Andon B. “Dan” Pogoncheff

Passed away on February 14, 2021 at the age of 74. Dan was born in Lansing on January 3, 1947. He graduated from Lansing Eastern High School, joined the Navy and upon his return, obtained his degrees from Michigan State University.

“Danny” as he was known by so many, enjoyed working on wood projects and bargain shopping. He enjoyed the cruises that he took with his wife Marilyn to Alaska, the Caribbean, Germany, and Denmark. He also loved being called “Dedo” by his grandchildren and “Tate” by his children.

Andon spent 32 years as a teacher through Lansing Public Schools and 20 years as a boys soccer coach.

He is survived by his wife Marilyn; sister, Sylvia Ventura; son: Blagoy (Stacie) Pogoncheff; daughter: Angie (Tim) Anderson; and grandchildren: Kelbie, Kialie, AJ, Marie, and Leya.

Due to Covid restrictions, a private ceremony is being held for the kids and grandkids. In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider a donation to one of these charities: The American Heart Association or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Arrangements are by the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel.

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46 Messages to “Andon B. “Dan” Pogoncheff

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Donald and Shirley Porter
February 17, 2021 at 10:50 am

So very sorry for your loss. Andon was a very special person.

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Patrice L. Weatherspoon-Bibbs
February 19, 2021 at 3:49 pm

Mr.Pogoncheff was my 8th grade science teacher. I loved his class because he made science fun and interesting. He will truly be missed. My condolences.

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Bill and Claudia Kaloz
February 17, 2021 at 11:06 am

So very sorry to hear of Dan’s passing. Bill and I have so many wonderful memories of our friendship as young newlyweds. Please know that the family is in our thoughts and prayers.
Bill and Claudia

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Manuela Jenkins
February 17, 2021 at 11:20 am

My deepest sympathy!

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Mikel manoff
February 17, 2021 at 2:06 pm

Cousin Dan was a great man my parents love them r i p

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Theron Smith
February 17, 2021 at 2:11 pm

Marilyn, Bill and Angie, SO SORRY to hear about Dan. He was a great man, good teacher and certainly a good influence on this community.

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Diane Apostoloff
February 17, 2021 at 3:45 pm

RIP Cousin, such a warm heart. Memory Eternal
Marilyn, Billy, and Angie, I am so sorry for your loss, Love to all!! Cousin Diane

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Tim Anderson
February 17, 2021 at 4:20 pm

My father-in-law was a great man and I will miss him dearly! I will always remember back when Angie and I first started dating she lived in a small home in Kalamazoo and all of the sudden he showed up with new windows, siding, materials for a shed, and many other supplies for the house and I thought to myself “Well, I guess I know how my summer is about to go.”. That kind of stuff continued to happen for years to come and I will treasure those types of memories forever!

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Ron Pandoff
February 17, 2021 at 6:46 pm

Memory enteral my dear cousin

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Mike and Jamie Christian
February 17, 2021 at 7:09 pm

He was a wonderful man with a heart of gold. I am glad I had the opportunity to not only know him as a teacher and a coach, but personally through Bill and Angie and then later in life as a friend. He was always a mentor for me that taught me many things about life. He taught me to love unconditionally, never sweat the small things and always believe in yourself. He took me on my first ever trip to Toronto and was the first person at the hospital when I broke my leg in a game. He welcomed me home when I returned from basic training, and I am glad that he was also able to meet my children. I’ll always remember him as the loud guy with the big smile. I always told my wife it was a blessing how he would light up when he saw me at Sears, how we’d catch up over a conversation that always ended with see ya later coach. Well you will never be forgotten coach. Prayers to the family, thinking of you all.

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Raymunfo
February 17, 2021 at 7:16 pm

Your dad was a great man I have a ton respect for him one of a few men I will always call coach even thought I never played soccer I’ll always refer to him as coach

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Mike and Laurie Adams
February 17, 2021 at 7:45 pm

Dan was our brother in law but we really felt like he was our brother. He always was joking around with us but he was always there and ready to help when you needed him. We will miss him deeply.
Mike and Laurie Adams

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Blagoy Andon Pogoncheff
February 17, 2021 at 7:52 pm

My father, Andon Blagoy Pogoncheff, came from a very proud family of immigrants. Like his elders, he believed in treating people fairly and looking out for the unfortunate. He was a middle school teacher for 32 years, a soccer coach spanning decades and a proud United States Navy Veteran.

Most of all, he was most proud of his grandchildren, all five of them. Two in College (Kelbie Senior at Baylor University, Kialie Freshman at Washington State University), two in middle school (AJ and Marie) and one in elementary school (Leya). They made him proud beyond description.

Some things which I will take for the rest of my life is what he said to me the second of my last days before his death. He was proud of my sister for what she had become and marrying a caring, great man (Tim Anderson) along with becoming a teacher.

On my last day with Tate he reminded me of how proud he was that I was in the United States Army. He said my Dedo would have been so proud and my making a career out of it was one of the best things I did for myself and my family. My wife Stacie, was a blessing and wonderful caring loving woman whom gave up a career for our son AJ and the military life. That was a sacrifice beyond no comparison which very few people would know or understand.

Tate in his own ways was very opinionated, but was also one of the most respectful people I know whom would not force his opinion on anyone even if it differed from theirs. He was devoted to his wife, his work, his family and if pride could be displayed or measured, it would be visible from Jupiter.

just before I left on the last day I saw him, we joked about the Navy and the Army and did our usual branch slams calling each other “Squid” or “Ground Pounder”. He laughed and said, he would never forget until the day he would die of what our family had accomplished in life. Not realizing that this would be my last with him.

He said we were a family of love, care, respect, devotion, loyalty, honor and need I go on. Not too many families have love of the same magnitude between siblings or inlaws. My brother Tim, my sister Angie and my wife Stacie were his references from him to his nurses and doctors as “I have 2 sons and 2 daughters and 5 Grandchildren”.
This just continued to show his pride and love as he would say it in front of every doctor and nurse I saw enter his hospital room.

As for passions, he was a devoted Detroit Red Wings and Lions fan, my father was passionate about his wood working beyond description. And he was very good at it. He taught me how to properly carry a gun, how to hunt rabbit, pheasant, deer and fish. He said those were life skills not a lot of people know and to be proud of them. He loved traveling with our mother to foreign countries on cruises, continuously seeing new things. And having spent that time with the love of his life, my mother Marilyn.

Ending this, Tate, loved and touched so many people, he was stern as a teacher, coach and parent but caring and loving with the HEART of a giant teddy bear. He would give you the shirt off his back if he could assist you. His accomplishments in life reflected him as his person. He directly molded many many people into future doctors, lawyers, teachers, pro-athletes, construction contracts, military leaders and many other professions.

It is with these said things, I believe Tate’s legacy will live forever. And with these memories many people and family will never forget.

Rest in peace Tate, I will think about you every time I watch the Wings, go hunting, fishing, watch the World Cup of Soccer and when all of your 5 grandchildren graduate from various schools and do great things in life. Your out of your pain now and laughing again with Baba, Dedo, Grandma and Grandma watching us all from above do what you wished for us in life.

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Candace Ewing
February 19, 2021 at 3:26 pm

This was such a beautiful and touching tribute. You mentioned that he would give the shirt off his back and that really struck me because of my memory of Mr. Pogoncheff. About 25 years ago, when I was just a shy 8th grader at Pattengill, I was at risk of not being able to attend our 8th grade trip to Toronto. I did not have Mr. Pogoncheff as a teacher, and I honestly knew very little about him at the time, but none of that seemed to matter because he knew my family was struggling to pay for the trip and somehow (I still have no clue how) he was able to get my portion of the trip covered. Because of him I was able to attend that trip and I will remember that forever. It may seem so small (a field trip in 8th grade) but to me at that time it was the world, and what he did meant the world to me and will stick with me for the rest of my life.

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Kerry Keyton Pattengill Indians Class of '83
February 20, 2021 at 9:38 pm

Well said Billy…well said! Couldn’t be more perfectly said less he wrote it himself! Blessings & prayers to you your Mom and entire family! Your Dad was a solid solid dude! ALWAYS kept it real.

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Michelle and Tracy Smith
February 17, 2021 at 8:37 pm

Sending our deepest condolences to the family and all who love him … Hang on to the memories of love and laughter to get you through this difficult time … His love of his family will continue

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Mary Frisosky Robinson
February 17, 2021 at 8:41 pm

So sorry for your loss, My thoughts and prayers with all the family. My earliest memories meeting him was dancing at their wedding!

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Marge Pollice Former science teacher at Pattengill
February 17, 2021 at 10:15 pm

My deepest sympathy to Andon’s family!

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Marcus Alston
February 18, 2021 at 12:57 am

I want to share my deepest condolences. Mr. Pogoncheff was my 8th grade science teacher and made a huge impact on my life. It was because of him that myself, Ben Pedersen, Nancy Xiong, Rebekah Savoie, and Brandon Young became national finalists for the Bayer/NSF Award—winning an all expense paid trip to Disney World to compete in the finals. None of that would have been possible without him coaching and challenging us to become better versions of ourselves.

He was special to many. I don’t know how he did it but he always made you feel like you were his favorite.

What’s remarkable is that I know my story is just one of many. I’m one of the many lives made better from being in his sphere of influence and love.

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Jessica olsen
February 18, 2021 at 7:20 am

Mr. Pogoncheff was a great man he was my 8th grade teacher at pattengill he was a great man we use to go on trips to Canada i remember 13 of us got stuck on tje elevator for hours but we made it… I also remember he always listened to music to relax our class it was soothing may he rest an prayer to the whole family….

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Eric & Marjorie Evanoff
February 18, 2021 at 8:16 am

!Vechnaya Pamyat! Memory Eternal!

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Karen Barlond
February 18, 2021 at 8:39 am

God bless you and keep you in your time of loss.

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Marie & Bill Howe
February 18, 2021 at 9:18 am

It is with a great deal of sadness we put pen to paper to express our heartfelt sympathy to Marilyn and family concerning the loss of our dear friend Andon. A giant of a man with a heart to match, we will always remember him as a very caring and thoughtful man. Andon’s and Marilyn’s initiative to construct and place several bird houses at the Park & Ride parking area at US 127 and Price Road will also be a fond memory. When the Democrats For A Brighter Future began the task of cleaning up the parking area 3 times a year for the past 8 years, Andon and Marilyn were always there without fail. We truly enjoyed our conversations with he and Marilyn about so many different issues as their opinions always provided wise and unique insight…We will miss him dearly!! Sending Love & Big Hugs, Marie & Bill Howe

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Jill Sandercock
February 18, 2021 at 7:21 pm

Marilyn and family – I want to express my deepest sympathy for your loss. Marie emailed me the news. I am a member of the Park and Ride Group. Will miss my conversations with Andon. He was always happy to talk about the issues in our State!
Sending a big hug,
Jill Sandercock

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John and Maria Mikulski
February 19, 2021 at 3:18 pm

I worked with Andon at Pattengill Middle School for close to thirty years; the last ten before I retired, we were members of the same team, Time Travelers, and I got to know him well. He, his wife Marilyn, my husband John, and I became good friends. Andon was an honest, generous, unpretentious man. He was an excellent teacher who saw potential in every student. He taught them science, and he also taught them the value of caring for the community by volunteering. He strived to provide opportunities for all of them in and outside the classroom through field trips to museums and Toronto. Our 8th graders liked and respected him. He will be greatly missed by us and all those who knew him.

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Candace Ewing
February 19, 2021 at 3:37 pm

I am so sorry for your loss. I knew of Mr. Pogoncheff from Pattengill Middle School about 25 years ago but I did not have the pleasure of experiencing him as a teacher (although I’ve heard many great things about him). The one memory I have of Mr. Pogoncheff involves him being the reason I was able to attend the 8th grade field trip to Toronto. My family was not able to cover the expenses at that time and somehow Mr. Pogoncheff was able to get my portion covered and I was able to attend. It’s something seemingly small to some, but to me it was the world at that time, and I will never forget it. I think of this every time I hear Mr. Pogoncheff’s name and it is something I will remember forever. What a kind and generous man and what a legacy he’s leaving behind.

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Paul Erspamer
February 19, 2021 at 3:42 pm

I taught with Dan for most of my career. He made me want to be a better teacher. I will remember our trips with the 8th graders to Toronto on all the different modes of transportation. I will miss him. My condolences to all the family.

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NINO Rodriguez
February 19, 2021 at 5:06 pm

My deepest sympathy to Mr. Andon’s family.
He was a great person and teacher. He loved all his students and all students of Pattengill.
He was a very dedicated teacher and a friend of all of us.
He put many extra hours in helping other to succeed in their lives.
We thank him for all that he gave us.

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Maya Joy
February 19, 2021 at 5:15 pm

He was the best science teacher I ever had. Some of his words remain in my head 20+ years after his teachings. Sorry for ur families loss and prayers to you all.

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Judy English
February 19, 2021 at 6:01 pm

Dan was a wonderful guy to work with at Pattengill. He was a very caring teacher and a good friend. Judy and Dean English

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Nancy Petrie
February 19, 2021 at 6:57 pm

Mr Pigoncheff was my science teacher abs track coach. He was one of the best teachers I have had. God speed sir. You were one of the good ones.

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Denise Hedlund (Oakley)
February 19, 2021 at 7:07 pm

One of the best teachers/coaches I ever had. Coach was simply the best. What started off as extra credit for science, we had a cystic fibrosis run, turned into a 5 year track career for me. Coach was convinced I’d do well and I wanted nothing more than to make him proud of me on the track. As a teacher he was stern, demanding but fair and encouraging. I loved his science class. He touched many peoples lives and will be missed by all. RIP Coach

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Nadja Miteff Lehman
February 19, 2021 at 7:43 pm

So sorry to learn of Dan’s passing. He was a lifelong friend and a gentle man. Our heartfelt sympathy to the family. Memory eternal ! The Miteff Family

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Jackie Colby Avery
February 19, 2021 at 8:18 pm

Wow can’t believe this he was a great man had him as a teacher at pattengill he will be missed by so many

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Christy Wegienka Michels
February 19, 2021 at 8:20 pm

Sending prayers and deepest sympathy to the family.

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Sheila Wrather (Johnson)
February 20, 2021 at 12:26 am

Mr. Pogoncheff was my 7th grade science teacher. O really enjoyed his class. He was direct, fair, stern but always smiling. I remember him standing outside of his classroom door during class transition times, just watching kids and giving his look to whoever needed it. No security guards needed back then. I also remember that if you weren’t in your seat and quiet when the bell rang, you were considered late. Lol. He really influenced me and was a true male role model. Im sorry to hear of his passing.

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Nancy Taylor and John Taylor
February 20, 2021 at 2:12 am

Dan was our brother-in-law and he was a part of my life since I was in high school. He was always enthusiastic, finding a positive angle on whatever the topic and truly caring about everyone he met. He was a big guy with a big voice, a big personality, a big smile and an even bigger heart. After retirement he and Marilyn didn’t just settle into a routine-they started cruising the world! He so enjoyed telling of his travels and hearing about ours. He will be so missed.

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Rich Pochert
February 20, 2021 at 4:52 am

The Pochert family extends its deepest condolences to the Pogoncheff family. My dad worked with Dan for many years at Pattengill, and he was a kind, caring teacher and coach who will be dearly missed by the many that were lucky enough to have Mr. P as a coach, teacher or friend!

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Mark Beeman
February 20, 2021 at 7:15 am

Dear Mr. P,

I’m so sadden to hear of your passing. You were my teacher and football and volleyball coach @ Pattengill. You also was a great teacher of life and would love to talk about anything. I ran into you a lot after high school and just recently saw you and the first thing I heard in that loud voice was “hey Beeman, your still looking good and boyish in the face” I knew who that was before I even turned around!!! Coach, you will be missed by many and my prayers and condolences go out to your wife and the rest of your family!!! RIP Coach P and I loved that you were part of my life.

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Gracíela GARCÍA Tyson, Gvon García, Sheneva Tyson, Ava Tyson
February 20, 2021 at 3:30 pm

Our condolences to the Family. Wow just wow such a shocker. He taught me as well as my 3 daughters. A kind hearted man, always willing to have a conversation & reminisce about the older times of teaching. I absolutely loved him to pieces. We love you. Rest In Peace Mr P

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Kerry Keyton
February 20, 2021 at 9:51 pm

Coach Pogoncheff and family,

Definitely had Coach for Science…made us eat food from all over…liver n onions, chitlins, menudo, bbq lingua…worst day of my life back then! LOL

7th grade Volleyball Coach of which I was leading scorer on the team! Check it!

9th grade Football Coach! Coach ain’t take no crap but we had fun! The last 9th grade class in the Jr. High era of the LSD!!

Friend! When I’d be umpiring softball @ Marshall Park and his home was rt there on the corner. I always would be early n stop by and chat because he’d be outside w/ his son Billy working on something!

Colleague of which he used to just look @ me and say, when we would see each other @ Sears yrs later where he worked, I just never thought you’d become a Teacher! Football player yes…Teacher no!

Always loved his honesty! Solid righteous man! R.I.P. Coach!

#PATTENGILLINDIANS4LIFE

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Paul Her
February 22, 2021 at 11:15 pm

Coach P was an unbelievable person with a heart of gold. His voice was thunderous and commanded attention. He was well respected and love by all his players. When he speaks we all listened because his voice was feared. During soccer practices, we know how strict and harsh he can be. It was because he wanted us to show our full potential. Outside of soccer, he was a loving person a great father figure. Coach P thank you for helping me to become the person I am today. Thank you for coaching me to become a good soccer player and being there for my hall of fame inductee at Eastern High School.

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Juan A. Mendez III
February 23, 2021 at 3:10 pm

Coach P. was a life teacher for many. I had the pleasure of being a student of his in the mid-80’s at Pattengill Jr. High. He was a soccer coach to me for a short time before being asked to move up. I too remember him for his ability to project his voice ( all the way to Catholic Central at times) because it truly motivated you.
May you rest in peach Coach P. Thank you for being a life teacher.

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Yvonne Evanoff-Joseph
February 23, 2021 at 3:35 pm

My condolences to all. May his memory be eternal.

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Garth Tiedje
February 24, 2021 at 9:52 am

I remember obsessing over learning all of the bones in the body just to show Mr. P that I could do it… Still remember (most of) them to this day! Will always remember his trust and belief in all of us, he was (and very much still is) a true inspiration.

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Carol Zwick
February 27, 2021 at 7:30 pm

I knew Andon from volunteering at WKAR’s auction. The auction was once a year and he volunteered at Pick up and Pay. I always looked forward to seeing him. He was so kind and talked so lovingly about his family. One year he made a wishing well and donated it to the auction.
Such a great person. I am glad for the memories.

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