Monday, May 29, 2023

Steve Kerley

Owen Stephen “Steve” Kerley, age 89 years, a resident of rural Simpson, Illinois, passed away Sunday morning, June 19, 2022, at 10:50 AM at the Metropolis Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Steve was born April 1, 1933 near Simpson.  He was the son of Owen and Tillie Marie (Steinkamp) Kerley.

On December 21, 1952, Steve was united in marriage to Patsy Jane Jones in the Bloomfield community of Johnson County Illinois.  She preceded him in death on December 21, 2019.

Steve is survived by:  his son – Monty (Jill) Kerley of Simpson; 2 grandchildren – Zacchary (Emily) Kerley of Vienna and Lainyn (Paul) Shanks of Belle, Missouri; 3 great granddaughters – Janie Ann, Olive and Olivia; his fiancé – Rajeane Watson of Simpson; and a brother-in-law – Norman (Carolyn) Jones of Vienna.

In addition to his parents and wife, Steve was preceded in death by a daughter-in-law – Kelli Kerley.

Steve was a 1951 graduate of Vienna High School.  He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on June 10, 1952 and was honorably discharged on June 9, 1956.  Steve served during the Korean War and was stationed for part of his service time in Japan.  Following his discharge from military service, Steve attended barber college in Decatur, Illinois.  He returned to Johnson County and operated a barbershop in Vienna for a time.  Later, Steve served as the barber at the Clyde Choate Mental Health Center in Anna until his retirement.  Steve came out of retirement to operate a barbershop in Vienna until declining health prevented him from continuing to work.

Steve was a member of Modern Woodmen of America.  He also served on the Gilead Cemetery board and was a member of the Gilead Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  

Steve enjoyed gardening and woodworking.  He is remembered for making many clocks in the shape of states and would sometimes intentionally put the gear mechanism in the clocks in such a way as to make the clock run backwards.

In the Spring of 2019, Steve enjoyed participating in an Honor Flight to our nation’s capital along with other veterans.

A service honoring the life of Steve Kerley will be conducted Saturday afternoon, June 25, 2022, at 2:30 PM at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.  Pastor Doug Hughes will officiate. 

Burial will be in the Gilead Cemetery near Simpson.

Visitation will be held Saturday, June 25, 2022, from 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to the Gilead Cemetery Fund c/o Bailey Funeral Home, P.O. Box 695, Vienna, IL 62995.

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

Arrangements have been entrusted to Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.