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Don Fornear

veteranFeb 26th, 1929 - Jun 9th, 2023

Funeral Ceremony & Masonic Rites: 12 noon on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, at Frank & Bright Funeral Home

Committal Ceremony & Interment: 4 p.m. at Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser

Visitation: 10 a.m. until 12 noon at the funeral home


      Donald Lyle Fornear, age 94, of Flora, Illinois, passed away early Friday morning, June 9, 2023, at SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon.

      He was born February 26, 1929, in Sesser, the son of Robert and Beatrice (Settles) Fornear.  He was united in marriage to Betty Lee Kunkel on January 7, 1949, in Sesser, and together they shared 70 wedding anniversaries until her death December 22, 2019.

      Don served in the US Air Force from 1952-1956 during the Korean War era.  After his promotion from the Illinois State Police Academy in 1958 he retired as a Sergeant after 30 years of service.  He was a 60+ year member of the Masons and an active member of the Flora First Methodist Church.  Don was often affectionately known as “Babe” around his hometown of Sesser.  He enjoyed golfing, square dancing, camping, gardening, fishing, and rabbit hunting over the years.  Don enjoyed exchanging stories and tales of all kinds when visiting with his friends and family.  He will especially be remembered for his caring thoughtfulness, and how he shared a kind word with others, especially young people. 

      He is survived by a daughter: Barbara (Pat) Beck of Effingham; 3 grandchildren: Patrick Alan (Amber) Beck of Maumelle, Arkansas, Matthew Ryan (Faith) Beck of Yukon, Oklahoma, and Andrea Don (Curtis) Rexroad of Winter Haven, Florida; 7 great-grandchildren: Cayden, Jase, Averi, Ashlynn, Noah, and Braxton Beck, and Olivia Rexroad; and 3 step great-grandchildren: Dylan and Jaxon Evans, and Piper Miller.

      He was preceded in death by his parents; wife: Betty Fornear; a beloved son: Mark Alan Fornear; and 3 brothers: Meredith, William, and Robert Fornear.

      A funeral ceremony and masonic rites will begin at 12 noon on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, at Frank & Bright Funeral Home in Flora with Pastor Mark Smith officiating.  The committal ceremony and interment will take place at 4 p.m. at Maple Hill Cemetery in Sesser with the presentation of military funeral honors.  A visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until 12 noon at the funeral home.  Memorial donations are suggested to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Flora First Methodist Church, and these will be accepted through the funeral home.  To share a condolence or memory, visit: 


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Donald Fry

June 9th

you couldnt ask for a beter person and kindness and a brother of the flora masonic lodge . fare well my friend .

Chris Murphy

June 9th

Barb, I’m sorry to here of the loss of your Dad. I have fond memories of your family. Your father was a good man and loved by all.

Susan and Jim Allison

June 9th

Barb and family, You are in our thoughts and prayers. Rest in Gods Peace, Don 🕊️

Julie Milone Steimel

June 9th

Barbara, I am so sorry for your loss. I remember both your parents and they were both very nice. You were very lucky to have had such a good Dad. Julie

Kay Fritch

June 9th

Don gave me many sweet times of hearing his many tales and life experiences. His faith and love was evident to all.

Jim and Aleta Tackitt

June 9th

So sorry to hear of Don's passing. He was a very good friend of my father's. They both served the citizens of Illinois proudly as Illinois State Troopers. Rest in peace!

Doug and Marsha Hockman

June 10th

We have lost one of the best. I am sure he and Betty and Mark are now reunited in heaven. I loved hearing his stories no matter how long it took to tell them.


June 10th

Loved Don and his gardening lessons..he was my friend and will be missed ❤️

Gina Douthit

June 10th

I am really going to miss you Don. Rest in the arms of our Lord.

Bud and Linda Martin

June 10th

Don was the ultimate gentleman. He loved and was devoted to his family. He was an honor to his profession. We enjoyed visiting with him and Betty. He was fun on the golf course. It’s wonderful knowing that he is now reunited with Betty and Mark. Prayers of peace and comfort for Barbara and her family. RIP Sergeant Don❤️

Steve Valbert

June 10th

Sorry to here of Dons passing, he was a good man and friend of mine. I grew up with Mark and Don fishing and hunting, playing baseball and picking blackberry’s. I know there together now in a wonderful place.

Ken Jennings Jr

June 10th

Don was my 1st year little league coach. And the only way he could have been happier. Was if he could have been kinder. And there no way that could happen. A few years back. We sit down and talked. A few times. I sure enjoyed it. And I think he did too. I will really miss him. Sorry for your loss.

David Lewis

June 10th

With much love and prayers, Dave Lewis. You all have my sincere sympathy. Don and Betty have always been such great friends, and were so very thoughtful and kind to everyone. They will always be greatly missed, and we treasure our fond memories. David Lewis.

William Norwood

June 10th

I am very sorry to lose a great neighbor. I have lived in front of Don Fornear for around 11 years. And nobody could have a better friend than Don was to me. He will be missed in the neighborhood, Barb , u and your family are in my prayers.

Jim and Aleta Tackitt

June 10th

Barbara and family: I was sorry to hear about your father's passing. The last time I talked to Don was at my father's funeral. They both served the citizens of Illinois proudly as ISP. He and Dad were good friends. Don was a good, kind man. Prayers for comfort at this difficult time.

Rick and Trudy Zimmerman Stanford

June 10th

Barb we are so sorry to hear of your Father's passing. Your thoughts and prays are with you. 🙏🏻

Connie & Jon Masters

June 10th

We will miss you, your compassion and your service to our country! Thank you and rest in peace Don!

Jacque McKnight Davis

June 10th

Prayers of peace and comfort for you and family, Barbara. Remember your Mom and Dad fondly as some of the great fifth street neighborhood parents. Some of my best memories. And pray God's hugs as you visit these memories of your dad.

Terry Igert

June 10th

I am so sorry to hear about your dad!!! We saw him at Grama's kitchen 2 weeks ago!!! I'm so glad I stop to talk to him and gave him a hug!!! I'm so gladi did!!

Mike & Shirl (Pearce) Bily

June 10th

My condolences to you Barbara and family. God bless.

Becky Stocke

June 10th

My thoughts and prayers for Barbara and family. Don was just a wonderful man—- he certainty will be missed ! Loved to hear him tell his stories!

Joe and Lind Jones

June 10th

Don was one of a kind. He was the nicest man that I have ever known. Will miss his stories. Sadly we didn't get to play golf this year but memories of the past years will always be with me. So sorry I cannot make Don's funeral. But I will sure be thinking of him Tuesday.


June 10th

Barb, condolences to you on the passing of your dad. He was a great guy. God blesd

Bill and Nancy Frazier

June 10th

Barb- What a legacy your dad ( and mom) have left for all of us. Our Florida memories are full of their warm, welcoming presence. We loved Don’s stories and his teasing and his generosity. And his love for Betty- never a doubt there. They both loved life and lived their faith. We are sad but so many happy memories remain. Love to you and your family. Nancy and Bill Frazier

Gary Lehman

June 11th

Barb- So sorry to hear the passing of your Dad. He was a great guy and would do anything for you. He always had a smile on his face and a kind heart. He will be missed dearly.

Shelly Allen

June 11th

Hello, I am Vickie Simpsons daughter. Don and Betty were so special to our family. They were such sweet people. My daughter and I both have been blessed to have them in our lives. Many laughs and tears. Love and hugs. Shelly

Ned Mitchell

June 11th

I grew up near a gas station the Fornear’s ran a DX gas station and were always kind to me. We went to the Sesser Methodist Church together. Prayers for peace and comfort

Charlie and Patty Peters

June 11th

Our sympathies for the passing of your dad Barb. He was a very nice guy. You and your family will be in our prayers for comfort and acceptance in the days ahead.

Dennis Goodman

June 12th

I am sorry to hear of Mr. Fornears passing. He was a nice man. I played ball with his son Mark before he passed away far to soon. Mark also was a very pleasant person. Condolences to the Fornear family.

George Huntington

June 12th

Had the pleasure of working with Don… he was a super nice guy!!! RIP Don Condolences to the family

J. Michael Hand Ft. Myers FL

June 12th

Sorry to hear of the passing of a "brother in Blue" in Sgt. Fornear. I grew up in Flora Il and went to school with daughter Barb thru 7th grade when my family moved to nearby Olney Il. Don just had that presence of what an IL. State Police officer should be and the way he carried himself. I always had a lot of respect for him even at a young age. During my career w/ the ISP I tried to conduct myself how Don did; fair but firm with people. He set the example for young Troopers like myself to carry on the tradition of the agency. I salute him for his service to our country and the citizens of the State of Illinois.

Richard & Carolyn (Fornear) Stubblefield

June 13th

Writing from the Fornear perspective, every family should have a "Babe." He brought each emotion to the family, from his ready smile and sense of humor to the deepest compassion for those who were hurting. As many of our family members passed on, he served as a beloved patriarch, with Betty by his side, being there for each part of our dear family, recounting his favorite stories with joy. We, like many others, will miss his loving hugs, sincere caring and Christian example. Barbara, we are sad for you, Pat, your children and grandchildren, but we're happy for your dad as he, your mom and Mark are together again.

Laura (Cook) Hale

June 13th

I remember growing up next door to Don and Betty. Don and my father hunted together. He was a very kind and caring man. He will be greatly missed.

John Oglesby

June 28th

Prayers for all of Don's family and friends. He was one of the most admired and nicest people I knew at our church. Condolences to his family.

Edith J. Edwards

August 17th

So sorry to hear of the passing of Don Fornear. I will always remember him from my childhood years at the Methodist Church as a very kind man and totally dedicated to the Lord and his family. I send heartfelt prayers to all of his family.



Don, Jane and Darren Delaney
Norman Philli[ps
Yancey and Lori (Clement) Glassford
Bill & Jill McDonald
Becky and Rick Williams
Vickie Simpson
Casey &Debra Eastin
Ed and Donna Jones
Jim and Jill Fehrenbacher
Donald Fry / Sheery Evilsizer
Larry and Sue Kramer
Jim Fry
Myron and Gail Woomer
Susan and Jim Allison
Julie Milone Steimel
Sammie Wickiser
Larry Frost
Nancy Travis
Sheldon and June Smith
Jerry and Mary Ellis
June Payne
Tom, Yvonne, & Dericka Winterss
Vernon and Yvonne Guinn
Bonnie Osborne
Dan & Cheri Gill
Ken and Tammy Haven
Lisa Erbacher
Esther walker
Jane Janes
Diana & Greg Rutland
Judy Lusk
Neal & Janet Fehrenbacher
Bryan & Gayla Land
charlie and karen sailer
Mike and Kathy Kitley
Gary & Terry Lane
Jean Guerrettaz
Becky Murbarger
Anne Yates Hustad
Carolyn Wickiser and Peggy Gentry Luther
Bud and Linda Martin
Jan Bryan Peterson
Linda Harrell Judd
David Bryden
Wayne Eastin & Diane Johnson
Randy & Lisa Hargis
All 70's Reunion
Debbie King Casell
Gene & Betty Pieplow
Steve and Cindy Valbert
Carla Eastberg
Dorothy Uebinger
Brad & Tina Briscoe
Ken Jennings Jr
Dana &Janet Franklin
Micheal W. & Kristal G. Engelmeier
William Norwood
Jim and Carolyn Taylor
Billie Mojonnier
Dave and Linda Thompson
Alan & Charlotte Hickox
Nancy Lewis
Tara Race
Jim and Aleta Tackitt
Trudy Zimmerman Stanford
Walt and Doloris Brewer
Chad & Elizabeth Bayles
Connie and Jon Masters
Gale & Liz Beard
Dave Reynolds
Steve & Ruby Barnes
Peggy Lowry Gibson
Randy & Lori Poole
Mike & Deb McKinney
Pat Ridgeway
Mark &Karen Jones
Peggy Coble
Norman and Shirley Fry Workman
Becky Stocke
David and Debra Phillips
Joe & Linda Jones
Phil & Jane Henson
Dana Hosick
Bill and Susan Rinehart
Ron and Mary Anne Ayers
Steve and Julene Freeman
Mike Dickey
Sharon David
Gary Lehman and family
Jeff and Liz Strubhart
Debbie (Glaspy) Johnson
Roger and Cindy Bonham
Vince and Linda Salyers/Vandyke
Jesse, Carmen, Jerron, & Jessa Lewis
Charlie and Patty Peters
Steve and Nancy Mink
Donna Jo Carpenter
Tom Winters
Tyler Smith
Helen Markham
Dr. Harold L. Martin Family
Mark Dunnigan
Bruce & Nannette Richards
Edith Childers Edwards


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Frank & Bright Funeral Home
and Cremation Services

500 North Main Street
Flora, Illinois 62839

Phone : (618) 662-2141
Fax: (618) 662-4600
Email: [email protected]

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