Kenneth Duane Bjelland

Kenneth D. Bjelland of Alton, IL died after a lengthy battle with COVID-19 on December 10, 2020 at the age of 74.

Ken captained a sailboat named The Midnight Sun and was a regular fixture at Lithia Springs Marina in Shelbyville. His favorite things were sailing, seafood, and anything to do with water and travel. He retired as DeWitt County Farm Bureau manager in 2016 after 35 years and moved from Maroa IL to Alton to be with his wife.

Ken will be remembered for his dry wit, adventurous palate, and love of life. He is missed deeply by his wife, two daughters, a grandson, and by his extended family and many friends in the Midwest and in Norway.

Sources:

Kenneth Bjelland obituary on Legacy 

Irene A. Taschler

Irene A. Taschler died July 20, 2020 from complications of COVID-19. She was 95 years old.

Irene was a respected former executive secretary at Emerson Electric. She stayed active with her late husband, visiting their second home in Hawaii and traveling often to see her family in Austria. In her later years Irene loved volunteering at St. Anthony’s Medical Center (Mercy South Hospital).

Irene Taschler is missed deeply by her adult children, great grandchildren, and extended family both here in St. Louis and in Vienna, Austria.

Sources:

Irene Taschler’s obituary on Kutis Funeral Homes 

MaryCatherine Keene

MaryCatherine Keene died May 20, 2020 at Riverside Nursing Home and Rehab Center in Alton Illinois from COVID-19 at the age of 94. Because of the nursing home lockdown and pandemic safety precautions, her family was unable to be with her. She was one of 17 deaths at the home as of August 4th.

During WWII, MaryCatherine moved to St. Louis and worked as an airplane riveter, and did all she could to help the Allied causes. After the war, she moved back to Alton and married her husband (who preceded her in death). Mary had an independent spirit and outgoing personality. According to those who knew her best, she never met a stranger. She was an avid reader and skilled quilter. She was a master storyteller of her true life stories and was proud of being a woman that worked in her time allowing women to wear long pants.

MaryCatherine Keene is missed by her daughter, a surviving sister, grand children, and extended family. She’s also missed by the other residents of Riverside Nursing Home and anyone lucky enough to draw a story out of her.

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