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Village Honors Late Community Members Chase and Bonow

Former village Trustee Gary Chase and long-time resident Gus Bonow were honored with speeches and a moment of silence during the last Mokena Village Board meeting.


Once again, Mokena is in mourning for prominent residents we've recently lost.

Former Trustee Gary Chase and long-time resident Gus Bonow both passed in the last few weeks. Chase was 78; Bonow, 85. The pair were honored with memories and a moment of silence during the village board's last meeting.

"It's getting to be too much of a habit," Werner said, alluding to the recent deaths of prominent residents and of .

Watch video of the mayor's recognition and moment of silence.

August T. "Gus" Bonow was a World War II veteran and 42-year member of the Chicago Fire Department.

Chase, a long-time board member, was one of the founders of the Mayors Charitable Trust Foundation and was instrumental in bringing Lake Michigan water to town.

"They were great men and will truly, truly be missed," Trustee Debbie Engler said.

Trustee Joseph Siwinski shared memories of both men.

"When I first got on the board I had the honor and privilege of serving with Gary for a few years," Siwinski said. "He was truly someone that I did look up to."

Siwinski recalled Chase as one of the people instrumental in the development of Mokena from a rural farming community into the suburban center it is today.

Bonow was another friend, Siwinski said. Bonow would drop by Siwinski's office to chat and talk about the town.

"The best thing about Gus is that if you were doing something wrong, he wasn't afraid to tell you," Siwinski said. "Guys like that, they're just not around anymore."

Village Administrator John Downs said he would chat with Bonow by the village hall as Bonow walked his dog Bear or the pair would grab a burger at . Bonow moved out of town about five years ago, but stayed connected and would often visit Mokena.

"He was just very much part of the fabric of our community," Downs said.

Several board members also used the trustee comments section of the meeting to give their sympathies and share their memories of Bonow and Chase.

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