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Stuart Michael Boonenberg

December 4, 1953 March 2, 2012
Stuart Michael Boonenberg
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Obituary for Stuart Michael Boonenberg

Stuart Michael Boonenberg, a resident of Milford since 1985, died at his home surrounded by family after a nine month struggle with pancreatic cancer. He was 58 years old. Born on December 4, 1953 in Lincoln Park, Michigan, he was the son of John and Lucia (Tobin) Boonenberg. He went to St. Alfred�s grade school, Kennedy High School and after graduation in 1972, earned an associate degree in bio-medical equipment from Schoolcraft College.

In 1980 at the Song Shop Bar on Cass Avenue in Detroit he met and was irreversibly smitten at the sight of Marilyn Schmitt, a graduate student at Wayne State University. �You�re the one,� he told her before she left, and he followed her home on his bike and took up what would be their lifelong courtship. �He was unlike anyone I had ever known and I had doubts about a future together, but he was relentless. In the end, he won my heart completely and I never looked back.� Marilyn says. In 1984 their daughter, Caitlin was born and a move to Milford followed in 1985. In 1988, their son Zachary was born.

Stuart Boonenberg always seemed larger than life. A roofer and truck driver by trade, he worked with Abrams Moving and Storage and was a longtime member of Local 149 of the roofers union. He had a rich and resonant, deep baritone voice which he often lifted into full throated song and he delighted in telling stories to his children. He loved jazz and blues and celtic music and all variations of rock and roll. A fitness buff and outdoorsman, he lived out of the Cabellas catalogue in camouflage and hightop boots. He loved working out and hanging upside down to keep in good shape and would regale his son�s and daughter�s friends with feats of daring and strength. Stuart had a lively and inquisitive mind and was constantly reading and collecting books on all manner of topics. His recall of facts he had read was legendary and when asked a simple question could talk at great length in answering. He described himself as a �Christian Buddhist� whose love for creation made him see something of the creator in everyone and everything. He fashioned a kind of homegrown religious experience where his large back yard would fill up with family and friends and a pig roasting on a big bonfire. Everyone was full of talk and song and the simple gladness of being together. Fireworks were frequently a part of these celebrations. Large Thanksgiving dinners were another tradition and his annual unique grace before dinners were anticipated each year. He was the most loyal friend and was well known for always being prepared. If he had one of something, he likewise had a back up. Family and friends alike said in the case of disaster, they�d all gather at Stuart�s and Marilyn�s because he would know what to do to survive and would have the necessary supplies. In later years he took up clay shooting. While not fond of hunting -- he�d rather watch deer than shoot one -- he loved the time spent with his son, nephew and brothers, perfecting his aim and proficiency. A loving husband and father and brother and son, in addition to his wife, Marilyn, his daughter Caitlin and son Zachary, he is survived by his mother, Lucia, his brothers and sisters, Steven Boonenberg, Cathy Boonenberg, Mary (Gene) Boonenberg, William (Karen) Boonenberg, Robert (Mary) Boonenberg, Patsy Boonenberg, John (Margaret) Boonenberg, Susie (John) Raider, Charles Boonenberg and Daniel (Rosanna) Boonenberg. He was preceded in death by his father, John and a brother, Mark. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews and a host of extended family and friends who join with his wife and children in mourning the death of a good man and giving thanks to God for his life among them.

Following cremation, a funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 10th at Noon at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 404 E. Liberty, in Milford. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 11 AM until the time of the service. Memorials may be made to www/relayforlife.org/detroitmi. (Donate: Support a Team name: DCI Walkers for Wellness ).

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