Mt. Vernon Register-News

March 2, 2013

Josephine Bonan


MT. VERNON — — Josephine Waller Bonan, 99,  died of natural causes at her home in McLeansboro at around 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013.  

Mrs. Bonan was born on June, 11, 1913 in Franklin County,  to her parents William Jacob Waller and Mabel Hunt Waller.  She was united in marriage on Dec. 26, 1939, to attorney and business man Frank Bonan who preceded her in death on July 18, 1992.  Mrs. Bonan was a librarian having earned a master’s degree from the University of Illinois. Her parents were teachers and school administrators in various parts of Illinois. She was instrumental in establishing libraries around Southern Illinois in the 1930’s during the depression.  

She was also responsible for the establishment of the libraries in the schools of Hamilton County.  She was an integral part of the McLeansboro McCoy Memorial Library and served on the Board for over 60 years.  She was a librarian and a teacher at East Side School in McLeansboro for over 20 years, having also established that library.  That library was one of the first of its kind in Southern Illinois.  

She was dedicated to her religion at the First Christian Church in McLeansboro and served there in many capacities as a teacher, program administrator, pianist and organist for most of her life.  

She was very accomplished in education, music and the arts.  She is survived by her children, Crystal Bonan Spencer and husband H. Nelson Spencer of St. Louis, Mo; her son, Frank William Bonan and wife, Susan W. Bonan of McLeansboro; her son, Joseph Hunt Bonan and wife, Donna L. Bonan of Mt. Vernon, and her grandchildren, Katherine E. Bonan and fiancé Todd Miller of Collinsville; Frank William Bonan II and wife Nicole of Benton, and Horatio Nelson Spencer and wife Katie of St. Louis, and her great grandchildren, Ray Spencer, Caroline Spencer, and Dean Spencer of St. Louis.

She was a member of the local chapter P.E.O; The Hamilton County Historical Society and the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and numerous other local organizations and charities.  

She was a devoted wife and mother and an inspiration to her family and all who knew her.  She will be greatly and sadly missed.  

A memorial service in her honor will be conducted at the First Christian Church in McLeansboro at 10 a.m. Monday March 4, 2013, at with the church open at 9 a.m.  Brother Carroll Kakac will conduct the services with the Gholson Funeral Home of McLeansboro in charge of arrangements.