Services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 9, at Messiah Lutheran Church in Port Byron. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at Gibson-Bode Funeral Home, Port Byron. Burial will be at Fairfield Cemetery, Port Byron. Memorials can be made to Messiah Lutheran Church or the memorial of your choice.
Renee Lishka was born on Feb. 20, 1949, in Bloomington, Ill., the seventh child of William H. and Vera Lee Lishka. She came to Port Byron on Aug. 24, 1949, to become the cherished daughter of Emil A. and Birdie Reiling Johnsen. Nancy Johnsen graduated in 1967 from Riverdale Sr. High in Port Byron. She attended Black Hawk College. Nancy married Delbert Searl on April 6, 1968, at Fairfield Methodist Church in rural Port Byron.
She worked as a secretary at John Deere Planter Works and Christ Episcopal Church. She was a co-owner of Country Gardens Flower Shop in Port Byron and owned the Clothes Corral in Port Byron. She retired from the village of Port Byron as deputy clerk/secretary. She actively assisted Delbert with the fall harvests on the farm.
Nancy loved life, people and her church. She was a 40-year member of Messiah Lutheran Church, where she served on the church council and taught Sunday school and Bible school. She was a member of the Riverdale PTA, a Cub Scout leader and served on the URICRA board for 13 years, 11 as treasurer. Nancy also served on the Tug Across the River board and the Riverdale Education Foundation.
Her greatest joy in life was her three children and eight grandchildren. She especially enjoyed singing, reading, flowers, animals, bowling and holidays with her family.
She is survived by her husband, Delbert; son, Craig (Jennifer) Searl, Princeton, Ill.; daughter, Lea Searl, Rapids City; and son, Scott (Kari) Searl, Hillsdale; grandchildren, Kaelyn, Preston, Rhiannon, Jaden, Zoe, Brady and Maddox Searl and Brock Koenes; sisters, Joyce (Cecil) Harris, Mary Margaret Poston, Lorina Onder, Darlina (Dillard) Wright, Sherry (Darrell) Duley and Sharon Sibigtroth; brothers, Robert Lishka and Bill (Carol) Lishka; sister-in-law, Chris (John) Filbert; a special cousin, Emily Jo (Paul) Bruner; and many loyal friends, cousins, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; and a brother, Bill Medley.
A special thank you to Dr. Porubcin and his staff and to Kandy at Beacon of Hope Hospice.
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