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John drove his tractor off into the sunset and onto the fields of Heaven Thursday, March 17, 2016, where planting and harvest never end.
John William Aten was born February 12, 1938, to Annetta Gain Parker Aten and Merlin John Aten in rural Astoria, IL. He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, Robert Paul, a niece, and a nephew. He married Alta Conner on January 3, 1964, in Beardstown, and she survives. He is also survived by his children, Kathleen “Missie” Aten Taapken (husband Randy) and John William Aten III (partner Robyn Nation), both of rural Beardstown; two brothers, Richard E. Aten (wife Janet) of Highland, IL, and Rodney M. Aten (wife Rosemary) of Ipava, IL; nieces, nephew, and cousins.
He came to Beardstown as a young man and he was “adopted” by Ed and Olive Southwell Smith; they preceded him in death. He is survived by Sandy Smith Wilcox of Beardstown, Victor Smith (wife Nikki) of Frederick, Ruth Smith of California, Marie Smith Bunker of California, Alvin “Burr” Smith of Beardstown, and Mary Smith of Indiana.
John farmed for more than 50 years for Hardwick Brothers in Beardstown. He was a plumber, electrician, and could basically fix about anything. He built his own home in 2000, and he died there in peace. He loved fishing, gardening, Cardinals baseball, and Packers football.
A celebration will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 20, 2016, at the Elks Club, 205 East 2nd Street in Beardstown. Various kinds of pie, which was John’s favorite dessert, will be served. Please feel free to wear Cardinal red. (Cubs fans are also welcome.) In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Cass-Schuyler Area Hospice, 331 South Main Street, Virginia, IL  62691.
Condolences may be left online at www.colwellmemorialhome.com.

John Aten