Jean Penny Bohnen
Last updated 2/15/2023 at 4:04pm | View PDF
Jean Penny Bohnen passed peacefully in her Hinsdale home Feb. 10, 2023, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Born in Iron Mountain, Mich., Penny was a proud "Yooper" who traced her roots back to the early settlers of Northern Michigan and Wisconsin. Descended from French-Canadian trappers and Native American Ojibway and Winnebago on one side and German and Cornish miners on the other, Penny's values never wavered. Her life and dignified example always set the unmistakable standard for strength, integrity, family, hard work, loyalty and dedication.
Penny cherished family first. She also loved her Green Bay Packers, snow and cold weather, a good time with a cold beer at an Oktoberfest, a twirl to some great rock 'n' roll and the chance to share a laugh and a good story with close friends. She also cooked a mean pasty.
Raised in Appleton, Wis., Penny met the love of her life, John, while attending Lawrence University. They were engaged and married in 1964 while attending college. After graduation, she and John moved to Chicago, where Penny continued her studies to become an elementary school teacher. She first taught in Evanston and then Clarendon Hills, where she and John moved in 1968. They then moved to Hinsdale, John's hometown, in 1972, where they raised three loving daughters and welcomed seven grandchildren. She felt truly blessed each day for a home that was filled with her grandchildren, laughter, the smell of a home-cooked meal, and always, love. Penny was passionate about the outdoors and exercise, especially long family walks in Wisconsin's North Woods, chasing the many generations of Jack Russell Terriers that she loved dearly.
Penny became a Realtor in 1983, and in 1992 she founded her own firm, County Line Properties, with John. They operated the business successfully together for 30 years, and recently merged with Better Homes and Gardens. The business continues to operate from its original Hinsdale location.
Penny tenaciously devoted her time to many civic and charitable pursuits she undertook, including Infant Welfare, Hinsdale Assembly Board, Hinsdale Historical Society, the Hinsdale Antique Show (chairwoman), Hinsdale Humane Society, The Garden Club of Hinsdale, Service Club of Chicago and Hinsdale Golf Club, to name a few. She was deeply committed to historic preservation and her legacy is marked by the many successful campaigns she led to protect Hinsdale's historic downtown and landmarks.
Penny was a loyal friend to so many and she will be deeply missed by those touched by her friendship and example of a life well-lived.
She is survived by her husband, John; her three daughters, Courtney (Eric) Stach, Stephanie (John) Zelenka and Ashley (Patrick) Sackley; and her seven grandchildren, Henry Stach, Charles Stach, Olivia Zelenka, Jack Zelenka, Dillon Sackley, Fred Sackley and Riley Sackley.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Dudley and Jean Eisele; her brother, David George Eisele; and her sister, Jacqueline Grant.
Visitation is from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at Adolf Funeral Home, 7000 S. Madison St., Willowbrook.
A funeral Mass will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 2, at Notre Dame Catholic Church, 64 Norfolk Ave., Clarendon Hills.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made online to the Hinsdale Historical Society at http://www.hinsdalehistory.org or the Hinsdale Humane Society at http://www.hinsdalehumanesociety.org.