Herschel E. Beard Jr., Vickie E. Nestleroad Creswell, Phyllis M. Keyes, Troy Gladney Reynolds, Christopher Lee Slater, Melvin C. Speth

Herschel E. Beard Jr.

Herschel E. Beard Jr., 90, of Vincennes and formally of Sullivan, passed away Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at Willow Manor Nursing Home.

He was born on Jan. 23, 1929, in Knox County, to Herschel Beard Sr. and Ella (Zigler) Beard. Herschel was a farmer and also worked as a security guard. Herschel graduated from Decker Chapel High School, where he was an avid basketball player, averaging 32 points per game his senior year. On one occasion, Herschel scored more points than the opposing team’s entire roster. He was a member of the Sullivan First Baptist Church.

Surviving are his wife of 71 years, Shirley (Brown) Beard, who he married on Aug. 13, 1948; his children, Suzan Beam of Arizona, Mark Beard and his wife, JoAnn, of Decker Chapel, and Scott Beard and wife, Penny, of Sullivan; his brother-in-law, Bob Guth of Arizona; his grandchildren, Eric Beard and his wife, Sabrina, Aaron Beard and his wife, Shelli, Lindsey Wolfe and her husband, Justin, Jennie McCrary and her husband, Doug, Melissa Beard-Brogden, Nathan Beam and his wife, Danika, and Kyle Beard; and 21 great-grandchildren.

Preceding him in death were his parents; his sisters and their husbands, Wuanita and Wilmer Wilson and Doris and Paul Chattin; a grandson, Travis Beard; a granddaughter, Nicole Elmore; and a son-in-law, Steve Beam.

Friends may visit with Herschel’s family from noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday at Goodwin Funeral Home, 524 Broadway St. Friends and family are invited to join the family following the visitation for a graveside service at Memorial Park Cemetery. Goodwin Funeral Home is honored to assist Herschel’s family with arrangements.

Online memories may be shared with Herschel’s family and friends at www.goodwinfamilyfh.com.

Vickie E. Nestleroad Creswell

Vickie E. Nestleroad Creswell, 64, of Lawrence County, Illinois, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 at Deaconess Gateway Hospital in Evansville.

She was born on Oct. 11, 1954 in Lawrenceville, Illinois to John W. Schultz and his wife, Roberta M. (Houghlan) Schultz. Vickie loved to bake and decorate cakes. Many remember her from her baking in the Red and White Grocery Store bakery. She also enjoyed making Christmas candies, making ceramics, and working in floral shops. Vickie formerly attended the Highway Church of God for many years.

Surviving family includes her two sons, Micheal Nestleroad and his wife, Brandy, of Bridgeport, Illinois, and Justin Nestleroad of New Castle; one brother, Jim Schultz and his wife, Sue, of Sumner, Illinois; and one grandson who currently serves in the U.S. Army, Drew Nestleroad.

On Nov. 3, 2000, Vickie was preceded in death by her first husband, Raymond Nestleroad. She was then preceded in death by her second husband, Ronald Creswell, on Dec. 3, 2017. She was also preceded in death by her parents, John and Roberta Schultz; and her sister, Loretta Wells Morgan.

A funeral service will be held for Vickie E. Nestleroad Creswell at 10 a.m. CDT on Friday at the Cunningham Funeral Home in Bridgeport. Burial will be in the Bridgeport City Cemetery. Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. CDT on Thursday at the funeral home.

Online condolences can be sent to the family at www.cunninghamfuneralhomes.com.

Phyllis M. Keyes

Phyllis Marie “Mimi” Keyes, 91, of Vincennes, passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019 at Colonial Assisted Living. 

Phyllis was born on July 15, 1928 in Flint, Michigan, the daughter of Harold and Merle Campbell Hanson. She was a graduate of Flint High School and went on to receive a degree in nursing. Phyllis was a dedicated mother and worked as a nurse while her former husband, Dr. Richard F. Keyes, attended medical school.  After moving to Knox County, Phyllis worked as a caregiver to anyone needing help, especially her many grandchildren. She was a highly devoted member of the Oaktown Christian Church; she was active in all endeavors of the church and loved spending time with her church friends. Her strong faith was obvious by her actions within her community, family and friends. She enjoyed her morning coffee and could often be found at the park with one of her many grandchildren. Phyllis loved to make Halloween costumes, dresses and many other things with her talented sewing skills. Playing cards with friends and grandchildren was another pass-time of hers. Traveling with her sister and brother-in-law helped her capture some of the many pictures she treasured. Her most cherished role in life was being the caretaker of her family. She lived to care for others. 

She is survived by her children, Steve Keyes and his wife, Rita, of Vincennes, Kurt Keyes and his wife, Ann, of The Villages, Florida, and Robin Keyes and his wife, Kate, of Mount Carmel, Illinois; her beloved grandchildren, Stephanie Siewers, Scott Keyes, Stacey Keyes, Kyle Keyes, Chadd Keyes, Ryan Keyes, Richard Keyes III, Michael Keyes, Robert Keyes, Thomas Keyes, Monica Kazda, and Anna Bayer; her 26 great-grandchildren; and a sister, Gerri Benson, of Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Phyllis was preceded in death by a son, Richard Keyes II, and her parents.

Funeral services will be celebrated at 1 p.m. on Thursday at the Duesterberg-Frederick Funeral Home, 521 Vigo St., with Pastor Richard Stewart officiating. She will be laid to rest next to her parents in the Memorial Park Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until the hour of services on Thursday at the funeral home. Memorial contributions can be made to the Oaktown Christian Church, Hospice or South Knox Middle High School (kids in need fund). Duesterberg-Frederick Funeral Home is honored to assist the Keyes family during their time of loss.

Troy Gladney Reynolds

Troy Gladney Reynolds, 95, of Port Neches, Texas, passed away peacefully on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 at his home.

He was born in Casper, Wyoming on May 24, 1924 to Edward MacLaren Reynolds III and Opal Dean Porter Reynolds. After a brief period of his childhood in Wyoming, the family was transferred by The Texas Company (later Texaco) to Tulsa, Oklahoma, prior to starting school. Troy spent his entire youth, through high school graduation, living in Tulsa. At an early age he became interested in aviation. He built model airplanes, designed and built his own planes, and studied meteorology. Troy attended Central High School in Tulsa where he excelled as a student and participated in basketball and photography. Outside of high school, Troy studied and obtained his private pilots license. During his time in high school came the outbreak of World War II. Prior to his graduation, Troy left high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps (later the US Air Force) and took his oath on April 8, 1943.

On Feb. 8 1944, Troy was commissioned as a second lieutenant and received his wings as a fighter pilot. Upon graduation, he returned home to Tulsa on furlough to visit with family and make final preparations for deployment to a combat theater. Upon returning to base he was advised that he would not be deploying to an active combat theater but rather would remain at the base as a flight instructor and to prepare to receive his first class of cadets. He taught advanced aerobatics, combat tactics, and advanced aerial gunnery for single engine fighter pilots based out of Victoria, Texas. During his time being stationed in Victoria, Troy also flew patrols over the Gulf of Mexico searching for enemy ship and U-boat traffic.

As war time activity advanced with an increase in bombing activities in both the Pacific and European theaters, Troy was given a permanent change of station and reported to the Amarillo Army Air Base on Dec. 30 1944, to train B-17 pilots and crews for both theaters of operation. Once victory in Europe was achieved, a greater emphasis was placed on long-range bombing in the Pacific. Troy was given a permanent change of station and reported to Lowry Air Base in Denver, Colorado, on Feb. 18 1945, to train B-29 pilots, co-pilots, and flight engineers, all of whom were qualified as pilots. It was at Lowry that Troy finished his military service. He mustered out of active duty in the Army Air Corps at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri on Oct. 16, 1945. He remained on inactive status through his final discharge on April 25, 1955.

After leaving active duty in the service, he attended college at Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University), where he received his degree in civil engineering. During his time at Oklahoma A&M, he was an active member of the Beta Theta PI fraternity. Upon graduation in the spring of 1949, he began his professional career.

Troy spent his entire professional career with Texaco, beginning as an engineer at the Lockport, Illinois refinery. In 1950, the company took on a major expansion program at its Lawrenceville, Illinois refinery. He was transferred to assist in managing the expansion of the facility to successful completion and remained there for 15 years. In 1965, he was transferred to the Texaco refinery in Wilmington, California, to manage in plant construction projects. During the 10 years he was at the facility, he was ultimately promoted to assistant plant manager of maintenance, utilities, and construction. In 1974, Texaco had undertaken a modernization and expansion program of its Convent, Louisiana refinery. Troy was chosen to spearhead the effort at the refinery and was transferred as assistant plant manager over maintenance, utilities, and construction for the facility. In 1976, Texaco Refining was restructuring its leadership organization and Troy was named assistant area manager for all of Texaco’s refining and chemical assets in the southeast Texas region. He remained in this role until his retirement in 1985.

In addition to his professional activities, Troy maintained a lifelong commitment to public service. He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Port Neches, where he held several committee chairmanships as well as committee member roles. Troy was also very active with the Hughen School of Port Arthur, Texas. He served on the board of directors of the Hughen School and was chairman of the building committee for the construction of the Bob Hope Hughen High School.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Ada Ruth Brown Reynolds, originally of Lawrence County; three children, Stephen Logan Reynolds and Deborah Foster and her husband, Bill, of Tulsa, and Troy Edward Reynolds and his wife, Deanna of Missouri City, Texas; three grandchildren, Courtney Renee Reynolds, Carly Marie Sullivan Rivers and her husband, Zach, and Mason Wayne Reynolds; and one great-grandchild, Logan Rivers.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. CDT on Friday at Emmons-Macey & Steffey Funeral Home in Lawrenceville. A military graveside service will be held in Centerville Cemetery in Lawrence County. Visitation for family and friends will be 5-7 p.m. CDT on Thursday at the funeral home.

Christopher Lee Slater

Christopher Lee Slater, 54, of Vincennes, passed away at 8:05 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019 at his residence.

Christopher was born on Dec. 31, 1964 in Vincennes, the son of Dallas Gene Slater Sr. and Hattie (Bottoms) Slater. Christopher worked as a direct care staff employee for Res Care and enjoyed going out to eat with his family and friends. He also volunteered with Special Olympic Athletes.

Survivors include his brother, Dallas Gene Slater Jr. and his wife, Melody, of Olney, Illinois; his step-brother, Rick Downey and his wife, Gina, of Vincennes; step-sisters Mindy Downey of Vincennes, Kyla Thompson of Indianapolis, and Deana Thompson of California; and cousin Elizabeth Jansen of Petersburg as well as several other cousins.  

Christopher was preceded in death by his parents, Bob and Hattie Downey and Dallas and Lynn Slater; his brother, Bobby Downey; and his maternal and paternal grandparents.

Graveside services will be 10 a.m. on Saturday in Bruceville Cemetery. Goodwin Funeral Home is honored to assist the Slater family with arrangements.

Online memories may be shared with Christopher’s family and friends at www.goodwinfamilyfh.com.

Melvin C. Speth

Melvin C. Speth, 65, of Vincennes, passed away on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 at Good Samaritan Hospital with his family at his bedside.

Melvin was born on June 2, 1954 in Vincennes, the son of George A. Speth and Patricia Halter Speth Mahan. He was a graduate of Lincoln High School and worked in the construction industry as a carpenter. He married Cathy Wheatley on Aug. 20, 1977 and they made their life together for over 42 years. He attended Wheatland Wesleyan Church and he was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and brother. He loved anything to do outdoors and his family gatherings.

He is survived by his wife, Cathy Speth; their children, Carrie Riker and her husband, Thomas, and Joshua Speth, both of Wheatland; his grandchildren, Sydney Riker, Mavis Riker, Grady Riker, Nicholas Speth, Dalyla Speth, Daisy Speth, Halle Evans and Remington Evans; his sister and brothers, Vickie Neighbors and her husband, Jerry, Larry Speth and his wife, Sharon, Leon Speth, Sharon Smith, and Allen Speth and his wife, Becky, all of Vincennes. 

Melvin was preceded in death by a daughter, Amy, in 2013; his father, George A. Speth; and his mother, Patricia Halter Speth Mahan. 

A gathering to celebrate his life will be 7 p.m. on Friday at the Duesterberg-Fredrick Funeral Home, 521 Vigo St., with Pastor Kenny Mitchell officiating. The family will receive friends from 5 p.m. until the hour of services on Friday at the funeral home. Memorial contributions can be made to his family to assist with the expenses of his last illness. Duesterberg-Fredrick Funeral Home is honored to assist the Speth family during their time of loss. 

Online condolences can be made at www.duesterbergfredrick.com


Daniels, Glory D., died Sept. 20. Services: 1 p.m. on Friday at Memorial Park Cemetery.

Lay, Jacqueline P. Bilskie, died Sept. 19. Services: 10 a.m. today at Duesterberg-Fredrick Funeral Home, 521 Vigo St. Burial: Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorials: Condolences: www.duesterbergfredrick.com.   

Morgan, Donald Gene, died Sept. 20. Services: 2 p.m. CDT today at the Sivert-Macey & Steffey Funeral Home, Sumner, Illinois. Burial: Sumner City Cemetery.Visitation: 1 p.m. CDT until the hour of services today at the funeral home. Memorials: Alzheimer’s Association. Condolences: www.emmonsmaceysteffey.com.

Walters, James Michael, died Sept. 15. Services: 10 a.m. on Thursday at Brookside Bluffs in Zolfo Springs, Florida. Condolences: www.pongerkaysgrady.com.

Wells, Donna Lea, died Sept. 18. Services: 10 a.m. CDT today at Emmons-Macey & Steffey Funeral Home in Lawrenceville, Illinois. Burial: Lawrenceville City Cemetery. Visitation: 9 a.m. CDT until the hour of services on Tuesday at the funeral home. Memorials: Good Samaritan Hospice. Condolences: www.emmonsmaceysteffey.com.


Obituary information should be submitted through a funeral home. An individual may submit an obituary but must pay in advance and provide The Sun-Commercial with a copy of the death certificate of the subject.

A cost estimate can be provided in advance of publication upon request.

The deadline for submitting an obituary for Tuesday through Friday editions is 4 p.m. Eastern time the preceding day. The deadline for Saturday editions will be 5 p.m. on the preceding Friday.

Submit obituaries at obits@suncommercial.com.

The Sun-Commercial offers both a free and paid obituary option.

Free obituaries are published for current residents of Knox County and Lawrence County, Illinois, and include the following information:

• Name, age, city or town of residence and date of death.

• Occupation or last place of employment if retired.

• Military service.

• Church membership.

• Survivors: Spouse or partner, children, parents, and siblings, with step- and half-relatives included.

• Time, date and location of visitation, funeral and burial.

• One memorial contribution.

• Web site at which online condolences may be made.

• Free obituaries are available only within two weeks of the date of death.

Paid obituaries may contain additional information and can be published for current as well as former residents of the area. Prepayment may be required for obituaries of former residents from outside the area.

Submitted obituaries will be formatted to comply with both The Sun-Commercial and Associated Press publication styles. An example of the formatting is available upon request.

Additional information included in a paid obituary may include:

• A life history such as date and location of birth, parents' names, wedding date and spouse's maiden name, educational attainments (high school, college degrees, etc.), work history, awards and honors received, hobbies and favorite activities, memberships in clubs, organizations and associations, expanded military service record, etc.

• Additional survivors and their spouses, partners or companions (who will be listed as "John Doe and his wife, Jane, of Everytown, Illinois.").

• Those who preceded the subject in death and their cities or towns of residence if desired.

• Notes of thanks or appreciation to caregivers or facilities.

• Additional memorials.

A photo of the deceased may be added for a $10 charge; a second photo of the deceased may be added for an additional $10. The Sun-Commercial reserves the right not to publish photos of poor quality or that are in bad taste.

Obituaries will be uploaded to The Sun-Commercial web site at www.suncommercial.com.

For more information contact Gayle R. Robbins at 812-886-9955, ext. 2449 or at grobbins@suncommercial.com.