Bruce M. Hannon

February 18, 2024

Bruce Hannon Obituary

In the ultimate Irish goodbye, Dr. Bruce M. Hannon, Jubilee Professor Emeritus in Geography at the University of Illinois, died on Sunday, February 18th after a brief illness. He was 89 years young.

Bruce was born in Ivesdale, the first child of Walter and Kathleen (Phalen) Hannon. A life-long learner, he graduated from Bement High School, followed by a Bachelors, Masters, and PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois. He became a First Lieutenant in the US Army ROTC program, worked as a Registered Professional Engineer, and then became a professor at the University of Illinois where he taught for over 40 years.

Supporting Bruce's multitude of achievements was his wife of over 65 years, Patricia Coffey. Patricia raised their four children, did significant legwork in Bruce's campaigns, and was the inspiration for his first cause: the Committee to Save Allerton Park, formed to prevent an Army Corps of Engineers plan to dam the Sangamon River and consequently flood Allerton Park.

A fierce advocate of the Champaign County area and its history, he was proud to share that his great-grandchildren make up the eighth generation of his family to be raised in the county. He wrote and lived with a profound Sense of Place that fueled a life dedicated to projects and ideas of great local impact. In addition to the Committee to Save Allerton Park, his long list of political and environmental activism includes the Prairie Rivers Network, the Land Conservation Foundation, and the Urbana courthouse clock restoration project. He received numerous awards and accolades for his work.

In addition to his professional career, his family, and his activism, Bruce was an accomplished hiker and walker, making an impact wherever he traveled – always stopping along the way to learn about his neighbors and their activities. He registered six patents, planted burr oak seedings, and was an avid photographer and historian of his family. Grandpa Clock, as he was known to his great-grandchildren, repaired antique clocks for over 50 years, making house calls for grandfather clocks and taking great pride in tending to the mechanical workings that relied on nothing but the owner's hand to wind the clock once each week.

Bruce is survived by his sister, Ellen (Chuck) Wolfenberger, three children: Claire (Brian) Deal, Laura (Scott) Madden, and Brian ( Rhonda Starkey) Hannon, seven grandchildren:Caitlin (Derek) Peterson, John (Olivier Colombard) Deal, Ellen (Joe) Saathoff, Sean (Regina) Madden, Ben (Genevieve) Madden, Tyler (Camile) Starkey, and Logan (Megan) Hannon; and eight great-grandchildren; Violet, George, Mae, Richie, Freddy, Lincoln, Kennedy, James, plus two more on-the-way.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia, his son, Christopher, his sister Susan Hannon Gorman, and his brother John Hannon.

The family will host a visitation on Friday, March 1st , from 4:00 to 8:00 P.M., at the Hinds Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 348 N. Piatt St., Bement, IL., followed by a funeral mass Saturday, March 2nd at 10:00 A.M. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 201 5th St. Ivesdale, with inurnment immediately following at St. Joseph Cemetery, Ivesdale. The Rev. Father Mark DeSutter will officiate. In lieu of flowers, Bruce would appreciate your involvement and or a donation to support a living ecosystem.

An additional community celebration of life and legacy is being planned for a later date.

Organizations closest to Bruce's heart are: Land Conservation Foundation;, Allerton Park via the University of Illinois Foundation;, Prairie Rivers Network;, Champaign County History Museum;

Aaron and Susie Hinds of Hinds Funeral Home & Cremation Services, are proud to honor the life of Bruce M. Hannon. “Our Family is Here to Serve Your Family”. Please visit our website at to offer condolences.

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March 1, 2024

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Roux-Hinds Funeral Home
348 N Piatt St
Bement, IL 61813

Memorial Mass
March 2, 2024

10:00 AM
St. Joseph s Catholic Church (Ivesdale)


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