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Robert Thomas " Bob" Bonney, 85, a 70-year resident of the Peninsula, died in Ilwaco on Feb 13, 2020, with his wife at his side. Born November 20, 1934, in Portland, he was the son of Rupert T. and Elva May (Nolan), Bonney. Bob grew up in Portland and attended Benson Polytechnic High School. Having vacationed on the Peninsula with family, they moved here and Bob attended Ilwaco High School.
On November 29, 1951he joined the US Air Force and became a crew member on a B-29 aircraft working as a turret system mechanic and flexible gunner. They flew many bombing missions over Korea. Four years later, to the day he was honorably discharged at Mountain Home Air Base in Idaho. Bob later served with the USAF Reserves.
After returning to Portland he worked on IBM machines for the Dept of Agriculture. In 1958, when Bob and Rochelle married in Raymond, he worked on the McCurdy dredge out of Tokeland. Living in Grays River he was the head rigger for Crown Zellerbach. They then moved permanently to Long Beach, where he resided since. He cut his teeth in construction working for Matthews & Wickberg of Ocean Park before he and John Hanselman formed B&J Construction. Later, Bob became the sole owner.
For 50 years, Bob was active at the Long Beach Elks #1937 and was a member of the Ocean Park Moose. Bob served the Pacific County Sheriff's Department as a reserve deputy 24 years and was Captain of the Reserves. Additionally, he was a 37-year member of the Long Beach Fire Department, Assistant Chief 8 years and Chief for 10.
Bob enjoyed working, serving his community, and spending time with family and numerous life long friends. He was an avid beachcomber. Winter storms found him scouring the beach for whatever the surf brought in and he was especially proud of his extensive collection of Japanese glass balls he accumulated - a pursuit he began when he first moved here.
On August 21, 1958, he married Rochelle Gifford in Raymond. They celebrated their 61st-anniversary last year. She survives residing at the family home in Long Beach. Also surviving are sons, Robert (Cathi) and Raymon (Mary Lou) both of Long Beach; brother Jim Lind of Gresham, Oregon; sister Roberta Bloomhuff of Arizona; 1 grandson, Matthew Thomas Bonney (Melanie), 3 granddaughters; Elizabeth, Olivia, Allison, and 1 great-grandson Thomas Bonney. Bob was preceded in death by his brother Ted Lind.
Funeral service will be Saturday, February 22, 2020, 1:00 PM at Penttila's Chapel by The Sea in Long Beach. Concluding graveside rites at Ilwaco Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Long Beach Fire Department in his memory.
His guest book is available at www.penttilaschapel.com
Saturday, February 22, 2020
Starts at 1:00pm (Eastern time)
Penttila's Chapel by The Sea
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