Peoria County Clerk Steve Sonnemaker Dies

A second Peoria County elected official has died in as many dies.

Peoria County Clerk Steve Sonnemaker died at 6:43 p.m. Friday. Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood said Sonnemaker “passed away peacefully surrounded by his dear friends.”

“He was one of the most kindest elected officials I have had the privilege to work with. He will be dearly missed,” Harwood said in a news release announcing Sonnemaker’s death.

Sonnemaker was 66.

Sonnemaker’s passing came one day following the death of Peoria County State’s Attorney Jerry Brady, 70.

Sonnemaker began his 38-year career with Peoria County as a County Board Member from 1980-1984. Sonnemaker then continued to serve in elected office as County Auditor from 1984-2006 and as County Clerk since 2006.

Sonnemaker was active in the community and honoring veterans. Sonnemaker was Chairman of the World Wars I & II Veterans Memorial Committee which dedicated the memorial in the Courthouse Plaza in 2007 and Chairman of the Veterans Memorial Committee that dedicated the memorial to honor those fallen since the Korean War in 2018. Sonnemaker was actively serving on the board of directors for the American Gold Star Families and participated in other organizations including Friends of Fatherless Boys, Kiwanis Club, and the Salvation Army.

Sonnemaker served as president of the Illinois Association of County Auditors from 1987-1992, president of the Illinois Association of County Officials from 1998-1999 and executive trustee for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund from 1996-2006.

“Steve embodied the values of compassion, humility, and generosity,” stated County Clerk’s Office Chief Deputy Mike Deluhery. “He will be greatly missed by those whose lives he touched and the community to which he was dedicated.”




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