Leslie D. “Les” Bonnell


STEWARD — Leslie D. “Les” Bonnell of Steward passed away on his birthday, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021 at the Serenity Home in Oregon. He was born on Dec. 29, 1949 in Amboy to Leo L. and Wandalee (Meyers) Bonnell. After graduating from the University of Illinois as a James Scholar, he enlisted in US Army Reserve where he served 12 years as a drill sergeant. He received the Army Commendation Medal. Always interested in improving the Village of Steward, he laboriously worked many years as a trustee. He was a member of the Steward United Methodist Church and the Compton American Legion.

Les enjoyed working. He was a member of the Local 150 International Union of Operating Engineers, primarily employed by Reliable Excavating of Mendota, then Whittaker Construction and Excavating of Earlville. Les was involved with construction of many of Fermilab National Laboratory’s Projects. He also appreciated the beauty of nature, enjoying the outdoors and feeding the birds on his property. But above all, Les loved spending time with his family, especially his two grandsons.

Les married Karen Totten on April 4, 1971, and in their 50 years of marriage, they became quite a team. They have two daughters, Jessica (Andy Bykowicz) Bonnell of DeKalb and Tonia (Todd Fleming) Bonnell of Denver, Colorado, and two grandsons: Linden and Forrest Fleming. He is also survived by his brother, Alvin (Sheryll) of Jefferson, Wisconsin, and two sisters-in-law: Chris Bonnell of Troy Grove, Illinois and Elaine Bonnell of Amboy.

He is preceded in death by his parents, two brothers: Lowell and Howard, and sister, Arlene Jacobs.

Visitation will be on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022 from 2-4 p.m. at the Unger Horner Funeral Home, 400 N 6th St., Rochelle.

Memorial service will be at 1 p.m. on Monday at the Unger Horner Funeral Home with Pastor Ilhan You officiating. Burial will be at the Lee Center Cemetery with military services provided by the US Army and the Compton American Legion. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Steward United Methodist Church, or Serenity Hospice and Home. Guest book may be signed at www.UngerHorner.com. Memorial service will be recorded and available to view shortly after services on the Unger Horner Facebook page. Family requests that masks are worn and social distances are observed.

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