School 04

Marcia E. Tonkel

September 15, 1939 ~ April 17, 2020 (age 80)


Marcia Elizabeth Tonkel died peacefully on April 17, 2020 in the Hospice House in Vero Beach, FL.  Marcia was born on September 15, 1939, in Chicago, IL and was immediately adopted by Ernest R. and Evelyn Richardson Tonkel.  The family soon moved to Ann Arbor, MI, and after a few years relocated to East Grand Rapids, MI, where Marcia and her brother, Rock, grew up.  She graduated from East Grand Rapids High School in 1957 and went on to the Colorado College for Women, in Greely, CO, from which she graduated in 1961 with a degree in elementary education.  Marcia then moved to a U.S. Army base near Frankfurt, Germany for four years and taught the children of Army families.  Marcia and a group of her teaching friends then moved to an Army base in Japan where she taught for four more years.  With her close friend, Bonnie McSwan, Marcia returned to the United States and settled in San Jose, CA, where they both taught at the George C. Miner Elementary School.  She was a "favorite teacher" and highly regarded, retiring in 1999 after 30 very successful years.

Marcia always had a large group of friends and maintained lifelong friendships from high school, college, her Army experiences and with her many friends in San Jose.  Besides her devotion to teaching children, she loved traveling, cooking and holidays and was famous for decorating for them.  She entertained often and relished parties.  She dearly loved her niece and two nephews and never tired of hearing stories about all of their activities, and as they grew up and married, about their families and all the grandnieces and grandnephews.  She took great pleasure in relating these stories to her many friends at school and in her bridge and bowling groups.   

Marcia is predeceased by her parents.  She is survived by her brother, James Rock Tonkel (Kathy) of Vero Beach, FL; niece, Jennifer Lyn Tonkel (Carlos Fierro) of New York, NY; nephews James Rock Tonkel, Jr. (Jill) of Washington, DC, Jeffrey Bennett Tonkel (Jackie) of Rye, NY and five grandnieces and five grandnephews .  Interment will be at Woodlawn Cemetery in Grand Rapids, MI.

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