Photo courtesy of Tasker Funeral Home - Dover

Carl P. Onken

Jun 28, 1940 - Jun 6, 2019

Guest Book

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Carl was such a good friend during my service on the NYSSBA Board. We developed a genuine friendship around his concern that all children deserved the opportunity to a quality education irrespective of their zipcode. He leaves a legacy of committed service to the children of our state and our nation. Mary, may God comfort you and family and keep you in His care,

Our sincere condolences to the entire Onken family. He was a wonderful man and will be deeply missed.

We are saddened to learn of the death of Carl, but grateful for his (and Mary's) service to our nation with the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone. Our Condolences

Carl made a point of making me feel welcome when I was a new Lions club member. He was a wonderful man and will be remembered

Terrific gentleman . Our condolences on your loss.

My sincere condolences to the Onken family. Carl gave many years in service to the students in the Orange-Ulster BOCES community and New York State. I was proud to have served on the BOCES board with him.

Carl will always be the epitome of human kindness, respect for others and wise perspective on any topic that so many cherished. All this and with a sense of humor. It has been an honor to have worked with Carl and Mary throughout the years at MW. Sending a 'bouquet of heartfelts' to Mary and the family.

Carl was a wonderful human being who dedicated his life to serving and helping others. His longtime service on the Monroe-Woodbury School Board was a labor of love for Carl. He was always kind, polite, and considerate.

His wife Mary and his family are in our prayers. The world lost an outstanding leader, humanitarian, father, and husband. Rest in peace Carl.

My sincere condolences to the Onken Family. Many very good M-W memories.


Carl's Obituary

South Berwick – Carl P. Onken, 78, passed away peacefully Thursday, June 6, 2019 at his home in South Berwick.


Born June 28, 1940 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he was the only child of Hermann and Bernice (Pfarr) Onken.  Growing up in Tipton, Iowa, Carl was a loving son, devoted scholar, and an avid athlete -- playing football, basketball, and baseball for the Tipton Tigers.


After completing high school in Tipton, Carl went on to graduate from Iowa State University where he also met his future wife, Mary (Haak) Onken.  He then joined the Peace Corps in 1968 as a member of the fourth cohort to work in Sierra Leone.  He and Mary were wed during Carl’s second year in Sierra Leone and they served together working to help improve the schools in the rural regions of the country.  Carl and Mary continued their support of education and youth programs in Sierra Leone throughout their lives.  When they returned to the United States, Carl settled first in Manhattan where he completed his MBA before joining Chase Manhattan Bank, working as a Systems Analyst for over 35 years.  Carl and Mary settled in Central Valley, NY where they raised three kids and lived in town for more than fifty years before moving to South Berwick, ME this year to be closer to their family.


Carl’s real passion lay in helping to support and develop community.  He served on the school board for Monroe-Woodbury, NY for 21 years, the Orange-Ulster BOCES School Board for 29, and the New York State School Board for 12, including 2 as president of the board.  He was also one of the founders of the girls’ softball league and the soccer league in Monroe-Woodbury.  Long after his three children were grown, he remained devoted to offering his help to youth athletics in his community – for softball, soccer, and track and field.


Carl’s family includes his wife of 54 years Mary (Haak) Onken of South Berwick, ME; his children Alexandra Fallot and husband Andre of Olympia, WA; Christopher Onken and wife Jennifer of Berwick, ME; and Natasha Sikorski-Onken and wife Kerin of Acton, MA; as well as seven grandchildren Alex, Connor, Gus, Nate, Caroline, Aiden, and Liam.


He lived life fully, always appreciating the simple things – from bird watching, to crossword puzzles to a good creme brulee.  He was known by all as a wonderful husband and father and a dedicated community-builder.  He had a quiet wit and quick intellect, and was always gentle, considerate, and kind.  He will be missed.  A celebration of Carl’s life will be held in New York in the fall.


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