×

Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes

1730 East Grand River Ave, East Lansing, MI

OBITUARY

Tony Egnat Egnatuk

October 30, 1931September 27, 2019
Play Tribute Movie

Tony E. Egnatuk of East Lansing, Michigan passed away on September 27, 2019 at the age of 87. Tony was born on October 30, 1931 in Albion Township to Egnat and Anna Egnatuk. Tony was the fourth of their nine children.

As a young boy, Tony fondly remembered growing up on the family farm where “there was always plenty of work to be done." His lifelong passion for education began in a small, one room schoolhouse with 45 students of various ages, and one teacher. He attended Albion High School from the 9th through 12th grade. After graduating from high school in 1949, he attended Michigan State University for two years.

He was drafted into the armed services because of the Korean Conflict, and served four years in the United States Navy. He served aboard the Naval Ship U.S.S. Antietam. After serving this great Country, he returned to M.S.U. and received his Bachelor and Master degrees in 1958 and 1959.

On December 8, 1956 he married his loving wife, Virginia Howell. Together they raised their only child, Kevin Egnatuk, who currently resides in Rockford, MI. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he taught English and Social Studies at East Lansing Junior High School from 1959 to 1967. He then served as the Assistant Principal at MacDonald Middle School for two years, before being chosen to open up Hannah Middle School in 1969. For 35 years, he proudly served the East Lansing community. Along with many others in the school district, he helped pioneer the concept of “team teaching” for middle school aged children. He often lovingly referred to this age group as “Between-agers.” While many found this age group challenging, Tony embraced and loved it.

Tony and Ginny spent their retirement years supporting Michigan State athletics, and were season ticket holders to Spartan football and basketball games for many years. Additionally, they attended the University United Methodist Church in East Lansing, and Tony often volunteered for numerous community events throughout the years.

Tony absolutely cherished his three grandchildren and he never missed one of their games or events. He was always there in the stands supporting them wearing the black and orange of Rockford High School. He was preceded in death by his parents (Egnat and Anna) and siblings, Alexander, Paul, George, Katie (Carl), Olga (Collmenter), Mary Anne and Michael Egnatuk. Surviving are his wife and best friend of 62 years, Ginny Egnatuk; sister, Dorthy (Peacock); son, Kevin and his wife, Donna (DeFrain); and their three cherished children, Ryan and his wife, Katelyn (VerWoert), Brett and his fiancé, Samantha (Anderson) and Kyleigh, along with numerous nieces and nephews who loved him dearly. An amazing husband, father and grandfather, but an even better friend to everyone, he set the bar high for all of us to aspire to. He will be missed, but never forgotten, and will be waiting for all of us to join him in eternal life.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, October 12, 2019 at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, 1730 East Grand River Avenue, East Lansing, MI 48823. The family will receive visitors from 12-2 p.m. with a memorial service to follow at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to East Lansing Public Schools, 501 Burcham Drive, East Lansing, MI 48823 Attn: Kelly Hocquard.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.greastlansing.com.

  • DONATIONS

  • East Lansing Public Schools

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, October 12, 2019
  • Memorial Service Saturday, October 12, 2019

Memories

Tony Egnat Egnatuk

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Susan Heil-Godfrey

October 10, 2019

What a wonderful teacher and principal he was. I have such great memories of my class moving from Hannah to McDonald. I posted notice of his passing on our class Facebook page. Really nice comments posted. Everyone has nice memories. Seeing him in the community over many years with him always remembering me and making me feel special. Prayers to the family.

Sal DiFranco

October 9, 2019

For many years I was blessed to have had Tony as a friend, neighbor and colleague. What success I may have had as an administrator was in large part due to his advice and influence. He possessed all the traits that define a great leader, teacher, father, husband and person. Love and prayers to his family.

joey latterman

October 7, 2019

I remember so well all these years later of his calming, gentle smile regardless of the chaos going on at Hannah. He disciplined with a gentle strength and much respect. In spite of the things my kids might have have done, I knew he would listen to me and deal with the situation in a moral and kindly way. Thank you for the years he gave to East Lansing children.

Kimberly (Pernell) Gardiner

October 6, 2019

Mr. Egnatuk was the kindest and sweetest person. He had such a big heart. He was my principal at Hannah Middle School and at East Lansing High School. Mr. Egnatuk cared so much about all of his students and was so fair, kind and compassionate. He was a man of great character and set an example for all of us on how we should treat others. Mr. Egnatuk's passing is a great loss to our community.
My condolences to Mrs. Egnatuk, Kevin, Donna and the entire family. You are in my prayers.
Love,
Kimberly (Pernell) Gardiner

Chris Costigan

October 4, 2019

Worked with Tony many years @ East Lansing Schools, great guy, always a great leader, tony inspired many to be outstanding. Even after his retirement many times I ran into him he was always upbeat, happy person.
I was so blessed to have known him for so many years.

Alice Martel

September 30, 2019

I enjoyed working with Tony. He always had the kids' best interests at heart, was a caring administrator, and a good listener. My first teaching job was at East Lansing Junior High School (now Hannah Middle School). Tony was on the staff at the time and was admired and well-liked by all. He was just a very nice man. I am glad I had the chance to work with him. My condolences to the family.

Robert Ulrich

September 30, 2019

I first met Tony Egnatuk in 1973. We worked together for nearly 30 years in the East Lansing Public Schools. It was my privilege to serve as his Assistant Principal at Hannah Middle School, 1984/85.. I had the upmost respect for him during my time with the district.

Even after retirement, we continued to work together on church projects and as election officials for the E.L. City Clerk’s Office.

He was a kind, good and decent man who worked to bring out the best in everyone whether student, staff or colleague. We are all better people because of our time with Tony. His gift will be missed.

My deepest sympathies to the entire family.

Tom Seely

September 30, 2019

Tony was a great neighbor. My grandmother appreciated all of the things the Egnatuks did for her and so did we. Good friends. Prayers to the family and friends.

David Kessler

September 30, 2019

I have lived next to Tony since 1970 and could not ask for a better neighbor or friend. He touched all that knew him.

Bob Docking

September 30, 2019

I’ve known Tony since 1969 and, for seventeen years, worked with Tony in ELPS. I never, not once, ever heard a person say a negative word about him.
He was an excellent school administrator, loving husband, and terrific dad.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Tony E. Egnatuk of East Lansing, Michigan passed away on September 27, 2019 at the age of 87. Tony was born on October 30, 1931 in Albion Township to Egnat and Anna Egnatuk. Tony was the fourth of their nine children.

As a young boy, Tony fondly remembered growing up on the family farm where “there was always plenty of work to be done." His lifelong passion for education began in a small, one room schoolhouse with 45 students of various ages, and one teacher. He attended Albion High School from the 9th through 12th grade. After graduating from high school in 1949, he attended Michigan State University for two years.

He was drafted into the armed services because of the Korean Conflict, and served four years in the United States Navy. He served aboard the Naval Ship U.S.S. Antietam. After serving this great Country, he returned to M.S.U. and received his Bachelor and Master degrees in 1958 and 1959.

On December 8, 1956 he married his loving wife, Virginia Howell. Together they raised their only child, Kevin Egnatuk, who currently resides in Rockford, MI. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he taught English and Social Studies at East Lansing Junior High School from 1959 to 1967. He then served as the Assistant Principal at MacDonald Middle School for two years, before being chosen to open up Hannah Middle School in 1969. For 35 years, he proudly served the East Lansing community. Along with many others in the school district, he helped pioneer the concept of “team teaching” for middle school aged children. He often lovingly referred to this age group as “Between-agers.” While many found this age group challenging, Tony embraced and loved it.

Tony and Ginny spent their retirement years supporting Michigan State athletics, and were season ticket holders to Spartan football and basketball games for many years. Additionally, they attended the University United Methodist Church in East Lansing, and Tony often volunteered for numerous community events throughout the years.

Tony absolutely cherished his three grandchildren and he never missed one of their games or events. He was always there in the stands supporting them wearing the black and orange of Rockford High School.

An amazing husband, father and grandfather, but an even better friend to everyone, he set the bar high for all of us to aspire to. He will be missed, but never forgotten, and will be waiting for all of us to join him in eternal life.