Oonk, Rowland G.
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Arizona businessman and former Tempe City Councilman passed away on August 25, 2013. Rowland was born in Owosso, MI on December 15, 1923 and was raised and attended school in Frankfort, MI. Rowland graduated from Michigan State University with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He enlisted in the Armed Forces and served briefly in the Coast Artillery in 1942 and received an honorable discharge. He began his career at the Ford Motor Company. He joined Arabian American Oil Co. in 1953 and moved with his family to Saudi Arabia. He worked there and in Libya, Lebanon and Kuwait for local contractors for 12 years. Upon his return to the U.S. he settled in Arizona and became VP of Penn-Mor Mfg. Corp. in Tempe. Later he purchased a toy store and operated it as OONK'S TOYTHINGS. During this period he was elected to the Tempe City Council where he served for seven and a half years. He joined St. Mary's Food Bank in July 1990 as Business Development Officer. He and his wife Vicki relocated to Hawaii in 1993 and he volunteered for the Hawaii Food Bank and later worked for Mental Help Hawaii as Development Director. He rejoined St. Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix in 1996 and later became Development Coordinator. Other activities included Vice President of the National Knitwear Mfgs., President and Executive Director of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, President and Membership Developer for the Arizona Association of Industries, Board member of the Arizona District Export Council, the Saguaro Bank and Junior Achievement. He was one of the founders and a life member of the Tempe Diablos. Survivors include his wife, Vicki, daughters Toni Lynn Purtill (Jim) of Henderson, NV and Lori Sue Sorenson (Shawn) of Redmond, WA and sons Russell Oonk of Addison, TX and Richard Oonk of Galveston, TX. He has 5 grandsons, 3 granddaughters, 5 great grandchildren. No services are planned. The family suggests contributions to St. Mary's Food Bank, 2831 N. 31st Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85009.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Aug. 28, 2013