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Bessie Marie Martin, age 78, of Kahoka, MO, died Tuesday, November 22, 2016, while a patient at St. Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, MO.

Bessie was born December 27, 1937 in Kinderhoook, IL, a daughter of Ellis and Beulah Holdren Spann.

She married Bill Conger, Sr. and they were the parents of one son, Bill. She later married James C. Martin in LaGrange, MO. He preceded her in death in 1980.

Survivors include her sons, Bill (Debbie) Conger of Kahoka, MO and T. J. (Lauren) Martin of Murphysboro, IL; her grandchildren: Holly (Mike) Koenig of Kahoka, MO and Kylie, Keelyn, Kamryn, and Kaysen Martin of Murphysboro, IL; a step-son she raised, Ronnie (Mary) Conger of Whiteside, MO; step-children and their families: Sherry (Doc) Hatton of St. Louis, MO, David (Dee) Martin of Collinsville, IL and Robin (Scott) Neisen of Ursa, IL; a sister, Donna Whitlock of Pittsfield, IL, sister-in-law, Pat Spann of Pittsfield, IL;  good friends, Wanda and Don Snyder of Pittsfield, IL; as well as nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

She was preceded in death by her husband, James; her parents; a step-son, Billy Martin; grandson, Kelton Martin; three brothers: Lyle and Wilber Spann and Gary Spann in infancy; and four sisters: Maxine Bartz, Mickie Hull, Caroline Cauthorn, and Florine Mulford.

Bessie moved to Kahoka in 1997 to work at the then new Clark County Jail as a cook, retiring in the spring of 2016. She made many friends there including prisoners whom she tended to be a second mom to. She was a member of the Kahoka Christian Church and of the Randy McDaniel Relay for Life Team. In September she had moved to Carbondale, IL to be near T. J. and his family.

Bessie never knew a stranger and was happy whenever she had someone to brag to about her grandchildren. She was a member of “Cookie’s Coffee Club” and could be found there daily visiting with friends. Bessie’s greatest accomplishment of which she was very proud of, was raising her two sons alone with both turning out to be fine young men.

Funeral services celebrating her life will be held Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 11 a.m. at Wilson Funeral Home in Kahoka with Rev. Jim Campbell officiating. Burial will follow at 3 p.m. at Evergreen Cemetery in Camp Point, IL.

Friends may call at Wilson Funeral Home after 9 a.m. Monday, November 28, 2016 with family receiving friends from 6-8 p.m.

Memorials are suggested to the Kahoka Christian Church.