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PAXTON — While working alongside her husband, Maurice, in the funeral business for 50 years in Paxton, Millie Baier always seemed to find a way to bring comfort to families mourning the loss of a loved one.
There was her warm smile, her calming demeanor, the dignity with which she carried herself.
RURAL BUCKLEY — By the time his sophomore year was over at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School, Mike Shively had already lost one of his classmates, Ryan Coe, to cancer.
Seven years later, in 2015, another member of Shively’s 2011 graduating class, Jon Hustedt, would die as a result of the disease.
PAXTON — Four decades ago, as Dr. Russell Pitch was getting ready to receive his doctorate in dental surgery from Loyola University in Chicago, he and his wife, Phyllis, decided they wanted to move away from the everyday hustle and bustle of a big city.
PERDUEVILLE — When Bill Jarboe is asked how he thinks he’ll be remembered by his co-workers at Ludlow Cooperative Elevator Co. once he retires from his 45-year career there at the end of this month, the 65-year-old’s first thought is that he doesn’t really know.
But after contemplating the question a bit longer, Jarboe finds something to say:
There’s his versatility, for one.
PAXTON — Nick Fiorillo loved to talk. Taxes, the focus of his profession, were often the subject.
Even as Mr. Fiorillo was recovering from hip-replacement surgery this month at the Illinois Knights Templar Home in Paxton, his conversations with his fellow residents and the facility’s nurses always seemed to lead to the inevitable topic.
MELVIN – In between two out-of-state trips, Audrey Bloomquist will be in her home county this summer – for a week, at least.
The community is stepping up to help the Sturm family after their 5-year-old son Logan was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this spring.
PAXTON — Logan Sturm knows he’s sick. He knows he can’t be around his friends or at school with his twin brother, Mason, anymore. He knows that to get better, he has to go to the doctor and take his medicine, no matter how badly it tastes or hurts.
Editor’s note: This is the second in a four-part series profiling teachers and staff members in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district who are retiring at the end of the 2015-16 school year. Up next week: Sandy Schweighart.
By DIANE PERKINS
Ford County Record correspondent