Cover photo for Robert "Chet" Bonk's Obituary
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Chet

Robert "Chet" Bonk

d. November 6, 2023

Little Falls, New York

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Robert C. Bonk, “Chet”, age, 59, a lifelong resident of Little Falls, passed away with his family by his side on Monday, November 6, 2023, after a courageous “Never Surrender” battle with cancer.  

Robert was born in Little Falls, New York, on June 4, 1964, the son of the late Chester and Rosemary (Cunningham) Bonk.  He was the youngest and most beloved brother to his eight siblings. He attended St. Mary’s Academy and continued his education graduating from Little Falls High School "Class of 1982". 

Robert was an avid lover of the outdoors.  He enjoyed hunting and fishing with Dave “Georgie”, Tony and Ken. Bob enjoyed long walks on the local country roads and Little Falls streets. You would see him walking in his iconic favorite red sweatshirt.  He conquered Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park with his sister Mary while being treated for cancer.

Robert worked at Little Falls Hospital for fifteen years before working at Benton Hall Academy in Little Falls for seventeen years as a custodian.  Bob was a very dedicated employee who took pride in preparing the school for the kids each year, helping the office with deliveries and helping the teachers with whatever was needed.  He received many calls from parents after hours for forgotten schoolwork or missing jackets.  He was always willing to help. The administration, staff and teachers are among his valued friendships, there are too many to mention here but they never forgot him during his fight with cancer they were always finding a reason for the BHA kids to send him cards or the teachers to send videos.  He cherished you all. 

Bobby or Uncle Bobby to the family, enjoyed spending time with his brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces and great nephews and nieces.  His gruff exterior never fooled his nephews and nieces who will miss being thrown in the garbage by Uncle Bobby.  He enjoyed hosting family holiday get-togethers with his venison chili and pulled pork dishes.  He enjoyed making banana bread and cookies for the kids. The family is grateful to Andrea and Jay for hosting the Bonk-Paparella family reunion in June this year. Both Bobby and his sister Jodi were able to enjoy the get together at the lake with the family.

Chet was blessed to be able to spend time with his second family, the Petkovsek’s.  He always enjoyed time spent with Dave “Toe” riding around the state looking for new lunch places or enjoying a few beers by the fire.  He always looked forward to football games and horse races with JP, Toe and Billie on Porteus St.
 
 In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by two brothers, Stanley and Michael Bonk, a sister, Joann Weiner, and a brother-in-law Randy Bagley.
 
Surviving are his sister, Margaret (Peggy) and husband, Don Paparella of Little Falls, brother, Anthony (Tony) Bonk of Herkimer, sister, Victoria (Vicki) Bagley of Sydney, NY, sister, Mary Bonk-Ladouceur of Little Falls, sister, Noreen Robbins of Selinsgrove, PA, brother-in-law, Michael Weiner of Little Falls, nephew, Donald Paparella, Jr. and wife Heather of Lakeside Park, KY, niece, Andrea Capasso and Jay Brackett of Ballston Lake NY, niece, Amy Bonk-Taylor of Little Falls, NY, niece, Stephanie Bonk and Jason Colorito of Oppenheim, NY, niece, Erin Estey and husband Justin of Clayville, NY, niece, Cindy Mullen of Little Falls, NY, nephew, Christopher Bagley of Sydney, NY, nephew, Jonathan Bagley of Sydney NY, nieces, Emily, Olivia and nephew, Benjamin Robbins of Selinsgrove, PA, great nephews, Nicholas Camarata, Anthony Capasso and Sydney Yung, Stevie Capasso, Jacob Colorito, and Ethan Estey, great nieces Carley Brodt and husband Jay, Ciearra Camarata and partner Amber Wilson, Evelyn “Evie” Estey and Ava Grace Paparella.  
 
A special thanks to Groovy and Norma Chrisman, Bob’s longtime friends and neighbors, for all the help mowing and snow blowing for Bob while he was ill.  The two of you truly embody the old Moreland Street spirit of helping your neighbors. To his childhood friend, Chris, thanks for being there and keeping him company.  To the gang at Stewart's, raise a cup of coffee and a lottery ticket in his honor, he liked starting his day with all of you!  A heartfelt thank you to Dr. David Almeleh, the nurses and aides at Little Falls Hospital. The care and compassion you gave Bob in his final days was greatly appreciated by him, his family and friends. 
 
Chet's family will receive relatives and friends at the Little Falls owned, Mohawk Valley Funerals and Cremations, 7507 State Route 5, Little Falls, 315-508-5131 on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023 from 4-7 pm.  His funeral will commence at 10 am on Fri., Nov. 10, 2023 from the chapel of MVFC with the Rev. James Bower, officiating.  The funeral procession will proceed past Chet's favorite places, then to St. Mary's Cemetery, town of Herkimer, where he will be laid to rest.  
 
In lieu of flowers for Robert Bonk, please consider contributions to:
Massachusetts General Hospital and include "Richard J.B. Lee, MD, PhD Genitourinary Cancer Research Fund.", with Robert C. Bonk in memo line. Checks can be mailed to Massachusetts General Hospital c/o Development Office, 125 Nashua Street, Suite 540, Boston, MA 02114.” Online donations may be made at giving.massgeneral.org. Please follow these steps: 

Go to the website giving.massgeneral.org.

Click the “Give Now" button on the top right

Select the dollar amount in the Make this gift in tribute to... section, include the name of the deceased.

Enter your payment information.

In the Designate this gift to specific program or area section, include “Richard J.B. Lee, MD, PhD Genitourinary Cancer Research Fund”.

Or, kindly contribute to the Bob Bonk BHA Memorial Youth Scholarship: Make checks out to Little Falls City School District in memo line enter the scholarship name above.  This will be awarded to a Benton Hall Student who exhibits a love of the outdoors.  Please send to Little Falls Central School, 15 Petrie St., Little Falls, NY 13365 c/o Melissa Reff.

 
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert "Chet" Bonk, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, November 9, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Mohawk Valley Funerals and Cremations

7507 State Route 5, Little Falls, NY 13365

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, November 10, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Mohawk Valley Funerals and Cremations

7507 State Route 5, Little Falls, NY 13365

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Friday, November 10, 2023

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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