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Warren court officer remembered for kindness after COVID-19 death

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published April 9, 2020

 Henry Anonick, known to his friends and coworkers at the 37th District Court as “Hank,” died on April 6.

Henry Anonick, known to his friends and coworkers at the 37th District Court as “Hank,” died on April 6.

Facebook photo

“Hank was one of a kind, he had the biggest heart ever."

Mary Clark, 37th District Court secretary

WARREN — Warren’s 37th District Court family is remembering one of its own, lost to the coronavirus. 

Henry Anonick, 77, known to his friends and coworkers as “Hank,” died on April 6. A retired Detroit police officer who later worked in probate court, he most recently served as a court officer in the courtroom of Chief Judge John Chmura.

While business before the court had slowed to a bare minimum under state orders to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, those who work at the normally busy courthouse shared memories about Anonick after they learned of his passing.  

“I have known and worked with him for four years,” said Keri Ahrens, clerk to the chief judge. “He would check on me every morning to make sure I was doing good. Occasionally he would bring me breakfast to keep me happy.”

Ahrens said Anonick was always concerned about his coworkers and wanted to make sure they were happy and healthy. She said the courtroom staff — herself, court recorder Cheryl Zipay, Chmura and Anonick — were “our own little family.”

“Our courtroom was very close. It was our tradition to have birthday lunches, just the four of us. It was like our own personal team building,” Ahrens said. 

Others who knew Anonick shared memories on social media as news of his passing spread.

“I met Hank almost 20 years ago and have enjoyed his friendship every day,” former Warren City Councilman Keith Sadowski posted on Facebook April 7. Sadowski said while many people knew Anonick through his work at the court and with the Polish Day Parade Committee, he will remember him as a “good neighbor.”

“Thank you for your friendship and your encouraging words,” Sadowski said. “I will miss you.”

Mary Clark, 37th District Court Judge Suzanne Faunce’s secretary, offered condolences to Anonick’s wife, children and grandchildren and said he would never be forgotten by his court family. 

“Hank was one of a kind, he had the biggest heart ever,” Clark said. “I will miss our morning talks and Hank just popping into our office to say ‘hi.’”