Donald Bujnak

Donald Bujnak
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Donald J. Bujnak, 85, of Belleville, IL, born June 25, 1932, in Belleville, IL, was blessed with a rapid and peaceful passage to his eternal reward with his wife by his side on Friday, October 13, 2017.

Don had been a resident of The Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows for one month.  He was a man of many accomplishments.  He began his career at Stegmeyer Furniture as a teen, worked at Etling Skelgas and then for Eidmann Appliances.  When Mr. Roy Eidmann retired, he bought the service department and on January 1, 1967, established Appliance Service Co. at 200 North Jackson Street in Belleville, IL.  On January 1, 1969, he moved that business to Swansea and changed the name to Don’s Appliance Company.  On October 26, 1971, he bought Wade Square Hardware, and it became Don’s Appliance and Hardware. After the loss of his beloved wife, Doris, he became a single father and the children worked in the hardware store by his side.  He placed a pinball section in the store, called Don’s Arcade, and counseled many teens against drugs.  He set up dance classes to keep teens off the streets. In 1975, he established Don’s Leather Goods within the store and on September 1, 1978, he established Don’s Hardware, Inc.  He taught refrigeration at a branch of SIU and BAC in East St. Louis.  He had never graduated high school and his students kidded him about it. So, he decided to get his GED when he was in his fifties.  In 1996, he built Don’s Parts Center on Lebanon Avenue.  If he could assist anyone in any way, he never failed to do so.

By his own description he was a “semi-celebrity” in Belleville.  His radio and television commercials with their corny jokes endeared him to many people in the metro-east area.  His slogan “Don’t Sleep With a Drip” never failed to bring a smile.  He was a volunteer firefighter with East Side Fire Protection District, a member of the Belleville Loyal Order of Moose, an avid midget race car fan, a member of Team Chocolat for Relay of Life, a dedicated volunteer at Jail and Bail and a member of Blessed Sacrament Parish. He received Belleville Jaycee’s “Outstanding Citizen Award” for 2002.  For over 20 years he brought joy to hundreds of children as Santa Claus and only stopped when his hearing became inadequate.  He married for the third time at the age of 74 and built a new store, Don’s Hardware and Parts Center, on Boul Avenue in Swansea at the age of 75.

He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, who touched the lives of others in measures beyond words.  He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Flora, nee Maul, Bujnak; wife, Doris, nee Eltrich, Bujnak; daughter, Beverly Rinehimer; a granddaughter, Michelle Rinehimer, in infancy; wife, Annabelle, nee Stanley, Bujnak; three brothers, Edward (Rosemary Macke) Bujnak, Delmar (Louise Hollingsworth) Bujnak, and Merlyn “Butch” Bujnak; three sisters, Delores (Wayne) Sarver, Judith (Frank) Kube, and Charlotte, in infancy; two sisters-in-law, Marian Eltrich and Mary Sellers; two step sons-in-law, Brian Mungai and Ron McCutchen Jr.; and a godson, Kenny Bujnak.

Surviving are his wife, Jean, nee Steinman, Bujnak;
two sons, Mark Bujnak (Deborah Weber) and Kevin (Kathy) Bujnak;
two daughters, Linda (Thomas) Hassall and Donna (Ronald) Homrighausen;
a son-in-law, Bruce Rinehimer;
four step-daughters, Wendy (Mike) Christ, Dawn (Eric) Roeckenhaus, Kelly Mungai, and Beth Richter;
five grandchildren, Michael (Jamie) Bujnak, Kyle Bujnak (Chelsie Wagner),
Katie Bujnak, Brianna Rinehimer (Eric Polka), and Dale Hassall;
two great-grandchildren, Parker and Kennedy Bujnak;
12 step-grandchildren, Mariah, Nicholas and Abby Christ, Tara (Russel) Sudholt,
Joshua Roeckenhaus, Taylor and Sophia Mungai, Austin Richter,
Jesse McCutchen, Terra McCutchen, Ronnie McCutchen III, and Brendan McCutchen;
five step-great-grandchildren, Ethan George, Brooklynn Wallace, Rayna and Riley McCutchen, and Stella Sudholt;
a sister-in-law, Mary, nee Bauman, Bujnak;
two brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Donald and Elsa, nee Engel, Eltrich and Paul and Jean Steinman;
a brother-in-law, Ronald Sellers;
many nieces and nephews;
and a godson, Brad Eltrich.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation or to Blessed Sacrament Parish.  Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation:  Friends may visit with the family from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday, October 16, 2017, and from 8 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, October 17, 2017, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL.

Funeral: Funeral procession will leave at 10 a.m. Tuesday, October 17, 2017, from George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, for a 10:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Fr. Matthew Elie officiating.

Burial will be at Valhalla Gardens of Memory, Belleville, IL.


20 Comments on Donald Bujnak

Dale & Donna Blaes said : Guest Report Oct 18, 2017 at 2:54 PM

Kevin, Mark and sisters. Am so sorry for our loss. Don was a awesome person. I know I will miss his smile and jokes. Had many cups of coffee with him at Bracket and casyville ave.back in 60,s

  • Marissa
  • IL
Caroline Schold said : Guest Report Oct 18, 2017 at 8:57 AM

So sorry to hear of your loss. I went to high school with Donna and worked some Saturdays at Don's Hardware. I will always remember Don as a kind man with a great sense of humor.

  • York
  • United Kingdom
L & B Barton said : Guest Report Oct 18, 2017 at 5:02 AM

Sorry to hear about the loss of your Father Kevin. Our sincerest sympathy to you and your family.

  • Lebanon
  • Il
Tom & Mary Budde said : Guest Report Oct 17, 2017 at 5:21 PM

We are sending our prayers for the family. Don and kids were our good neighbors for years. Always pleasant and helpful. He will be missed. Tom & Mary Budde

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Mike Bassler said : Guest Report Oct 17, 2017 at 10:58 AM

I will always have fond memories of Don. He helped our family since I was a kid with many repairs over the years. He always made you laugh and had a kind word for everyone. He will be truly missed!

  • Belleville
  • Il
Mike Massingale said : Guest Report Oct 17, 2017 at 3:59 AM

Although I knew Kevin since grade school, I got to work for his Dad Don and with his family 84-85. I learned a lot from him and use those learnings today and passed them along to my son. He was a great man along with a great family. I will miss him. I'll always remember our 49er's Miami Super Bowl wager -Good times great memories

  • Dallas
  • Tx
Bob Soucy said : Guest Report Oct 17, 2017 at 2:32 AM

Don was a great guy he will be missed by all who knew him.

  • westmoreland
  • Tn.
Ken Hagarty said : Guest Report Oct 17, 2017 at 1:47 AM

My sincere sympathy to The Bujnak Family. Don left a lot us kids with lifetime memories, especially for me when my older brother Gary drove us up to his arcades to play pinball and try and get the high score on a machine for the weekly prize. He interacted with everyone so well. May GOD rest his soul.

  • Belleville
  • Il
Angie Dahm said : Guest Report Oct 16, 2017 at 11:35 PM

Thank you for patiently helping me find the "thingy" I needed to fix whatever was broken. Godspeed to the Bujnak family

  • Swansea
  • IL
Mike Kraus said : Guest Report Oct 16, 2017 at 8:52 PM

My condolences to all the Bujnak’s, Don was a great guy, remember hanging out at the arcade what I was younger!!! Mike Kraus

  • Louisville
  • Kentucky
Jan Evans said : Guest Report Oct 16, 2017 at 2:06 PM

I loved Don and his whole family, but especially Don for his wit and sharp sense of humor. He will be missed, but will live on in our hearts.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Mel Weith said : Guest Report Oct 16, 2017 at 2:03 PM

Truly one of the greatest friends anyone could have. He was always there to help and lend a hand. Belleville has lost one of the greats! Rest In Peace Don, you deserve it.

  • Shiloh
  • Il
Jerry and Kathryn Mines said : Guest Report Oct 16, 2017 at 12:46 PM

Our thoughts and prayers are with you all--With Deepest Sympathy.

  • Carlyle
  • Illinois
Rick Dambacher said : Guest Report Oct 16, 2017 at 9:58 AM

Don was like a second father to a lot of kids in the neighborhood. We all hung out of his pinball place. Him and my dad were friends. I remember once my dad took and old old faucet that needed a new washer in it that cost 38 cents. Don worked and worked on that faucet, finally replacing the washer and ended up kicking us out and not making us pay for the 38 cent washer because he was so frustrated. We laughed all the way home.

  • Swansea
  • Il
Phyllis Hostmeyer said : Guest Report Oct 15, 2017 at 11:33 PM

Jean, sorry for your loss. Remember the happy moments; they were many. I will give you a call when I return home. Love, phyl

  • Carlyle
  • Illinois
LOWELL THOMAS said : Guest Report Oct 15, 2017 at 5:27 PM

So sorry to hear of the passing of such a fantanstic man - he really will be missed by so many folks - please accept my sincere condolences to this great loss!

  • Belleville
  • IL
LeRoy and sandra said : Guest Report Oct 15, 2017 at 3:06 PM

so sorry for your lost. We have know him for ever . Leroy always enjoyed stopping at store and catching up with news. Very strong and we'll know in our city.

  • O,fallon
  • Il.
Ronald Chaput said : Guest Report Oct 15, 2017 at 2:44 PM

Please accept my sympathy.

  • Belleville
  • Il
Doug Blum said : Guest Report Oct 15, 2017 at 2:48 AM

To Mark and Family was sorry to here of your loss. Don was a great role model and asset to our community. Thanks for your many years of help and service to us all.

  • Belleville
  • IL
Faye & Charlie Birk said : Guest Report Oct 14, 2017 at 10:49 PM

Sure was saddened to hear about Don's passing today but so honored you remembered us. I know my Dad is saying "Where you been Polak" They are laughing!!!! Love you all Charlie & Faye

  • Fults
  • IL

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