Dennis “Fuzzy” Boyak, age 65, of Anthony Road, Munising died unexpectedly at Marquette General Hospital on Wednesday afternoon, April 9, 2008. He was born on February 19, 1943 in Munising to Felix and Annette (Brebner) Boyak. Fuzzy grew up in a loving home where church, family, and love were the priorities. He graduated from Sacred Heart School (where he and his friends were popular young men with the Sisters, Father Harrington, and Father Smith) and then from Wm. G. Mather High School in 1961. Fuzzy bartended at the Forest Inn, worked at Burns Department Store, and attended NMU. He married Deanna Blank on October 8, 1966 and they were blessed with a wonderful son and much to him and Deanna’s surprise, beautiful twin daughters. Fuzzy began his employment with the Peoples State Bank in August of 1968. He worked as a bookkeeper, teller, assistant cashier, loan officer, in 1976 was promoted to Vice President of the Loan Dept., in 1989 was promoted to Vice President/ Cashier and in 1993 became CEO of the bank he loved. Fuzzy’s employees were family to him. In May of 2007, he stepped down as CEO and was elected to serve as the bank’s President. Fuzzy was so proud to be a Hometown Banker. He was active with Little League Hotdog Blast and Bottle Drive every year, helped celebrate Mother’s Day with carnations, sponsored so many 4th of July celebrations and activities. Fuzzy was honored to invest in and support our community.
Fuzzy was a member of Sacred Heart Church where he grew up serving Mass every Sunday, served on the Parish Finance Council, and served as an usher. Fuzzy had many loves in his life, but his three most important were his bride, friend, and mother of his children Deanna. Second was his son Sean, daughters Kimmy (Kim to most, but always Kimmy from her dad) and Dana, and his beautiful grandchildren Brett, Austin, and Morgan. Third was the community of Munising, the place that Fuzzy dedicated his life to improving and helping. Fuzzy Boyak was a true pillar in the community. There are not many people in our community who were not touched or helped by Fuzzy either directly or indirectly. It was beautifully said that the buildings in town cried when they heard of Fuzzy’s death.
Fuzzy’s community service included: Munising Memorial Hospital Board, Volunteer Fire Department for 22 years, President of the Munising Area Jaycees, Munising Youth Commission, Munising Lions Club President, Munising Men’s Commercial League President, Pictured Rocks Golf & Country Club - President, Treasurer and Board member, Alger County Transportation Board Chairman, BAI Director – Secretary and Treasurer, Northern Michigan School of Banking Committee, Munising Baseball Association Board, Knights of Columbus, Munising Moose Lodge, Munising Little League Treasurer, Co-Chairman of the new Munising High School, Treasurer of the Alger County Arena Building Committee, MBA Group I – Secretary/Treasurer and Vice President, Lake States Chapter B.A.I President / Director; MBA Group I Chairman from 1994 – 1995, Kids Connection Tot Lot Finance Committee, Alger County Arena Board of Directors, Michigan Bankers Association Education Committee U.P. Representative, Weekly Bingo night at the Superior Health Haven, Munising’s Downtown Development Corporation where he was the current Chairman, Munising Area Partnership for Development, Alger County Hanley Airport Committee, and the Maple Grove Cemetery Fund Committee.
He was a friend to all that met him and you felt important when Fuzzy was with you. He played with children, encouraged youth and teens, mentored so many young adults, joked and teased adults, and was compassionate and loving to the elderly. Fuzzy loved to have fun. He joked, antagonized, and played pranks every chance he could, he left endless messages on his friends cell phones, his emails were hilarious, he enjoyed daily coffee with the guys, and he loved playing poker at the Barn on Wednesday nights, Thursday night bowling league with Smear games following at the Barge Inn, and Thursday night men's golf league. He enjoyed golfing, hunting, friends, family, the Green Bay Packers, traveling, snowshoeing, playing cards with his grandchildren, walking, and exercising.
He is survived by his wife of over 42 years Deanna; his son – Sean David of Munising; daughters Kim Marie (Jeff) Cromell and Dana Lynn (Bill Ramsey) Boyak all of Munising; his beloved grandchildren Frick, Frack, and the Princess – Austin Bailey and Brett Cameron Cromell, Morgan Lynn Ramsey; siblings who loved him and considered him their rock and family glue – Mark (Carolyn) Boyak of Garden City, MI, Ann (Ed) Sowa of Munising, Karen Hamilla of Munising, and Cathy (Tooker) Hamilla of Flushing; sister-in-law – Joyce Boyak; in –laws_Jim (Mary Mingay) Blank, Annetta (Jerry) VanLandschoot, Loretta Reff, and Sally D’Orazio; numerous nieces and nephews who knew that Uncle Fuzzy could help with any problem they had;numerous cousins; and countless dear and special friends that Fuzzy loved. Fuzzy was preceded in death by his Mama and Daddy – Annette and Felix, his brother Robert “Bob” Boyak, his sisters Lorraine (Paul) Boucher and Jeanne (Ron) Strand, his parents-in-law - Herbert and Frances Blank, and brothers-in-law – Frank Hamilla and Rodney Reff. Visitation will be held at the Bowerman Funeral Home in Munising on Sunday from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. A prayer service and a time of sharing memories and stories will be held at 8:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, April 14, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. at the Sacred Heart Church. Interment will be at the Maple Grove Cemetery. He will be escorted by Stan Gerou, Dick Bowerman, Rick Nebel, Dick Madigan, Dan Turvey, and Dennis VanLandschoot. A memorial called “Fuzzy’s Fund” will be established c/o Peoples State Bank, P.O. Box 158, Munising 49862 to benefit Munising, the community that he loved so very much.
As a friend and someone who was fortunate to love and have Fuzzy in my life from the day I was born, I write the following: Many people thought Fuzzy had a perfect life. Very few knew that the demons of depression haunted him. I can only hope that his tragic death sheds light and awareness of the disease. Depression is nothing more than a disease. It is no different than heart disease, cancer, or tonsillitis. It is not something to be embarrassed by nor is it something that should be joked about or taken lightly. There are signs, there is counseling, there is medicine, and there is help. Please learn about depression. Educate yourselves. Please, please, please do not let Fuzzy’s death be in vain. Please let it shed light on the darkness that affects so many in our world. Fuzzy Boyak was a light in this world. Please let him lead you out of the darkness.