John W. McPherson  
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John W. McPherson

Born: July 29, 1931
Died: February 27, 2012

U.S. VeteranJohn "Sir" Wilbur McPherson passed on Monday, February 27, 2012 at the Coventry Living Center in Sterling, IL. John was born July 29, 1931 to Wilbur & Gertrude (Elgin) McPherson in Sterling. John attended Rock Falls High school and was a member of the Rock Falls Rockets Marching Band. After graduating in 1949, John attended the University of Illinois where he was a member of the Second Regimental Band and the Marching Illini Band. After his one year stay at the University he left college to go to work for International Harvester.

In l952, he was drafted into the US Army. After completing five successful jumps he was certified as a qualified paratrooper and awarded the coveted paratrooper wings. After completing his training he was sent to Fort Bragg where he was assigned to both the 82nd Airborne Division Band as a clarinet player, and as Chaplin assistant. It was there that he learned to play the organ and became the organist for Sunday morning worship at the Chapel. After managing to break his jaw in two places during one of his jumps, he was released from active duty and returned to his job at International Harvester. In 1960, John was honorably discharged from the military. John loved music and in 1954 he enrolled as a music major at Northern Illinois University. He graduated in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science Degree, English Major of Liberal Arts, and a Master Degree.

John was a dedicated music teacher in Shannon, IL for 29 years. During his 29 years he and his high school students brought home 26 first places. In 1969 John was elected the Mayor of Shannon and held that position for 28 years. John was an active member of the Shannon Lions Club, American Legion, Lanark Masonic Lodge #423, and a member of the Shannon Bethel United Methodist church, where he was the organist for the church. He was also the organist for the Mt. Carroll Methodist Church. In 2002 John was awarded the "Distinguished Service Award" for his many years of service to the Village of Shannon.

He is survived by his brother Jerry (Wilma) McPherson of Sterling, IL; nephews Steve McPherson and Michael (Laura) McPherson of Prescott, AZ; "favorite" niece Debbie (Tommy) Thompson, New Bedford, IL; great-nephews Dustin Dudley, Jared McPherson, and Rory McPherson; and great-niece Danielle Dudley. He was preceded in death by his father, mother, step-father Walter Schilpp, and brother Jim.

A visitation will be held Friday, March 2, 2012 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at the Hermann Funeral Home in Shannon where a Masonic Service will be held at 7:00 PM. The funeral service will be Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 10:00 AM at Bethel United Methodist Church in Shannon, Rev. Stephen Aram presiding. Internment will take place at the Brethren Cemetery in Shannon. A memorial contribution may be made to the family for a "John McPherson Music Scholarship" to be established.

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