Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Frank C. Fonk, USAFJuly 09, 1951 – June 18, 2012
FRANK C. FONK, RACINE – On Monday, June 18, 2012, Frank said good-bye to his good lookin’ guardian angel, and took his final solo flight from this world. He fought a very brave and aggressive fight against the horrible disease of cancer.
He was Francis Charles Fonk, born in Kenosha, on July 9, 1951 the son of Russell and Adelaide (Plein) Fonk.
He was educated and raised in Kenosha. With a draft number of one, he enlisted and served in the United States Air Force. He worked on helicopters during the Vietnam War and that began his love of flying. He worked at American Motors/Chrysler and after 30 years, retired at age 48 to do his fun flying job. Frank’s two biggest loves in life were Linda and their 9251M plane. He was a private pilot and certified flight instructor influencing a lot of flight students and sharing his love of flying. He was building his own aircraft until he met Linda and purchased a Mooney. Frank enjoyed hunting, fishing and being Linda’s Maintenance Department. He was a member of EAA and the local EAA chapter 838, Aircraft Owners & Pilot Association, Palmyra Flying Club, Racine Instinctive Bowmen, and UAW Local 72.
Meeting on a blind date and after an eleven-year relationship, he and Linda A. Petrowski were married on September 8th, 2001 in the garden of their home. They flew their plane (9251M) on many flights to visit friends and family. They also flew to Alaska, the Bahamas and the Grand Canyon. Frank always said, “Why drive, when you can fly!”
Frank left behind his wife Linda, children Carly A. Fonk of Corvallis, Oregon, Robert and Kelly Petrowski of Madison, WI and Michael and Karrie Petrowski of Grand Rapids, MI, and three joys that made his days complete: Makai Chandler-Fonk, Rylee Madison Petrowski and Regan Alexandra Petrowski. He also left behind sisters Carol Uebe of Racine, Patricia and Randy Pulera of Kenosha, Elaine and James Ruebsamen of Racine, Dolores and Robert Cavallo of Brookfield, Leona Fonk of Pewaukee, his in-laws, Wilford and Marion West of Racine, as well as many nieces, nephews and friends. Preceded in death were his parents and in-laws Robert and Reneé West and Phil Uebe.
A memorial celebrating Frank’s life will be held in the funeral home on Thursday, June 21st, at 7:00 p.m. with Rev. Mark R. Jones officiating. Full military honors will follow. Relatives and friend can meet with the family, in the funeral home on Thursday, from 4:00 p.m. until the time of the service.
Private inurnment will take place later in the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
The family wishes to extend a very special thank you to Dr. Mullane and his team, as well as Hospice Alliance for the exceptional care given to Frank and Linda.
Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home and Crematory, 4600 County Line Rd. 552-9000