Dennis D. Bonikowske, 76

Dennis D. Bonikowske, age 76 of Stevens Point, passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 17, 2019.

Dennis was born in Waupaca, Wis., on October 18, 1942, the son of the late Dale and Gladys (Johnson) Bonikowske. On January 21, 1967, Dennis married Mary Lou Braatz in Waupaca.

Dennis graduated from Waupaca High School and went on to earn an undergraduate degree from UW-Whitewater. He taught English for a semester at St. John’s Military Academy in Delafield, Wis. He pursued a graduate degree from UW-Madison and proceeded to teach English for the next 34 years; two years for the Elkhorn School District and 32 years for the Stevens Point Area School District.

While teaching English, he advised the debate and forensics teams. Upon his retirement in 2003, he taught English for Viterbo University. Dennis co-authored “Write Right”, an English handbook used by all of the English classes at SPASH as well as a book called “Truancy: A Prelude to Dropping Out”.

Dennis was a devoted member of Trinity Lutheran Church of 48 years serving as president and vice-president of the congregation. He also served on the education committee, stewardship committee, the National Confirmation Task Force, and the Trinity outreach program.

Dennis was a devoted father as a coach for the Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball, girls softball, a 4-H leader, and announcer of hundreds of basketball games at SPASH. His hobbies included woodworking, gardening, playing softball, golfing, watching basketball games at SPASH, cheering on the Brewers, Packers, and Badgers, going for daily walks, and volunteering at the county fairs.

Dennis was preceded in death by his parents and brother Richard Bonikowske. Dennis is survived by wife Mary Lou, children, Scott (Carrie) Bonikowske and Megan of Stevens Point; Melissa (Chad) Thomley and Anna and Allison of Middleton, Wis.; Jenessa (Justin) Reid and Ella of Plover. Dennis is also survived by his brother, William (Sharon) Bonikowske, Waupaca, sister Nancy (John) Vogt, Waupaca, sister-in-law, Diana Bonikowske, Waupaca, brother-in-law, William (Mary Jo) Braatz, Sheboygan, Wis.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be directed to the Dennis Bonikowske Write Right Scholarship at the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin at 1501 Clark St., Stevens Point, Wis. 54481 or online at

A Memorial Service will be held 11 a.m., Saturday, February 23, 2019, at Trinity Lutheran Church. Visitation will be held on Friday, February 22 from 4-7 p.m. at Boston Funeral Home.

Visitation will also be held on Saturday from 10 a.m. until the time of service at the church. Burial will be held in Union Cemetery in Symco, Wis. at a later date.

Boston Funeral Home
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