Date of Birth
Date of Death
Donald W. Bower, who was three days shy of his 90th birthday, passed away peacefully at his home in North Aurora, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family on Wednesday, May 3, 2017.
He was born May 6, 1927 in Aurora, the son of Wilbur and Tona (Wolfe) Bower.
Don grew up on a farm out by Kaneville and attended local schools. He graduated from Kaneville High School with the class of 1945.
Following graduation, Don spent two years putting in hard work on the family farm before continuing his education at the Northern Illinois State Teachers College, now N.I.U. in DeKalb. Don wasnâ€™t just studying books, but also a certain young woman, Donna Vee Butts. He received his diploma but lost his heart before enlisting in the United States Air Force. He proudly served his country during the Korean War as an air traffic controller in Japan. He and Donna Vee were married on April 18, 1953 before Don was deployed to Japan. He was honorably discharged in September of 1956.
Don returned to civilian life, but it was his lovely bride that he was most excited to see. They began their new life in Aurora while Don began working for Illinois Bell after his friend Lenny got him an interview. It would be 30 years later that Don retired in 1985. The true milestone was this past April with they celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary.
His hands never became idle through countless hours of community service with both the North Aurora Lions Club and Lions Club International. He also was a charter member of the North Aurora Jaycees and was a Cub Scout Master for five years. The Batavia Loyal Order of the Moose and the Batavia American Legion also counted him as a member. Through it all, he was a faithful member of the Union Congregational Church in North Aurora, now Living Hope Church. There he welcomed everyone with a smile as we worked as a greeter, served on the board of Trustees, was a Deacon and an Elder, and was instrumental in the publishing of The North Auroran, a village newsletter that went out to the entire community.
Don was a master wood worker whose imagination brought to life countless creations for his family to treasure. A true “Mr. Fix-It”, there was nothing that Don couldnâ€™t build, fix or create. He loved taking the family on vacation to various lakes in Wisconsin where he taught his kids to fish. He went deer hunting in Pennsylvania but also loved to hunt pheasant, fox, squirrel or whatever local game was available. Later trips to Wisconsin were replaced with a vacation home near Branson, MO. His work for the Lions Club, which included not only president of his local club, but also District Governor of 1-J and an officer of the Lions of Illinois Foundation, took the family across the country. Donâ€™s love of the Chicago Cubs (along with vanilla ice cream) was second only to his family. There was no bigger die-hard fan and his passion couldnâ€™t help but be passed down to his kids. The whole family would take a picnic lunch to Wrigley Field and take in not only the game, but batting practice as well. The titles of “Dad”, “Grandpa” and “Uncle” were used by countless “family” that Don and Donna Vee adopted throughout the years.. His integrity was unimpeachable and spoke volumes about his character, work ethic, love of his community. He will be missed by many and forgotten by none.
He now leaves his loving wife of 64 years, Donna Vee Bower; three children: Debra (Keith) Bower-Watling, Tony (Belinda) Bower and Lisa Beth (Doug) Kohout; five grandchildren: Justin, Megan, Lynn, Laura and John; nine great-grandchildren: Bryce, Michael, Leda, Madeline, Emily, Morgan, Julia, Justice and Leilani; two great-great granddaughters: Vana and Esme`; one brother-in-law, Leon Shaw; many nieces, nephews, countless cousins, a countryside full of friends and honorary family.
He now joins his parents, Wilbur and Tona Bower, one son, Mark Bower; his siblings: Lysle Bower, Pauline Breon and Lois Shaw who preceded him in death.
Visitation will be from 2-6:30 p.m. with a memorial service to follow at 7 p.m. , at Union Congregational Church (Living Hope Church), 405 W. State St., North Aurora, on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. Private family burial will follow at a later date. Services were handled with care by Conley Funeral Home, Elburn.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made directly to Union Congregational Church (Living Hope Church), 405 W. State St., North Aurora, IL or the Lions of Illinois Foundation, 2254 Oakland Dr., Sycamore, IL 60178. Tributes may also be forwarded through the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page, or at www.conleycare.com where you can see his full life story.
Visitation will be from 2-6:30 p.m. with a memorial service to follow at 7 p.m. , at Union Congregational Church (Living Hope Church), 405 W. State St., North Aurora, on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. Private family burial will follow at a later date.