Mrs. Tonkel was born in Fort Wayne on May 3, 1924, a daughter of Lyman and Pauline (Sines) Blanchard. She spent her formative years in Fort Wayne, and was married there on May 25, 1941 to Charles Merl Tonkel, Sr. The couple owned and operated the Campus Inn Restaurant in Fort Wayne for several years, and had moved to Collins over 50 years ago.
Mr. Tonkel preceded her in death on January 14, 1982.
The surviving relatives include her daughter, Pat (Bruce) Geiger of rural Columbia City; two sisters, Joan Kessler of Fort Wayne and Mary Ellen (Jim) Meskimen of Apache Junction, Ariz; nine grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by three sons, Charles Tonkel, Jr., Dennis Tonkel, and Jerry W. Tonkel; and a sister, Lorraine Bunn.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday at the Sheets & Childs Funeral Home in Churubusco with Rev. Jerry Blanchard, pastor of Anthony Wayne First Church of God, officiating.
The family will receive friends at the mortuary on Wednesday from 2 to 8 p.m., or one hour prior to the service Thursday afternoon.
Interment will be in the Eel River Cemetery, south of Churubusco.
For those who wish, memorials may be directed to Heartland Hospice in Fort Wayne, or to the donor’s choice.
To leave an online condolence for the family in Mrs. Tonkel’s memory, log on to www.sheetsandchilds.net.