Robert Fisher Johnessee, 88, of Bunker Hill, passed away at Kindred Hospital, Saint Louis, MO on Monday, April 24, 2023 at 1:20 pm.
He was born Aug. 22, 1934, in Pearl, to Harry C. Johnessee and Alice Butler Johnessee.
He married Juanita Pettyjohn on Sept. 4, 1953.
He was a retired supervisor for Owens Illinois where he specialized in Gerber baby food jars.
Robert F. Johnessee has long served the Bunker Hill community. He began his service to Bunker Hill in 1957 when he became alderman. Following that position he served as mayor from 1959-1979. While mayor, Bob worked very hard to get a sanitary sewer system and clean water to the town. He also worked with Madison County to get a water line run to Bertagnolli Lake. Bob then worked towards improving the streets, sidewalks and alleys. In 1980 Bob was transferred to Atlanta, Georgia for work. He had built his home in Bunker Hill before he left, to which he returned in 1999. In 2002 Bob again started his service to the community he loved by accepting the nomination to become president of the Bunker Hill Area Chamber of Commerce. Bob worked tirelessly to keep down the cost of water and electric bills along with taxes. He worked closely with the Macoupin County Economic Development in promoting “Macoupin Matters,” a campaign to encourage people to shop in Bunker Hill and Macoupin County. Each year Bob would hold a Breakfast with Santa that had become a jewel to him. He resigned from that position in 2013 to care for his wife, Juanita. While serving as president of the Chamber, Bob also took on the office of president of the Bunker Hill Library Board in 2007. Bob was very instrumental in bringing cell phone service to Bunker Hill. It was during that time in working closely with the Governor’s office that a working relationship was developed with then Lt. Governor Pat Quinn. Bob started a campaign of improving the Bunker Hill Library. In order for the library to be eligible for funding and grants, it needed to become its own district. Because of his persistent hard work, the Bunker Hill Library received two grants. One from the Illinois Governor’s office and the second from the Illinois Secretary of State.
He is survived by his children, Robert L. (Heidi) Johnessee of South Lebanon, OH, Deborah K. Dorrington of Bunker Hill; grandchildren, Sara (Eric) Cayton, James Dorrington, Benjamin (Christi) Dorrington, Robert (Veronica) Johnessee, Brian (Sarah) Johnessee, Bethany (Josh) Eldridge; great-grandchildren, Jayne Cayton, Gideon Cayton, Malachi Cayton, Ronin Johnessee, Ophelia Johnessee, Madeline Johnessee, Jacob Johnessee, Lilian Eldridge, Emmelia Eldridge and brother, Bill (Connie) Johnessee.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents, spouse, siblings, Betty Lewis, Richard (Doris) Johnessee and Pansy (Charles) Butler.
Visitation was held on Friday, April 28, 2023 at Kravanya Funeral Home, Bunker Hill. Funeral services are Saturday, April 29, 2023 at Kravanya Funeral Home, Bunker Hill, IL. Burial will be at Bunker Hill Cemetery, Bunker Hill.
Anyone wishing to send an online condolence may do so at kravanyafuneral.com.
Kravanya Funeral Home, Bunker Hill, is in charge of the arrangements.