Gary Lee Bonnell
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Gary Lee Bonnell

Born: December 21, 1954; Mendota

Died: November 7, 2020; Camdenton, Missouri

CAMDENTON, Mo. – 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 sons-in-law.

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) Binderand Aurora (Stephen) Anderson; and 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

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

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Published in News Tribune on Nov. 14, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by East Lawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery
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5 entries
November 27, 2020
So sorry to hear Gary had passed away. My love and sympathies to you and family Pat. Wish I had your address to send you a card. I remember when you first came to our department at work, and when you met and later married Gary, the talks we had. May God bless you and give you comfort in your loss. Gary was so young. Would love to hear from you sometime.
Helen and Virgil Smith
November 19, 2020
Pat, so sorry for your loss. Remembering the good old days of IAA softball and how much fun Gary was to be around.
Judith McCrary
November 14, 2020
My sincerest condolences to you and your family, staff member at Luther Oaks
Petra Collins
November 14, 2020
Hello Pat and family, I am sorry for your loss. Will be thinking of you. I always enjoyed visiting you at Luther Oaks when you visited Sally.
Karen Wehrmann
November 13, 2020
Pat, I´m so sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in my prayers during this time of loss.
Pam Eckhardt
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