Gregory J. Warnecke

Gregory J. Warnecke of Belleville, Illinois died of COVID-19 on December 31, 2020, at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital at the age of 90.

Greg would make handtools and decorative pieces out of wood as a child growing up in Clinton County. After he finished serving in the United States Army Security Agency, he went to work as cabinetmaker with the Markus Cabinet Company, before switching to working on residential and commercial projects. Greg’s love of woodworking was possibly only exceeded by his love for his wife, who he recently celebrated 58 years of marriage with in May 2020. In retirement, Greg liked traveling, fishing, spending time with family, but he continued his passion for woodworking through designing and building furniture for his home and for St. Mary’s Church in Belleville. His craftsmanship can be seen on the “refurbished sacristy cabinets, both the Easter candle and Advent wreath stands, credence table, and extensive restoration of our Pieta statue and the figures in our Christmas Creche, to name a few.”

Gregory J. Warnecke is missed deeply by his wife, three children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, extended family, friends, and church-family.

Sources:

Gregory J. Warnecke obituary at Dignity Memorial 

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Diane Bode Dinges Neukam

Diane Bode Dinges Neukam died of COVID-19 on December 12, 2020 at Belleville Memorial Hospital at the age of 70, with her children at her side.

Diane had three children with her first husband and loved being a mom and then a grandma. She co-founded Kid’s Kloset before becoming a medical transcriptionist for Belleville Memorial Hospital and eventually retiring from Oncology Care Center in Swansea. Diane loved to travel anywhere there was a beach and sun – to a lake resort or Caribbean! She also loved shopping, dining out with good friends, seeing live music, and gardening. People, laughter, and love mattered most to her and Diane was the type who never knew a stranger, making many lifelong friends from chance encounters.

Diane is missed deeply by her children and grandchildren, her extended family, inlaws on her first husband and (late) second husbands’ sides, and all her many friends.

Sources:
Diane Bode Dinges Neukam obituary at Renner Funeral Homes
 

Audrey M. Tonies

Audrey Tonies Belleville nursing home COVID-19 death

Audrey M. Tonies died of COVID-19 on November 2, 2020 at Dammert Geriatric Care Center in Belleville Illinois at the age of 91. When she died, she was holding her cross and “was surrounded by family at the time of her death both inside and outside as Covid-19 restrictions allow.”

Audrey married her husband Gerard (previously deceased) in 1949 while attending University of Illinois. She raised five children with him while helping to grow his appraisal business. Her favorite holiday was Christmas, which she loved hosting every year (even continuing family celebrations at the Shrine Apartment Community). She’d hoped that COVID-19 would have gotten under control so that she could celebrate with her large family this year.

Audrey Tonies is remembered as being generous, kind, and cheerful. She’s missed deeply by her five adult children, 18 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren, huge extended family and her many friends. 

Dr. Edward P. Rose

Dr. Edward P. Rose died of COVID-19 on September 20, 2020 at the age of 74. He was a practicing rheumatologist in Belleville IL until contracting coronavirus, refusing to abandon his patients even though retirement was suggested in March.

A polio survivor, Ed devoted his life to his family, science, and service. He attended Washington University Medical School and completed his residency at Barnes, cumulating with completing a fellowship at Royal Victoria Hospital/McGill University in Montreal in 1976. He served his community for 45 years as a board-certified rheumatologist and internist, as president of the Medical Society of St. Clair County, a chess club coach, and as an appointed member of the Illinois State Medical Licensing Board for nearly 20 years.

Ed is remembered as being quiet and unwaveringly stable, although he loved a noisy home with children running around playing. He loved hosting raucous dinner parties with plenty of wine and comfort food, passionate disagreements, laughter, and story-telling. Ed taught his kids to play chess, water ski, follow through on commitments and the values of philanthropy, travel, and enjoying simple pleasures.

Dr. Edward P. Rose is deeply missed by his wife of 47 years, 7 kids, 20 grandchildren, extended family, the many friends he made in life, and his patients.

Sources:
Edward P. Rose obituary at Kurrus Funeral Home
 

Paul Rusnack M.D.

Paul Rusnack MD, a retired clinical pathologist, died of COVID-19 related pneumonia at the age of 87 on August 3, 2020 at Belleville Memorial Hospital in Belleville Illinois.

He received his medical degree from Saint Louis University in 1959. After completion of his four-year pathology residency program at Saint Louis University, Paul served as Director of the 5th Army Medical Laboratory in St. Louis, MO. He worked as a certified clinical pathologist at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, IL, for 22 years until he retired in 1988.

In retirement, Paul loved golfing and playing card games with his close circle of friends. He was also active in various civic and parish groups such as the St. Claire Medical Society, Belleville Rotary Club, St. Henry Parish, and the St. Louis Art Museum. Paul was a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan.

Paul Rusnack is missed deeply by his wife of 61 years, his children, grandchildren, and extended family.

Sources:

Paul Rusnack MD obituary at Renner Funeral Homes 

Melvin Solomon

Melvin Solomon died from complications of COVID-19 on May 14, 2020 at Memorial Hospital in Belleville IL. At 90 years old, he was a WWII veteran and had earned the World War II Victory Medal for his service. After the war, he and his wife Phyllis raised their family, while Melvin worked 30 years at the United States Post Office serving as a letter carrier (ultimately working his way up to supervisor). He also moonlighted as a taxi cab driver, and had lots of stories to tell from doing that!

Mel and his wife retired to Las Vegas where they had lots of fun. Phyllis passed away and soon after, Melvin moved to Grand Manor in Swansea Illinois to be close to his granddaughter. He kept his sharp wit and liked jokes (both dirty and clean), BINGO, garlic powder, and learning new things.

Melvin Solomon is remembered as a kind and generous friend and as a loving father and grandpa. He’s missed by his family and everyone who knew him every day.

Sources:


Melvin Solomon’s obituary at Kassly Funeral
 

Dr. Jerry J. Bosse, PhD

Dr. Jerry J. Bosse, a clinical psychologist, died from complications of COVID-19 on May 17, 2020. He was 79. He was born and raised in Belleville, and spent much of his later years in Chesterfield near his work in Maryland Heights.

Dr. Bosse was a solo practitioner (of “Life Appreciation Therapy”) who believed that excellent mental health and general life satisfaction could be attained by choosing peace and joy. His approaches incorporated guided meditation to increase mindfulness, of which he was an early adopter. Through his practice and leadership at Aaron Psychology Centers in Maryland Heights, he helped facilitate emotional healing in the lives of thousands.

Dr. Jerry Bosse is missed by his six adult children, grand kids, friends, and everyone whose lives he made a little bit better in his vocation.

Sources:

Dr. Jerry J. Bosse obituary on Renner Funeral Homes 

Frank Massey

Frank Massey COVID-19 death

Frank Massey, passed of COVID-19 on April 17, 2020 five days after his 68th birthday. He had been married 20 years and had seven children. He served four years in the military as a Marine. After he retired from commercial truck driving, his passion for kids let him to become a school bus driver at the Belleville Township High School District 201.

Frank’s grieving wife gave an emotional interview with News Channel 5 on Your Side on April 18th:

“I want people to know that coronavirus is not a joke. It is not a hoax and it is definitely not fake news because I’m living the nightmare,” Cynthia said.

Frank Massey is missed by his children, grandchildren, extended family, all the kids he drove to and from school and events, and the Greater St. Mark COGIC family.

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