Family, police still searching for answers three years after
Breese man’s disappearance
It was three years ago on a Friday that Ruth Jansen awoke with a sick, anxious feeling in her gut. She compared it to a panic attack that struck for no reason. “I just knew that something was drastically wrong,” she said.
Later in the day, to calm her nerves, she took a walk around the park near her Damiansville home. For no explainable reason, she cried while she walked.
She returned home to learn that she had just missed a call from a family member asking if she had any idea of the whereabouts of her brother Vince Wesselmann of Breese, then 75.
Whether you characterize it as a sixth sense, unconscious knowledge, a gut instinct or intuition, Jansen somehow knew that something was wrong on April 22, 2011. It’s now been three years since her brother’s disappearance and that same sick feeling of not knowing remains stronger than ever for Jansen and her siblings.
It’s a haunting feeling,” she said. “It just haunts you.”
Vince, now 78, was reportedly last seen at around 11 a.m. on Friday, April 22, 2011, walking near Breese Grain Co. on North Walnut and First streets in Breese. However, the validity of that sighting remains uncertain. Police do know that the last time anyone from Vince’s family saw him was around 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, 2011.
After months of organizing, tracking down old photos and collecting historical information, the Aviston 150 Commemorative Book Committee has announced that its pictorial history book is completed and now on sale. Books are $15 each or three or more for $10 each and are available at various Aviston locations: Centrue Bank, First National Bank, Casey’s General Store, Kues Bros. Realty and Auction, Split Ends, Lantern Inn and the Village Hall.
In words and pictures, the 304-page book “Aviston, IL — 150 Years of Memories” was published in conjunction with Aviston’s sesquicentennial celebration set for June 6, 7 and 8. Books will also be sold at the three-day celebration.
Kurt Schmitz, general chairman of the Aviston 150 Committee, said he hopes everyone enjoys the book, which he calls “a walk through Aviston’s past and present.”
“This book could not have come together but for the dedicated efforts of many, many people and truly reflects the best this town has to offer in the way of amateur historians, human-interest writers and general contributors,” Schmitz said.
The book highlights the community’s past and present schools, businesses, landmarks, leaders and so much more.
A “Then and Now” chapter was inspired by a meeting held at St. Francis Parish in June 2013 where a group of senior residents discussed how things have changed since they were young.
Applications are available at www.clintoncofair.org
or at Traditions Portrait Design in Carlyle.
The 2014 Clinton County Fair Pageant will be held on July 19. The rules and application for the pageant are now available on the Clinton County Fair Web site, www.clintoncofair.org, or at Traditions Portrait Design, 1041 Fairfax Street in Carlyle.
Entry forms for the Little Miss program are also available. Little Miss participants must be between the ages of 4 and 6 and must reside in Clinton County. The first 20 entries with completed entry form and entry fee of $50 will be accepted.
Completed forms should be dropped off at Traditions Portrait Design in Carlyle. With the limited number of Little Miss participants each year, pageant organizers must insist that the pageant be a one-time experience.
The deadline for Miss Clinton County Fair applications is May 31.
For more information, call Lori Jansen at 618-594-3327 or 618-978-5955.
Clinton County residents, whether survivors, caregivers, team members, volunteers or local residents, gathered at Hidden Lake Winery in Aviston on April 10 for the 14th Annual Kickoff of the Relay For Life of Clinton County. Melisa Hemann and Chris Conklin, co-chairpersons of this year’s event, led the celebration that highlighted this year’s theme — “Finish the Fight!” — which features a racing theme.
The event featured Dr. John Tavis, a researcher at St. Louis University. He spoke about the different grants he has received over the years from the American Cancer Society and how they have assisted his cancer research.
The crowd also heard from Donna Hegger, a local cancer survivor, as well as from Tina Donnewald, a cancer caregiver.
Hegger shared her story of what she has been through during her journey with cancer.
“After my cancer diagnosis, I started to see life differently,” she said. “My husband and I have adopted the motto: get busy living. And we have done just that.”
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