Dr. (Lt. Colonel Ret.)
August 28, 1925-
May 5, 2013
Columbus, GA- Dr. Francis Walbridge Bonner, Sr. of Columbus, Georgia passed away Sunday, May 5, 2013 at Columbus Hospice House.
A memorial graveside service with Full Military Honors will be held 11:00 AM Thursday, May 9, 2013 at Ft. Benning Main Post Cemetery with Chaplain Wayne Holloway officiating. The family will receive friends immediately following the service according to McMullen Funeral Home 3874 Gentian Blvd. Columbus, Georgia 31907.
Dr. Bonner was born August 28, 1925 in New Canaan, Connecticut, son of the late George Remington Bonner and Edith Walbridge Bonner. He lived his early years in Greenwich, Connecticut and in 1936 moved with his parents to Clearwater, Florida; graduating from Florida Military Academy in 1942. He enlisted in the Army
Air Corps in July 1943, and served as an Aerial Gunnery Instructor until attending Engineer OCS at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He was commissioned a 2nd Lt in the Corps of Engineers on March 7, 1945 (at the age of 19) and served as a platoon, company, and battalion commander in engineer airborne, aviation, combat and construction units; as well as an advisor to Vietnamese, Korean, and German Engineer Units. He was a Master Parachutist and served overseas in Okinawa Japan (WWII), Korea (2 tours), Vietnam (2 tours), Germany and France. Preceding his retirement from active military duty in January 1970 as a Lt. Colonel, he served as Post Engineer at Ft. Stewart, Georgia and twice the Deputy Post Engineer at Ft. Benning, Georgia.
Following his retirement from active military service, Dr. Bonner incorporated his love of teaching into a second career in which he has taught social studies and business classes in high school, government and history courses at CVCC, education, management, and political science courses as an Assistant Professor for Georgia State University and as an Associate and full Professor (tenured) for Troy State University. For nearly seven years he was academic Dean at TSU-PC. He is a Professor Emeritus of Human Resource Management at Troy University and taught at its Phenix City Branch.
He was a Life Member of the Auburn University Alumni Association, the Disabled American Veterans
, the Military Officers Association of America, the National Sojourners, the Sons of the American Revolution (Charter member of the local Coweta Falls Chapter), and the Troy University Alumni Association-as well as several Masonic Lodges and appendant Masonic Bodies. He has served in a leadership capacity in numerous Community Organizations, the Phenix City Rotary Club
, the Fort Benning Chapter of the National Sojourners, the Columbus-Fort Benning Shrine Club, the Phenix City-Russell Branch of the
, and the Coweta Falls Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Following the death of Dorothy Grace Helms Bonner, his first wife, in January 1990. Dr. Bonner and the former Betty Jean (B.J.) Brown were married on May 27th, 1995 until her death in 2009. While Dr. Bonner and B.J. were married they were able to pursue his love of travel with trips to Australia & New Zealand, the Caribbean's, Europe, Japan, and both Central and South America.
Other than his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, George R. (Dave) Bonner, his first wife, Dorothy Grace Bonner and his second wife, Betty Jean (B.J.) Bonner.
Survivors include his brother, John R. Bonner (Nancy) of Clearwater, Florida; his three sons, Ronald Bonner (Pat) of Albany, GA; Fred Bonner (Frances) and Frank Bonner, Jr. (Martha) of Columbus, GA; his two daughters, Rene' Bonner Robinson (Joseph) of Columbus, GA; Amy Bonner McCain (Derek) of Gulf Breeze,; eleven grandchildren, Allen Bonner, Jason Bonner, Rachael Bonner, Mike Harmon, Shane Collier, Joy Bonner Anthony, April Bonner Kemp, Stephanie Fontana, Sara McCain, Nick McCain and Caitlin McCain, and ten great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions to be made to the
7167 Mobley Walk Dr. Columbus, GA 31904 or the
233 12th St. #710 Columbus, GA 31901.
Those who wish may sign the on-line guest registry at www.mcmullenfuneralhome.com