Richard (Dick) Carl Skagenberg, 95, of Monticello, IL, passed away at 9:48 a.m. on Saturday, August, 10, 2019 at the Piatt County Nursing Home.
Dick was born March 19, 1924, in Houtzdale, PA, the son of Walter and Julia (Romese) Skagenberg. He married Eleanor Ann Lefever on August 25, 1946, at the Milmine Christian Church. She passed away on April 11, 2019. Dick attended “Sterling” School (one-room) and graduated from Woodward High in Houtzdale, PA.
Dick was a WWII veteran, serving in the 15th Air Force – 455th Bomb Group as a belly gunner on the “Balls O’ Fire” B-24 Liberator. He was stationed in Cerignola, Italy, flying missions over Germany. His pilot was George McGovern. He had the opportunity of touring NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), in Colorado.
After the war, Dick graduated from RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) in New York, in photography, (1947-1949). Upon graduation, Dick and Ann moved to Springfield, IL where he owned and managed Abigail Studio. In 1950, after selling the studio, they moved to Miami, OK, where Dick worked for Color Research. In 1951, both helped with the C.A. Bastert farming operation at Primrose Farm in Camp Point, IL. In 1952, both Dick and Ann began their farming careers in Milmine, IL, lasting for 35 years. After retirement in 1987, Dick and Ann continued to manage the family farm.
Dick’s love of photography and trains can be seen in various locations in Monticello. His pride and joy were photos he took during the Bement Centennial in 1955 of Marilyn Monroe and Carl Sandberg. These photos appeared on the television show, “I’ve Got a Secret” in the 1950s. His photos of Carl Sandberg are in the archives at the University of Illinois. Dick’s Swedish heritage secured a lasting friendship with the poet.
Dick was an accomplished woodworker. Many family members and friends have treasured his clocks, baskets, pictures, name plaques, and Christmas ornaments.
Dick served the community through the Piatt Co. Planning Commission, the Piatt Co. Welfare Board, ASC Committee Chairman, CIRCLE (Central IL Regional Commission of Law Enforcement), Willow Branch Township Supervisor, Bement Fire District Trustee (10 years), and Official Photographer of Bement Centennial.
Dick was a member of VFW Post #5346 in Monticello, Craig- Reed Post #1181 American Legion in Cisco, NRA, Piatt Co. Historical Society, and Bement Cemetery Board.
Dick is survived by nieces, Janet Wilkins (NC), Carol Warner (OH), Susan Schultz (OH), Renee Compton (OH), Patricia Briggs (OH), Shelly Wolfe (NC); niece-in-law, Susan Bastert of Loda, IL; nephew-in-law, Dave Youngberg of Andover, IL; grand-nephews, Nathan (Bethany) Bastert (AZ), Benjamin Bastert (fiancé Gwendolyn) of Camp Point, IL, Brandon (Kim) Youngberg of Andover, IL, Kyle, (Amy) Youngberg of Aurora, IL, Kevin Rainey (AZ), and Craig Rainey (FL); grand-niece Jill (Rainey) Porter (AZ); and several great-grand nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Julia; wife, Ann; brothers, Charles, Walter, Robert, and John; sisters, Elverna and Marie; nieces, Mildred Recupero, Marilyn Larson, Betty (Rainey) Youngberg; nephew, Bruce Bastert; brothers and sisters-in-law Clarence and Josephine (Lefever) Bastert, Lynn and Charlotte (Lefever) Rainey; grand-nephew Aaron Youngberg; and nephew and niece-in-law Larry and Carolyn Rainey
The family would like to thank the Piatt County Nursing Home, Kirby Medical Center, and Harbor Light Hospice for the excellent care that was given to Uncle Dick most recently and over the years.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Piatt County Nursing Home, Kirby Medical Foundation, Monticello United Methodist Church, Harbor Light Hospice, or a charity of the donor’s choice.
A public graveside service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, August 24, 2019 at Bement Township Cemetery with Pastors Kathy Sweet and Russ Smith officiating. Military rites will be conducted by the Monticello Honor Guard. A “Celebration of Life” and fellowship will be held at the Monticello United Methodist Church, immediately following the graveside service. Arrangements are by Howe and Yockey Funeral Home, Shelbyville, IL.
Send condolences at www.howeandyockey.com.