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Orvil E. Pannier

Orvil Pannier of Freeburg, IL formerly of Okawville, IL departed this life in the Freeburg Care Center on Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 9:15 P.M. He had attained the age of 95 years, 3 months, and 27 days.

Orvil was born in Johannisburg Twp, rural Marissa, Washington County, IL on January 20, 1926 the son of Peter A. and Frieda (nee Schuessler) Pannier. He was united in marriage to Helen Koch of Darmstadt, IL, in the St. Paul United Church of Christ in Belleville, IL on September 1, 1946 and she survives his passing.  

Orvil was a retired farmer and musician. Orvil lived on the family farm where he was born and raised. Orvil and his wife Helen operated the family farm until 1986 when they retired and moved to Okawville. In September of 2013, they moved to Cedar Trails Senior Living Center in Freeburg. 

Orvil was a member of St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Okawville. He served on various church boards of Holy Ghost UCC in Darmstadt and St. Peter’s UCC in Okawville. Mr. Pannier served on the Johannisburg School Board for many years and helped build the new Johannisburg School. He served on the Washington County Soil and Water District board, and the State board of the Soil and Water Conservation District. He was the treasurer of the Okawville Community Club for nine years and a member of the Okawville Agriculture Fair Board. He belonged to the Okawville Senior Center, being elected to the Washington County Senior Services Board of Directors in 2000 and elected Chairman of the Senior Services Board in 2004. Orvil and Helen also delivered meals on wheels around the area. 

Orvil played music for 70 years. He was the leader of the Orvil Pannier Orchestra, a five-piece group for 43 years, playing for many weddings and anniversaries, and for public dances at various clubs in the area. Orvil is a life member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 175 of Trenton, IL. He served the local as President, Secretary-Treasurer, and was a board member. Orvil enjoyed farming and playing music. Most of all, he loved his family and spending time with them.

Left to mourn his passing is his wife of nearly 75 years, Helen Pannier of Freeburg; four children, Gerald (Cathy) Pannier, Howard (Eva) Pannier, Faye (Marvin) Helbig, and Paula (Mark) Heberer; seven grandchildren, Christina (Alex) Sweet, Karl (Amy) Pannier, Carey (Dan) Nunn, Natalie (Brent) Gravois, Blake (Michele) Helbig, Justin (Nicole) Heberer, and Brett Heberer; nine great grandchildren, Brock and Trent Nunn, Nolan Pannier, Ryland and Lillian Helbig, Ezra and Sadie Gravois, and Aubrey and Mabrey Heberer; one step great granddaughter, Morgan Sweet; a nephew, Ricky Koch; as well as cousins and a host of friends.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother-in-law, Norman Koch and wife Nelda; and a nephew, Larry Koch.

Funeral services will be held from St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Okawville on Friday, May 21, 2021 at 3 P.M. with Pastor Jeffrey Schwab officiating. Interment will be in the church cemetery. 

Friends may call at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Okawville on Thursday from 4 P.M. until 7 P.M. and again on Friday from 2 P.M. until the service hour.

Due to Covid-19 health concerns, restrictions will be followed. Face coverings and social distancing measures will be encouraged, with a limited number of visitors in the church at any one time. Please be respectful of time so other visitors may pay their respects to the family.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the St. Peter’s Building Fund for exterior steeple renovations, the Okawville Senior Center, or to Family Hospice and will be accepted by the Campagna Funeral Home.

Online expressions of sympathy may be made at

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