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Michael F. Tonnemacher

Mike Tonnemacher passed away peacefully on September 9, 2020 at Glen Oaks Care Center in Urbandale, IA surrounded by his family. Mike, the son of Herb Tonnemacher and Lenore Connolly Meinecke, was born February 1, 1944 in Inglewood, CA. Following high school, Mike attended Ashland University in Ashland, OH and received his Bachelor’s degree in Business in 1968. Immediately after college, Mike enlisted and served in the United States Marine Corps. Mike was honorably discharged in 1971, attaining the grade of Corporal.

In 1966, Mike traveled to California while on break from college and it was there he met his future wife Mary (Whitman); the two were married on October 5, 1969 in Santa Monica, CA. Mike and Mary recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. This union saw two sons born - Doug and Dennis.

In 1971, Mike began his career in the restaurant/hospitality industry initially serving as a bartender for the Fortune Steakhouse, a family owned restaurant in Gardena, CA, culminating in his retirement as Corporate Director of Human Resources for Concord Hospitality Enterprises in 2009 in Raleigh, NC. Mike’s career took him and his family to numerous locations throughout the United States including Los Angeles, CA; Des Moines, IA; Columbus, OH; Cleveland, OH; and Raleigh, NC.

Mike was a proud Marine who cherished spending time with his family. Some of his favorite activities included traveling, fishing, gardening, fantasy football, playing poker and enjoying fine wine as well as an occasional imbibe with tequila - especially with his fellow Marine and childhood friends. Mike was a gentle and playful spirit who had an amazing, phlegmatic voice skilled at bringing calmness from chaos.

Mike was loved by so many friends and family, he will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife, Mary; son Doug (Joni Tonnemacher); son Dennis (Joey Tonnemacher); granddaughters Lexie and Alice; grandsons Mason and Fletcher; and his sister, Gloria Fitzgerald (Jimmy Fitzgerald).

A military committal service will be held in Van Meter, Iowa at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery at 11:00 AM on September 25, 2020. Following the ceremony, an open-house for all to celebrate his life will be at 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM at Doug and Joni Tonnemacher’s home located at 10604 NW 74th Pl Johnston IA 50131. Please understand this celebration of life event will be following CDC guidelines for gatherings which include individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and wear face coverings.

Those planning an expression of sympathy may direct your memorials to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. Please visit or call 800.397.7585.


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