Heath and Vaughn Funeral Home - Champaign Il

Today is

Bernie McNamara

Bernie McNamara, 61, Lexington died Monday (May 12, 2014) at Advocate Bromenn Medical Center, Normal surrounded by his family.

A memorial mass will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 25. at St. Joseph’s Catholic mcnamaraChurch in Chenoa with a celebration of life to follow at 5 p.m. at the Lexington Community Center.

He was born February 11, 1953 in Streator, son of Thomas W. and Elsie (Rippel) McNamara. She survives in Minonk. He married Dianne Lewis on March 29, 1983 in Bloomington. She survives in Lexington, along with six children; Austin (Tracy) McNamara, Bloomington; Cameron (Darylann) McNamara and Evan McNamara, Lexington; Jordan McNamara, Bloomington; Kelley (Brien) Kinsella, Towanda; and Preston (Kelsey Petersen) McNamara, Colfax; and his first grandson due in August to Kelley and Brien.

Also surviving are six siblings, Bill (Jane), Champaign; Bob (MaryAnne), Normal; Mary Gerdes, Toluca; Kathleen (Dan) McNelis, Plano; Dan and Tim (Becky) McNamara, Dana; 23 nieces and nephews; and a sister in law, Jane Compton (Bloomington).

He was preceded in death by his father, Tom; a special aunt, Cecelia; and his father and mother in law, Walter and Mary Lewis.

Bernie was a graduate of Minonk Dana Rutland High School and Illinois State University where he was the recipient of the Holbert Medal as the outstanding student in Agriculture. He was a member of the Lexington School Board, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and numerous professional organizations. Bernie was employed in the agriculture industry all his life where he was a beef producer and livestock nutritionist. He was a devoted husband and father and a man that always put his family first. Those who knew him will never forget his firm handshake and tireless work ethic.

Memorials may be made to the VFW Post 454: 1006 East Lincoln Street, Bloomington, IL 61701 or St Mary’s Catholic Church in Lexington.

Condolences may be offered online at www.HeathandVaughn.com.


I knew Bernie back in the 70’s when he was going to high school in Minonk and I was in Flanagan. We played football against each other several times, and then I got to know him even better at Illinois State. I only spent a year there and then transferred to Utah State. Bernie and I used to work out together at the YMCA in Bloomington way back in 1972-1973. He was always in a good mood and had that wild streak in him. I was back visiting in 2013 in Lexington and my sister got me his phone number. We had a nice conversation and the plan was to get together next time I was back there. I wish now we had done it sooner. I could not believe it when my sister told me he has passed. Bernie was a hell of a good guy and I’m sure will be missed by many. Rest in peace Bernie.

Gary Slagel
Flanagan class of 1972