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PEKIN ~ Jana Stapleton Bonnett,65, of Pekin, passed away Monday, July 8, 2019 at her home. 

Jana Lynn Stapleton was born on January 23, 1954 in Quantico, VA, to James and Marilyn (Keil) Stapleton. On October 4, 1975, she married R. Keith Bonnett in Pekin, IL. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Bradley University (summa cum laude, Kappa Omicron Phi) in 1976. After raising her children, Jana persevered as a nontraditional student and earned her master’s degree in speech pathology in 1996 with a perfect 4.0 while commuting to Western Illinois University. 

Jana and her beloved husband were blessed with two children: daughter Kyle and her husband, Matthew Cain; and son Evan and his wife, Virginia (Macfarlane) Bonnett. Jana will always be “Nina” to her seven grandchildren: Elisabeth, Ethan, Julia, Owen, Vivian, David, and Thomas. 

Jana had a passion for all things creative, and could teach herself to do anything. She loved interior decorating, theater, sewing, and cross-stitch. She was especially well-known for her love of cooking, enjoying exotic foods (the weirder the better!), and expert baking. She was a true gingerbread artisan, making increasingly complex and beautiful gingerbread house creations for friends and family for decades. She has passed this tradition on to her family, and they hold it dear.

Jana loved exercise and travelling with Keith, who filmed her performing cartwheels worldwide. She especially treasured spending as much time as possible with her grandkids. She adored every moment with them. Jana was also a member of the Pekin Civic Chorus, PEO Sisterhood, Daughters of the American Revolution, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She was a member of Grace United Methodist Church and part of the Journey class; she was previously a nearly fifty-year member of First Christian Church.  

She retired in 2018 from Pekin School District 108, where she practiced as a preschool speech pathologist for over twenty years, making a difference in countless young lives. She planned on continuing her practice individually with children following her retirement, until she was unable because of her illness.

Jana was preceded in death by her mother and father. She is survived by her husband, Keith; two children; seven grandchildren; her sister Kathy (Bobby) Sansale, and her brother Timothy (Chris) Stapleton; and scores of cousins, nieces and nephews, and in-laws of every degree. 

Her memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 14, 2019 at Grace United Methodist Church in Pekin. Pastor Eric N. Swanson and Pastor Heather Robertson will officiate. Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin. Burial will be at 4 p.m. Sunday at Prairie Haven Cemetery in Pekin.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Runs or

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