Remembering Deet Jonker

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By Rachel Brown Hackney

Catherine Luckner with Deet Jonker, 2017

In late January, we learned of the death of Deet Jonker, who served for many years as a director of the Siesta Key Association (SKA).

His obituary, from the Palms-Robarts Funeral Home in Sarasota, says he died on Jan. 15 at the age of 82. He is survived by his wife, Nina “Lynn” Jonker.

During the SKA’s 2017 annual meeting, held on March 4 of that year, the board members honored Jonker for being what Vice President Catherine Luckner called “a super volunteer extraordinaire” for the SKA and other organizations.

She presented him an award inscribed with the following: “Our gratitude, forever, Deet Jonker, for your 15 years of service as Membership Chairman. You made it happen.”

Joachim “Deet” D. Jonker was born on Sept. 20, 1936, the obituary said. “[He] was a retired entertainment executive who held various management production positions with the ABC television network for 33 years. During his tenure there, he was actively involved with the production of five Olympic Games as well as many other significant events and shows,” the obituary added.

He received an Emmy for individual achievement for producing the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, which was held in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, the SKA directors noted in 2017.

From 1991 to 1996, Jonker was the senior vice president of production and executive producer at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the obituary continued. “He produced the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York City; Branson, Missouri; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He was also the Executive Producer of the Great Radio City Spectacular at the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas, Nevada.”

“Additionally,” the obituary said, Jonker “co-produced four Republican National Conventions for David J. Nash Associates, as well as the 2000 Political Fest presentation in Philadelphia.”

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