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Leslie Kenyon

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Leslie Kenyon Obituary

EAST PEORIA - Leslie H. Kenyon of East Peoria, president of Kenyon and Associates architectural firm and a warrior for historic preservation, died at 9:58 a.m. Friday, Jan. 14, 2011, at Methodist Medical Center.

Born Oct. 13, 1922, in Peoria to Camilla Myers and Fred Kenyon, he married Theo Jean Ahrends on Oct. 23, 1954, in Peoria. She survives.

He was a graduate of Peoria High School and the University of Michigan, where he earned his degree in architecture.

During World War II he served in the U.S. Army, first in a camouflage unit, and following engineering training at State College, Pa., he was stationed in Hawaii.

As past president of the Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation, he worked to save Peoria's heritage, starting with the restoration of the Grand Army of the Republic Hall on Hamilton Boulevard. As president of Peoria City Beautiful in the 1960s, he led the petition drives to create the plaza for the new Peoria County Courthouse, instead of a parking lot, and also brought national speakers to talk on preservation.

As an architect, he restored the Peoria City Hall, but also designed buildings, including Peoria Players Theatre and the Constance Hall addition at Bradley University.

In Eureka, he restored the original Eureka College Chapel attended by students in the 19th century.

In addition to historic preservation, his firm also has designed schools in the region, churches, commercial businesses and other structures.

The firm will continue under the Kenyon name.

A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23, at the Universalist Unitarian Church, 3000 W. Richwoods Blvd., Peoria.

Memorials may be made to the Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation, P.O. Box 495, Peoria IL 61651 or the Universalist Unitarian Church.

Published in Peoria Journal Star on Jan. 16, 2011
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