Robert Johnessee

Bunker Hill | Monday, April 24 2023 |

Robert Fisher Johnessee, 88, of Bunker Hill, IL, died at Kindred Hospital, Saint Louis, MO on Monday, April 24, 2023 at 1:20 pm.  He was born August 22, 1934, in Pearl, IL to Harry C. Johnessee & Alice Butler Johnessee.  He married Juanita Pettyjohn on September 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 during his early days 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 so it would not go dry every year.  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.  He resigned from that position in 2013 to care for his wife, Juanita.  As president of the Chamber, he had many goals and accomplishments.  Bob worked tirelessly to keep down the cost of water and electric bills along with taxes.  This was in an effort to allow small businesses to maintain their business and to also make a profit.  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 time a new business would open in Bunker Hill, Bob would hold a “Ribbon Cutting” ceremony if they chose to.  This would let the new business know they were appreciated and allow the community to be aware of the new business and encourage the community to shop local.  Although it was a lot of work, Bob enjoyed organizing the Fall Festival each year.  He would start early in the morning with preparations and be one of the last ones cleaning and getting the streets back to regular working order.  Each year Mr. Johnessee would hold an event that has become a jewel to him.  Breakfast with Santa is held at the municipal building every December.  The Chamber of Commerce along with special help from the Bunker Hill Lions Club hosts this event to bring some joy and fun to the kids in the community.  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.  Once the cell phone service was in place, Bob started on the 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.  Bob worked very hard to get that accomplished.  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.  The new library is three times larger than the old facility.  He is survived by his children, Robert L. (Heidi) Johnessee of South Lebanon, OH, Deborah K. Dorrington of Bunker Hill, IL, 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, Pansy (Charles) Butler.  Friends may call on Friday, April 28, 2023 at Kravanya Funeral Home, Bunker Hill, IL from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm.  Funeral services are Saturday, April 29, 2023 at 10:00 am at Kravanya Funeral Home, Bunker Hill, IL.  Burial will be at Bunker Hill Cemetery, Bunker Hill, IL.  Anyone wishing to send an online condolence may do so at

Kravanya Funeral Home, Bunker Hill, IL  is in charge of the arrangements.

Obit Provided By:
Kravanya Funeral Homes

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