Kalamazoo Gazette

A beloved Kalamazoo actor and puppeteer has passed away at the age of 91, according to his obituary. Donald Bonevich was born February 1, 1928 in Canton, Ohio, and in 1944, this budding artist received a scholarship to study sculpture at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburg. After his graduation, Bonevich served in the army in the Philippines, and following his service, worked as a commercial sculptor before enrolling at the esteemed Art Institute of Chicago, where he received his BAE in 1954, and then proceeded to acquire his MA from Western Michigan University. The student then transitioned to teacher and began a 37-year career at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art and public high schools. In 1958, Bonevich turned his attention to the stage, where he pursued a a career as equity actor, set-designer, and puppeteer. From his weekly puppet show on WKZO television in Kalamazoo, to his national theatre tours, he was just as home performing Shakespeare at the Red Barn Theatre in Saugatuck as he was performing locally at the New Vic and Kalamazoo Civic Theatres. His stage work earned him Best Actor Awards at Community Theatre Festivals in 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005. In 2012, Canton Lincoln High School granted him their Distinguished Alumbi and Lifetime Achievement Award.

A teacher, artist, painter, potter, actor, and puppeteer. Kalamazoo has lost a legend. For more information on Don Bonevich's life, and for memorial information, click here.