Lonnie Dean Bogovich, 61, the King of One Liners, informant, natty dresser and accomplished napper, quietly passed on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2018, doing it his way.
Lonnie’s story starts out in Youngstown, Ohio on Jan. 27, 1957. Born to Angelina Williamson, Lonnie spent his childhood raising hell in Youngstown, befriending anyone that crossed paths with him. This included his lifelong friend Paula DeMaiori, the mother of his two girls. With the encouragement of these friends to seek greener mountains, Lonnie moved to Montana at 19 years old.
In 1977, Lonnie set out to show Paul Bunyan who the hell the boss was when it came to logging! From sawyer to skidder and process operator, he knew the inner workings of the logging industry. If you didn’t pull your weight or didn’t do it his way, you would be provided a quick lesson in how foolish you were with his salty brash. After 30 years of working in the timber industry, Lonnie was forced to become an armchair logger as his health couldn’t keep up with his mouth in the woods.
He took extreme pride in his two daughters, Janu and Zoi, after they could take care of themselves (we all know that adolescent people and puppies were not in his wheelhouse of patience). With smugness he taught the girls important things such as yes, tires need to have the air checked; a dipstick is used to check oils and not just a name you call someone; it is OK for others blocks away to hear the great music you are listening to; how to wrestle a snowmobile when its stuck; how to bang the gears in a hopped up Chevelle; how to waste perfectly good produce by shooting it out of a potato cannon; the proper way of chilling around a campfire; the correct techniques in holding a grudge; how to always enjoy the good times to the fullest; finding the humor in everything, especially if the other person is down and saying things as they are. Lonnie’s daughters were one of his greatest joys and he never ended a phone call with them without an “I love you” to let them know.
On May 24, 1985, Tammy Miller, Lonnie’s “Brown Eyed Girl” accepted the challenge of a lifelong commitment as Mrs. Bogovich. Tammy quickly realized the insurmountable task she had taken on. Continually dressed in his “Coram Leisure Suit” or his lumberjack approved apparel with fashionable suspenders, Lonnie emitted one liners as he was quick witted with no pause for thought of the words being expelled or the inappropriateness of those words for young ears. Tammy spent 33 years trying to filter and tame the wild Bogovich. Even during his last days at the hospital, Tammy had the daunting task of trying to keep him in the realm of PG-13. Lonnie had a soft side that could be seen when he would suppress his brassy persona for his main squeeze to share a dance to one of their favorite songs, “Do You Wanna Dance.” Together they enjoyed eliminating challengers on any given pool table, shredding fresh powder with their snowmobiles, bouncing on the waves in a boat at one of many lakes and just being the Bogoviches. Attending a Bogovich backyard barbecue was always memorable with Tammy playing the gracious host and Lonnie providing entertainment with his homemade Polish Horseshoes. Together they embraced a good road trip. From the Land of 10,000 Lakes to the Show Me State to the Golden State the highway was their home on many classic adventures. International travel wasn’t too far from home, as excursions to the Calgary Stampede to watch the rodeo or to Revelstoke to chase champagne powder in the Selkirk Mountains with their snowmobiles. Together the memories they made were often eventful, larger-than-life and ended with a great story to be shared with family and friends.
The “Mayor of the Canyon” as he was often referred, was an incredibly talented person. Friends could always count on him to lend a helping hand with a touch of sarcasm, just to make a difficult situation a little more bearable. From wrenching on combustion powered thrill vehicles to the latest gossip, the Mayor was there providing commentary, solicited or not. He also had a knack for calling people earlier than any reasonable person should be awake and speaking without hesitation, as if you have been waiting for him to call. Politics, people driving in front of him, being PC, interrupting his show, being quiet, sitting still, waiting in lines or weed whacking were all negatives in his world.
Lonnie’s façade and often his saltiness were characteristic of an old man, however, it was just a veneer. To know him was to know that he was the king of gossip or as he called it “keeping you in the know” and often injected a little Lonnie-ism to it for good measure. Hunting, old cars, NASCAR, stereos, snowmobiling, motorcycles, Hooters, chainsaws and John Deere were favorite topics of conversation. Naps with his dog Sissy were critical and he often made that the priority. Remote in hand, you would catch him flipping between “Days of Our Lives,” the Discovery Channel or anything investigative. Once refreshed he could be found in the garage, detailing it as if it was going to be judged. Above all else, he loved being with his friends and family, well most of the time.
He was preceded in death by his mother Angie Williamson, sister in-law Terry Jannetto, and a beloved 1955 Chevy.
Lonnie was a loving father, husband, grandfather and friend to everyone that he liked and brought humor to every situation, no matter how inappropriate. Lonnie is survived by his overly-patient and tolerant wife of 33 years, Tammy. Tammy spent these years constantly reminding him to “be good and utilize his filter” to no avail. He is also survived by daughters, Jolienne Wandler with son-in-law Ted Finlay, and Zolia Bogovich with son-in-law Dave Hotchkiss; grandchildren, Alex and Tyler; his cherished dog Sissy; his “outlaws” Lowell and Arline Miller; brother-in-law and wife Tom and Ginger Miller; bonus family Tara and Chad Fincher, along with many other loving relatives and friends.
A celebration of life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Dew Drop Inn, 10750 U.S. 2, Coram, MT 59913. Lonnie’s ashes will officially be laid to rest in the spring when he will be shot out of his beloved Potato Cannon, into his backyard, because we all know he never liked to travel too far from home.
Darlington Cremation and Burial Service is caring for Lonnie and his family.