Joan J. Bonikowske of Manawa passed away unexpectedly on October 4, 2023, at the age of 86.
Joan was born to William and Frieda (Klingbeil) Johnson on October 13, 1936 in the Town of Little Wolf, confirmed at Grace Lutheran Church, Sugar Bush, and graduated from Little Wolf High School, Manawa, in 1955. Joan was united in marriage to Thomas Bonikowske at Grace Lutheran Church in 1956 and together they formed a foundation of love and commitment in their 66 years of marriage. Tom preceded her in death on April 4, 2023.
Joan lived most of her life in the Manawa area and was an active partner with Tom in a successful dairy farm operation in Bear Creek that they built together. After retiring from the farm, Joan and Tom built a home in Manawa along the Little Wolf River and enjoyed fishing, snowmobiling, taking trips, and spending time with their children and grandchildren. Joan was a very loving and committed wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, and was an integral part of her family’s lives and she will be deeply missed.
Joan is survived by her three children and their families: Scott (Jodie) Bonikowske, and their children Alexandria (special friend Jesse), Aaron, Justin (special friend Maddie); Tracy (Dennis) O’Brien, and their children Ashley (Spencer Sauberlich), Austin (fiancee’ Ashley), and Alison; Paul (Jenny) Bonikowske, and their children Megan and Rachel
She is further survived by siblings, Lyle Johnson, William (Linda) Johnson Jr., Ronald (Jean) Johnson, Judy (Ray) Much, and Janice (Dale) Meyer, sister-in-law Arlene Johnson, sister-in-law Julie (Bill) Cotton, and many nieces and nephews, and very special friends Betty and Roger Bonikowske.
Besides Tom, Joan is preceded in death by her parents William and Frieda Johnson, brother Glen Johnson, sister-in-law Nancy Johnson, and Tom’s siblings, Joan Jensen, Dana Arnold, and Holly Bonikowske.
The funeral service will be held Friday, October 13, 2023, at 11:30 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, Bear Creek, with Pastor Aric Fenske officiating. Visitation will take place at the church beginning at 9 a.m. until time of the service. The interment will be at the Trinity Cemetery.
The family would like to thank the thoughtful family and friends who over the past years have called, visited, or accompanied Joan on outings. We would also like to send a special thank you to JoAnn and Brian Schuelke, Mitch Patri, First Responders/Emergency Personnel, and all those who responded and gave aid to Joan and the family.