We are privileged to serve you before, during, and after the loss of a loved one.
Life's Final Moments
When a death is imminent, our pastor is honored to come and pray with you. If there is such a time, please call the church at 217-428-3327 and ask for pastoral care. We will make every effort to have someone come to you.
If this is after office hours, please call the emergency number: 217-413-7904. The pastor will return your call as soon as possible.
Grieving and Remembering
When the death has occurred, our pastor and staff would also be honored to provide the service for your loved one here at the church, at the funeral home or graveside depending on the family’s decision. Christ is our hope for eternal life and we offer this hope to the surviving family and friends that their beloved is now in God’s eternal charge.
Below are documents to help you begin thinking through some of the specific details of your own service (it's never too early to plan well for the end of your life) or the service for a loved one who is nearing death. Completed forms can be mailed to the church (please address it with "ATTN: Funeral Ministry"), scanned or emailed to us and we will keep them on file.
Planning Your Service (with Spiritual and General Autobiography)
Planning a Loved One's Service (with Spiritual and General Biography)
Some funerals are streamed online for those who are unable to attend in person. Those are available at prairieavenuechristianchurch.org
Recent and Upcoming Funerals at Prairie Avenue
FRANCES M. (LEWIS) ROMACK
May 31, 1922 - March 26, 2023
Frances M. Romack 100, of Decatur, was called home in time for church on Sunday morning, March 26, 2023. Frances was born in the countryside near Moweaqua on May 31, 1922. Her parents were Carl A. “Pappy” and Laura May June (Reinholt) Lewis. Frances’ mother and infant brother both died when she was just 11 months old. She was then raised on a Shelby County farm by her paternal grandparents, William Burton “Burt” Lewis, and Lucretia “Crete” Belle (Golloher) Lewis.
At the age of 12, Frances moved to Decatur to live with her father, new stepmother (Hattie) and stepsister (Mary). She graduated from Decatur High School in 1941. Frances briefly attended business college prior to taking a job at the Hi-Flier Kite Company. Later she worked for Caterpillar Tractor Co. in the office and the company store.
Frances married Theodore “Ted” Romack on August 10, 1943. When Ted went into the service in 1944 he regularly sent his pay home to Frances who saved it for their future home. After the war, they began their family and Frances aided Ted in constructing the home where, since 1950, they both lived out their lives.
Frances was a member of Prairie Avenue Christian Church where she taught Sunday School for over 50 years and served as a “choir mother” for many years. Frances loved children and they loved her back. She cooked and sewed for her family, made the best noodles in the county, and was truly a Proverbs 31 woman whose “children arise up and call her blessed.” Frances enjoyed dancing, crocheting, bowling, mall-walking, sawing off tree limbs, mowing the lawn (until aged 99), and FISHING!
Frances is survived by sons Stephen (Mary Gail) of Springfield and Donald (Vilma) of Tullahoma, TN; daughters Susan (Michael) Oyler of Decatur and Karen (Steven) Meador of Otis, OR. Also surviving are six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband of 70 years, parents, and an infant brother.
TOMMY LEVOY REEVE
April 11, 1942 - February 8, 2022
Tommy Levoy Reeve, 79, of Decatur passed away on Tuesday, February 8, 2022, at home surrounded by loving family.
Tom was born on April 11, 1942 in Decatur, IL, to Harold and Mary Ellen (Thornborough) Reeve. He married Donna Compton on January 30, 1961, who survives, along with daughters: Michelle (Jim) Steinke of Wapakoneta, OH, and Marci (Jim) Carballido of Peoria, IL. Also surviving are six grandchildren: Adam Mistic of Decatur, IL, Andrew (Gianna) Mistic of Mantua, NJ, Ryan Carballido of Champaign, IL, Janelle Carballido of Peoria, IL, Nick Steinke of Botkins, OH and Sydney Steinke of Grove City, OH. Several nieces and nephews also survive. One great-grandchild, Millianna Mistic also survives.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one son, Michael Lee Reeve. A son-in-law, Charles Mistic also preceded him in death.
Tom was an Eagle Scout, and graduated from Eisenhower High School and Millikin University. He spent most of his career working in a variety of factory and accounting positions at Caterpillar Inc. in Decatur. He also spent many years working at Decatur Earthmover Credit Union, retiring from there in 1999.
Tom was a member of Prairie Avenue Christian Church, where he served in many capacities including Deacon, Elder, Treasurer, and he chaired many committees.
Tom enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. Many friends knew him as "Seaweed" or "Weed" for short. When Tom made a friend, he made a friend for life. He truly enjoyed golfing with his buddies, meeting them for breakfast, and staying in touch throughout the years. As a grandpa, he didn't miss an opportunity to attend sporting events or school activities.
CHARLINE "SANDY" (TATE) RATCLIFF
August 11, 1925 - February 26, 2022
Charline M. Ratcliff 96, of Decatur passed away at 12:03 p.m., February 26, 2022, in Decatur Memorial Hospital.
Charline was born August 11, 1925, in Decatur, IL the daughter of Charles and Teresa (Anderson) Tate. She married Herbert Ratcliff on May 7, 1945. He preceded her in death on May 7, 2012, on their sixty-seventh wedding anniversary. Charline was a member of Prairie Avenue Christian Church. She was an avid bowler enjoying bowling into her nineties. She was a homemaker and during W.W. II she worked in California on aircraft being a true “Rosie the Riveter”.
Surviving are her children: Janice Schwalbe (Larry) of Homosassa, FL Steve Ratcliff (Caroline) of Homosassa, FL and David Ratcliff of Decatur; brother: Dick Tate (Pat) of Florida; sister: Linda Poland of Decatur; grandchildren: Julie Miller (Tony), Carrie Schwalbe, Katie Schwalbe, Kelli Berry (Calvin), and Keith Ratcliff (Megan); nine great-grandchildren also survive.
Charline was preceded in death by her husband, parents, grandson: Philip Ratcliff, four brothers and two sisters.
JANET M. GEIBEL
September 20, 1942 - April 11, 2022
Janet M. Geibel, 79, of Decatur, passed away peacefully Monday, April 11, 2022, surrounded by her family.
Janet was born September 20, 1942, in Decatur, IL, daughter of Floyd Homer Miller and Vivian LaVerne (Gould) Miller. She married David C. Geibel June 15, 1963, in Decatur.
Janet graduated from Eisenhower High School in 1960, attended Eureka College, and then graduated from Millikin University where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. Janet was a homemaker; loving wife and outstanding mother and grandmother, and truly a gentle soul. Janet substitute taught in Illiopolis and Decatur, active in Parsons Elementary School, PTA and volunteered at the Good Samaritan Inn.
She was a lifetime member of Prairie Avenue Christian Church where she devoted much time to the many church ministries including Vacation Bible School, Sunday School and numerous church committees and choir activities. She always enjoyed and looked forward to monthly outings with friends. Janet savored every moment of banter with her children and grandchildren. Family activities were paramount in her life.
Janet is survived by her husband of 58-years, David; sons: Mark (Limo Cherian) Geibel of Chicago and Kent (Leslie) Geibel of Evanston; grandchildren: Adam and Claire; and brother: Martin (Sherry) Miller of Middleburg, FL.
Janet was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Jean Mesnard.
RACHEL "MAXINE" (MOCABEE) HENSON
May 28, 1925 - May 21, 2022
Rachel Maxine Henson, 96, of Decatur, passed away May 21, 2022. She was content with life, passing peacefully in her sleep after a night surrounded by family.
Maxine was born May 28, 1925, in Lovington, the daughter of Charles and Celia (Call) Mocabee. She married George L. Henson on September 5, 1946. He preceded her in death on December 28, 2001.
Maxine was the matriarch of a military family. She proudly entered the factories during the War and retired from Borg Warner in Decatur. She was a follower of Jesus and master of etiquette and manners. Maxine had exquisite taste inside and outside of her home and sparkled at all times with a greeting of "sweetie" or "honey." She was loved for her fiery spirit that she maintained until the end.
She is survived by her daughters-in-law and caregivers, Bobbie Henson and Debra Henson; grandchildren: Beau Henson of Carbondale, Dustin (Nichole) Henson of Carbondale, Todd Henson of Gas City, IN, and Leslie Henson of Gas City, IN; a great number of great-grandchildren and many wonderful friends.
Maxine is preceded in death by her parents; husband, George L. Henson; and sons: Douglas, Regie and Shane Henson. She looked forward to seeing them all again.
VIRGINIA SUE (GARDNER) MOBLEY
March 17, 1949 - June 28, 2022
Virginia Sue Gardner Mobley of Woodstock, Georgia passed away on Tuesday, June 28th, 2022. Born on March 17th, 1949 to Dorothy and Marion Gardner in Decatur, Illinois, she died at her home as she wanted with the support, care, and love of her husband.
Growing up in the 1950s and 60s, the eldest of 3 children, Ginny helped her mother and father by looking after her younger brothers, Lynn and Chris. 5 years older than her oldest brother, Ginny learned naturally – as a child herself – how to nurture, care for and look after her brothers. Ginny also grew up with the support and love of her large extended family of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
As a teen, a young adult, and an adult, Ginny made friends that she nurtured with the same love and care as a family member. We became life-long friends and now we have survived Ginny’s passing and we miss her. We all speak of her as a beautiful, caring, and loving friend and she will always live on in our hearts as that.
To her beloved grandchildren, she was Gigi and will be remembered by them as a loving, wonderful grandmother and teacher. In the last few months of her life, Gigi was so looking forward to visiting with them when her illness seemed to be in remission. When it turned out not to be, Gigi expressed regret.
Ginny is survived by her husband Stephen Mobley of Woodstock, GA; brother, Chris Gardner of Decatur, IL; daughter, Patricia Mobley of Decatur, IL; son, William Mobley of Clinton, IL; grandchildren, Riley, Benicio, Easton, Cameron, and Sophie; niece, Tina Price of Decatur, IL; niece, Stephanie Gardner of Decatur, IL; and great nephew, Hunter Cade Gardner.
Ginny was preceded in death by her parents and brother Lynn Gardner.