Dr. Homer Cissell

Dr. Homer Cissell

Born in Cairo and from the sleepy town of Karnak, Homer L. Cissell Jr., travelled the globe throughout his lifetime and lived a life that many of us would feel fortunate to experience in a hundred years. Homer charged through life with sheer determination, persistence and enthusiasm. He loved to learn, yet was always humble regarding his diverse achievements. 

Throughout his life, he has known many titles: Vietnam veteran, Dr. Cissell (PhD) college president, educator, administrator, winemaker, husband, along with brother and father, grandfather and tinkerer. 

Homer, a true Renaissance man, had many interests – sailing on Lake Michigan and in the British Virgin Islands and hunting, fishing closer to home. 

He enjoyed complicated cooking and his quest for the perfect pie crust included lots of butter and on a healthier note he made his own pita bread and hummus. The endeavor to create his homemade sushi included experimenting with many types of rice and the purchase of several Japanese knives.  

As a carpenter, drywaller, electrician and painter, he renovated their Queen Anne home in Lincoln, Ill. (including his stained-glass creations) for which he received an award for Historic Renovation. 

This experience contributed to his ability to build their Frank Lloyd Wright inspired home (which also housed their winery). When asked where the blueprints were, he stated they were in his head, but he also illustrated some fine points by drawing on a napkin! 

At the winery, he loved to talk with visitors from Illinois and beyond, sharing knowledge about the history of wine and wine making.  

In his earlier years he enjoyed fencing, golf, tennis, skiing and was a valued member of the competition shooting team. He loved nature and he and his wife enjoyed trail riding in Southern Illinois and rode with the Wolf Creek Hunt.  

Although he left us much too soon and we could never have had enough time with him, his life was fully lived with adventures of traveling Europe with his equally adventuresome wife Bonnie. 

They indulged in the wines and foods of the world, while exploring the history, architecture and culture of Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal and more. 

Once his travels ceased, he was kept just as busy at home creating new projects, always planning for the next improvement, and when time allotted after his many long days of working into the night, he could settle down just enough to share the dinner table time with wife, children and grandchildren, who all miss him dearly.   

The cremation of Homer L. Cissell Jr. has been personally handled by the staff of Crain Funeral Home.

Memorials can be made to The Friends of Crab Orchard Refuge and/or The Humane Society of Southern Illinois.

Crain Funeral Home in Anna-Jonesboro was in charge of arrangements.

To view the obituary or to leave an online condolence for the family, visit www.crainsonline.com.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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