John William Junker Jr., 89, formerly of Grosse Pointe and Rogers City, passed away July 30, 2019 in Ypsilanti.
He was born in Detroit March 17, 1930 to John and Emily Junker, the eldest of four. He always loved celebrating his St. Paddy’s Day birthday with a green beer.
He had a lifelong love of cars and motorcycles, often talking about his escapades racing motorcycles on the ice in his youth. Although his wife was the official musician in the family, he also loved music and played saxophone and clarinet in a big band to make money when he was young.
He served in the army in Korea and upon returning he married his college sweetheart, Patricia “Pat” Otey, June 26, 1954. He and Pat would remain married for 60 years until her death in 2015. Together they raised six children. He loved children so much that even with all those little ones at home he ran the nursery at church on Sunday mornings. He was a father who played in the yard with his kids at night after a long day at work and always cooked Saturday morning breakfast for the whole family. He took his kids camping every year and was quite creative in fitting everyone and all the gear into the family van. He loved tinkering with gadgets and his kids often joked that the best gift they could give him was something broken he could fix. He was so proud of each one of his children and grandchildren, and loved spending time with them all as adults.
After suffering two major strokes, John spent his last year at Grace Hall, the memory care unit of The Gilbert Residence, a nonprofit facility in Ypsilanti. The family is tremendously grateful for the loving care he received from the staff there, and for the support of the hospice program in his final months.
John is survived by his six children, Susan (Kevin) Critzer of Wilson, Wyoming, Laura (John) Monaghan of Oak Park, Illinois, Jodi (Dan) Collard of Huron Beach, James Brian (Cindy) Junker of Rochester Hills, Wendy (Raj) Nair of Ann Arbor and John Erich (Elizabeth) Junker of Grosse Pointe; eight grandchildren, Jeffrey (Julie) Collard, Leeann Monaghan, Lizzy Monaghan, Samantha Nair, Brian Junker, Emmy Monaghan, Jessica Nair and Kaylee Junker; and three great-grandchildren, Daniel, Gracie and Wyatt Collard.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia Otey Junker; and his siblings, Fritz Junker, Carl Junker and Emily Junker.
The family will gather for a small memorial service at his daughter’s home in Huron Beach Saturday, August 17.
Memorials may be given to The Gilbert Residence, 203 South Huron St., Ypsilanti, MI 48197 http://www.gilbertresidence.com/donations/ to support their wonderful work with people like John.