Michele Lua (Manning) Bochnak

September 16, 1950 ~ May 17, 2020 (age 69)

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It is with great sadness that the family of Michele Bochnak announce her passing in Naperville, IL on Sunday, May 17th2020 at the age of 69.

Michele is survived by her beloved husband and soulmate, Robert (Bob) J. Bochnak and their three children, Tracy Kirchmann and her husband Adam, her beloved sons, Brett and Craig Bochnak, and her adoring granddaughter Ava Kirchmann.  She was blessed to have a huge beautiful family and is survived by her adoring sister Nicole (Manning) Justo, much loved nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and cousins too many to name, beloved friends, generations of students and colleagues near and far!  She was proceeded in death by her parents Thompson and Yvette Manning, her sisters Jacqueline Manning, and Patricia (Manning) Steinberg as well as her brothers Scott and Michael Manning, all from Evergreen Park, IL.

We will celebrate Michele’s life and legacy as she wished with a big gathering of friends, family and colleagues at a future date.  Please sign the private guest book and provide your email address if you would like us to send you information with the date and location of the celebration. All are welcome to attend.

Due to COVID 19, we are temporarily unable to have a memorial gathering for her at this time.  However, condolences can be sent to Robert Bochnak and Family at 217 N. Laird Street, Naperville IL. 60540. Or via email at

Michele Lua Bochnak was born on September 16th, 1950 in Chicago, IL to Thompson and Yvette Manning.  She graduated from Oak Lawn High school and attended Northern Illinois University graduating with a Baccalaureate degree in journalism in 1972.  In 1971, she married her college sweetheart Bob, followed by an epic honeymoon backpacking in Europe.  Michele and Bob traveled worldwide extensively, together and with their three children.  Family was always the central focus of Michele’s life.  She truly balanced her work and family life in a way that her aspirations and accomplishments set an example for us all; while she never missed a t-ball game or an opportunity to be there for any one of us.  She raised strong, independent children, who she encouraged to follow their own dreams and to always strive to leave this world in a better place than we found it.  Michele always put her family and beloved friends first and forever dared us to embrace life’s challenges as adventure.

Once their children were grown, Michele decided to change careers.  After working in the corporate world, in positions at Proctor & Gamble and FTD, Michele wanted to use her executive skills for the good of children. She went back to school for a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Embarking on a second career together, she and her husband Bob obtained special education certification serving the Valley View School District #365U, Romeoville, IL.

An accomplished executive and educator, Michele quickly found a home away from home in Valley View.  She interned under Superintendent Dr. James Mitchem and continued teaching in the classroom at Bolingbrook and Romeoville High Schools, serving for years in the Valley View District #365U Administrative Center.  She was a beloved teacher and mentor to countless students, connecting with her empathy and humor.  She had an uncanny ability to see the best of everyone around her, and to help people learn to play to their strengths. 

Michele was a smart, witty, generous woman who loved people more than things and always was available to lend an ear or challenge us to be our best, just as she challenged herself.  She was a dedicated teacher, mentor and believer in the public school system.  She was a ceaseless advocate for those who needed a voice, be it in her work as a special education teacher, aiding our community’s homeless students and families, or in creating programming to stop bullying.  She was an active and dedicated member of Saint Raphael’s Catholic Parish, Naperville, IL as well as serving on the board at H20 (Heart Haven Outreach) in Bolingbrook.  Even far into her cancer journey she remained a steadfast volunteer of non-profits she championed and lived her life in service to humanity.

The family of Michele Bochnak want to thank all of you for your support and for sharing in Michele’s life and legacy.  We are grateful to all our family, friends, healthcare workers, doctors and medical professionals who have helped us care for her along the way.  We hope that you will keep Michele in your heart by living as she did, as a visionary leader, dedicated to humanity with a heart full of love.   


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