Donald James Sleeman, age 92, of Elgin, IL, passed away on December 7, 2021. He was born August 25, 1929 in Elgin to his loving parents, James and Margaret (née Buckingham) Sleeman.

Don served in the Army National Guard for several years before being called up to serve in the United States Army during the Korean War. He was stationed in Japan where he served as a supply sergeant before being honorably discharged in 1953.

Don married Norma Jean DeHart on October 15, 1949. They just celebrated their 72nd anniversary. Together they raised four children.

Don had several jobs and careers during his lifetime. He sold auto parts, owned a gas station, worked for the Woodruff & Edwards iron foundry until they closed in 1987, and then started his own iron casting service business.

Don was a lifelong Elginite, and was often referred to as “Mr. Elgin Post 57.” His passion was the serve the community and local veterans, which he did until the day he died. He was a loyal member of American Legion Post #57 for 66 years, and held many leadership roles at the Legion, including serving as Commander three separate times. He was also a member of AMVETS #IL-0922, VFW Post #1307, and Elgin Moose Lodge #799. And during the Bicentennial, he served as the Chairman of the Elgin Bicentennial Commission, during which time he was instrumental in getting “Old Main” donated to the City of Elgin.

While Don never sought the limelight for his service to the community, it was recognized and honored by the City of Elgin. In February, 2021, a portion of Chester Avenue, between Dundee Avenue and Liberty Street, near Post 57, was renamed Donald J. Sleeman Avenue.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, James and Margaret Sleeman; brother, Carl Sleeman; and grandson, Jose Ramirez. He is survived by his wife, Norma Sleeman; children, William (Rosemary) Sleeman, Mark (Susan) Sleeman, Patti (Jose) Ramirez, and Barbara (Richard) Beckman; daughter-in-law, Mary Fisher; siblings, Merilda (Tille) Wilkerson and Robert Sleeman; 14 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be Monday, December 13, 2021 from 4:00pm to 8:00pm at Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, 305 Park Street, Elgin, IL 60120.

Visitation will continue on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 from 9:30am until funeral service at 10:30am. Michael Murschel will be officiating.

Mourners are encouraged to review the funeral home COVID-19 public health policies ahead of time.

To access the Monday, December 13th visitation remotely, loved ones are encouraged to log on safe from home via (Meeting ID: 863 7411 0760, Password: 634391).

To access the Tuesday, December 14th visitation and service remotely, loved ones are encouraged to log on safe from home via (Meeting ID: 882 8959 8311, Password: 758154).

Interment with military honors will follow at Lakewood Memorial Park, 30W730 U.S. Hwy. 20, Elgin, Illinois 60120.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Don’s name to American Legion Post #57.

Final arrangements entrusted to Symonds-Madison Funeral Home. For more information, call 847-741-1128 or visit

8 Replies to “Donald James Sleeman”

  1. It is saddens my heart that we have lost a Real Man! You will be missed by so many that we are not going to comprehend!
    Mr. Sleeman, I have and will always Love You!
    Judy (Paul) Bertrand

  2. Thank you Mr. Sleeman for all you have done to keep up Military Traditions in Elgin. You have done so much, and we really appreciate you. Bob & Judy

  3. our deepest sympathy to all. Don was a great man who was the very heart and back bone of the American Legion. He will be sorely missed. Love Lynn Sliwa and Martha Davidson and Norman Bellows

  4. our deepest sympathy to all. Don was a great man who was the very heart and back bone of the American Legion. He will be sorely missed. Love Lynn Sliwa and Martha Davidson and Norman Bellows

  5. May our good and gracious God bless you Don, as you enter the gates of heaven. The American Legion and the City of Elgin will never be the same without your presence. Thank you, for all that did to enhance life in Elgin. Our heartfelt sympathy to the Sleeman family.

  6. Our heartfelt condolences, prayers and sympathy to the Sleeman family.
    Remembering fondly riding in an old truck (“the ruggles” ?) to the fireworks in Wing park or with the neighborhood kids for a trip for ice cream – where the only rule was to hang on & not fall off.
    One can learn – The American Dream will never die because of guys like this.
    God Bless
    Bill & Kate Paul
    Panama City, Fl.

  7. Mr. Sleeman,
    Thank you, sir, for your decades of tireless service to the veterans in the area, and the members of not only Elgin Post 57, but all the members of the American Legion that fell under your purview and attention. Thank you for being instrumental in organizing and arranging the Wing Park Carnival and the Fourth of July Parade for so many years. Thank you for your time, your sacrifices, your tutelage, and especially, your friendship.
    You are missed, sir.
    Our deepest, and most heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, relatives, and Post members whom are left behind, as it will prove to be very difficult to fill the void you leave. God bless.

  8. My condolences, Don visited me after my stroke in the hospital, and recognized my Viet nam service.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these <abbr title="HyperText Markup Language">HTML</abbr> tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>