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Robert E. Fornoff

Robert E. Fornoff, 93, of Manito, passed away Friday, January 27, at 8:44 a.m. at Hopedale Nursing Home. Bob was born December 28, 1929, in Manito to Clarence E. and Bessie (Mahr) Fornoff. Bob was married to Bernice Zielinski, of Pekin, and they had three children: Paula Charlton (Butch Gilroy) of Manito, Michael Fornoff (deceased December 1, 2021) and Mark Fornoff (deceased April 13, 1988. Bob and Jean Shelabarger were companions for 26 years, until her passing in 2013. He was preceded in death by his brother, Clarence J. Fornoff, sister, Wilma Embree and son-in-law, Rick Charlton. Bob is survived by six grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren. Josh (Maggi) Charlton, Grace and Luke Charlton, of Manito; Zac (Monica) Charlton, Ayla, Oakley and Laikyn Charlton, of Manito; Beau Charlton, Megan Charlton, Rickey, Bella and Elizabeth Charlton, of Manito; Hilary (David) Vine, and Peter Vine of California; Ryan (Katrina) Fornoff, Jacob and Ross Fornoff of Manito; David Fornoff, Callan and Jude Fornoff of Manito; as well as nephews and niece, Ed (Daisy) Embree, of Bensenville, Illinois, Stan (Kathy) Embree of Manito, Linda (Ron) Doty of Manito, and their families. Bob graduated from Manito High School, class of 1947. He served in the US Air Force at Moody Air Force Base, in Valdosta, Georgia. In 1961, the Fornoff family purchased the Meadow Dale Farm from the Bob Mahr Estate. He was a charter member into the Trinity Lutheran Church, in 1959, in Manito. He also served many years on the Meadow Lawn Cemetery Board. Bob was a lifelong Mason County farmer. Along with corn, soybeans and wheat, he raised pigs and black angus cattle in his early years. In 1975, irrigation started going up, and then specialty crops were growing in the area. Pfister Seed Corn, El Paso had their seasonal office at “the shop” south of Manito for many years. Bob had a lot of help over the years with farming, including three generations of the Mitchell Family working on the farm, and continue to this day. Robert (Butch Mitchell, his son Kory Mitchell and his son Steven Mitchell.) They have a combined “60 years” at the Fornoff Farms! In 2000, Bob built the Fornoff Pond on the Hamilton Ground, southwest of Manito. He enjoyed passing time watching wildlife. Bob’s farming legacy will continue through his family. Funeral services will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, in Manito, at 11:00 a.m., on Tuesday, January 31 with visitation one hour prior to the services. Rev. Matthew Berndt will officiate. Burial will follow the services at Meadow Lawn Cemetery, in Manito. Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, or Meadow Lawn Cemetery. Online memorial messages may be left for the family at Maas-Hurley Funeral Home, in Manito, is in charge of arrangements.

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