Frank Jonet: Packers Guardian Angel
I was a young sports fan lucky enough to grow up in Green Bay, Wisconsin during one of the Green Bay Packers dominant eras. I was also blessed to be part of the Packers family, since my grandfather was the original secretary/treasurer of the team and, according to Bob Harlan at grandpa’s Packers Hall of Fame induction ceremony, one of the seven most important men in Packers history for keeping the team alive and in Green Bay.
I never met the man since he died before I was born, but I always heard great things about him.
One day as a teenager, back in the 60s, I was selling newspaper subscriptions on the west side of Green Bay in a neighborhood with many elderly people. I knocked at the door at one place and an elderly gentlemen answered the door. I went through my sales pitch and the man just chuckled.
“Young man, I have cataracts on both eyes and I can barely see you. I won’t be buying a subscription today.”
He then asked my name. When I told him it was Jonet, he looked surprised.
“Are you any relation to Frank Jonet from the Packers,” he asked?
When I told him he was my grandfather, he smiled and asked me in to sit down.
“Let me tell you what kind of man your grandfather was,” he said. “My family farm went through a bad string of luck including a drought and a fire that had us on the brink of losing it. Your grandfather carried us on the books until we were able to get back on our feet. Just like he did the Packers. My family will never forget him or what a great man he was. I will take one of those subscriptions.”
That was my first time I felt really proud of my last name.
The preceding story was submitted by Thomas P. Jonet of Shawano, Wisconsin. He is the grandson of Packers Hall of Famer Frank Jonet.