Dennis Echelbarger


FRANKLIN GROVE – Dennis Echelbarger, age 64, died on Friday, April 23, 2021 at OSF St Anthony Medical Center in Rockford from Covid-19. Dennis was born on Sept. 1, 1956 in Dixon the son of Jesse and Hannah (Essex) Echelbarger. 

He married Bonnie Engelkes on Nov. 16, 1974 in Payne’s Point. Dennis was a lifelong resident of the area and enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. He especially enjoyed spending time in the garage working on cars and snowmobiles with his son and brothers. He was an amazing husband, father, and loving Papa who was always involved in their lives. He loved being able to coach basketball. He followed all of his children’s activities and never missed a game.

He is survived and missed by his loving wife and best friend of 46 years, Bonnie Echelbarger of Franklin Grove; son, Dr. Lee (Jodi) Echelbarger of North Barrington; daughters, Desa Echelbarger of Franklin Grove and Darcy (Chuck) Spence of Forreston; grandchildren, Alec, Cara, Sawyer, and Max; brothers, David Echelbarger of Rochelle and Roger (Rose) Echelbarger of Merrill, Wis.; brother-in-law Bruce Engelkes, sisters-in-law, Barb (Randy) Shankel, Billie (Doug) Heier, and Vi Echelbarger.

Dennis is preceded in death by his parents, grandson Gavin, and brothers Ralph Echelbarger and Rodney Echelbarger.

A celebration of Dennis’s well lived life will be held May 8 from 1-4 p.m. at the Mills & Petrie Building, 704 N 1st St., Ashton Il 61006. Due to the covid-19 pandemic masks and social distancing will be required. To leave an online condolence please visit