Eilert “John” Johannes Bonk, courageous and devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather died peacefully April 25 in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his loving family. He was born February 21, 1936 to the late Authur Bonk and Berta M. Schilkowski-Bonk of New York City (“one block from Yankee Stadium”).
During his childhood, he moved to Carlisle NY where he worked on a farm and learned of a more rural lifestyle. He returned to NYC for a brief interim but found Carlisle to be home, where he graduated from Cobleskill High school. After mastery as a butcher at a local grocery, he enlisted in the US Army in 1957 to serve his country. Upon completion of basic training at Fort Benning, GA, he served the 14th Armored Calvary in Germany until 1961, and then continued for 3 more years in the US National Guard of NY (105th Inf 1st Bn). He received his honorable discharge in 1964 and began working in Schenectady, NY as a lineman at NY Telephone and progressed into management with a career of over 30 years.
Eilert and his wife Dawn, of 53 years, moved to Mariaville to fulfill a dream to grow a garden and expand their family. He was a local volunteer fireman, serving his community for nearly ten years. Eilert became an avid golfer, photographer, camper, woodworker, and enjoyed listening to classical music while working on VW’s. He could always tell you how many games out the Yankees were, and what they should do with the lineup. He had an impressive recollection of world events and offered teaching moments whenever possible. Many thanks to his hospice friends who provided tremendous care during a spirited battle with cancer. Eilert is survived by his wife, Dawn Bonk (Gridley), his children and their families, Laurie Keith and Steven (DeCocco) of Duanesburg, Gloria Poston of Rotterdam, Julie and Jeffrey Quay of Berne, Jody and Bob Binkley of Schenectady, Eilert Bonk and Molly (McGarry) of Syracuse, and Gretchen Bonk and John (Sheckton) of Ballston Spa. Grand children Tommy Jess, Christopher Keith, Jennifer Blackwell, Clinton Quay, Corey Quay, Ryan Mugits, Kyle Binkley, Britany Binkley, Bobi Jo Crouse and Robert DeCarlo, as well as twelve great-grandchildren.
Calling hours will be held at the DeMarco-Stone Funeral Home, 1605 Helderberg Ave. on Saturday May 12th from 10am-12pm with a eulogy given at 11:30 am.