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PASSAGES Local lesbian businesswoman Donalou Hendon dies
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

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Donalou Hendon, 46, died Nov. 10 and at the time of this publication, the cause of death is unknown.

Hendon was the co-owner of Forest View Lounge Bar and Grill in Forest View, Illinois with her life partner of 16 years, Marge Bellisario.

Hendon was born May 2, 1971 in Berwyn, Illinois and spent her childhood in Winfield, Illinois. She graduated from West Chicago Community High School and studied at College of DuPage. Hendon also took classes at Morton College in restaurant food and sanitation to obtain her restaurant and bar license.

According to her friends, she loved fishing, softball, swimming and biking. She mostly fished in the Des Plaines River near her bar and also when she visited her grandmother's house in Kentucky. Hendon also loved watching movies and listening to music, especially her favorite singer, Wynonna Judd.

In addition to Bellisario, Hendon is survived by her parents Betty Franso and Don Hendon, brother Bruce Hendon ( Heather ), nephew Timmy, grandmother Maryanne Olson, three dogs, one cat and many close friends.

"She will be dearly missed by me, her family and friends," said Bellisario. "I loved her fishing videos and especially her closing line 'Signing off, this is Donalou from Forest View' and they will live on and she will stay in my memories forever."

"Donalou was an amazing fun-loving person with an infectious laugh that made you just want to be around her," said long-time friend Nikki Martin. "She will be missed by all who had the chance to know her. Until we see each other again, rest in paradise my dear friend."

"Donalou was caring and generous and her laugh was infectious," said long-time friend Marianne Rubio. "Whenever you left the bar, she would make it a point to say goodbye with a big hug. It was an honor to have known her. Even the deer are going to miss her, when she would go fishing in the woods. I am going to miss going to the White Sox games with her ( even though she was more of a Cubs fan ). Someday we will meet again and party up in heaven. Dona … I am going to miss you buddy. I will never forget about you."

"She always made me laugh because her laugh was contagious," said long-time friend Melissa Piwowar. "I always enjoyed our conversations and her videos about fishing. I once complemented her on her hat because it had a fishing hook on it. On her next trip to Kentucky, she brought me back my now-favorite fishing hat. That was Donalou. She was always thoughtful and kind-hearted. She loved playing ball and played with her heart. Her outgoing and charismatic personality will definitely be missed on the field and out celebrating after our games. My many thoughts and prayers are with Marge and Donalou's family. God bless you Donalou and may you rest in peace."

"Donalou could throw a mean strike and swing a mighty bat," said friend and teammate Katie Jacobson. "She would tell you a dumb joke just to make you smile and always knew what to say. I will seriously miss all her kooky fishing videos that always began with 'Donalou from Forest View' … . Much love to her partner Marge, their families and friends. Godspeed Donalou."

"Donalou loved her pets, holidays and all kinds of sports," said long-time friend Betty Slad. "Her Facebook page exemplified the challenge and joy she found in her daily fix of fishing. Donalou especially loved playing 12-inch softball. She was our very spirited and dedicated pitcher on her own bar's sponsored team for almost a decade. I had the privilege of being coach and manager for these amazing women. Every game night, as I arrived to pick up Donalou, she could be found in her back lot warming up her pitching arm.

"She was always generous to us ladies as she poured drinks, cracked jokes with her quick wit and served meals deliciously prepared by Marge. It was always a rare and special treat to sit with Donalou and talk once her bar responsibilities eased for the evening. Our team throughout the year celebrates teammate's birthdays, but it will not be the same without Donalou who inconspicuously turned down the music, lined up the birthday shots as she sang our off-key rendition of 'Happy Birthday' while singlehandedly taking our group selfie. The Forest View Softball ladies will miss Donalou. She had so much more life to live, share in and enjoy."

Funeral services are private, however, a public memorial service is in the planning stages for extended family and friends. Location and date/time TBA.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked people to donate to any civil-rights and/or animal-rights charities or non-profit organization's of their choosing in her memory.

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