Leroy (Bud) Thanepohn was born on the 4th of July, 1928, the son of Art and Helen Thanepohn. Bud lived his life through an interesting time frame, from horse drawn equipment and carriages, and Model A Fords, to seeing space travel, and everything in between. Bud lived through the Great Depression as a kid. He delivered newspapers to all of Yorkville, south of the river 1935 – 1943. Throughout high school, Bud worked at F.F. Webers Newstand early AM, then, walked to the north side and cut asparagus at the Greeks until school started. Bud started working for Yorkville Hardware after school, which turned into full time work after graduating Yorkville High School in 1946. Bud enjoyed a good reputation as a trumpeter. He led the high school orchestra, and after graduating, joined the Musicians Union Band in Aurora. Bud also served as the City of Yorkville Treasurer until he went into active duty during the Korean War. Bud had joined the Illinois National Guard in 1948. Bud met the love of his life on June 17th, 1949, Marilyn Skow. Their first date, June 24th, 1949, was a Lake Michigan cruise on “Chicago’s Million Dollar Steamship, “Theodore Roosevelt”. They were married Jan. 18th, 1951 at Helmar Lutheran Church. In July 1951, Bud was serving with the Aurora National Guard when called up to deal with a major racial riot in the City of Cicero. In Nov. 1951, Bud was activated for the Korean War. Bud spent two years in California and in the state of Washington, as a supply sergeant and then as Unit Administrator. Marilyn and newborn Douglas joined Bud in California, and son Michael was born at Madigan Army Hospital in Washington. Upon Returning home, Bud and Marilyn bought their first home in Oswego, IL. Bud joined wholesaler, Eby Brown Co. in Aurora, IL and went on the road and became their top salesman for a number of years, and remained with Eby Brown Co. for 55 years until 2008. In this time frame, Bud witnessed Eby Brown’s growth from Northern Illinois, to sales operations everywhere in the USA, east of the Mississippi River, except for 5 Northeaster States.
Cross Lutheran Church has always been an important part of Bud’s life. He was baptized in 1928, and had public confirmation in 1943. Bud participated in and led the Walther League group at Cross. Bud served at Cross Lutheran Church all of his life. He sang in the adult choir, served many terms as treasurer, and as School Board Member, Chairman of the Voters Assembly, and was Finance Chairman of several building programs and many other committees.
Bud and Marilyn owned and operated the Yorkville Appliance and Furniture Co. from 1971 – 1991.
Bud was elected in 1969 as a City of Yorkville Alderman. He was elected Mayor of the City of Yorkville from 1975 to 1983. The Thanepohn administration initiated the Yorkville Chamber of Commerce, did a number of annexations, including Countryside Center, entered into the first intergovernmental agreements with the Yorkville School District, which brought new lighted tennis courts and went on to relocate football and track fields. They also formed the Yorkville Business and Economic Development Commission and the Yorkville Human Resource Commission, which led to the Yorkville Food Bank. In 1975, Kendall county was the fastest growing county in the state of Illinois, and Yorkville was leading the way. The Thanepohn administration led the way for the beautiful Senior Housing in 1976. They appointed the first Yorkville Park Commission, whose first job was to turn a city dump into a fine park at the Palmer Dam, which since has expanded greatly. In 1977, the Thanepohn administration successfully opposed an already approved EPA landfill at the Blackford Farm, Rts 126 and 71. After that turnaround success, they also followed up by successfully getting the state of Illinois laws changed, giving jurisdiction to cities and counties over all landfills. The Thanepohn administration moved a lot of pheasant pens, ran new water lines etc., and negotiated with Illinois Department of Conservation for land for the Beecher Community Center, and negotiated a lot more for land to build the new Yorkville Library on. Later, these agreements led to a new police department location, and city hall and all of the city/school complex on Game Farm Road.
The Thanepohn administration developed one of the first land cash ordinances in the state of Illinois to require land or cash for future parks and schools from developers of all annexations.
Bud was a member of the Kendall County Law Enforcement Commission while he was Mayor. Bud was a member of many civic and business organizations, past President of the Yorkville Lions Club, and was still a member of the Illiana Jazz Club.
Bud’s life was very busy and filled with accomplishments, but he knew that at the Last Day, all that would remain worth recording of a life full of activity and zeal, would be those little deeds that were done solely beneath the eye of God, serving needy people he happened upon, and did not know, in the course of 55 years… on the road.
Bud’s remarkable wife, Marilyn, passed away in 1997 after a 7 year battle with ovarian cancer.
Bud and Marilyn are the parents of surviving children; Douglas (Gayle) Thanepohn of Yorkville, IL, Michael (Susan) Thanepohn of Hopewell, IL, Patricia of Aurora, IL, and Brian (Beth) of Helmar, IL.
They are the grandparents of Chad (Julie) Thanepohn of Seneca, IL, Michelle (David) Weidner of Peoria, IL, Karla (Rory) Leidecker of Macomb, MI, Philip (Susan) Thanepohn of Newark, IL, Robert Thanepohn of Dwight, IL, Marci (Nick) Tezak of Yorkville, IL, Blake (Jordan) Johnson of Somonauk, IL, Lisa (Chris) Troxel of Sterling Heights, MI, Brooke (Nicholas) Davis of Mt. Prospect, IL, Blair Johnson of Leland, IL, Laura (Nathan) Morel of Newark, IL, David (Jenny) Thanepohn of Rincon, GA, Benjamin (Caley) Thanepohn of Yorkville, IL and Zachariah (Kaitlyn) Thanepohn of Coal City, IL.
Bud and Marilyn are the great grandparents of Kaitlyn Thanepohn of Seneca, IL, Trevor Thanepohn of Seneca, IL, Micah Weidner of Peoria, IL, Anna Marilyn Leidecker of Macomb, MI, Julia Troxel of Macomb, MI, Daniel Weidner of Peoria, IL, Greta Leidecker of Macomb, MI, Leah Thanepohn of Newark, IL, Marilyn Morel of Newark, IL, Landon Johnson of Somonauk, IL, Ava Troxel of Sterling Heights, MI, Jacob Weidner of Peoria, IL, Matthias Troxel of Macomb, MI, Owen Leidecker of Macomb, MI, Kelsey Morel of Newark, IL, Logan Johnson of Somonauk, IL, Benjamin Leidecker of Macomb, MI, June Elizabeth Morel (Stillborn at 32 weeks 2012) of Newark, IL, Wyatt Davis of Mt. Prospect, IL, Olson Morel of Newark, IL, Jacob Thanepohn of Yorkville, IL, Jack Davis of Mt. Prospect, IL, Samuel Brian Thanepohn of Yorkville, IL, Harper Kyle Johnson of Somonauk, IL, Joshua Liam Thanepohn of Rincon, GA and Mackenzie Thanepohn of Yorkville, IL.
Bud was preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn, his parents Art and Helen Thanepohn, by his brother Don and his wife Eunice Thanepohn, great grandchild June Elizabeth Morel, and brothers-in-law Russel Fruland and Max Martin.
Survivors include Bud’s brother Dean and his wife Marilyn of Colorado, sisters-in-law Ione Marin of Sandwich, IL and Carol Fruland of Newark, IL.
Pall Bearers are Bud’s eight grandchildren, Chad, Philip, Robert, Blake, Blair, David, Ben and Zac.
Any remembrances may be directed to Cross Lutheran Church, to benefit Cross Lutheran Choir, The Alliance Defending Freedom For Faith/For Justice, Family Radio FM91.9 WJCH Joliet, IL or Campus Crusade For Christ.
Visitation will be held Friday November 6, 2020 from 12:00 – 1:00 P.M. at the Cross Lutheran Church, Rt. 47 in Yorkville, IL. Funeral service will follow at 1:00 P.M. with interment to follow at the Cross Lutheran Church Cemetery in Yorkville, IL. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Beverage Family Funeral Home in Sandwich, IL. www.beveragefamilyfh.com