Obituary and Condolences

Donald E. Boenker

May 2, 1931 August 3, 2018
Donald  E. Boenker
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Obituary for Donald E. Boenker

Donald E. Boenker, Ph.D., long time Iowa City resident, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by his loving family, following a courageous battle with a rare form of Sarcoma.

A celebration of Don’s life will be held at 10:30 am, Wednesday August 8th, at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church located at 2301 E. Court Street in Iowa City. The visitation will be on Tuesday, August 7th from 4 to 7 pm at Lensing Funeral Home.

Don was born on May 2, 1931 in Robertson, Missouri. He was the son of Carl Henry Boenker and Agnes Anna (Barklage) Boenker. In 1949, he graduated from Normandy High School, in St. Louis County, Missouri and accepted a scholarship to play baseball at the University of Missouri, Columbia. He often said, “This opportunity changed my life.”

From a young age, Don proved to be a talented baseball pitcher. He was coached by his father in the Vigus, St Louis County League. He pitched for Normandy High School before attending the University of Missouri, where his curve ball and sinker ball helped lead the team to a second place finish in the 1952 College World Series. Following the series, Don was selected as a first team member of the 1952 NCAA All American Baseball Team by the American Association of College Baseball Coaches. In 1993, Don was inducted into the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Hall Of Fame.

Don was drafted by the Cleveland Indians and pitched for the Peoria Chiefs and the Yakima Bears. In 1954 he was invited to attend the Cleveland Indian’s Spring Training in Daytona Beach Florida. While at Spring Training, Don was called into the United States Air Force. He entered the Air Force in 1954, where he served two years with the Strategic Air Command at Lockbourne Air Force Base in Columbus, Ohio. He retired from the Air Force Reserves with the rank of Captain.

Don continued his education and earned a M.S. degree in Animal Science and a Ph.D in Bio-Chemistry and Animal Science from the University of Missouri. He was selected to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. He was elected to QEBH National Honorary Academics Society of the University of Missouri

In 1960, Don was employed as an animal nutritionist for Dixie Mills in East St. Louis, Illinois. In 1964, Don became the Director of Nutrition and Research with Protein Blenders in Iowa City, later Hubbard Milling Company until his retirement in 1995. He was a Charter Diplomate of the American College of Animal Nutrition, member of the American Society of Animal Science, and the Nutrition Council of the American Feed Manufactures

While attending the University of Missouri, Don met his future bride, Janis Aileen Pabst, a music major attending Stephens College. Don and Jan were married on September 26, 1953 at the First Christian Church in Albia, Iowa.The two shared a lifelong bond. They shared many interests, such as gardening, traveling, and events at Hancher and the Old Creamery Theater. They were avid sports fan, especially for the Missouri Tigers, the Iowa Hawkeyes, and the St. Louis Cardinals. They have been season ticket holders for Iowa Football and Basketball games for over 50 years. Don was an active member of the Monday Morning Quarterback Club, the “Garden Club,” Johnson County I Club, the American Legion Post 0721 in Coralville, and the Professional Investors Organization. Don enjoyed building Grandmother Clocks, school clocks and working on his HO trains.

Don was a man of strong faith. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church. He was an active member of the Our Redeemer Lutheran Church since 1964.

With a calm demeanor, strong moral compass, and constant good humor, Don was a strong and loving example for his three daughters, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He loved spending time with his family. Their “Papa” took them to ride on the City Park train and on long tractor rides. Everyone enjoyed his homemade peach, vanilla, and black cherry ice cream, root beer floats, chocolate malts, and trips to Danes Dairy. All his grandsons were fortunate to receive John Deere riding tractors, even if it had to be shipped to Anchorage, Alaska!

Don is survived by Janis, his loving wife of 64 years; their three daughters and husbands, Susan and Terry Maglich of Columbia MO, Jane and Ken Friedman of Bremerton WA, and Elizabeth and Dave Carlson of Minneapolis MN; Seven grandchildren, Christopher Maglich (Jessie), Ryan Maglich (Shelby), Nathan Mayhook (Mindy), ZoeAnna Mayhook, Lili Mayhook, Thomas Carlson, and Madeline Carlson; Four great grandchildren, Brody and Tyler Maglich, John Mayhook, and Kennedy Maglich.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, Iowa City Hospice, and University of Missouri Baseball.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Donald E. Boenker, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





4:00 PM 8/7/2018 4:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 8/7/2018 7:00:00 PM
Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service -- Iowa City

605 Kirkwood Avenue
Iowa City, IA 52240

Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service -- Iowa City
605 Kirkwood Avenue Iowa City 52240 IA
United States





10:30 AM 8/8/2018 10:30:00 AM
Our Redeemer Lutheran Church

2301 E. Court Street
Iowa City, IA 52245

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
2301 E. Court Street Iowa City 52245 IA
United States

Cemetery Details


Memory Gardens Cemetery Final Resting Place

2600 Muscatine Avenue
Iowa City, Iowa 52240

2600 Muscatine Avenue Iowa City 52240 Iowa
United States

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