Northampton Press

Saturday, February 22, 2020
The Rev. Michael J. Bodnyk Sr. The Rev. Michael J. Bodnyk Sr.

The Rev. Michael J. Bodnyk Sr.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 by The Press in Obituaries

Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church pastor

The Rev. Michael J. Bodnyk Sr., 68, of Orefield, died peacefully Nov. 7, 2019, at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township, surrounded by his loving family.

He and his wife, Sandra L. (Smith) Bodnyk, were married 44 years on Feb. 8.

Born Dec. 5, 1950, in Allentown, Pastor Mike, as he was known, was the son of the late Dorothy I. (Shankweiler) Bodnyk and the late Lt. Col. Metro Bodnyk, U.S.A.F., retired.

A 1968 graduate of Kutztown Area High School and a 1972 graduate of Muhlenberg College, he earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia.

An ordained minister for 43 years, Pastor Mike served as pastor of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, Whitehall, from 1995 to June 2019.

Before that, he served at Dinkey Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church, Ashfield, from 1977-95, and was the assistant pastor of Holy Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Abington, from 1976-77.

Active in the life of his community, Pastor Mike was a life member, volunteer firefighter and chaplain of both Community Fire Company No. 1, Schnecksville, and East Penn Fire Company, Ashfield.

He also served as a volunteer chaplain for the Pennsylvania State Police, Troop M, Bethlehem, and was a member of the Pennsylvania Critical Incident Stress Management Team.

Pastor Mike was a former trustee of The Swain School, Salisbury Township, and past director of the Hazleton Lutheran Home.

He also was a community reporter for the Whitehall-Coplay, Parkland and Northwestern Press weekly newspapers for many years.

In addition to his loving wife, he is survived by a son, Michael John Bodnyk Jr. of Sarasota, Fla.; sisters, Ann L. Bodnyk and her husband David R. Dare of Kutztown, Dorothy J. Wesley of Macungie and Elizabeth A. Shrawder and her husband James L. of Kutztown; nieces, Johanna and Catherine; and nephews, Lucas, Alex, Matthew and Joseph.

He was predeceased by a brother, Bruce W. Bodnyk; and a brother-in-law, Glenn R. Wesley.

Expressions of sympathy may be made at

Memorial contributions may be made to Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church and/or to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, both c/o the funeral home, P.O. Box 196, Schnecksville, 18078-0196.

Arrangements were made by Heintzelman Funeral Home Inc.