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Shonkwiler and Funk 2022 Bement Hall of Fame Inductees

Jody Shonkwiler and Jeff Funk were inducted into the 2022 Bement Hall of Fame at the 42nd annual Bement High School Alumni Banquet held Saturday, October 22.

The 42nd annual Bement High School Alumni banquet was held Saturday, October 22 at the Bement High School cafeteria. Peggy (Wright) Wells (Class of 1978) welcomed everyone and presented the Hall of Fame awards. Other speakers included Mary Vogt, Bement Superintendent, Patrickt Tieman (Class of 1983) gave the invocation; and Doug Kepley (2010 Honorary Alum) Bement MS/HS Principal, introduced the Hall of Fame inductees.

A salute to the classes this year included the Class of 1947 (75th anniversary), Class of 1952 (70th anniversary), Class of 1957 (65th anniversary), Class of 1962 (60th anniversary), Class of 1967 (55th anniversary), Class of 1972 (50th anniversary), Class of 1977 (45th anniversary), Class of 1997 (25th anniversary), and Class of 2007 (15th anniversary).

Jody (Williams) Shonkwiler was the first Hall of Fame inductee for the evening. She is the daughter of James “Jim” and Joan Williams. She is married to Steve Shonkwiler, a 1975 BHS graduate as well. They have two children, son Blake Shonkwiler a 2005 Bement graduate and daughter Brooke Larson, a 2007 BHS graduate. They have five grandchildren Emerson Larson, Audrey Larson, Cora Larson, Declan Shonkwiler, and Hayden Shonkwiler.

Jody’s first job was at the Bement Bowl, owned by her parents. They purchased the bowling alley in 1967 when they moved to Bement from Decatur. She also worked at her future brother-in-laws grocery store, Kintner’s IGA while in high school and after.

In 1984, Jody started her career at the Bement Post Office as a city carrier. She transferred in 1987 to the Ivesdale office. From there she became postmaster of Bement in 1999 where she finished her career in 2014 during the postal service’s reorganization, eliminating thousands of postmaster positions across the United States. Jody was the last person to ever serve as postmaster in Bement.

Shortly after retiring, Jody fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming an author of a self-published children’s book series Doxie Tales Adventure. She currently has six titles in the series on Amazon. As an author, she has had numerous book signings at schools, libraries, Barnes & Noble, and other bookstores. She has donated many books to various fundraisers and schools. Jody even spoke about becoming an author at Muffley Elementary School in Decatur where she attended kindergarten and part of first grade before moving to Bement. She has also spoken at Bement Grade School.

Jody was also employed at Cim-Tek Filtering in Bement serving as Customer Service Representative for one year and the Digital Marketing Coordinator for one year. She left to spend more time with her ever growing family in 2016. She was also a caregiver for a neighbor.

Her civic and professional organizations include National Association of Postmasters, Illinois League of Postmasters, Bement School Board member, Bement School Board president for two years, Bement Chamber of Commerce, and Bement Community Council.

Jody has volunteered at the Bement Townsip Library, Friends of the Library, Chairman Story Hour committee, S.O.S. member, Room Mother grade/middle/high school, Bement Middle School tutor, Bement Zip Code Day Coordinator 6.16.13, and currently Peace Meal delivery driver.

Special school awards and activities included Daughters of the American Revolution Award, class officer, Student Council, French Club, choir, cheerleader, and Homecoming Queen.

Professional awards she has received were USPS Good News contest winner, Gateway District, and USPS Employee Suggestion Program.

Jody’s hobbies include making memories with her family along with painting and crafting.

Jeff Funk was the second inductee on the evening. He is the son of Stanley and Elke Funk and graduated from Bement High School in 1978. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts in 1982 and from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1985.

Jeff is a partner and attorney with Miller, Tracy Braun, Funk, and Miller of Monticello where he has practiced since 1985. He is a member of the Illinois Council of School Attorneys, as well as a member of the Piatt County and Illinois State Bar Association.

His practice concentrates on representing public school districts in matters such as collective bargaining. labor relations, grievances, and unfair labor practices.

Jeff has been a member of the Bement Board of Education since 1995 including three terms as President. He also served as President of the Bement Lions Club and Bement Community Council, a member of the Bement Area Chamber of Commerce, and chair of the Bement Sesquicentennial Celebration in 2005.

Jeff is a part of a group of investors who demolished 3 dilapidated houses in Bement and constructed a 5-unit apartment complex and a senior-oriented 3-unit handicap-accessible housing unit. He has personally acquired several homes in Bement over the past 15 years, made excessive renovations to these properties which improved housing availability and appeal in the community.

This year’s In Memoriam included those who had passed away from 2020-2022. They were Scott Wilkinson, Class of 1940, Jane (Postlewait) Schermerhorn, Class of 1944, Joanne (Taylor) Schable, Class of 1945, Elizabeth (Imel) Weakley, Class of 1946, David Dobson, Class of 1952, Norman Imel, Class of 1952, Harold Lieb, Class of 1954, Rachel (Day) Kessler, Class of 1954, James Fendley, Class of 1956, Judith (Redman) Jacobson, Class of 1956, Kathy (Fisher) Carpenter, Class of 1963, and Mary (Poling) Mann, Class of 1964,

Peggy Wells thanked the decorating committee of Pat and Richard Fay, Glo Ann Walsh, and Ashley Swaim who have provided many years of transforming the school cafeteria into a festive dinner environment at the Bement High School Alumni Dinner.

Programs were designed by Kathy Murrell and dinner was served by Tom’s Bowl and Lucky Monkey.

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