Gary Lee Bonnell, 65, passed away on November 7, 2020 in Camdenton, MO. Born on December 21, 1954 in Mendota, IL to Anna Mae and Marvin Bonnell, Gary was lighthearted, carefree, warm, and had a silly sense of humor. It was this warmth and humor that prompted Gary to take in a squirrel he had found in trouble as a pet; he named the squirrel Charlie. While attending Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Gary passionately pursued his architectural studies, until his passions were refocused on a girl of all things. Gary met Patrice Bonnell (Quiram), proposed, dropped out of college, and was married on June 22, 1974. Together the duo built a family of two daughters, three grandchildren, a slew of cats, and a couple of son-in-laws.
For those that might be concerned about Gary’s inability to stay focused on his studies in the presence of his beautiful bride, there is no need to fear. Gary returned to college, attending Illinois State University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture. With these talents, he started his own architecture firm, aptly named GB Architecture, designing numerous buildings including beautiful churches, unique apartment buildings and a magnificent Mosque. Even after retiring from his “side job” at State Farm in 2018, he continued to design projects for family and friends.
Gary enjoyed learning about history, affectionately cheering on the Chicago White Sox, and he had an enormous love for his Chicago Bears, but the depth and breadth of his love was always given to his family. There was not a picture he wouldn’t show, or a story he wouldn’t share when it came to his wife, daughters and grandchildren; those who knew Gary will recall with fondness his everlasting way of storytelling. He was proud of his family - he loved spending time with them, laughing with them, sharing with them, making memories with them, and supporting them; simply put: Gary loved his family.
He is survived by his wife Patrice, daughters Maranna (Curt) Binder, Aurora (Stephen) Anderson, grandchildren Augustus Binder, Emmett Binder and Aurelia Anderson. Also surviving him are his sisters Judy (Butch) Griswold, JoAnne Heinzeroth and Barbara (Louie) Bontz. Gary is preceded in death by his parents and his brother James Bonnell.
A private graveside service for immediate family will be provided by East Lawn Funeral Home, with a memorial service planned for the late spring. Online tributes and condolences can be made at www.eastlawnmemorial.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks you may make a donation to one of the following:
The Lamb House
93 Morgan St
Camdenton, MO 65020
Or for the bright futures of his grandchildren whom he was so proud of…
Gary Bonnell Memorial Fund at IAA Credit Union
808 IAA Dr.
PO Box 2901
Bloomington, IL 61702-2901
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”- Abraham Lincoln
Posted online on December 02, 2020