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Johnnie Dean Kitchell, age 81, of Mt. Sterling, Illinois passed away at 4:08 pm Thursday, September 21st, 2023, at his residence.
He was born August 24th, 1942, in Pekin Illinois, the son of Melvin and Ervina Pearl DeSutter Kitchell. He attended Pekin Illinois schools and was a member of the Versailles Christian Church. He married Rita Anne Hunter Henricks on September 14th, 1990, at his residence in Mt. Sterling and she survives.
In 1961, Johnnie, known as “Ringo”, opened Kitchell Garage with $3 in his pocket and a dream in his mind. After hard work, long hours and a passion for the automotive and towing industry, he was able to grow it into a successful business that he could pass down to his children. Johnnie enjoyed all aspects of the automotive industry, but his tow trucks were his pride and joy. Johnnie led by example and taught many lessons to his children while working long hours in the garage, honesty, generosity, integrity, and most importantly, the meaning of family. Johnnie truly loved spending time with his family, his many shop dogs, attending car auctions, watching NASCAR and traveling with his wife Rita. When he wasn’t with his family or in the garage, you could find Johnnie playing cards or rolling dice with his friends and tending to his yard.
Survivors include his wife Rita Kitchell of Mt. Sterling. Children-Debbie Hammer (Doug) of Timewell, Melvin Kitchell (Debbie) of Timewell, Ralph Kitchell (Tammy) of Mt. Sterling and James Kitchell (Angel) of Timewell; Loretta Wort (Bruce) of Mt. Sterling, Ramon Henricks of Chicago, Johnnie’s twin sister Bonnie Sherwood (John) of Pekin. Sixteen grandchildren and twenty-seven great grandchildren also survive. He was preceded in death by his parents, stepfather Earl McPhail, one son Brian Henricks, one grandson Tommy Hamilton, one great grandson Elliott Llewellyn, one brother Raymond Kitchell, one nephew Edward Kitchell.
Funeral services will be held at 11am Monday, September 25th, 2023, in the Hendricker Funeral Home in Mt. Sterling. Those unable to attend are invited to watch the service live on his obituary page of the funeral home website, hendrickerfuneralhome.com.
Burial will follow in the Mt. Sterling City Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm on Sunday, September 24th, 2023, at the funeral home.
Memorials are suggested to Brown County Against Cancer, Versailles Christian Church or St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Condolences for the family may be left online at hendrickerfuneralhome.com.
The Hendricker Funeral Home in Mt. Sterling is assisting the family with the arrangements.
Brown County Against Cancer
P.O. Box 68, Mount Sterling IL 62353
Versailles Christian Church
St. Louis Children's Hospital
One Children's Place, St. Louis MO 63110