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 Zoom.us (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 Zoom.us (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 www.symondsmadison.com.