John E. Wonka, Jr., 75, beloved husband of Elizabeth, passed away peacefully on November 9th, 2019 with his family at his side. He was a loving father and devoted family man. He served his community faithfully as a Chenango County Deputy Sheriff for nearly 30 years. He was proud of his contribution to law enforcement and his family who continue to serve.
John was born to John and Soledad (Sally) Wonka in New York City. They moved to Chenango County where he attended Sherburne schools. Upon moving to Sherburne, John became an informal addition to the Stone family, and their love and caring continue to this day. He was a fierce football player and his athletic prowess was acknowledged by the Syracuse Stormers.
Everything he did, he did whole heartedly and with pride. As a young man, John worked in the Norwich Shoe Factory and often remembered the work ethic and craftsmanship of his peers. He retired early, only to care for his young children at home. He enjoyed a brief second career as a school substitute, ultimately teaching Spanish at the Oxford Academy Middle School. He loved his middle school students and was proud to share some of his Spanish speaking heritage.
Some of his fondest memories include joining his children on the football field, the swimming pool, and on the dance stage. John truly cherished time with his family and naps on the porch with his beloved dogs. John's contagious smile, firm handshakes, and hugs are legacies we will carry with us forever. John died as he lived, with a heart full of love, gratitude and a playful sense of humor.
John is survived by his devoted wife Elizabeth of 34 years, his children Raymond and wife Rebecca, Robin and husband Matthew, John and wife Jacquelyn, and Paul. He was a proud grandfather to Justice, Jordan, and great grandchild James (Jamie). John was predeceased by his father in-law, Paul Reid, and treasured the Reid family, especially mother-in-law, Lois.
If you want to remember John, please consider sharing a heartfelt smile, a hug or a generous handshake. In lieu of flowers, his family would be grateful for a donation to first responder organizations or a charity of your choice. The Wonka family wishes to thank our community who has always supported us, and everyone who has thought of us during this difficult time.
Friends and family may call at the Behe Funeral Home 21 Main St. Oxford, NY 13830 on Friday, November 15, 2019 from 1:00 PM - 3:00PM and from 6:00 PM- 8:00PM. A celebration of life will be held in John's memory on Saturday, November 16, 2019 beginning at 6:00 PM at the Silo Restaurant 203 Moran Rd, Greene, NY 13778. Friends and family may share memories, condolences by visiting www.behefuneralhome.com