John Walter Bogan, Jr., 79 of Taylorville, IL, was called home to our Lord’s heavenly angel band at 5:55 p.m. on Friday, June 14, 2019 at Heritage Health in Springfield, IL.


John was born December 13, 1939 in Springfield, IL, the son of John Ludwig and Catherine Louise (Pekol) Bogan, Sr. Both of his parents were accomplished musicians. John Sr., a concert violinist and maker of violins and violas, taught at the Springfield College of Music and gave private lessons as well. Catherine was a concert pianist and also gave private lessons in their home. John Walter was likewise a gifted and an accomplished musician, trained as a classical accordionist and pianist. He showcased his accordion skills playing in his band, “The Five Keynotes”, for many years. He played the accordion and piano daily. Everyone enjoyed his playing, especially his pieces by Liszt on the grand piano. John enjoyed many genres of music, but his favorite composers were Liszt, Beethoven and Mozart plus the Polka King Frank Yankovic on accordion.


John Walter graduated from high school in Springfield, IL, then went on to proudly serve his country in the United States Army, completing Advanced Individual Training in Company B, 1st Battalion, 1st Training Regiment, Engineer at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. John was stationed in Germany during the Berlin Crisis.  In Germany he was able to put his musical talents and knowledge of the German language to good use by accompanying his Colonel everywhere by jeep. Following his service, he enrolled in Springfield Computer College. He also worked for several siding companies in the Springfield area, and eventually retired from Griffiths Construction as a top-notch salesman.


He married Elizabeth Alice (Shehan) Minnis on April 4, 2002 in Springfield, IL. With Elizabeth’s many musical talents, including classical piano, they were a great match.  He enjoyed driving her to attend Classical Concerts at Millikin University and UIUC’s Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.  They especially enjoyed piano concerts by UIUC Professor Emeritus Ian Hobson. When not playing music, John enjoyed traveling with Elizabeth, including twice to South Dakota and extensively in Missouri plus many local excursions to go hiking and birdwatching with his many pairs of fine binoculars. John loved dogs and raised several Miniature Afghans. John also enjoyed telling good jokes, tinkering with electronics, dark room photography, and was a great model train aficionado. A final passion was his love of fast cars, and he was a highly skilled driver.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and step-son Kevin Charles Minnis.

John is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Alice Bogan of Taylorville, IL; step-daughters Dr. Denise DeNell Bader of Litchfield, IL and Sylvia Suzanne (husband, Eric) Minnis-Woebling of WI; and 5 step-grandchildren.

Visitation & Funeral Ceremony: The family will receive guests from 10:30 a.m. until the time of ceremony at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at Shafer-Perfetti & Assalley Funeral Home, 202 W. Franklin St., Taylorville, IL 62568, with Rev. Jim Ferrill officiating. Interment with full military honors will follow at Camp Butler National Cemetery in Springfield, IL. Bereavement dinner to follow interment will be held back in Taylorville, IL at the First Presbyterian Church

Memorial Contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Taylorville, 116 E. Franklin St., Taylorville, IL 62569.

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