Carlos Lonberger I

1955 - 2021



Carlos Arthur Lonberger I, 65, of Tolono, IL passed away peacefully at 6:48 p.m. Friday, March 5, 2021, at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, IL.

He was born April 11, 1955, in Champaign, IL, the son of Marjorie Jane (Phipps) Lonberger and Arthur Amos Lonberger.  He spent the majority of his formative years in Tolono. The man he would call dad entered his life in 1972 when his mother was remarried to Charles Wayne Gillett.   He graduated from Unity High School in 1973. 

He attended Olivet Nazarene University and earned a degree in Business.  He earned his M.B.A. in 2000. While at O.N.U. he met, courted and married the love of his life, Rebecca (Becky) Irene Hardin.  They had their first date at Red Lobster and he was so enamored with the young lady from Indianapolis that he proposed to her just three months later, December 17, 1977.  They were married on June 17, 1978 in Indianapolis at the Morristown Christian Church.  Rev. Harry Hardin, Becky’s father, officiated the ceremony.

They spent much of their married life in the Champaign area where Carlos started several successful business ventures, the most successful being Carlos’ Signs and Graphics.  He was an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene.  He retired from full time ministry while serving at the Mansfield Community Church of the Nazarene in 2016.

Carlos was an accomplished musician with deep baritone voice.  Singing was not his only talent musically, he also played the bass guitar and the trombone.  During the 90’s he traveled with a southern gospel group, the Crusaders.  Carlos and Becky also traveled with their children, Carlos and Marji, as the Lonberger Family during that time.  He held a special place in his heart for his beloved dog Rudy.  Carlos was never happier than when he was surrounded by his eight grandchildren. 

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Becky; Mother Marjorie Gillett of Tolono, IL; children Carlos A. (Kristen) Lonberger II of Kankakee, IL, Marji J. (Jeremy) Orr of Columbia City, IN; brother Rev. Earl (Tami) Gillett of Stockton, CA; sisters Rebecca (Scott) Hoffman of Dunkirk, TN, Kathie (Chuck) Glasco of Rockford, IL, and Carol (Steve) Taylor of Ottawa, IL; eight grandchildren; his beloved dog Rudy.

He was preceded in death by his father, Charles Wayne Gillett and biological father Arthur Amos Lonberger.

A celebration of life is scheduled to take place on March 11, 2021 at the Champaign First Church of the Nazarene.  Visitation begins at 5 p.m. with the funeral service to follow at 7 p.m.  The service will be live streamed by the church, Arrangements are by Freese Funeral Home.

Memorials can be sent to Kankakee County Living Resources Pregnancy Center or you can visit their donation link at or; to give, be sure to select the Kankakee Center.


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Tolono Location

407 N. Bourne Street, Tolono, IL

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Bonnie Thornton

March 10, 2021 2:14 PM

Marji, I was so saddened to learn of your dad's passing.  I remember talking to him a view times on the phone when I worked for Pensions & Benefits after returning from Korea and we became Facebook friends.  Please give my condolences to your mother and brother and rest of the family.  Praying for God to be close during the weeks and months ahead.

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