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Bonny Jean Hitt
January 18, 1934 ~ August 12, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old
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Bonny Jean Orr was born January 18, 1934 in Stanford, IL, the sixth child of Ernest and Lillie Rearden Orr. She grew up on farms near Standford and attended the one room grade school, Stanford Institute until moving in to Stanford in 7th grade attending Stanford Grade and graduating Stanford High School in 1951. While in school, she worked part time at the grocery store, local restaurants, and corn detasseling. Following high school graduation she began working at State Farm Insurance in Bloomington, IL
She married Robert (Bob) Hitt on February 14, 1952 in Sumter, South Carolina near the Shaw Air Force Base. Bob served in the US Air Force but returned to Hopedale, IL following the death of his father. She returned to work at State Farm. In 1954, their son Terry was born and Bonny worked part time jobs at the Hospital, Grocery Store, General Electric and was a news correspondent.
In 1960, several job transfers for Bob from Hopedale to Eldridge,IA eventually moving to St. Joseph in 1962 where Bonny worked as a bookkeeper and then settled into her 44 year career in banking starting at the State Bank of St. Joseph in April 1964. In 1966, their second son Todd was born. Their two sons were the joy of their lives!
Bonny became vice-president of State Bank of St. Joseph in 1966 and in 1989 she became manager for Busey bank after the two banks merged. She received her General Banking degree from Parkland College and graduated from the University of Illinois Graduate School of Banking in 1986. In 1994, she successfully completed the Foundations in Financial Planning with the College of Financial Planning. She was a past president of the American Institute of Banking and served on the Banking Advisory Board of Parkland College. Bonny was the St. Joseph Village Clerk until 1977 and the St. Joseph Township Clerk from 1984 to 2021. In 1994 she transferred to the Urbana Busey Bank to be the Director of the Senior Club, Fortune Five-0. She retired in 1997 as the Director and continued for 11 years as a travel planner and escort for the Fortune Five-0 Club, leading tours accompanied by Bob to a multitude of destinations in the United States, French Riviera, Italy, Monte Carlo, San Tropez, Caribbean Islands, Mexico and Jamaica. She loved the sun, beach and water, no matter where she was in the world, the memories were endless.
Along with her banking career, she was a 60 year plus member of the American Legion Auxiliary, serving as the President of the Hopedale Chapter in 1953. She was also a Den Mother, a member of the Junior and Senior Women’s Clubs, Altrusa International and Past President of the Chamber of Commerce.
She was preceded in death by her parents Lillie and Ernest Orr, Stanford Il. Four brothers, Homer Orr, Ralph Orr, Russell Orr and Charles Orr, all of Stanford, IL and one sister, Marilyn June Smith of Champaign.
Great pleasure was the time spent with surviving family, sons Terry (Teresa), Neoga, IL and Todd (Jamie) St. Joseph, Grandson Tracy Hitt, Glen Carbon, Grandaughters Tiffany (Neil) Rew, Hillsboro, IN, Jody (Brent) Bohnert Perryville, MO, Jessie (Tyler) Parsons, St. Joseph and great grandchildren, Colten Badgley, Cayden Rew, Maria Rew, Caley, Hannah, Jase and Jaxon Hitt, Brody and Jonah Bohnert, Peyton and Charlee Parsons. Great great-granddaughter Brixley. Bonny also greatly enjoyed spending time with her friends, “The Six Pack”. They all enjoyed going out to lunch or dinner followed by a spirited game of Dominoes.
Memorials may be made to Friends Fore Life P.O. Box 12 St. Joseph, IL 618763
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 A.M. Thursday August 17, 2023 at Freese Funeral Home 302 E. Grand Ave. St. Joseph. Pastor Dave Ashby and Pastor Jim Davis will officiate. Burial will be in Mt. Olive Cemetery, Mayview. Visitation will be held on Wednesday from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at the funeral home.