Obituaries for Thursday 3/14

Cecil C. Connelly, 94, of Burlington, died Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at the Arbor Court in Mount Pleasant.

Born April 4, 1929, in Bloomfield, IA, he was the son of Myrle Henry and Hazel Wagner Connelly. He met Wanda, the love of his life, and they spent 55 years together until her death, May 1, 2013.

He served in the United States Navy.

He was employed as a sales representative for RR Donnelley.

Cecil enjoyed attending services at Sunnyside Avenue Baptist Church where he was a member. He loved playing Bingo and would go three times each week. He enjoyed watching stock car races in the summer months, playing cards, fishing, and playing with his grandkids. He was an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan.

Survivors include two daughters, Terri (Doug) Schwartz and Tonya Bowman both of Burlington; step-daughter, Kathy (Todd) Duguid of TX; brother, Myrle “Jr” Connelly, Jr. of OK; sister, Shirley Brockett of Burlington; nine grandchildren; 37 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; three sons, David, Jerri, and Cecil Jr.; two grandchildren; five great grandchildren; two sisters; and three brothers.

Cremation has been entrusted to the care of Prugh Crematory.

The Celebration of Life for Mr. Connelly will be held at a later date.

Prugh Funeral Service is in care of the arrangements.

Condolences can be sent to the family by visiting Cecil’s obituary at

Danny Allen Bessine, 76, of Burlington, died Tuesday, March 12, 2024, at his home.
Born January 1, 1948, in Burlington, he was the son of Robert and Clair Bessine.
He was a 1966 graduate of Burlington High School.
He married Karen Crowner on June 12, 1966, they later divorced. He then married Debbie Dobroski on May 23, 1981, they divorced.
Danny owned and operated Weird Harold’s Records and The Medium and was a “fixture” there for over 50 years. He was the 1988 Main Street Volunteer of the Year and the 2013 Burlington Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the year award recipient. He loved his work and collected records and miniature liquor bottles for many years. He enjoyed traveling, woodworking, playing board games, watching shows and movies with his grandchildren and watching magicians perform. He was the best gift giver and gave unique gifts for all occasions.
He is survived by his four children; Danny Miller, Jodie Figert, Stephanie (Jesse) Wellington and Aaron Bessine; nine grandchildren, Charli Heckenberg, Benjamin Heckenberg, Abbi Heckenberg, Logan Miller, Gavin Miller, Morgan Miller, Serenity Bessine, Chloe Bessine and Oliver Wellington; seven great grandchildren; brother David (Kathy) Bessine and sister Barb (Chris) Gray.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 19th at Lunning Chapel where the family will receive friends. The memorial funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 20th at Lunning Chapel with Pastor Jerry Rigdon to officiate. The family requests Weird Harold shirts be worn to the service if you have one!
In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established for the Special Olympics or the Friends of the Capital Theatre.
According to his wishes, cremation has been accorded and entrusted to the care of Lunning Chapel.
Online condolences may be made by visiting

Claus Benninghoven of Burlington, passed away peacefully on March 12, 2024, at West Point Care Center, West Point, Iowa. He was 89.

Claus was born July 16, 1934, in Ronsdorf, Wuppertal, Germany, the son of Werner Gottfried and Elisabeth Anna Benninghoven. On July 16, 1955, he married Eleonore Dietz in Bad Wildungen, Germany and soon after immigrated, with Eleonore, to Niagara Falls, Canada.  

As a young man in Germany, Claus learned the brick mason trade and crafted his skills in Iowa, having built the Burlington US Post Office, Corse School, and many other buildings throughout Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.  Restoration work of historic buildings in Nauvoo was among his many accomplishments, including work on construction of the Nauvoo Temple.   

Claus had a keen interest in astronomy and in 1985 the Southeastern Iowa Astronomy Club was formed.  In 1987, he along with the help of founding members, went on to build the John H. Witte Observatory at Des Moines County Big Hollow Park.  He was instrumental in transporting the largest telescope in Iowa, a 1937 Alvyn Clark refractor telescope, housed at the old BHS, Apollo School, to the Witte Observatory.

Claus’ diligent observations and accurate drawings of the changes of the equatorial belts and Great Red Spot of Jupiter were recognized internationally and published in the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers journal. 

Claus was predeceased in death by his parents, brother Karl Benninghoven, and son-in-law, Michael Field.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Eleonore; four children, Marlene (Michael, dec.) Field, Burlington; Robert (Heather) Benninghoven, Johnston; Joanne (Michael) Bovee, Davenport; and Michael (Sarah) Benninghoven of Burlington; 12 grandchildren, Lorie, Diane, Jason, Jeffrey, Hannah, Breanne, Brett, Lydia, Natalie, Haley, Katie, Brittany, and many great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Monday, March 18th, 11:00 am at Bethany Lutheran Church, Burlington. Burial will be at Memorial Park Cemetery.

A special note of appreciation to the staff of West Point Care Center for their dedication and special care they provided Claus in his final days. 

Memorial contributions may be made to:
Southeastern Iowa Astronomy Club
P.O. Box 14
West Burlington, IA 52655

Jeff Lorbiecki, 67, of Burlington, formerly of California, died Saturday, March 9, 2024, at the Southeast Iowa Regional Hospice House in West Burlington.

Born April 1, 1956, in Stevens Point, Wi. He was the son of Ray and Sally (Oksiuta) Lorbiecki of Galloway, WI.

Jeff worked for many years as a cheese maker in California. He enjoyed fishing and woodworking, especially making Christmas crafts for his friends and family.

Survivors include two adopted sons, Jeremy (Paula) and Jesse Lorbiecki of Weston, Wi; sister Pat (Ken) Wiesner of Hartford, WI; two brothers, Jim Lorbiecki of Galloway, WI, brother, Jerry (Pam) Lorbiecki of Wittenberg, WI; cousins, nieces and nephews, and friend Aliene of Burlington, Iowa.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Cremation has been entrusted to the care of Prugh Crematory.

There will be no visitation or services. Jeff will be buried in St. Joseph’s Church Cemetery in Galloway, WI at a later date.

Prugh Funeral Service is in care of the arrangements.

Condolences can be sent to the family by visiting Jeffrey’s obituary at

Ronald E. “Bud” Hallam, 82, of Dallas City, Illinois, passed away Saturday morning, March 9, 2024 at his home.
Bud was born September 4, 1941 in Streator, Illinois, the son of Raleigh I. and Alice “Louise” (Holt) Hallam. On November 18, 1961 he married Yvetta D. “Betty” Owens. She preceded him in death March 21, 2023.

He attended Woodlawn High School from where he graduated in 1960. From there he gained employment at Anthony’s. He then worked as a route truck driver for 7UP, Hostess Cakes and Dolly Madison before going to work at the Iowa ammunitions plant as a sheet metal worker, from which he retired.

Survivors include six children: Tammy Perkins of Carnegie, Oklahoma, Ronda (Bob) Norris of Warsaw, Illinois, Eric Hallam of Ft. Madison, Colleen (Duane) Taylor of Mexico, Missouri, Candi (Thomas) Kendall of Warsaw and Sarah (John) Whitaker of Dallas City; twenty-one grandchildren: Charlotte (Brian) McCalip, Randy (Niki) Perkins, Nathan (Brooke) Perkins, Jeremiah (Tanessa) Perkins, Samuel (Taylor) Perkins, Justin (Jackie) Norris, Chad (Shelly) Norris, Katlyn (Levi) Wilson, Daniel (Bethany) Taylor, Heidi (Kevin) Brewer, Martha Taylor, Suzannah (Nathaniel) Murray, Madeline Taylor, Dustin Taylor, Clareece Kendall, Cory (Isabella) Kendall, Clayton (Samantha) Kendall, Christopher Kendall, Curtis Kendall, Asa Whitaker, Ezra Whitaker and Rhema Whitaker and twenty-five great-grandchildren with two more on the way. Also surviving is one brother: Thomas (Diane) Hallam of Streator Illinois and one sister Glenda Piacenti of Porter, Texas.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters: Bonnie Holt, and Jean Iverson, one grandson: Devin Taylor and two sons-in-law: Chip Perkins and Steven Huffman.

Friends may call after 2:00 p.m. Friday, March 15, 2024 at Banks & Beals Funeral Home in Dallas City, where the family will receive friends from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m.

The funeral service for Bud will be at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, March 16, 2024 at the Montrose Church of the Nazarene, Montrose, Iowa with Pastor Preston Smith officiating. Burial will follow in Carman Cemetery, Carman, Illinois.

A memorial fund has been established for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Montrose Church of the Nazarene. To leave an online condolence please visit Bud’s obituary at

Robert Lewis Dameron, 96, formerly of Burlington, Iowa, died Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Savannah Heights in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
Born on June 12, 1927, in Burlington, he was the son of Lee and Armeda (Wills) Dameron. On January 17, 1952, in Burlington he married Patricia Ann Woodside. She preceded him in death on October 15, 2020.
Bob was a Burlington High School graduate. Following high school, he enlisted into the United States Navy in 1946 as a Fireman First Class and served in World War II. Following his service in the United States Navy, he enlisted in the United States Army in 1952 as First USNR serving in the Korean War. Bob worked for the Iowa Army Ammunition plant as an iron worker for 34 years and in 1990 he decided it was time to retire. Bob was a member of Parkside First Baptist Church and former member of the Burlington Eagles Club and V.F.W. Post #9162.
There was no doubt about it, Bob’s first love was his wife Pat. In 1962 he and Pat built a cabin on the Iowa River. They would pack up the kids and head out to their beloved cabin for family time and fishing. You could also find Bob and Pat on the dance floor whenever they were given the chance. He loved to tinker around in his garage, go golfing, bowling and bow hunting. Bob was also a huge sports fan always enjoying the Chicago Cubs, Green Bay Packers and the Iowa Hawkeyes. Most of all Bob adored his family.
He is survived by his two children: Cathy (Rick) McClellan and John (Juanita) Dameron both of Burlington; six grandchildren: Brian (Shannon) Dameron, Brad (Michele) Dameron, Mindy (Aaron) Dunkin, Heather (Ann) Foster, Christina (Todd) Niles and Brandi Jo (Clint) Keenan; twelve great grandchildren; six great-great grandchildren; two siblings: Bud Dameron and Betty Lou Drain. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Patricia; brothers: Bill, Clarence, Gene and Richard Dameron and two sisters: Evelyn Johnson and Marcella Whitham.
Per his wishes, cremation has been accorded and entrusted to the care of Lunning Chapel.
The Memorial Service for Bob will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, March 15, 2024, at Lunning Chapel with Pastor Bill Price officiating. Military rites will be conducted by the Burlington Area Veterans Honor Guard. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.
A memorial has been established in his memory for Iowa 2x4s For Hope.
Online condolences may be made by visiting

Stanley R. St. Ores, 81, of Colusa, Illinois, passed away at 9:05 p.m. Saturday, March 9, 2024 at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Illinois.

Stan was born in LaHarpe, Illinois, on Feb 2 , 1943 the son of Fred and Dorothy (Hardisty) St.Ores. On December 28, 1960 he married his high school sweetheart, Jean Ann Williams, in Dallas City, Illinois. She preceded him in death December 4, 2020.

Mr. St.Ores was a 1961 Dallas City High school graduate. Following high school he attended DeVry Institute of Technology in Chicago. He relocated his family to Phoenix, Arizona and worked for the Sperry Corporation in electronics for 5 years. They moved to Colorado in 1966 and he worked for Ball Aerospace and other companies also in electronics. He transitioned his career to become a building contractor and home builder for the rest of his working life. He and Jean spent their retirement in Colusa, Illinois.

Stan was a sports enthusiast and lover of Football and Big Ten Basketball.

Survivors include three children: Todd (Kathy) St. Ores of Gulf Breeze, Florida, Cindy (Robert) Sederlin of Colusa and Lynnette (Scott) Romine of Lincoln, Nebraska; ten grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and one sister: Pat (Ron) Briscoe of Dallas City.

Friends may call after 2:00 p.m. Thursday, March 21, 2024 at Banks & Beals Funeral Home in Dallas City, where the family will receive friends from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m.

The funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, March 22, 2024 at Banks & Beals in Dallas City with Rev. Lee Unger officiating. Burial will follow in Harris Cemetery, near Dallas City.

A memorial fund has been established for a charity of the donor’s choice. To leave an online condolence for the family, please visit Stan’s obituary at

David Walsh, 76, of Burlington, died Sunday, March 10, 2024, at his home, surrounded by family.

Born June 21, 1947, in Burlington, he was the son of Robert Edward and Alice Bethel Mehaffy Walsh. On August 19, 1968, he married Jean Marie Geren in St. Pat’s Church in Burlington.

He graduated from Burlington High School. He was a U.S. Army Veteran, serving with the infantry in the Vietnam War.

David worked as a firefighter for Burlington for 29 years.

In the 80’s he enjoyed working out and competing in bodybuilding competitions. David was a very talented artist and enjoyed drawing and painting. He also enjoyed traveling with his wife in their motor home and loved spending time with his family.

Survivors include his wife, Jean Marie Walsh; two daughters, Trina Renee (Chad) Woods of Burlington and Heather Nicole (Mike) Bush of Chapin, SC; five grandchildren, Anna Marie Walsh (George) Coursey, Tia Nicole Walsh (Shane) Cavanaugh, Michael David Bush, Alexander Adam Bush and Logan Bruce Woods; two great-grandchildren, Emilia Grace Coursey and Kylan John Cavanaugh; and brother, Robert Edward (Elizabeth) Walsh Jr. of St. George, UT.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Joseph Walsh, and two sisters, Mary Hopewell and Joann Beine.

Cremation has been entrusted to the care of Prugh Crematory.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Prugh Funeral Service is in care of the arrangements.

Condolences can be sent to the family by visiting David’s obituary at

Jerry Leslie Watts
Passed away Friday, March 8, 2024, at the Klein Center in West Burlington.
Born April 19, 1942, in Quincy, Illinois. Son to Leslie and Leola Mae Watts.
Jerry enjoyed woodworking, and spending is time watching sports. Always an underdog fan. He was a soft spoken, kindhearted man who was a great listener and easy to be around. Jerry enjoyed spending his time with his friends and family. He always shared a smile and able to find humor each day.
Retired from J.I. Case.
He is survived by his daughter Julie Fleming and two grandchildren Courtney and Brody Fleming, and one brother James Watts.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Ronnie and son Curtis Watts.
Special thank you to the staff and his friends at Kleins. You were family to him this past year. He loved you all and enjoyed the bantering.
No services to follow. Cremation has been accorded and entrusted to the care of Lunning Chapel. Burial will be in Aspen Grove Cemetery next to his son.
Online condolences may be made by visiting

Mary Ellen Hunger (White) of Washington, Iowa passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family on Sunday, March 3, 2024. She had just celebrated her 76th birthday. She was born February 28, 1948 in Oskaloosa, Iowa to Boyd DeWitt and Marianne May (Atwood) White. Mary enjoyed her childhood with her loving family living in What Cheer, Manchester and West Burlington, Iowa. She graduated from West Burlington High School in 1966.

On June 26,1966, she married Ned William Hunger of Mt. Union, Iowa in the First Presbyterian Church in Burlington, Iowa. Following Ned’s service in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War, they started farming in Mt. Union, Iowa. After joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1975, Ned and Mary, along with their children, were sealed together as a family for time and all eternity. Mary enjoyed being a homemaker and creating an environment for her six children to feel supported, protected, unified, and loved. Her life centered around service to her family, friends, community, and church.

After raising their children and retiring from farming in the Winfield / Mt. Union area, Ned and Mary relocated to the Iowa City Area and then to Washington, Iowa. Mary loved the role of grandma. She often played games, watched all types of school events, and loved having everyone together for family gatherings. She always served in her church and enjoyed helping others understand their great potential as children of God. She taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ both in her words and actions. She consistently exercised faith, expressed hope, and showed charity to all. Mary compassionately welcomed many into her family. Mary is a great wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Boyd DeWitt White -1993 (71) and Marianne May White (Atwood) – 2011 (93). She is survived by her husband of 57 years Ned William Hunger, Washington, Iowa; children Russell Willam Hunger (Melanie), Washington, Iowa; Neal Michael Hunger (Shannon), Iowa City, Iowa; Dennis Wade Hunger, Ankeny, Iowa; Gretchen Suzanne Travis (Brett), Clinton, Utah; Bryan Thomas Hunger (Angela), Fairfield, Iowa; and Megan Christine Tryon (Joshua), Washington, Iowa; twenty-four grandchildren and one great grandchild. Mary is also survived by her siblings Marty Ross (Don), Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; Betty Wollam (Bud), Burlington, Iowa; and David White (Marilynn), Murfreesboro, Tennessee; sister-in-law Arnette Hunger, Mt. Union, Iowa; and seven nephews and nieces and their families.

The family would like to acknowledge the overwhelming and heartfelt support of so many family members and friends at this tender time. They are also grateful for the many health care professionals involved and the care provided.

Visitation will begin at 3:00 pm on Friday, March 15, 2024 at Elliott Chapel, New London with the family present to greet friends from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. The funeral service for Mrs. Hunger will be at 10:30 am, Saturday, March 16, 2024 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Chapel, 570 Dublin Dr, Iowa City, IA 52246. The family will greet friends before the service from 9:00 – 10:00 AM.

A private graveside service will follow funeral services where Mary will be buried at Trinity Cemetery in Mt. Union, Iowa.

In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family would like to support the Cancer Center Excellence Fund at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at UIHC. Please direct gifts to the website Cancer Center Excellence Fund. Or a check can be sent to the University of Iowa Center for Advancement, PO Box 4550, Iowa City, IA, 52244. For all donations, please indicate “In memory of Mary Hunger”.

Online condolences may be left at