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COL ROBERTUSMC (RET) BONADIO

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BONADIO, COL ROBERT,USMC (RET) Col. Robert A. "Bob" Bonadio, USMC(Ret) of Murrieta, Calif., passed away January 19, 2013 surrounded by his family after an extended illness. He was 83. He was born in Utica, New York on December 27, 1929 to parents Frank and Rose Bonadio. In 1948, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, and in 1949 the Marine Corps sent him to Subic Bay, Philippines. In 1950, Bob went to Korea where he served in combat with the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, participating in the Chosin Reservoir "Breakout" in Korea, forever linking him to an elite group of soldiers called "The Chosin Few." In late 1953, he was assigned to Camp Pendleton with the MP Battalion, and later as an Infantry Company Commander. He was was assigned to the Marine Corps Air Station at El Toro, California in 1954, serving as the Assistant Personnel Officer and Atomic, Biological and Chemical Defense Officer. He participated in the last atomic blast in the United States at Desert Rock, Nevada. He commanded the only Marines Corps Reserve Artillery Regiment in the United States. Bob retired from the Marine Corps after 42 years of service. He was a member of the Reserve Officers Association of the United States since 1976, plus a member of the Military Officers Association. In 1994, he became the ROA Membership Chairman of the San Diego Chapter, then appointed to the National Membership Committee. In 1996-1997, he served as the Navy Sections West Membership Coordinator, with responsibilities for the 24 states west of the Mississippi. In 1977, Bob and Admiral Martin "Red" Carmody were instrumental in the opening of the Treasure Island Museum in San Francisco, depicting the lives of the men and women of the US Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. In civilian life, he was the Advertising and Marketing Manager with Pacific Bell for California and Nevada. Retiring after 26 years, Bob continued as a consultant and even traveled to South Korea where he was contracted to put together the Yellow Pages for the city of Seoul, which flourishes today. Bob was devoted to helping veterans find jobs. He co-authored the Jobs Partner Training Act in 1982, which gave jobs to unemployed veterans and minorities. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan commended him for his efforts with the Blind Ski Training Program in the Lake Tahoe area for all residents in California and Nevada. He often helped veterans receive their service medals. When Bob discovered World War ll Navy and Marine Corps POW's never received their back promotion pay, he contacted Senator John McCain who introduced legislation for these POW's to receive their money. Finding out the money would only be in 1942 dollars, he appealed to Senator McCain who rein- troduced legislation for the POW's to receive their money in current dollars. It was enacted as the National Defense Authorization Act in 2008. Bob was a tireless advocate for the American POW's in the Pacific and in Korea who suffered horribly in slave labor camps. His last campaign was trying to persuade Congress to provide American POW's compensation for their inhumane imprisonment. Bob was an Assoc. life member of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor. With his daughters, Karen and Jean, Bob became a voice for the plight of captive elephants in the U.S. He advocated to end the exhibiting of elephants suffering in confinement in zoos across America, and those forced into a lifetime of misery and pain in the circus. Those that knew Bob would say he was relentless and a man who never gave up on any mission when it came to helping others. His love of his family, the Marine Corps and America was evident in the way he lived his life, and in the character of who he was as a man. Bob is survived by his wife Clare of 62 years; and daughters, Jean and Karen. A memorial is being planned at Camp Pendleton. He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to either the Wounded Warriors: www.woundedwarriorproject.org, or the Performing Animal Welfare Society PAWS: www.pawsweb.org

Published in U-T San Diego on Feb. 7, 2013
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