On Monday April 20, 2020, Stephanie Shonkwiler, loving wife and mother of three children, passed away unexpectedly at the young age of 43.
Stephanie was born on January 3, 1977 in Decatur, Illinois to Benny and Darlene Poague. She grew up in Milmine and graduated from Bement High School in 1995. She has made a huge impact on the continued sucess of BHS and her community every since. She married the love of her life, Kent Shonkwiler on October 8, 1998. Together they have raised their three children, Calin, Ellie and Aiden in Bement, surrounded by their extended family, a large group of close friends and a loving community.
Stephanie began her lifelong career with the University of Illinois Robert Allerton Park and Retreat Center when she was just 16 years old. The past 20 years she has served Allerton Park in a full-time capacity with her most recent title being Special Event Facilitator. Stephanie was usually the first person guests saw as they entered the mansion, and she always put a smile on their faces.
Steph was a leader in her community and a mom to everyone. She was an integral part of the CGB Athletic Boosters, Bement Bronco Booster, After Prom, and wonderful programs like Bronco Bucks. She was incredibly passionate and the creator of the BHS Prom Promise Assembly.
Stephanie’s children couldn’t have asked for a better mother. Her family, but especially her children, were the center of her universe and made her beam with pride. Everything she did, she did for them.
Stephanie was preceded in death by her father-in-law, Ernest “Deak” Shonkwiler, her brother-in-law, Chris Cribbs, 2 maternal grandparents, and one paternal grandfather. She is survived by her husband, Kent Shonkwiler and their three children, Ellie, Aiden, and Calin, and his love, Lydia Shroat. Stephanie is also survived by her parents, Benny and Darlene Poague, mother-in-law, Janet Shonkwiler, Grandmother, Donna Poague, two sisters, Shelly (Chuck) Burgener and Stacy Cribbs, her niece, Chloe Burgener and her life partner, Connor Davison, her nephews, Cain (Sarah) Burgener, Clay Burgener (Hannah Whetstone), Carter Burgener, Ben Cribbs as well as an aunt and uncle and their two children. Steph also leaves behind a large group of devoted friends that are truly part of her family and a hurting community that will never be the same. Her loss will be deeply felt by all that knew her.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic a private family service will be held at Hinds Funeral Home in Bement on Sunday, April 26, 2020. Family, friends and community members are asked to gather, while remaining in their cars, around the Bement City Park and adjacent streets at 2:00pm on Sunday, April 26th. Once the private family service has concluded, Hinds Funeral Home staff will direct the procession of cars to a final fairwell location dear to Stephanie’s heart. Rest assured, the family will be able to feel your love and support from a safe distance, from the comfort of your vehicles. Signs of love and support are encouraged and welcomed. For further details please visit www.hindsfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to the Stephanie Shonkwiler Memorial Fund At the first State Bank of Bement. At a later date the family plans to host a public memorial as safety precautions are lifted. Details will be shared at that time. In Stephanie’s words “make good choices”.