Thursday, April 22, 2021

Donald E. Kerley

Donald E. Kerley, age 90 years, a resident of Goreville, Illinois, passed away peacefully Saturday afternoon, February 27, 2021, at 4:20 p.m. at his home.

Don was born December 15, 1930 in Simpson, Illinois.  He was the son of Hubert Ray Kerley and Helen Rose (Stewart) Kerley.

On August 13, 1950, Don was united in marriage to Lois Holland at Tunnel Hill, Illinois.  She survives.

In addition to his wife, Don is survived by: 3 daughters – Donna Joplin of Gurnee, Illinois, Cynthea (her husband, Dan) Skvarce of Waukegan, Illinois, and Michele (her husband, Frank) Sullivan of Goreville; grandchildren – Jason (his wife, Krystal) Joplin of Fox Lake, Illinois, Carly Skvarce of Round Lake Park, Illinois, Jayme Skvarce of Kenosha, Wisconsin, Joshua (his wife, Destenie) Sullivan of Goreville and Zachary (his wife, Mary Nell) Sullivan of Ridgetop, Tennessee; 10 great grandchildren; and a brother – Harold Ray (his wife, Sylvia) Kerley of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

In addition to his parents, Don was preceded in death by: a brother – Ronald Gene Kerley and a son-in-law – Thomas Joplin, Jr.

Don was a 1949 graduate of Vienna High School.  He served in the United States Army from January 2, 1952 until his honorable discharge on October 18, 1953.

Don was employed as a distributor for Coca-Cola for 15 years.  He was also a self-employed carpenter for 35 years.  Don built many homes and buildings throughout the region.  In one particular year, Don constructed three homes.  In more recent years, when Don had retired from full-time construction, he was known as Goreville’s “handy man” and assisted many people by undertaking home repair projects with his ability to fix just about anything.

Don served his community as a member of the Goreville Village Board for 27 years.  He and Lois were faithful and longtime members of the First Baptist Church in Goreville.  Don served as a greeter and church trustee for over 30 years.

Don’s skill as a carpenter instilled a passion for woodworking.  He handcrafted many intricate and detailed wooden objects, including a number of clocks.

Don was an avid and loyal fan of the Chicago Cubs.

A memorial service celebrating the life of Don Kerley will be conducted Thursday, March 4, 2021, at 12 p.m. at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.

Dr. Stephen Seaford and Dr. Ron Ferguson will officiate.

Private inurnment will be in the Gilead Cemetery near Simpson.

The family will receive relatives and friends from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to the Gilead Cemetery Fund, c/o Norman Lee, 690 Gum Springs Roads, Simpson, Illinois 62985 or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105-1905.  Donations may also be made online at

For those unable to personally attend the memorial service, it will be live-streamed on the Bailey Funeral Home Facebook page and will be archived for later viewing.

Those attending the visitation and service are respectfully reminded to observe customarily accepted social distancing practices.  The wearing of a face mask or covering is strongly encouraged.

To share a memory of Don or to leave an online message of condolence for his family, please visit

Arrangements have been entrusted to Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna

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