BONEVICH, DONALD E.
Of Kalamazoo, MI
Donald Eugene Bonevich, age 91, passed away May 12, 2019 at Rose Arbor Hospice in Kalamazoo, MI. Don was born February 1, 1928, in Canton, Ohio, the son of Frank and Anna (Temsic) Bunevich.
Don Bonevich was a teacher, an artist, a painter, a potter, an actor, and a puppeteer. In 1944, he received a scholarship to study sculpture at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburg and in '45 he created a portrait sculpture to honor the memory of a Canton WWII hero. After graduating in '46 and serving in the US Army in the Philippines, Don began working in commercial art as a sculptor and then in '49 enrolled in the Art Institute of Chicago, receiving a BAE in '54 and an MA degree from Western Michigan University in '56. He then began a 37-year career on the faculties of the Kalamazoo Institute of Art and public high schools. Don exhibited his work in many galleries and shows in Chicago and Michigan, winning awards in painting and ceramics. His work is also represented in public and private collections.
In '58 he began a dual career in professional Equity theatre as an actor, set designer and puppeteer. For many years Don had a weekly puppet show on WKZO television in Kalamazoo. Don performed in national theatre tours and TV commercials, as well as films of Shakespeare plays such as Hamlet, Henry IV and McBeth, and was a staple for years at the Red Barn Theatre in Saugatuck, and the New Vic and Civic theaters in Kalamazoo. He retired from teaching in 1993 and continued to act and paint. In 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005 Don won Best Actor Awards at Community Theatre Festivals in Michigan. In 2012, Don received the Canton Lincoln High School Distinguished Alumni and Lifetime Achievement Award.
On March 9, 1962, he was united in marriage to Ann (Wiltse) Bonevich, who survives. Also surviving are their two sons Jeff (Nikki) Bonevich and John (Eva) Bonevich; five grandchildren Max Bonevich, Libbie Bonevich, Lee Bonevich, Maya Bonevich and Olivia Bonevich; two sisters Nila Welch and Dorothy Schrag; nieces and nephews. Don was preceded in death by a son James Bonevich in 2016; by his parents and by a brother Frank Bunevich.
Friends are invited to join the family for a Memorial Gathering and Reception on Sunday, May 26th from 2:00 to 4:00pm at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Westside Chapel, 3926 South 9th Street. The family suggests in lieu of flowers and memorial donations that a random act of kindness or pay it forward in memory of Don. Please visit Don's personalized web page and guest book to leave a condolence, memory or message for the family at http://www.langelands.com
In lieu of flowers or memorial contributions
The family is requesting that you consider a random act of kindness or pay it forward.