George Lebonick

Print Obituary
Loving husband and father, George Joseph Lebonick, left his earthly body on Thursday, June 30, 2022, at the age of 81, after a lionhearted battle with cancer. George, born on November 14, 1940, in Uniontown, PA, to George and Rose, nee Scalzo, Lebonick, lived life unapologetically to the beat of his own drum.

Joining the United States Air Force at the age of 18, George’s love for travel began when he moved to Amarillo, Texas for training and became an aircraft mechanic and crew chief. His time in the military eventually brought him to Tripoli, Libya, where he was introduced to the art of bartering, a passion that would change the trajectory of his life.

After being honorably discharged from the military, George attended Parks College in Cahokia, Illinois, earning his FAA Air Agency Certificate. George began his career at McDonnell Douglas while his burgeoning interests in Native American artifacts, antiquities, coins and ancient art bubbled under the surface.

On a wing and prayer, George escaped from his corporate contract work and tried his hand as a professional barterer, coin dealer, auctioneer, and antiquities dealer, a career that would define him for the remainder of his life.

George’s smooth talking did not stop short with bartering. His charisma and suave moves on the dance floor landed him the ultimate deal, “the love of [his] life,” his wife of 40 years, Linn, nee Rank, Lebonick. Above all, George loved spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren; wheeling and dealing; all animals; and discussing politics over breakfast at Gary’s Restaurant in Freeburg, IL.

He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Rose, nee Scalzo, Lebonick.

Surviving are his wife, Linn; three children, Sara (Jon) Musch, Jorin (Cara) Lebonick, and Lindy (Paul) McGuire; six grandchildren, Jack, Elena, and Charlie Musch, Juniper and Jameson McGuire, and Lily Lebonick; a sister, Mary “Mickey” (Stanley “Stush”) Kovscek; dear mother-in-law, sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, and many nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to the Belleville Area Humane Society, or to the Siteman Cancer Center. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation: Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 5, 2022, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, and from 9:30 to 10:30 Wednesday, July 6, 2022, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Smithton, IL.

Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 6, 2022, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Smithton, IL, with Fr. Stanley Konieczny officiating.

Burial with military honors will be at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, MO.


11 Comments on George Lebonick

Mike Sanders said : Guest Report Aug 22, 2022 at 7:54 PM

Sorry for your loss Linn. We will all miss him. All of us who enjoyed conversations and negotiations with George. I'll miss his auctions too. He was one in a million. I never met anyone like George. He's leaving a huge void. Stay in touch Linn. Take care and God Bless.

  • Indianapolis
  • Indiana
David Spiller said : Guest Report Aug 07, 2022 at 2:49 PM

My condolences. I've never met him in person but had many dealings with him over many years. He was a great man who loved to talk.

  • Killeen
  • Texas
Elsie. Protsni said : Guest Report Jul 14, 2022 at 9:49 AM

My deepest sympathy Linn to you and your family.

  • Baltimore
  • Maryland.
Debby Thorsten said : Guest Report Jul 05, 2022 at 9:25 AM

So sincerely sorry for you and your families lose. Loved doing work for George. He always made me laugh. I admired his passion for the work he loved to do.

  • Columbia
  • Illinois
Mona (Analla) Zingrich said : Guest Report Jul 04, 2022 at 5:13 PM

Linn and family, I am very sorry for your loss. Prayers to your family.

  • Columbia
  • IL
Jenny Hoyt said : Guest Report Jul 02, 2022 at 1:18 PM

I am so sorry to hear of George's passing. My late husband Larry and I had him to our home in Peoria many times and we had great conversations at the kitchen table and a good time with wheeling and dealing with George. He will be missed by many. Hopefully Larry and George will meet again in heaven. Prayers for peace and comfort for you Lynn and family. 🙏❤

  • IL
Ken Harris said : Guest Report Jul 02, 2022 at 8:39 AM

I met George once while working downtown Belleville at his antique shop with Joe Carrillo. Sounds like he served his life well & loved what he was doing. RIP George.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Barbara Moore said : Guest Report Jul 01, 2022 at 8:34 PM

Lin. I remember our conversations about our families when working together. I've enjoyed viewing the photos of you George and your family after we retired. you've had a rich full happy life hold those memories in your heart. May George RIP 🙏

  • Gaylord
  • Michigan said : Guest Report Jul 01, 2022 at 7:35 PM

Lynn, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of George. He was a close friend for many years. God bless his soul and may he watch over you and your family. God Bless, Bob

  • Vero Beach
  • Florida
Ambra Vernoy said : Guest Report Jul 01, 2022 at 6:37 PM

So sorry for your loss. Prayers.

  • Seminole
  • Fl
Karen Loethen said : Guest Report Jul 01, 2022 at 5:19 PM

With sincerest condolences and fondness for all.

  • St Louis
  • MO

Add Public Condolence

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.