Barn 03

Wilbur Gene VanHorn

October 22, 1926 ~ March 12, 2022 (age 95)

Obituary

Wilbur Gene VanHorn, better known as “Pop” by many, passed away at the age of 95 on Saturday evening, March 12, 2022, at his home of 56 years in Benton, Illinois. Wilbur was born in the area called “The Diggins” in the Palestine area, on October 22, 1926, the son of Archie Henry and Mary Louisa (Payne) VanHorn.  Wilbur was a loving son, devoted husband and father, as well as an amazing grandfather.  He was known by others to be a simple man: genuine, honest, possessing integrity, loving, hard-working, social, a teacher, and a role model to many. He employed and mentored many local youth that needed summer jobs at Biebel Roofing.

Working to provide for his family was his mission in life. Wilbur VanHorn, and his wife Winnie, owned and operated Biebel Roofing Company in Benton, Illinois, for more than 43 years. Wilbur sold and repaired roofs as well as consulted with many businesses, school districts, and home owners regarding roof maintenance and construction throughout Southern Illinois. Together Wilbur and Winnie built the business from the ground up based on pride, honesty, and determination. When not at work, Wilbur and Winnie spent time enjoying their farm in Vienna, Illinois, with family and friends. The “farm” was the oasis that he created for his family and himself. Wilbur spent countless weekends driving the Case or the John Deere 720 tractor, bush-hogging, cutting and tagging thorns, hunting, raising cattle, and taking his family on wagon rides. He adored spending time with his family and was at his happiest when the “farm” was filled with friends and family.

Wilbur was a proud World War II Veteran. He served in the Naval Air Transportation Service, NATS, which was a specialized squadron that supported air transport in response to Pearl Harbor. He spent the majority of his tour in Guam. He was proud of his service and was honored to have served our country. Wilbur was also a member of numerous local lodges, clubs, and organizations throughout Southern Illinois. He was an active participant in many associations and his love for people lead him to join. Wilbur was a member of the American Legion, Benton Elks Lodge #1234, Eagles, Moose Lodge, Benton Bocce Ball Club, Benton Ranger Booster Club, and the Masonic Temple #64. Wilbur was a 3rd Degree Mason of the Masonic Temple #64 of Benton and a 32nd Degree Mason of the Scottish Rites Bodies. He assisted in the establishment of the original Shriners Motor Patrol. Wilbur was the oldest living Elk and American Legion Post # 280 and VFW Post # 2671 member. Wilbur and his late wife, Winnie, were avid supporters of Benton Rangers basketball and rarely missed a game throughout the years. The St. Louis Cardinals were also a large part of Wilbur’s happiness. He loved to watch baseball and was a baseball statistical expert.

Wilbur was preceded in death by his wife, Winnie (Atchison) VanHorn, his parents, Archie Henry and Mary Louisa (Payne) VanHorn; his siblings, Emadee VanHorn, Rev VanHorn, Everett VanHorn, Virginia (VanHorn) Eubanks, Naomi (VanHorn) Mandrell, Elizabeth (VanHorn) Smith, Lucille (Uhles) Johnson, Marcella Uhles, Lewis VanHorn, and Archie VanHorn.

Wilbur is survived by two siblings Mary (VanHorn) Todd and Ernestine (VanHorn) LiaBraaten; by his three children; daughter, Lynette (Van Horn) Ing, and husband Weldon, daughter, Alecia (Van Horn) Moore and husband Hugh, and son, Brian Van Horn and wife Nina; nine grandchildren Wesley Ing and wife Kristin, Lyndsey Moore, Whitney (Ing) Swift and husband Rob, Lauren (Moore) Johnson and husband Brent, Will Van Horn, Ella Van Horn, Jack Gerber, Cole Gerber, and Ella Gerber; seven great-grandchildren, Westin Ing, Lyric Johnson, Grant Swift, Wynnstin Ing, Winnie Swift, Karaline Ing, and Landry Johnson.

Visitation and funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Morton & Johnston Funeral Home at 410 South Main Street Benton, Illinois.  

Visitation will be held on Saturday, March 19, 2022, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at Morton & Johnston Funeral Home.  Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 19, 2022, at 1:00 PM.  Burial services with Military Rites conducted by the Benton American Legion Post #280, VFW Post#2671 & the U.S. Navy Honors Team will immediately follow funeral services at Shiloh Cemetery in Whittington, Illinois. 

For more information or to send online condolences please visit www.mortonjohnstonfuneralhome.com

To send flowers to Wilbur's family, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Saturday
March 19, 2022

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Morton and Johnston Funeral Home
410 S. Main Street
Benton, IL 62812

Funeral Service
Saturday
March 19, 2022

1:00 PM
Morton and Johnston Funeral Home
410 S. Main Street
Benton, IL 62812

Final Resting Place

Shiloh Cemetery
Shiloh Cemetery Road
Whittington, IL 62897

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