In Memoriam

Charles “Chuck” Edward Blackwell

Chuck passed away on Jan. 26, 2020, in Mountain Home, Ark., at the age of 88.

Chuck began his career in the explosives industry at a young age delivering product for an explosive distributor in Texas.  When sales increased in his delivery area, his employer quickly realized that Chuck was a natural salesman and was promoted into a sales position.

He worked in Virginia, and then moved to the export division of Atlas Powder, Atlas International in Port Bienville, Miss., where he headed sales and logistics for export into various regions.  Chuck travelled to 61 countries during the course of his career.

He was instrumental in the development of explosive initiation systems in South America, the Caribbean and Central America. Chuck was a very hands guy who advanced blasting technology in those regions. He also worked on several projects in Europe, especially Turkey. It was through his expertise, knowledge, honesty, and most importantly, he was one of the most personable, humble and respected men in the industry that made him one of a kind.

After his retirement, Chuck and his wife Edna moved to the White River area in Flippin, Ark. He started his second career building specialty fishing boats made for White River Trout Fishing. He enjoyed the outdoors, and fishing on the river with friends and family. In truth, Chuck enjoyed good conversation and loved telling stories and tales to his fishing companions.

Chuck is survived by his wife, Edna Blackwell, of Flippin, Ark; four sons, Patrick and wife Cathy of Golden, Colo., Tommy and wife Lisa of Cotter, Ark., Mark and wife Margie of Fort Myers, Fla., and Larry of Alamogordo, N.M. He also leaves seven grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.

To those of us who were honored to work alongside of him, the memories and stories will be told for many years. Chuck will be missed by many.

Ronald Thomas

Ronald Dennis Thomas returned to live with his father in heaven Feb. 1, 2020. Ron was born in Northampton, Pa., June 3, 1949, to James and Genoveffa (Jean) Thomas.

Ron worked in the explosive industry for over 40 years. He worked very hard and was dedicated to his craft. His tenure in the industry brought him many awards and the respect of his colleagues. His occupation allowed him to travel the world and make many great friends. His travels always brought great fun and many interesting stories he loved to tell.

Ron owned a red 1964 Volvo which led him to the love of his life Virginia, who owned a green 1968 Volvo. They were married April 26, 1980. Together they had four children, adopting a fifth into their family several years later. Their children have blessed them with 13 beautiful grandchildren. They were sealed for time and all eternity in the San Diego Temple on June 22, 2004.

Ron had many hobbies he enjoyed in the little spare time he had. He loved to golf. Spending time with family and friends on the course was something he tried to do any given weekend. Living in Utah helped feed his love for skiing. Taking his wife and kids up to the slopes brought many fond memories. Though it didn’t bring any trophies or grand photo moments, he still loved to fish. Fishing brought him peace and moments to ponder. He also loved the stars. Teaching people about the constellations, bringing out the telescope to look at the planets, and watching the meteor showers always brought a smile to his face.

His family is what made his world turn. He cherished his lovely wife and wanted her by his side, making new memories. Side by side they traveled the world, including recent trips to Italy, Paris, Switzerland, China, and Hawaii. He was never shy about expressing himself, speaking his mind, or far behind with a wiseguy comment or two. Watching his sports teams was a way for him to unwind and get wound up all in the same afternoon. He loved the Jazz, Flyers, the Utes, the Yankees, and the Philadelphia Eagles, who made him proud with a 2018 Superbowl win. There would be more championships on the list if they would have just listened to him through the TV. There isn’t a person he interacted with that wasn’t instantly drawn to his personality, he influenced everyone he met.

Ronald is survived in life by his wife Virginia, their children Shaney (Rand), Corinne (Joseph), Diane, Jordan (Chelsey), Rachel (Charles), their 13 grandchildren, his siblings Linda, James, Telene, Sally(Linken) and Deb (Don). He was preceded in death by his father, James, mother Genoveffa, and sister, Connie.

For a long time our church family has emphasized doing small acts of service for one another. Mother Teresa once said, not all of us can do great things but all of us can do small things with great love. We are truly grateful for the acts of kindness we have received over Ron’s long and protracted illness. Truly, none of these things were small to us. We would like to thank Dr. Esplin and his team, whose compassionate and exceptional care extended his time with our family.

A visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, at the Woodland Hills Mount Loafer Chapel, 220 S. Woodland Hills Dr., Woodland Hills, Utah. Services will be held at 11 a.m., with a visitation prior from 10-10:45 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, at the Woodland Hills Mount Loafer Chapel. Interment will be at Salem City Cemetery, Salem , Utah.

Nancy Cole-Allen

Nancy Cole-Allen, 61, of Big Spring, K.Y., passed away Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, at her residence.

Her memberships include: Corinth Baptist Church, ISEE, ISEE International Board, KY Bluegrass ISEE Chapter, KY Blasting Conference, lifetime NRA, and many horse show organizations.

She was preceded in death by her father Chuck Ryan.

Survivors include her husband, Mike Allen of Big Spring, K.Y.; two children, Donnie Cole-Allen of Irvington, Kristie Bishop of Big Spring; six grandchildren, Braelyn Caster, Colt Caster, Zach Atkins, Ryan Cole, Amelia Cole, Audrey Cole; her mother, Vera Ryan of Louisville, K.Y.; one brother, Chris Ryan of Louisville, K.Y.; and a host of family and friends.

Visitation will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday at Corinth Baptist Church, McQuady, K.Y.

A celebration of life service will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, at Corinth Baptist Church, 5042 S. Highway 105, McQuady, K.Y. 40153 with Rev. Andrew Rupard officiating.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to Corinth Baptist Church, 5042 S. Highway 105, McQuady, K.Y. 40153 in memory of Nancy Cole-Allen.

Nick Clifford

Donald "Nick" Clifford of Keystone, S.D., died on Nov. 23, 2019, at the age of 98.

He was the last surviving worker from the team that carved the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota. From 1927 through 1941, about 400 people worked to carve the mountainside into the likeness of four U.S. presidents. Clifford was the youngest of the workers, hired at 17 in 1939 and continuing to work on the mountain until 1941. Clifford was hired because the monument’s designer, Guzton Borglum, wanted to put together a baseball team from the crew of carvers. A good ballplayer, Clifford was recruited for the team – and given a job on the monument, earning 55 cents an hour.

After the mountain’s construction came to an end in 1939, Clifford joined the U.S. Army Air Forces, serving overseas throughout World War II. He later came home to operate a number of small businesses, including a laundry and dry cleaning service, an ice cream and sandwich shop, and a woodcutting business. For a time, he operated Sylvan Lake Lodge in South Dakota’s Custer State Park. Clifford wrote the 2004 book “Mount Rushmore Q&A” to tell the story of his time working on the monument.

Gerald L. Schrock

Gerald L. Schrock, 85, of Bourbonnais, Ill., passed away Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, at his home surrounded by his family.

He was born June 10, 1934, in Gibson City, the son of Samuel D. and Merle Troyer Schrock.

Gerald married Marjorie Dixon on April 22, 1961, in Chicago.

He was president of Emenjay Coporation. He was an employee at Rhone-Poulenc and retired after 32 years of service.

Gerald enjoyed fishing and hunting. He was an avid Chicago Cubs fan. He loved to read. He was a former Boy Scout leader and church youth group leader. Gerald loved music and was a singer and a trombone player. Most of all, he enjoyed being with his family.

He was an elder and a prayer warrior at Calvary Bible Church.

Surviving are his wife Marjorie Schrock of Bourbonnais; son and daughter-in-law, Dr. Gregory and Pam Schrock of Kalamazoo, Mich.; two daughters and two sons-in-law, Mary and Tim, Schweigert of Bourbonnai,s and Susan and John Mahony,of Questa, N.M.; and eight grandchildren, David and Kathryn Schrock, of Kalamazoo, Mich., Brody Schweiger,t of Chicago, Allie Schweigert, of Bourbonnais, Jack Mahony, of Bourbonnais, Samuel Mahony of Questa, N.M., Benjamin Mahony of Questa, N.M., and Colman Mahony of Questa, N.M.

He is preceded in death by his parents.

Visitation will be held 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, at Clancy-Gernon Funeral Home in Bourbonnais. Visitation will also be held from 9 a.m. until the 10 a.m. funeral service on Saturday, Aug. 24 at Calvary Bible Church in Bourbonnais. Rev. Dean Carlson will officiate the service. Interment will follow at Mound Grove Cemetery in Kankakee.

Memorials may be made to Calvary Bible Church in Bourbonnais, Life Action Ministries in Buchanan, Mich., or Hospice of Kankakee Valley.