Jim Piontek of Encompass Vending (formerly Smiley’s-Mel’s Coin) passed away on June 13 after his bout with cancer. He is survived by his wife Tara and her two sons, Hunter and Brandon Schermitzler. A past director on the AMOA board, Piontek left an indelible mark on the industry he loved.
“Jimmy was an amazing guy, and I am proud to call him a best friend,” said Bob Burnham, AMOA’s board secretary and owner of Paradise Pinball. “The very first time we met, we instantly became best friends. He always had a smile and was always there for a phone call or text no matter what time it was. He selflessly gave his time and energy to the many boards he served on like the AMOA and NDA. He loved our wonderful industry we all call work. You leave a big hole in the hearts of Sheri and me. I miss you brother, but I look forward to meeting you again on the other side.”
Sam Westgate of J&J Ventures, and also AMOA’s immediate past president, added: “I had met Jim previously through the AMOA-National Dart Assn., but I really didn’t get to know him and Tara well until I joined the AMOA board of directors. Since then, Rhonda and I became very good friends with Jim and Tara.” He noted they’d always extend board meeting trips to spend additional time with the pair. “Whether it was an industry function or just personal time, I always looked forward to spending time with Jim. I will always look back, fondly, on our time together.”
Westgate continued: “As for the amusement industry, Jim was both a leader and a valuable team member when not in the lead. He worked diligently on any committee on which he served. He promoted coin-op darts in our industry with a passion and has made friends with soft tip dart players across the world. Jim was such a fun person to be around, even when he was struggling with his health issues. In my mind I picture him effortlessly strolling up to the pearly gates and saying, ‘That was a helluva good time.’ I will miss Jim tremendously as will our entire industry.”
On Piontek’s obituary page, the National Dart Assn. wrote: “On behalf of the NDA, we send our most sincere condolences for your loss. Jim was an active part of this association and was always willing to give his own time for the success and growth of the NDA. Knowing how valuable that time was, we thank you and him for his dedication and willingness to step in. Jim truly was one of a kind – his optimism and dedication to helping others was legendary and will always be remembered.”
There will not be a formal funeral service, however, friends and relatives will be gathered today, June 17, at the Proko-Wall Funeral Home in Green Bay, Wis.