Norma Robbins; JoDoris Stearns; Blake Tanner Vaughn

Norma Robbins

Norma Robbins, 80, passed away July 27, 2013, at home with hospice care due to liver failure.

Norma was born on April 20, 1933, in Rockford, Ill., to Andrew and Thelma Kapala. She married Louis Robbins Jr., on Nov. 30, 1957, and had four children and a foster daughter.

Lou and Norma moved to Kissimmee, Fla., in 1988, to be managers of The Lakeview Motel and retired to Cypress Lakes in Lakeland, Fla., in 1995.

Norma was always at her happiest when she had a project to help others less fortunate than herself. When she saw a need, she worked hard to fill it and tried to make the world a better place. With the help and encouragement of her sister, Dolores Monaco, and many friends at Cypress Lakes, she did a wonderful job of touching other people's lives without their knowledge. Among her favorite projects were collecting donations for abused women shelters, men's homeless shelters, food kitchens, the school for children of immigrant farm workers, hurricane reliefs, books for Indian children and fighting world hunger.

As a mother, she was active in the PTA and organized the collection of many items to be sold at auction to buy supplies for Hallstrom Grade School in Rockford. With a fenced-in yard full of playground items, a couple of dogs and the occasional litter of puppies, it was common to have all 24 children in the neighborhood gathered at her home. She was often referred to as the neighborhood mom and was known to make a mean PB&J sandwich. In later years, the back door of her home was never locked and anyone that needed a place to call home had one.

Norma was “Polly Pine Tree” for several years at Weise's (Bergner's) department store at Colonial Village, where she sat in the base of a “talking” Christmas tree and took great pleasure greeting small children, always remembering their names and having them return year after year.

Norma was also an independent thinker and took great pleasure in showing her disdain for politics by always doing a write-in vote for Roy Rogers during presidential elections.

Survivors include her husband, Louis of Lakeland; a daughter, Susan; sons, Louis III, Matthew F. and his wife, Tami, and Christopher; foster daughter, Michele Mahan; grandchildren, Ashley Robbins, Zachery Robbins, Kyle Robbins and Jacob Robbins; grandchildren-elect, Aaron Mahan, Angela King and Ashley Mahan; great-grandchildren, Jayden Hammond, Benjamin Robbins and the little man who made his appearance just in the nick of time, Jaxon Hammond, all of Rockford; a sister, Nancy Lust-Whitman and her husband, Shawn, of Madison, Wis.; brothers, Vernon Kapala of Canton, Ill., and Ronald Lust of Merritt Island, Fla.; sister-in-law, Patsy Gouverneur of Vincennes; nieces and nephews, Carla James, Earnest Gouveneur, both of Vincennes, Ann Gouverneur of Virginia Beach, Va., and Kurt Gouverneur of Beaverton, Ore.

She was predeceased by her mother, Thelma Lust; her stepfather, Glen Lust; sisters, Dolores Monaco and Marilyn Dempsey; and her beloved German Shepherd, Shotzie.

A special thanks to Norma's nieces, Carole Leese, Cynthia Conus-Keeler and Tracey and Samantha Gregg of Orlando, Fla., who brought so much love and laughter to Norma in her final days.

Heartfelt thanks to the doctors and nurses at Lakeland Regional Hospital and last, but not least, the wonderful Cornerstone Hospice Organization.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Cornerstone Hospice are suggested.

A Celebration of Life was held Aug. 9 at Cypress Lakes Clubhouse in Lakeland, Fla. A memorial service will be from 3-5 p.m. Saturday at the Harmony Society, 111 N. Second St., in Vincennes.

JoDoris Stearns

JoDoris Stearns, 77, passed away at 1:56 pm on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, at the New Willow Manor Nursing Home.

JoDoris was born on Nov. 26, 1935, in St. Louis, the daughter of Roy and Gladys (Click) Brandt. She married Joe M. Stearns on May 11, 1963, and he preceded her in death on Nov. 7, 1976.

JoDoris had worked as a floor clerk and cashier at Wal-Mart. She was actively involved with Ridgecrest Baptist Church where she belonged to the Thursday Night Women’s Bible Study.

Survivors include her daughters, Marian Kohlbusch of Vincennes; Debbie Quinn and her husband, Mike of Lake of St. Louis, Mo.; Thelma Langston of Montgomery City, Mo; Marilyn Henderson and her husband, Kevin of Troy, Mo.; Annette Davidson and her husband, Robert of Vincennes; a son, Roy Stearns of Vincennes; 14 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

JoDoris was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, one son, Michael Stearns, one great-grandchild, a brother, Kenneth Brandt, and sister, Loretta Smith.

Funeral services will be held for JoDoris at 10 a.m. on Wednesday at Gardner-Brockman Funeral Home, 505 Main St., with Rev. Tim Tesmer officiating. Friends may visit with JoDoris’ family from 4-8 p.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home. A graveside service will take place at 10 a.m. CDT on Thursday at Mt. Hope Cemetery in LeMay, Mo. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Foundation or the Alzheimer’s Foundation.

Online condolences may be made at

Blake Tanner Vaughn

Blake Tanner Vaughn, 17, of 909 Ritterskamp Ave., passed away on Thursday, Aug.22, 2013.

Blake was born on Sept. 26, 1995 in Vincennes, the son of Matt and Jeanette (Henry) Vaughn.

Blake loved watching Blue’s Clues and Barney, he loved to fish, loved parades, his grandpa’s semis, flags, and especially spending time with his family.  

Survivors include his parents, Matt and Jeanette Vaughn of Vincennes; brothers, Michael Blackard of Vincennes and Nathanial Webb; sisters, Ashley Blackard of Vincennes and Kirstie Vaughn of Freelandville, paternal grandparents, Larry and Wilma Vaughn of Vincennes; maternal grandmother, Imogene Henry of Vincennes; aunts and uncles, Rachel and Shawn Henry, Janie and Buddy Vaughn, Gail and Noel Vaughn; a nephew, Hayden Blackard; and several cousins.

Blake was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Richard Henry, and a cousin, Curtis Vaughn. 

Funeral services for Blake will be 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Gardner-Brockman Funeral Home, 505 Main St., with Pastor Mike Taylor officiating. Burial will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery. Friends may visit with Blake’s family from 4-8 pm Monday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to K.C.S.E.C. Life Skills Program through Lincoln High School.

Online condolences may be made at


Hawkins, Robert W., died Aug. 21. Funeral: 1 p.m. Tuesday, Gardner-Brockman Funeral Home, 505 Main St. Burial: Memorial Park Cemetery. Visitation: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, funeral Home. Condolences:

Nimnicht, Carl E., died Aug. 22. Visitation: 4–7 p.m. today, Goodwin Funeral Home, 524 Broadway St. Condolences:

Smith, Betty L., died Aug. 22. Funeral: 1 p.m. Monday, Goodwin Funeral Home, 524 Broadway St. Burial: Memorial Park Cemetery. Visitation: 4-8 p.m. today, funeral home. Contributions: Good Samaritan Hospice. Condolences: