Woodford County, Illinois Veterans 
Genealogy Trails

Source: Illinois Veterans History Project

Atterberry, Vernon C. born Cazenovia, Ill. 10/19/1923 d.9/18/1945; 22yrs Ill. resident; US Navy, WWII, Electrician Mate 1st Class Am. Campaign, Asiatic Pacific Campaign, WWII; awarded Victory Medals [postumously].

Vernon C. Atterberry Reported Missing in Pacific Typhoon
As a result of a typhoon in the Pacific Sept. 16 Vernon Carol Atterberry, naval electrician's mate 1st class, is missing, the Navy department has notified his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Dewey Atteberry of Washington. Petty Officer Atterberry was board the minesweeper YMS 341. He has written his parents a letter dated Sept 3 saying he was to be in Saipan Sept 6 for Okinawa, Japan. A member of the class of 1941, Washington Community high school, the Navy man worked for Central Illinois Light Co. in Peoria, later going to Milwaukee, Wis., where he was an electrician's helper. He entered the Navy in 1941 [1943] and received basic training and a four month electrical course at Great Lakes. While serving on the YMS 341 he participated in invasions of Peleliu, Leyte and Okinawa. Surviving are his parents and one brother, Richard, a freshman at Washington Community high school. [unknown news source]

Vernon C.  Atterberry  entered  the U.S.  Navy  in February, 1943 at age  19 and was stationed at Great Lakes in Illinois for basic training and advanced electrical training where he made Electrician's Mate 3rd Class (EM3/c).  He left there in September, 1943,   for Yorktown,  VA.  for Mine Warfare School to train for minesweeping duties.  In November  'A3 he went to the Puget Sound Navy Yard  in  Bremerton,  WA.   to wait   for  the Yard Minesweeper 341  (YMS341)  to be commissioned.  This was a relatively small wooden ship 136'  long and a breadth of 24'6" capable of a speed of about  15 knots.  It had a crew of 3 officers and 30 men -he was to be the chief electrician on it. The first run (Builder's Trial) of the ship was in December after which the crew remained  in Seattle on  the still anchored ship until Feb.,1944,  when they left for California. While there he grew a handlebar mustache and was able to meet  the movie star, Susan Hayward,  at  the Hollywood Canteen.

Brines, Grover "Wid" Stephen Jr.; born ElPaso Twp., Ill. 7/24/1923 d. 3/17/1944; 19yrs Ill. resident; US Army Air Corps, 2nd Lt., WWII, MIA.

War Department Says Brines Must Be Dead
El Paso - Mr. and Mrs. Grover Brines Sr., who reside at Congerville, received word on Tuesday from the War department that their son, 2nd Lt. Grover S. Brines Jr. must be considered dead, as no trace has been found of him since he was reported missing in action over Yugoslavia March 17, 1944. The B-24 plane, of which he was co-pilot, was last sighted near the southern border of Hungaria on its return from a mission. It was unofficially reported that the crew was rescued by partisans and were being cared for in Yugoslavia. Mrs. Doris Patton received a letter Wed. from the father of the pilot of the plane, stating that he had been unable to confirm the report or to secure any information regarding the fate of the plane or its crew. 'Wid' as he was known, was born  at ElPaso July 24, 1923 and spent his life in this community until he enlisted in the army air corps in Sept., 1942, shortly after graduating from ElPaso Township high school. He received his commission in Sept., 1943, and went overseas in Jan., 1944. His outfit was based in southern Italy. Besides his parents at Congerville, he is survived by two brothers, Dale Brines, Evergreen Park, and Pvt. Richard Brines, who has just reached the States from service in Germany; two sisters, Mrs. Doris Patton and Mrs. Dorothy Reynolds of ElPaso. [The Pantagraph, 8/11/1945]

Christ, Forrest; born Cazenovia, Ill. 12/4/1922 d.12/22/2012; Air Force, 455th Bombardment Group, WWII; awarded Presidential Unit Citation with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Good Conduct Medal, Eureopean-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal.

Forest Christ 1922-2012
GALESBURG - Forest Christ, 90, Galesburg, went home to be with the Lord and his beloved wife Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, at 12:35 a.m. at Heartland Health Care Center, Galesburg. Forest was born Dec. 4,1922, in Cazenovia, the son of William A. and Seraphine (Attig) Christ He married Juanita Brotherton on Dec. 21,1946, in Peoria. She preceded him in death on April 7, 2011. Forest is survived by his three children; Michael Christ of California, Karen (David) Becker of Knoxville, and Carole (Stephen) Dean of Astoria. He is also survived by two sisters, Wilda Quisenberry of Morton and Opal (John) Murray of Galesburg; seven grand-children; and eight great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, and siblings Viola Widmer, Francis Dredge and Cleo Cover. " Forest was proud of his military service. He served his country during World War II as a member of the United States Air Force. He was part of the 455th Bombardment Group serving two years in Italy. He worked for RG La ternals in Peoria, Gates Rubber Company in Galesburg, Kress Manufacturing in Brimfield, and he also drove the Bethany Baptist Church bus for over 12 years. Visitation will be held on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Hurd-Hendricks Funeral Home in Knoxville. Funeral service will begin at 12 p.m. Friday directly after the visitation. Rev. John Carlson of the Bethany Baptist Church will be officiating the services. Interment will take place in the Knoxville Cemetery, in Knoxville, Illinois with military rites by Ralph M. Noble American Legion Post 285. Memorial Donations may be made to the Bethany Baptist Church, Alzheimer's Association, or to the Gorden Behrents Senior Center. [unknown news source]
Koehler, Robert W., born Minonk, Ill. 4/22/1923; 75yrs Ill. resident; Army Air Force, Sgt, WWII.
Benson-Mr. and Mrs. Paul Koehler received a telegram from their son, Sgt. Hubert w. Koehler, that he had arrived In Boston, Mass., from overseas Friday and would be home as soon as he could. [The Pantagraph, 5/28/1945]

NORMAL Robert W. Koehler, 88, of Normal, passed this week on Monday (Sept. 28, 2015) at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, Normal. He was born Feb. 24, 1927, to Robert Koehler and Mildred Cartigny Koehler in Dubuque, Iowa. He later moved to Normal in 1961 with his wife, Morene Bakken Koehler. Morene was his wife of 65 years and they had two children together, Robert and Lori. His major passions included his family, his career as a wrestling coach, his service as a Marine and traveling with his beloved wife. As a Marine, he heroically served our country during World War II. As a wrestling coach, his career has earned him induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Illinois Chapter, among many other accolades. He was a proud member of the National Olympic Committee. Robert also belonged to many professional and fraternal organizations including the Masons, the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association, the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance as past president and retiree, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and the China Marine Association. Robert is survived by his wife, Morene; son, Robert K. (Sheri) Koehler, Chicago; daughter, Lori Koehler-Brown, Normal; granddaughter, Rhiannon Koehler, Los Angeles, Calif.; grandson, Liam Koehler, Chicago; granddaughter, Erin (John) Brown, Normal; and great-grandchildren, Layla and Jaxon, both of Normal. Visitation will be 10 a.m. Friday at East Lawn Memorial Gardens, Bloomington. There will be full military honors included. Memorial contributions can be made in Robert's honor to the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association or the American Heart Association. [Pantagraph, The (Bloomington, IL) - Thursday, October 1, 2015]
Matter, Herman J., born Woodford Co., Ill. 3/17/1896 d. 3/26/1981; 84yrs Ill. resident; US Army Infantry, HQ Co. 354th Inf. 89th Div., Pvt., WWI.; In Battle of Meuse Argonne Offensive, 10/19/1918-11/11/1918.

Herman J. Matter
MINONK - The funeral of Herman J. Matter. 85, of 122 Walnut St., who died Thursday, will be at 2 pin Sunday at St Paul's United Church of Christ. Dr. Gary Chapman officiating Burial will be in Minonk Cemetery Visitation will be from 5 to H tonight at Folkers Froelieh Memorial Home. and from an hour before the service at the church. He was born March 17, 1896, in Linn Township, a son of Henry and Mary Meinhold Matter Sr. He married Rosina Gaestmann April 30, 1924, at Benson She survives. Also surviving are two sons, Melvin and Raymond, both of Dana, a daughter, Dorothy Olsen. Plantation. Fla . four brothers. Henry Jr. and Carl, both of Minonk Lester, Streator, and Clarence, Flanagan, three sisters. Florence Maatter and Sadie Matter, Minonk, and Mable Krahling, Morton, and eight grandchildren Three brothers and five sisters preceded him in death He was a lifetime farmer in the Minonk-Dana area until his retirement in I9ti0. when he moved to Minonk He was a member of St Pauls United Church of Christ, Minonk American Legion and World War I Barracks, He was an infantry veteran of World War I. Memorials may be made to the church memorial fund or to a charity of the donor's choice. [The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois) 3/28/1981]
Matter, Melvin H., born Minonk Twp. 6/29/1926; 73yrs Ill resident; Army 3rd Eng Combat Battalion, 24th Inf. Div. T/4 Sergeant, WWII; WWII Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal Japan.
Meginnes, Herman J., born Secor 10/21/1930 d. 11/8/1991; 61yrs Ill. resident; Army 45th Div. Sgt 1st Class, Korean War; Medal from National Rifle Associ. Gallery Marksman.

Mr Herman J Or Pete Meginnes, 61, of Towanda Pantagraph, The (Bloomington, IL) Sunday, November 10, 1991 TOWANDA - The Funeral Of Herman J. "Pete" Meginnes, 61, of 313 E. Adams St., Towanda, a retired inspector for General Electric, will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Bloomington. The Rev. Douglas Groenewold will officiate. Burial will be in Park Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at Kibler-Smith Memorial Home, and an hour before the service Tuesday at the church. Mr. Meginnes died at 5:02 p.m. Friday (Nov. 8, 1991) at his residence of an apparent heart attack. He was born Oct. 21, 1930, at Roanoke, the son of Lawrence W. and Margaret Loehr Meginnes. He married Beverly Bielfeldt Sept. 18, 1955, at Anchor. She survives. Other survivors include one son, Philip, 2814 Coventry Court, Bloomington; one daughter, Kay Schultz, 604 N. Mason St., Bloomington; four brothers, Lawrence W. Jr., El Paso; Charles, Roanoke; Robert, Indian Shores, Fla.; and John, Des Moines, Iowa; three sisters, Marjorie Olsen, Springfield; Shirley Troyer, Eureka; and Nancy Grandgeorge, Warren, R.I.; and seven grandchildren. His parents and one brother preceded him in death. He worked at G.E. for 35 years before retiring. He was a member of the Quarter Century Club at G.E.; and Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, where he was a former church trustee and a church groundskeeper for 15 years. An avid coin and gun collector, Mr. Meginnes was an Army veteran of the Korean War. Memorials may be made to his church or Bethesda Lutheran Home. [Pantagraph, The (Bloomington, IL) Sunday, November 10, 1991]
Petri, Joseph, b. Woodford Co., Ill. 10/26/1924 [d. 2/22/2015]; resident 87 yrs; Army T5 WWII.

City to honor Petri brothers with sign
Seven served in WWII, by Laura Rineer
Minonk - The Minonk city council heard a first reading of an ordinance honoring seven of its own for servingin in World War II Monday night. The 7 Petri brothers all enlisted in various branches of the service in the 40's. The effort has been headed up by Minonk American Legion member Dave Shirley after it was brought to his attention by sister of the brothers Mary Ford. "As far as anyone knows, there is no one family in the city of Minonk has ever had that situation - seven sons at the same time," said Shirley. "It's something to be recognized." All brothers were members of the Legion The group sought to honor them with a resolution, which will authorize the city to place 48" by 48" signs at the north and south end of town with the brothers' names on them. Eugene served in the Air Force from March, 1941 to June. 1946. Norbert also served in the Air Force from January, 1942 to July. 1946. Virgil served in the Marines from July, 1942 to July, 1946. Joe served in the Army from January,  1943 to December, 1945. Marion served in the Navy from December, 1943 to December. 1946. John served in the U.S. Seabees from February, 1945 to July. I946. Julian also served in the U.S. Seabees from February. 1945 to June, 1946. The signs will be placed just inside corporate city limits. Shirley said, to avoid involving other entities such as the state or county. "The wording has already been proposed, but the signs won't be ordered until after the next meeting." Shirley said. Shirley said the current weather situation will prevent the signs from being put up before early spring. The ground is too hard right now." he said. It will depend on how many people we can gel to volunteer to help. We might get them up before spring. We'll see." The ordinance reads that the city of Minonk is deeply grateful to the brothers for their many years of outstanding service and their dedication to the armed forces of the United States. Shirley, who is also a veteran, said he has a heart for other veterans. "I wasn't a combat veteran, but these guys were," Shirley said. "I was just a kid during World War II. But these brothers volunteered to serve." Three of the brothers are still living, Shirley said. "I know this may come a little late in recognizing them." he said "But I think they should be for what they've done and what they had to go through." Remarkably all seven brothers returned home to Minonk after their tour of duty, Shirley said. A copy of the resolution will be distributed to Mrs. Gerald Spencer, daughter of Eugene Petri now deceased; Norbert Petri; Michael Petri, son of Norbert Petri; Virgil Petri; Virgil N. Petri, son of Virgil Petri; Mary Ford, sister of Joe Petri; Charlene Roy, daughter of Marion Petri, now deceased: Susan Hartter, daughter of John Petri, now deceased and Rex Petri, son of Julian Petri, now deceased. City Administrator Doug Elder said the final reading of the ordinance will take place at the next city council meeting, which is scheduled for Jan. IS. The American Legion is expected to attend. Public Works committee meets The Public Works committee met and approved changes to a city ordinance which tells who b permitted to authorize connections to the city's sewer main taps. The changes will go before die council at the next meeting. Finance committee meets; The Finance committee is set to begin the budgeting process. The committee will meet at 6 pm on Jan. 18 before the regularly scheduled city council meeting. Bid packets for sale of land. There were 23 people who requested bid packets for the sale of the section 6 property. They will be reviewed at the next city council meeting. "There are a lot of requirements and it's not just a case of "I bid x amount of dollars," said Doug Elder. There will be a vote at the February 1 city council meeting." [unknown news source]

Joseph Petri
MINONK - Joseph A. "Joe" Petri, 90, formerly of Minonk, died at 6:55 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Illinois Veterans Home in LaSalle. He was born in Minonk on Oct. 16, 1924, a son of the late Michael A. and Sara Hock Petri. He married Ruth Smith in Minonk on Oct. 12, 1947, and she preceded him in death in 2009. Surviving are his siblings, Norbert (Dorothy) Petri of Minonk, Virgil (Jeanne) Petri of Metamora and Mary Ford of Minonk; sisters-in-law, Joann Petri of Flanagan and Norma Fox of Boulder, Colo.; brother-in-law, Glen Smith of Flanagan; and several nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by five brothers and a brother and sister in infancy. Joe was employed in Benson in farming until he joined the Army in 1943. He was stationed in Alaska as a warehouse guard. Six of his brothers also served in the war and they all came home. He was honorably discharged in 1945. Upon returning, he worked in farming briefly and then joined his brothers, Virgil and Eugene, in the manufacturing and installation of grain equipment. He worked all over the state as a millwright until Petri Brothers closed in 1995. After that, he continued to help farmers in the spring and fall. He loved his German shepherd dogs, fishing, motorcycles, gardening, traveling and cards. He was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Minonk, where a Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. Franciscan Friars will officiate. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday evening at Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home in Minonk, with a rosary to be recited at 3:45 p.m. Interment will be in St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery in Minonk, where military honors will be presented. The family would also like to express a great deal of gratitude for the care Joe received at the Illinois Veterans Home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Illinois Veteran's Home, 1015 O'Conner Ave., LaSalle, IL 61301; or St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Minonk. [Peoria Journal Star, The (IL) - Wednesday, February 25, 2015]
Reising, Joseph L. Sr. b. Metamora 10/22/1931; 75yrs Illinois resident; Army Korean War, Pfc.
Remmers, Charles J., b. Secor 9/14/1937; 73yrs Ill. resident; Army Armor, Co B 5th Bn 2nd Tng Regt. USA TCA, E5, Vietnam.
Whitmer, Leslie A., b. Lowpoint 1/31/1928; 85yrs Ill. resident, Army 5th AAA/27AAA Pfc, Korean War.
Wilts, Marvin H. Sr., b. Metamora 11/8/1944; Army E Battery 41 Arty Quad 50, E4, Vietnam.
Woelfle, Lawrence J., b. 10/23/1890 d. 3/11/1989; Army Services with A.E.F. Battalion B 331st Field Artillery, Private, WWI; Bronze Victory Medal.

EUREKA - The Funeral Of Lawrence J. Woelfle
The Funeral Of Lawrence J. Woelfle, 98, of Eureka, who actively farmed until 1983, will be 2 p.m. Tuesday at St. John Lutheran Church in Secor, the Rev. Virgil Kelm officiating. Burial will be in Secor Cemetery. Visitation will be from 3 to 5 and 6 to 8 p.m. today at the Remmert Funeral Home, Roanoke, and one hour before the service at the church. Military rites will be accorded by the Roanoke American Legion Post 463. Mr. Woelfle died at 4:55 p.m. Saturday (March 11, 1989) at the Apostolic Christian Restmor Nursing Home in Morton, where he had been a resident since November 1985. He was born Oct. 23, 1890, in rural Secor, a son of Conrad and Margaretha Gerkin Woelfle. He married Magdalene M. Hassebrock on April 20, 1929, in Secor. She died Aug. 2, 1976. Survivors include two sons, Kenneth H., Tucson, Ariz., and Irvin L., Morton.; a daughter, Arlene Punke, Lexington; 15 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren. A brother and five sisters preceded him in death. He was a Army veteran of World War I, serving in England and France. He farmed in the Secor area all his life, retiring at the age of 93 in 1983. He was a member of St. John Lutheran Church, Secor, serving as trustee of the church. He was also a member of the Woodford County Farm Bureau. Memorials may be made to the Lutheran Hour. [Pantagraph, The (Bloomington, IL) - Monday, March 13, 1989]

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