Jump to content
Ornithology Exchange (brought to you by the Ornithological Council)

George Jonkel 1927 - 2016

Fern Davies

Recommended Posts



George M. Jonkel Nov 29, 2016


FOUNTAIN, Fla. – George Matthew Jonkel of Fountain, Florida, passed away Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016, at Bay Medical Center, Panama City, Florida. The cause of his death was congestive heart failure. George, or Duke as he preferred to be called, was born in Chicago, Illinois, on July 8, 1927, to George M. Jonkel Sr. and Ruby (Poertner) Jonkel. The family moved to Wisconsin, where Duke, his brother Chuck and sister Theo lived with their mother and their maternal grandparents, and then with their mother and stepfather, Tom Yndogliato.


After he graduated from Neillsville High School he served his country in the Army then the Army Reserves from 1946 until 1952. Duke married Jean Dickson of Missoula in 1948 and started college at the University of Minnesota, transferring to the University of Montana in Missoula, where he received his B.S. in 1952 and his M.S. in Wildlife Technology in 1954.


He worked for the Montana Fish & Game Department and then with the U.S. Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife in Bismarck, North Dakota. In 1963 he transferred to Huron, South Dakota, and set up the Fish & Wildlife Wetlands Acquisition Office for preservation of waterfowl habitat. In 1971 he was made Chief of the Bird Banding Laboratory in the Office of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, in Patuxent, Maryland. During this employment, Duke contributed to scientific advancement of bird banding and bird population studies, working with ornithologists in Brazil, India and China in establishing their banding programs. He also traveled to Antarctica for a penguin species study, international research following the treaties resulting from the International Geophysical Year. An intrepid and inquisitive traveler, he forged new contacts and made many close friends in distant points of the world. He served as chair of the South Dakota chapter of The Nature Conservancy, secretary of the Raptor Research Foundation, officer of The Wildlife Society and member of The American Ornithologists' Union and the South Dakota Ornithologists.


After retirement, Duke and Jean moved to Fountain, where they raised blueberries and grapes, and enjoyed their new post as Florida naturalists.


Duke was predeceased by his wife Jean; his sister Theo of Neillsville, Wisconsin, and his brother Dr. Charles Jonkel of Missoula.


He is survived by his children, Rhonda Lee of Madison, Wisconsin,; Susan (Manny) Llorca of Panama City Beach, Elise (Craig) Gold of Fountain, Philip (Nicole) Jonkel of Mt. Desert, Maine, Laura (Lars) Kristiansen of Annapolis, Maryland; by his grandchildren Michelle Schoenfeld, Heather Llorca Kropp, Christine Gorman, Caitlin Jonkel and Colin Jonkel; great-grandchildren Austin Schoenfeld, Alexa Schoenfeld, Ava Kropp, Eamon Gorman, and Rowland Gorman; his sister-in-law Joan Jonkel of Missoula; and his nieces, nephews and cousins and his many dear friends.


In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate your consideration of memorial gifts to The Nature Conservancy, The University of Montana Wildlife Program, Bay County Conservancy or the charitable organization of your choice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

George Jonkel foi um importante ornitologo para a geração da ornitologia brasileira dos anos 80.  Estive na primavera de 1985 na casa do casal George e Jean com o colega guatemalteco Hermann Khim. Que dupla interessante como pessoa e experiencias de vida. Sinto muita falta dessa época e a dinâmica desse período. Meus pesames aos familiares desse personagem que influenciou muitas pessoas no mundo!!


Sorry for the clumsy google translation but I wanted everyone to be able to read what Carlos shared with us: 

George Jonkel was an important ornithologist for the generation of Brazilian ornithology of the 80's. I was in the spring of 1985 in the house of the couple George and Jean with the Guatemalan colleague Hermann Khim. What an interesting couple as a person and life experiences. I miss this period and the dynamics of that period. My condolences to the relatives of this character that influenced many people in the world !!

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...