Olean- Lawrence “Larry” Jonak passed away peacefully Tuesday night (September 28, 2021) in his home surrounded by his loving family.
A native of Olean, he was born on September 1, 1948 and was the youngest of four boys to Paul Jonak and Mary (Gicale) Jonak. Larry was a proud graduate of Olean High School class of 1966, later earning his Bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure University in Business Management in 1970. He also served with the Army Reserves from 1970-1976. Larry’s professional career spanned Cuba Memorial Hospital and the Salamanca Healthcare complex where he was an account manager and oversaw the billing departments. He later worked as a Financial Aid Specialist at Catt- Allegany BOCES until his retirement in 2018.
Starting from a young age Larry was always looking for a good bargain. In his youth, he’d return coat hangers to John Ash Cleaners for a nickel. After purchasing his first home, he would search for candy wrappers that had a special rebate to turn those into cash as well. This eventually turned into a passion, and you could almost always find him hunting for the next treasures at a garage sale, which he loved to then give as gifts.
Larry gained great rapport with his co-workers through his unmistakable smile, his willingness to listen and most importantly, his love of sweet treats. He would often be found at BOCES in the kitchen offering to sample whatever baked goods were being whipped up. He loved to listen to all kinds of music, had an extensive record collection and was never afraid to sing out loud (or off key).
Most of all, Larry was a family man. He had an infectious laugh, a big heart and was always thinking of others. He could be heard at local sporting events hollering his signature “hoot-hoot” cheer that would echo throughout the stands, even if he didn’t realize what just happened in the game. He would also share his love of books, history and reenactments. He excelled at Jeopardy having spent hours as a child reading volumes of the family Encyclopedia. Larry loved to travel, read and just have a good time surrounded by the people he loved.
Lawrence is survived by his loving wife Eileen (Dunn) Jonak; three children: Kathleen (James) Ross, Anne (Jeffrey) Miles and Matthew (Rachel) Jonak; one brother Thomas (Barbara) Jonak of Dublin, Ohio; 6 grandchildren; 5 grand-dogs; and several nieces and nephews and many special cousins.
In addition to his parents, Lawrence was predeceased by his brothers Dr. James P. Jonak in 2008 and Dr. Michael Jonak in 2020.
Friends will be received at the Guenther Funeral Home, Inc., 1303 E. State Street on Thursday from 3-7pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, October 1st at 10:00AM at Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels with burial to follow at St. Bonaventure Cemetery, Allegany.
In lieu of flowers or memorials, the family requests donations be offered in Larry’s name to either St. Bonaventure University or Olean Sports Boosters.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Guenther Funeral Home, Inc., 1303 E. State Street, Olean. Online condolences can be expressed at www.guentherfh.com.
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