W. John Highstreet
ROCHELLE — W. John Highstreet, 92, passed away Wednesday, November 1, 2023 at the Rochelle Community Hospital after a short illness. John was born on January 25, 1931 to Wilbur J. and Anna F. (O’Neil) Highstreet in Brawley, CA.
John’s family moved to Rochelle from California when he was 12. At the age of 14, his father passed away. He lived with a cousin and began working at the Black Cat Café.
He took airplane mechanic training, learned to fly and became part owner of several planes. He loved to fly and travel. He was a good husband, father and grandfather. John loved to read, watch TV and talk politics. He was a member of the Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church in Bulls Gap, TN and the Chana United Methodist Church in Chana, IL.
John worked for Rochelle Transit and later for Burrin Transfer for over 30 years. Upon retiring, he and his wife, Mattie, sold their home in Chana, IL and traveled in their fifth wheel camper for 14 years, eventually settling in Bulls Gap, TN until 2022 when they returned to Rochelle.
John is survived by his wife of 46 years, Mattie of Rochelle; five children: Pam Capes, Bill Highstreet, Robert (Maureen) Decker, Jim (Linda) Decker and Paula (Mark Stremming) Smith; ten grandchildren: Crystal (Eric) Vondergathen, Levi (Kaitlin) Decker, Mallory (Cody) McGee, Kyle (Emily) Decker, Carly (Ryan) McGee, Alicia McMann, Amanda (Nate) Lukas, Jacob (Ericka) Helfrick, Erin (Dustin) Decker and Molly Smith; and 18 great grandchildren: Aaron, Bailey, Riley, Braley, Delani, Maddox, Sampson, Brixton, Daxxon, Cullen, Henry, Quinn, Murphy, Sienna, Elena, Dahlia, Jordy and Ella.
There will be a Celebration of Life Service, Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 11:00 A.M., at the Chana United Methodist Church, 606 N. Main Street, with Pastor Josh Brown officiating. Cremation care has been provided by the Unger-Horner Funeral Home in Rochelle, IL. Memorials may be made in John’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Visit www.ungerhorner.com to sign the online guest book.