HAMPSTEAD — Dr. Johan P. Bonk, 92, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, at his home in Hampstead, North Carolina, after a short illness. He was born on July 21, 1924, in Koboemen, Indonesia, to Pieter Cornelis Bonk and Willemien Bonk-Blankevoort.
Affectionately nicknamed “Joop,” he moved with his family to the Netherlands at the age of seven, growing up in the town of Breda.
He attended Utrecht University in the Netherlands where he received his medical degree and became fluent in five languages. He moved to the United States in 1952 and became a naturalized citizen.
He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1954 and served for two years at the Strategic Air Command base in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. He was honorably discharged in 1956, achieving the rank of captain. An initial residency at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut was cut short by his military service.
He completed another at the New England Medical Center in Boston before joining the radiology department of Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1959. He served at the Veterans Hospital at Duke University in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for two years.
His last career move was in a partnership forming the radiology department at the former Community General Hospital in Syracuse, New York, where he worked for 23 years and retired from in 1987. During these years he lived in Skaneateles, New York, raising four children with his first wife Mary Frances (Turner). He served as an elder and a youth adviser at the Skaneateles Presbyterian Church and enjoyed hobbies, including cross-country skiing, decoupage, rock tumbling, vegetable gardening (an early composter!), sailing, classical music, scuba diving, banjo playing and vacationing in Ocean Park, Maine.
On January 2, 1982, he married Rosemarie and they were married for just shy of 35 years. Joop was a jazz enthusiast, played recreational volleyball and tennis, taught boating courses for the Hampstead Coast Guard Auxiliary and mastered acrylic, oil and watercolor painting. He was a worldwide traveler and loved the beach, enjoying the Karen Beasley Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Hospital on Topsail Island, North Carolina, often walking the beach in the early hours of the morning finding telltale signs of turtle nests to protect. He was a faithful supporter of many progressive causes and non-profit organizations.
Joop was preceded in death by his daughter, Deborah Coquillion; and daughter-in-law, Denise Bonk.
Joop is survived by his beloved wife, Rosemarie of Hampstead; his daughters, Linda Bonk (Lee Brown) of Redmond, Washington; Janine Bonk (Doug Rooks) of Gardner, Maine; a son, Peter Bonk of Lewiston, Maine; Rosemarie’s children, John Hoffman Jr. of Chesapeake, Virginia, Jean (Craig) Goetzmann of Skaneateles, New York, MaryRose (Robert) Hecksel of Lansing, Michigan, and Christopher (Lynn) Hoffman of Cicero, New York; his sister, Sieta Bonk of Breda, the Netherlands; eight grandchildren and Rosemarie’s eight grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and treasured, lifelong and world-wide friends.
A memorial service will be held at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory, Hampstead Chapel, 17822 U.S. Route 17, on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 2 p.m. There will be a memorial service in Skaneateles at a later date.
Memorial donations can be made in Dr. Bonk’s memory to: Doctors Without Borders (https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org); Save the Children (https://secure.savethechildren.org); The Karen Beasley Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Hospital https://www.seaturtlehospital.org); or consider donating blood, plasma or platelets in his memory to the American Red Cross (RedCrossBlood.org).
Condolences and favorite memories may be left on Johan P. Bonk’s online guest book at www.andrewsmortuary.com.
The entire family is greatly appreciative of all who touched Joop’s life. We are eternally grateful for the exceptional care he received from employees at Lower Cape Fear Hospice and Caring Senior Services of Wilmington.