Memorial lanterns float down Mississippi The nearly 300 decorated memorial lanterns that were launched in the Mississippi River on Saturday, May 17, at the James O’Donnell Funeral Home’s fifth annual Memorial Lantern Float honored both recently-deceased family members and some who had passed away in previous years. As they gathered in Nipper Park on the riverfront, several people were taking pictures of the lanterns they decorated before turning them over to the O’Donnell staff to be launched in the river. One lantern honored Ruth Duccini, who had gained fame in 1939 as a villager munchkin in the “Wizard of Oz” movie. She was the last surviving female munchkin when she died Jan. 16, 2014, in Las Vegas. Her lantern was dedicated to “great-granny” by Jared Duccini, 6, who recently moved to Hannibal with his mother, Stacy Duccini.