A past dean of our Peoria Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Loretta Dirst, died on December 11, 2022 at the age of 90. Her son, Matthew Dirst, is a concert organist based in Houston, Texas.

Loretta M. Dirst, 90, of Morton passed away on Sunday, December 11, 2022, at her home.

She was born on February 15, 1932, in Kansas City, Mo. Her parents were Leonard and Hulda Collman. She married Charles Dirst on October 13, 1957, in Yorkville, Ill. He preceded her in death on August 10, 2018.

Surviving are her children, Philip Dirst of Smyrna, Ga., Julie (Mike Shane) Shane of Morton, Matthew (Sixto Wagan) Dirst of Houston, Texas, and Emily (Tony) LaCivita of Downers Grove, Ill.; and seven grandchildren, Alexander (Yudy) Dirst, Jeff Shane, Kevin (Maggie) Shane, Alex (Josephine) Shane, Katy (Claire) LaCivita, Joe LaCivita and Charley LaCivita.

Loretta was an organist for over 50 years at various churches in the area. She was a devoted mother and grandmother.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, December 16, 2022, at Advent Lutheran Church in Morton, with the Rev. Barb Ziah and Pastor John Rothfusz officiating. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, December 15, 2022, at Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton. Further visitation will be held Friday, from 9 to 9:45 a.m., prior to the service at the church. Burial will be at Roberts Cemetery in Morton.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Alzheimer’s Association Central Illinois Chapter.

Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton is handling arrangements.

To view Loretta’s video tribute or to leave an online condolence for the family, visit www.knappjohnson.com.

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