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April 9

• 12820 W. 184th Place, Mokena, 60448-8398 – First Bank Of Manhattan Ttee to Brianne Mercer, Jason D. Mercer, $440,000

April 8

• 18920 Meadow Creek Drive, Mokena, 60448-9109 – Jonathan Klabacha to Eric R. Mastey, Carlie D. Mastey, $292,500

• 18929 Creekview Lane, Mokena, 60448-9499 – Brian P. Norris to Chad M. Wick, Angela R. Wick, $310,000

• 19612 Cherry St., Mokena, 60448-9453 – Robert J. O’Malley to John Masterson, Alexandra M. Pinotti, $161,000

Rebecca Susmarski


Daniel J. “Dangerous Dave” Matz, 46, of Mokena, died March 18. He is survived by his children, George and Trevor Gavitt and Wesley Matz. Services were held at the Kurtz Memorial Chapel. Interment St. John’s Cemetery. 

To honor someone from the Mokena community, email

Rebecca Susmarski

She’s engaged!

Mokena couple Mark and Janet Altobella are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Ashley Elizabeth, to Randy Alan Dus, son of Randy and Rosemarie Dus, of Darien.

Ashley received a Bachelors of Arts degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She is currently a juris doctor candidate at the University of Illinois College of Law, class of 2016.

Will O'Brien

A number of Mokena-area students recently got rides to school not from their parents but rather members of the Mokena Fire Protection District.

Instead of cruising in a minivan, the students commuted in fire district vehicles.

First up were Mokena School District 159 brother-sister duo Noah and Katie Ivicic, who received their ride on Wednesday, May 7. The siblings were given the special opportunity after winning an auction at the school district’s Fall Fling fundraising event.

Will O'Brien

St. John’s United Church of Christ (11100 Second St., Mokena)

JAM Time

6:30-7:45 p.m. every Wednesday through May. Jesus And Me Time is a free Christian education program for children in preschool through fifth grade. All are welcome to join for a fun-filled evening of faith, games, music and crafts. 

Sunday Morning Kids’ Club

Mokena resident Dr. Darrold “Doc” Taylor was recognized recently with a prestigious Lifetime Service Award” presented by the Lions of Illinois Foundation at its annual business meeting in Normal, Illinois. 

A member of the Mokena Lions Club for more than 25 years, Taylor was recognized not only for his achievements as a long time foundation member but also for his life’s work as a vision care professional. Taylor has practiced optometry in Mokena for decades.

Danny Ciamprone

After the sun set on Sunday, July 3, P.J. Bickett set out to claim a spot for the Mokena Chamber of Commerce’s annual Fourth of July parade.

“We always set up right here; it’s the perfect spot,”  said P.J.’s wife, Reneé Bickett, while waiting for the parade to step off on Monday, July 4.

Themed America’s Great Landmarks, the parade drew hundreds of attendees from communities near and far.

Amanda Jarzynski

A couple weeks ago, I presented to you a column summarizing a few of the jobs I could and could never do. 

Well, apparently there are not many people who want to be newspaper reporters. Actually, a more accurate statement would be to say there should not be many people who want to be newspaper reporters, because according to a current list from CareerCast, a job in newspaper reporting ranked in the Top 5 as “worst jobs in America for 2015.”

Danny Ciamprone

Construction kicked off Tuesday, Aug. 12, for the Mokena Park District’s latest endeavor. 

Prairie Ridge Park, set to be located in the Prairie Ridge subdivision of Mokena, will incorporate several amenities recommended by residents. Olivieri Brothers Architects, located in Frankfort, expects to finish construction of the 6-acre project by the summer of 2015. 

The project will cost an estimated total of approximately $1.2 million. 

Rebecca Susmarski

Nathan Drewes

Lincoln-Way East junior

Nathan Drewes was chosen as The Mokena Messenger’s Standout Student because of his achievements in the classroom.

What is one essential you must have when studying and why?

One essential I need when studying is peace and quiet. If there is noise in the background, I cannot focus.

What do you like to do when not in school or studying?

Rebecca Susmarski