave audible thanks for these early mentors who taught her the scriptures, how to read music, how to play the piano and how to pray. As a legally blind widow a lifetime later, Edith came to believe that God’s purpose for her longevity was her commitment to daily, fervent prayer. Praying incessantly for her family, her friends and neighbors and for her country, Edith McChesney became a Prayer Warrior.

Edith graduated from Mt Pleasant High School in ‘43. She the attended Olivet Nazarene College in Kankakee, for one year, affording this luxury only by working at the local Ben Franklin and at the Army Ammunition plant. At Mercy Hospital in Burlington, IA, Edith completed Hospital School of Nursing’s three-year program, graduating in the Class of ’48, last class of WWII Cadet Nurses Corp. And then, she met a tall, lanky farm fella from Gladstone.

Charles (C.E.) McChesney proposed marriage to Miss Conner after just six weeks of dating. Then he convinced Edith they could easily elope without getting caught. So, on April 23, 1948, they drove to distant Pekin, IL, where they were married. As a new bride, Edith was Dr. Harold Bock’s office nurse in Stronghurst, but after only two years, her quest for Motherhood was her driving force. Until his death in 2004, Edith was married to her irrepressible C.E. for 56 years. Edith was a fiercely devoted Mother! While their union yielded four children, the births of all their grandchildren spanned a full quarter-century. Edith was a spunky grandmother!

Edith’s volunteer efforts included work at the Henderson County Bloodmobile, organizing the immunizations for the local public schools, teaching VBS at her church and being a 4-H Leader. Edith’s professional credentials meant the world to her, diligently maintaining her RN status until her 70th birthday. For 40+ years, she self-published a photo-laden Christmas newsletter.
In tracing her genealogy Edith confirmed her Mother’s Appalachian lineage is linked to that of Martha Carter Washington. Edith was formerly a member the local Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), the Fortnightly Club of Monmouth & of Monmouth’s First Baptist Church.

Landscaping and flower gardening were Edith’s forte. She transformed their wind-swept yard into a park-like environment where two of her daughters were married. But, in her Golden Years, Edith’s vision rapidly deteriorated, curtailing these hobbies. Today, the grounds of her home provide a lush bird sanctuary where nearly every shrub and every tree planted in the past 60 years still thrive. For the past 71 years Edith resided in the same farmhouse. Back in ‘49, that old house was unremarkable in every way but, over a span of 24 years, Edith had completely remodeled it. Along the way, she learned a vital truth: If she could imagine a project, the master-builder, Ray Shaffer, could build it! By Edith & Charlie’s 25th wedding anniversary, their pillar-flanked front veranda was added as the capstone of their refurbishing efforts.

C.E.& Edith provided their growing family with summer vacations and in the early 1960’s, the began enjoying winter travel as well. They toured through most of the 50 United States, and to many foreign nations including ‘Old’ Mexico, Great Britain, the Cayman Islands and Japan. In ’93, they took a cruise through The Panama Canal. Together, they enjoyed no fewer than five trips to Alaska: once flying as far north as Point Barrow and, once, driving for hours at 30 mph over a gravel-covered former railbed to reach the abandoned copper mining town of MaCarthy (pop. 28). They also RVed through Tennessee’s Great Smokey Mountains and the Florida Keys. Edith made four additional trips to Alaska as a widow, the Columbia River Valley and spent two winters in Tucson, AZ. Sedona was one of her favorite destinations.

C.E. & Edith were co-hosts to college-aged Japanese Agricultural Exchange Students every year from 1970-1998. In January of ’89, they were awarded a three-week trip throughout the nation of Japan, residing in various farm homes, where, clad in silk undergarments for added warmth, they slept soundly on floor mats even though most of homes had central heat. They marveled at the unmatchable hospitality of the Japanese.

Edith was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and her younger brother Francis “Bub” Conner; all of her in-laws: Genevieve Conner, Joan Conner, Velda Conner, Robert Simmons, Ralph & Lucille Wick, as well as Marvin & Maxine McChesney Pohern, daughter-in-law, Carol Miller McChesney and Edith’s firstborn grandchild, Elizabeth Eisenmayer.

Those left to cherish her memory include her youngest brother, Paul “Tink” Conner (91) of Mt. Pleasant, IA; her daughter, Cheryl McChesney (Kevin Garrett) of Hugo, MN and their children: Nathan Garrett (Ingrid Larson) & Rachel Garrett (Peter Johnson); daughter, Linda (Tom) Eisenmayer of Anchorage, AK and their children: Anna (Toby) McWilliams, Jonathan (Miriam) Eisenmayer, Curt (Amanda) Eisenmayer & Meredith (Lance) Lewis; daughter, Marlene McChesney, of Monticello, IA & her daughter Sarah Kelly; son, Kurt (Ursula) McChesney of Gladstone, IL and their children: Kara McChesney, Angelika (Anthony) Hahn, Alexi Licata, Jenna McChesney, Nelson McChesney and Josie McChesney; fourteen great grandchildren and two generations of nieces/nephews, & one precious, surrogate daughter, Louise Reynolds.

Friends may call as they desire from 2-5pm Sunday at Banks & Beals Funeral Home in Stronghurst but, due to concerns over the Covid-19 Pandemic, the family members will not be present. At this public event facemasks will be provided for all guests and social distancing will be practiced. A private family funeral service will be held at 10:30am Monday, October 5, 2020 at Banks & Beals with, Pastor Steve Minkler officiating. Burial will follow in the Olena Cemetery.

Memorials have been established for the Henderson County Health Department & Hospice as well as The Salvation Army of Burlington, Iowa. To sign the guest book and leave a condolence, Please visit Mrs. McChesney’s obituary at