HANCOCK - Gerard R. (Jerry) Bonen, an Upper Peninsula native known by many for his tireless outpouring of kindness to others, died Dec. 3, 2012, of heart failure. He was 85 years old.
Mr. Bonen is remembered as a man who would put others first. He spent many hours visiting friends and family who were hospitalized or in nursing homes, doing his part to brighten their day. He was always ready to lend a hand wherever he was needed.
Born on Sept. 6, 1927, in Iron Mountain, Mich. to Henry and Rose (Duhaime) Bonen; he was the sixth of eight sons.
Mr. Bonen was employed by the M.A. Hanna Company of Cleveland, Ohio for 40 years working on the iron ore ships on the Great Lakes as a boatswain's mate.
Though Mr. Bonen remained single throughout his life, he was dedicated to his extended family. Many of the activities he enjoyed during his time off from the Great Lakes involved things he could do with his nieces and nephews. Mr. Bonen also earned the title of family historian. he took it upon himself to keep a scrapbook for each of his family members, clipping news articles that mentioned them, adding photos and keeping record of important events in each of their lives.
Mr. Bonen is survived by his brothers Roy (Jeanne) and Francis; sister-in-law, Dorothy; and many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Emery, Victor, Joseph, James, and Benedict.
There will be no visitation per Mr. Bonen's request. A memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, Dec. 7 at 11 a.m. at Church of the Resurrection in Hancock. It will be officiated by Reverend Father Brian Gerber. Interment will be in the family lot in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Lake Linden. The family is requesting donation be made to the Church of Resurrection, Mr. Bonen's home church, in lieu of flowers.
The O'Neill-Dennis Funeral Home in Hancock is assisting with the arrangements.
To leave online condolences, please go to oneilldennisfh.com