Wisconsin Dells - Frank J. Bodnar, 88, was reunited with his parents, sisters and infant grandson, on Friday February 6, 2009, surrounded by his loving family, at the Reedsburg Area Medical Center following a brief illness.
He was born in Racine on January 18, 1921, the only son of Frank and Mary (Kondas) Bodnar, originally from Hungary. Frank served in WWII in the U.S. Army from 1943-1945 and was commended for military action in New Guinea, and received a ribbon for the Asiatic Pacific Campaign. After an honorable discharge in May of 1945, he met Gertrude Manka, whom he married on October 13th, 1945. They celebrated 63 years of marriage in 2008.
Frank loved and adored his "Gertie," who was his primary caregiver along with visiting nurses from Sauk County for the last two years, after being seriously injured in a fire in 2007. Frank and Gertrude raised their four children in Racine before retiring to the Northwoods, in Phillips, in 1986. There they enjoyed fishing, boating and entertaining their family on Crane Chase Lake for 10 years before moving to Wisconsin Dells to be closer to their family. Frank owned and operated Nelson Food Distributors, a neighborhood meat market in Racine, was a supervisor at Howard Industries and Voorlas Mfg., before moving on to Ametek-Lamb Electric where he retired from the "Manager of Special Projects" position in 1985. Frank enjoyed gardening and restoring old cars, as well as clearing the woods for the family to enjoy walking, picking berries and riding the four-wheeler. Everything Frank did was for his family, and that will always live on in his family. He was a loving, wonderful man who will be forever missed.
Frank is survived by his wife, Gertrude; sons, Frank W. (Cindy) Bodnar of Racine, John E. Bodnar of Wisconsin Dells; daughters, Frances Petrick (and special friend, Gary Kruk) of Racine, Susan (Kevin) Muntinga of Wisconsin Dells; sisters, Anna Christensen of Racine, and Julia Cashion of Jackson, Mississippi. They were blessed with many loving grandchildren, Frankie (Casey) Bodnar, Andy (Jenny) Petrick, Lori (Mike) Peterson, Ryan (Maggie) Halsey all of Racine, Amy (Scott Wilson) Bodnar, Matthew (Michelle) Halsey both of California, Erin (Chris) Wolfe, Katie Bodnar both of Oregon, Brian Petrick, Milwaukee, Michael (Shana) Muntinga of LaValle, Danny Bodnar of Madison, Tom Muntinga of Wisconsin Dells; and a special nephew, Leslie Gaspar in Germany. The apple of "Grandpa's" eye was his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren. Frank was preceded in death by many relatives including his parents; a grandson, Jon Bodnar; sisters and brothers-in-law, Mary (Louis) Szondi, Margaret (Christ) Gerber and Leona (Albert) Hornyak; Jerry Cashion, and Gordon Christensen; and best pals and nephews, Bill Hornyak, Steve Wallner and Bob Gerber.
A celebration of Frank’s life and accomplishments will be held in the funeral home on Saturday February 14, 2009. Visitation begins at 9:30 a.m. Service at 11:30. In lieu of flowers, memorials of remembrance may be directed to the Racine Area Veterans, Inc., P.O. Box 085358, Racine, WI 53408.
Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home
4600 County Line Road, Racine (262) 552-9000