Obituary of John Bartko, Jr.
Joseph John Bartko, Jr or “John”, as he was affectionately known, was born on June 28, 1947 in Toledo, Ohio. He was one of two children born to the union of Joseph John and Betty (Young) Bartko, Sr. He attended Woodward High School in Toledo, Ohio, graduating with the class 1966. Following high school, John enlisted in the United States Army where he served as a Military Police Officer until his honorable discharge. After his discharge from the military, John would continue his civic duty with the Sylvania Township Police Department in Sylvania, Ohio, obtaining the rank of Sergeant. He retired on June 1, 2008, completing thirty-five years of protecting and serving his community.
On April 17, 2009 in Toledo, Ohio John married the love of his life, Vivian Rigel. The couple would make their home in Dundee, Michigan where John served as a reserve police officer for the Dundee Police Department. He was a proud member of the Fraternal Order of Police, Sylvania Lodge # 129, Sylvania Moose Lodge 1579, American Legion 72 in Dundee, Michigan and the Dundee Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS). John also served as a Member of the Dundee Planning Commission. During his tenure as a police officer, John was proud to have received a Life Saving Award for saving the life of an infant. He was the equipment manager and special teams coach for more than ten years at Woodward High School in Toledo, Ohio. He was honored to help coach Tamara “Slick” Browder, the first female kicker to score points in the Toledo City League, and the pair remained life-long friends.
John loved to ride his Harley Davidson motorcycles whenever possible. He was an avid University of Michigan football team fan. He was a natural story teller and often enjoyed meeting with his old working buddies and friends to share tall tales.
Joseph John Bartko, Jr. age 75, of Dundee, passed away peacefully at Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Toledo on Monday, February 20, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. His passing was preceded by his parents, Joseph J. and Betty Bartko, Sr. and his son, David on November 20, 2021.
To cherish John’s memory he leaves his loving wife of thirteen years, Vivian Bartko of Dundee; two sons, Joseph (Laurie) Bartko of Toledo, Ohio and Jeffrey (Lisa) Bartko of Temperance, Michigan; a stepson, Zachary Brososky of Toledo, Ohio; one sister, Marcia (Steve) Sorge of Toledo; eight grandchildren, Jessica Bartko (Cody Johnston), Kalee Bartko (Jordin Brown), Joshua Bartko, Taylor (Ian) Deye, Macy (Peyton Hawk) Bartko, Caden Bartko, Kassidy Bartko, Tyler “Slapshot” Bartko and Brayden LaPoint; and one great granddaughter, Amora Brown.
Friends may gather from 2:00pm until 8:00pm on Saturday, February 25, 2023 and from 11:00am until 1:00pm on Sunday, February 26, 2023 at Merkle Funeral Service, Dundee, 297 Tecumseh Street, Dundee, Michigan 48131 (734) 529-3156. A Celebration of John’s Life will take place at 1:00pm Sunday, also at Merkle’s with Pastor Brad Luck of Dundee United
Methodist Church officiating. Military Honors will be provided under the auspices of the Dundee Veterans Memorial Honor Guard and Police Honors will be provided by the Sylvania Township Police Department Honor Detail. Cremation will follow through the on-site crematory, Covenant Cremation of Erie, Michigan.
For those desiring, memorial contributions can be made to the Family in Memory of John to assist with funeral costs. Online guests may leave words of inspiration and comfort or share a photo by visiting www.merklefs.com.