John Anthony Bonkowski, “Jack”, 74, Canadian Lakes, MI, passed with immediate family by his side at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert, AZ, on April 7, 2017. Jack was born January 30, 1943, in Detroit, MI to Katherine and John Stanley Bonkowski, both of whom preceded him in death. Jack was also predeceased by his nephew, John F. Hanna in 1979.
Jack is survived by his wife of 52+ years Julia E. Bonkowski, his sister Carol A. (Bonkowski) Turner of West Bend WI, his sons Mark Anthony (Bonnie) of Holland MI and David Barrow (Monique) of Mesa AZ; grandchildren Tyler John (Katelyn) of East Lansing MI, David John of Olivet MI, April Kay of Kalamazoo MI, and Denver Andrew of Olivet MI and niece, Rebecca (Rich) Lucka of Milwaukee WI.
Jack attended St. Mary’s school through the 8th grade and graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1961. Upon his 1966 graduation from Ferris with a Business degree, Jack accepted a full-time position at General Motors Malleable Iron Plant in Saginaw MI. Within a year, Jack accepted a Sales Manager position with Standard Oil of Indiana (Amoco Oil) and moved his family of 3 to Three Rivers, MI. Later, while continuing his career with Amoco, he was transferred with his family of 4 to Big Rapids. Frank B. Wheatlake hired Jack to work as a Sales Representative for Reed City Power Line Supply (RCPLS now USC) in 1980. Jack retired in early 2005 after 25 years with RCPLS. It was the million plus miles he travelled in his company trucks, calling on customers, that enabled him to cultivate life-long friends as well as fishing & hunting buddies around the state.
Time with family and friends brought much pleasure to Jack. He could be well-described as a jolly person who loved to cook for those who appreciated good, down to earth, homemade food. Jack was an avid card player and a lifelong “salesman”, loved the outdoors and brought joy to those around him with his many sayings, better known as “jackisms”.
Final services will be held on Friday, May 19, 2017 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Big Rapids MI. Visitation will start at 10 AM, followed by Mass at 11 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Susan P Wheatlake Wellness Path Fund/Spectrum Health Foundation, 605 Oak St, Big Rapids, MI 49307.