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Dorothy Mae Bonner and Byron Christopher Berry, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund

Established 2004

Dorothy Mae Bonner
Dorothy Mae Bonner

The Dorothy Mae Bonner Memorial Scholarship Fund was created to honor the life of Dorothy Mae “Mother” Bonner.  This fund became an endowment in 2012 and was renamed to also honor the life of Byron Christopher Berry, Sr. in 2022.

Mrs. Bonner (1921-2004) was born in Alexandria, Louisiana.  She was a graduate of Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago where she was a member of the National Honor Society.

In 1942, she married Bishop William Bonner who was the pastor of the Greater Mount Olive Church of God In Christ in Aurora.  As the First Lady of her church and of the Sixth Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Illinois, Mrs. Bonner influenced the lives of others through her gift of an understanding heart.

According to friends, Mrs. Bonner was known as Mother Bonner for her skills as a master caregiver to those with whom she came into contact.  She assumed a quiet profile in life, preferring to encourage the success of others.

Her many acts of kindness will now be publicly recognized through the awarding of scholarships that carry her name.

Mrs. Bonner was survived by her three children Enyess Allen, Willie Etta Wright and Dorothy Jones.  She was preceded in death by her son Charles. Her husband Bishop Bonner passed away in 2016.

Dr. Byron Christopher Berry, Sr.

Elder Byron Christopher Berry wore many hats. He was a loving father of three, a dedicated son, an adoring grandson, and a friend to many.

He was ordained as an Elder and also awarded the title of Praise and Worship Leader.

He shared his love of music by serving as a Praise and Worship leader for not only his church but other churches as well.

He loved music and became the Minister of Music for the Greater Mount Olive Church of God in Christ in Aurora, Illinois where his grandfather, Bishop William Haven Bonner, was the pastor.

He was ordained as an Elder in the Church of God in Christ by his grandfather, Bishop William Haven Bonner.

He captivated audiences with his thought- provoking sermons.

He travelled far and wide to inspire and motivate others to strive for excellence.

He not only devoted his time to church activities but also spent nearly twenty years as talented and popular hair stylist.

Although he worked in several hair salons he would make house calls to style hair for the homebound.

Later in life he furthered his education by achieving a doctoral degree in Biblical Studies.

Dr. Byron Berry like his grandmother, Mother Dorothy Mae Bonner, spread love through his generosity, culinary talents, sense of humor, and attentiveness to those in need.

His infectious, captivating, and unforgettable laugh was a source of joy and comfort to others. His kind demeanor made you feel like you mattered.

A community foundation is a donor-driven organization that helps donors custom-design funds that reflect their charitable interests. Through the years, grants from these funds have made a significant impact on our local communities.

Sharon Stredde

President Emeritus

We chose the Community Foundation because of its reputation. It’s well known, established and we can trust them to do the job for us.

Dick Schindel

Richard and Susan Schindel Scholarship Funds

…you can always start small, even $25 can make a difference. Remember we can’t take our money with us. Even if it’s just your gift of time. Volunteer and get involved.

Cris Anderson

Cristina & Thomas S. Anderson Endowment Fund | Tom & Cris Anderson Colonial Advisory Fund

As a first-generation college student from a low-income family, I was worried about how I was going to pay for books and supplies. This scholarship will allow me to focus more on my studies instead of worrying about how to afford college. I am working to not only create opportunities for myself but to motivate future generations. Thank you so much for helping me along this journey!

Moises J.

Claude & Alice Allen Memorial Scholarship Recipient

There’s no question in my mind that the scholarship I received opened up possibilities.

Marianne Renner

Past Scholarship Recipient & Current Leadership Coach

Thank you very much for supporting my college education for these four years. I will never be able to repay you for the opportunity that this scholarship has given to me.

Julia H.

[Renewing Scholarship Recipient] Graduate of Hinkley-Big Rock High School

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