Aloysius (Al) Bonagofski passed away Dec. 19, 2017 peacefully in his sleep after a 4-year battle with Alzheimer and vascular dementia. He was born Sept. 24, 1933 in Selfridge, ND to Roy and Irene Bonagofski. He was the 4th oldest of 14 children. He began his lifelong commitment to hard work at the age of 12 when he started helping at a service garage. He moved with his family to Washington as a teenager. He graduated from Centralia High School in 1951. After high school, he purchased a gas station for his dad and brothers to run and started attending college. In 1953 he was drafted and served briefly at the end of the Korean war in the Army as a mechanic. After being discharged, he completed some college courses and worked briefly for IBM and Boeing. On May 27, 1967 he married Terri Weber. They recently celebrated 50 years of marriage. He also enjoyed spending time with his three children, Kevin, Brenda, and Corey, and seven grandchildren.
For most of Al’s life, he was known as an entrepreneur and business man. He owned auto dealerships, rental car agencies, auto parts stores, and a tire shop. Through the years also had several rental and investment properties. Al was a jack of many trades although, didn’t always do things in the most conventional ways. He was a member of the Elk and Sertoma Clubs. Although he was “retired”, there were very few days that he wasn’t working on something. He enjoyed staying busy although he always said he was tired of working. In his later years, as the disease started taking over, the jovial side of him started immerging. He became very social and gravitated towards little children when out in public. He also showed increase interest in music and would be observed dancing and moving his hands to the beat of the music, even when it appeared he was sleeping.
Al was a very loving individual who gave assistance to many. He worked hard to provide for his family and taught them strong moral values. His faith was important as well. Often he was a man of few words and enjoyed the simple things in life. He was known for his patience and understanding, compassion, and contagious smile. He will be missed but is in a better place and is looking down on us from above.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation.