Ernest C. “Ernie” Bybee, 78, of Maquon, Illinois died at 12:14 A.M. on January 4, 2017 at the Knox County Nursing Home in Knoxville, Illinois. Ernest was born on June 16, 1938 in Rural Farmington, Illinois to his parents, Russell E. and Elnor M. Fortman Bybee. He attended Knoxville High School, graduating in 1956. On June 5, 1960 Ernest married Mary Bird at the Maquon Methodist Church in Maquon, Illinois. He is survived by his wife, Mary; his children, David E. (Lori) Bybee of Maquon, Illinois, Daniel (Val) Bybee of Elmwood, Illinois, Donald M. Bybee of Knoxville, Illinois and Darin (Katie) Bybee of Germantown Hills, Illinois; eight grandchildren, Jessica Bybee, Ryan Bybee, Andrea Bybee, Adam Bybee, Rachel Bybee, Kayla Sanders, Madison Bybee and Allison Bybee; One great-granddaughter Marlee Hedges; three sisters, Dora Jean (Paul) Clark of Gilson, Illinois, Ila Clark of Knoxville, Illinois and Susan Bradbury of Bozeman, Montana. Ernest was preceded in death by his parents. In high school Ernie was quite an accomplished athlete participating in Track and Field; most of all football. Coach told him when he tried out for football that “a country boy could not play football”. Proving coach wrong, he played in the back field as quarterback and half back for the Knoxville Blue Bullets and ran the football down the field many times. Ernie started farming in the Fairview area, later the Elmwood/Yates City area before moving back to the family farm near Maquon. One of his greatest pleasures was being leader of Salem Snappy 4-H Club. This club was 45 members strong. Ernie was on the Board of Directors for Mid Century Telephone Company for nine years. He also enjoyed being on the Maquon Fire Department board of Trustees, serving as secretary for several years. Visitation will be held at 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. on Friday, January 6, 2017 at the Hurd-Hendricks Funeral Home in Knoxville, Illinois. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, January 7, 2017 at the Maquon Methodist Church. Interment will be at the Yates City Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Maquon Fire Department or the Maquon Methodist Church. Online condolences may be sent through www.hurd-hendricksfuneralhomes.com
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