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Tonya Jo (Underwood) McPherson

December 14, 1937 ~ August 9, 2021 (age 83)


Tonya Jo McPherson, 83, of Mt. Carmel, Illinois, passed away Monday, August 9, 2021, at the Villas of Holly Brook surrounded by the love of her family.


Jo was born December 14, 1937, the daughter Frederick and Myrtle (Gehlert) Underwood in Belle, Missouri.  She graduated from Belle High School, and married Eddie Gene McPherson in 1958 in Belle, Missouri.  She completed her bachelor’s degree in education from Southern Illinois University while raising their two daughters.


Jo was a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and made a wonderful home.  She graduated with a teaching degree, but spent her life doing what she loved best--caring for her family.  Jo supported all her children and grandchildren throughout their lives.  She did everything from making her daughters’ clothes, including some awesome Halloween and dress-up clothes, and creating scrapbooks of important times in their lives, to attending their sporting events and marching band competitions.


She enjoyed photography, especially black and white images.  Jo loved to bake and was known for her apple pie and sour dough bread.  She was a wicked Scrabble player and she also liked Bridge.  Jo was a golfer and enjoyed more than twenty-five years of golf trips with her friends.


First and foremost was her love and faithfulness to Ed and their children.  She and Ed made Mt. Carmel, Illinois, their long-term home in 1969.  They also enjoyed their “snowbird” home in The Villages, and traveling all over the world.


Left to cherish Jo’s memories are her children, Jody Lin and husband Albert Koch, Tonya Kim and husband Gene Bingaman, Michael Carl and wife Michelle McPherson, and Douglas Daryl and wife Christy McPherson; ten grandchildren, Elizabeth Nicole and husband Daniel Gugenheim, Michelle Lynn and her husband Bryan Keefe, Christina Jo Bingaman, Nicholas Eugene Bingaman, Leah Jordan and husband Drew DiMaggio, Mitchell Carl McPherson, Douglas Dean McPherson, Hannah Jo Koch, Isaac Albert Koch, and Aleyda Mae McPherson; five great grandchildren, Adrienne Jean Gugenheim, Samuel James Gugenheim, Lorenzo Michael DiMaggio, Sebastian Joseph DiMaggio and Giada Michelle DiMaggio.


Jo was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Ed.


Family and friends are invited to a visitation Thursday, August 12, 2021, from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at Short-Cunningham Funeral Home (527 Mulberry Street, Mt. Carmel, Illinois).  Funeral services will begin at 12:30 p.m. with burial beside her beloved husband following at Highland Memorial Cemetery.


Memorials can be made to the Wabash Valley College Foundation or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.


Condolences may be made online at


Short-Cunningham Funeral Home is honored to serve the McPherson family.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Tonya Jo (Underwood) McPherson, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
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August 12, 2021

10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Short Funeral Home
527 N Mulberry Street
Mt. Carmel, IL 62863

Funeral Service
August 12, 2021

12:30 PM
Short Funeral Home
527 N Mulberry Street
Mt. Carmel, IL 62863

August 12, 2021

Highland Memorial Cemetery, Mt. Carmel, Illinois

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