Former Soldotna Police Chief Walter B. Bonner, 76, died of a heart attack on Sunday, June 24, 2012 in Portland, Ore.
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Memorial services will be at 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, at the Kenai Masonic Lodge, 36801 Kenai Spur Highway in Soldotna. Burial of his ashes will be 1:30 p.m. Monday, July 16, at Fort Richardson National Cemetery near Anchorage.
Walt was born Dec. 12, 1935 in Cairo, Ga. He received his Masters of Science in Police Administration from Michigan State University in 1967. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from Nov. 1953-Dec. 1955 and in the U.S. Air Force from Sept. 1956 until retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel on Feb. 1, 1982.
Walt also worked for the State of Alaska Dept. of Law, North Slope Security at Alpine, and as an Alaska State Trooper.
Walt was a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, York Rite Mason, Shriner, Jester, Past Potentate of AlAska Shrine Temple, and a sitting Board Member for the Portland Shrine Hospital for Children. He was also a member of the V.F.W., American Legion, Retired Military Officers Assoc., Alaska Peace Officers Assoc., and International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Walt received numerous professional and community service awards throughout his military service, sworn police officer career and Masonic and Shrine service including AlAska Shrine Center Shriner of the Year for 2011.
He loved hunting, fishing, and traveling with his wife in their RV, but most of all he loved being Grandpa to his nine grandchildren.
"Walt has left a legacy of love and devotion to not only his family and friends, but to his professional and philanthropic families as well. Aside from his love for all of us, there were three major things we will always remember him for with the utmost pride and love. After retiring from the military, he continued that service to the safety and well being of others as Soldotna Police Chief from 1988-1997. Since that time, he has devoted his efforts to helping children through the Shriners Hospitals and their expertise and treatment of orthopedic and burn related conditions. He leaves behind a legacy that we, as his family, will always cherish. We couldn't be more proud of him, love him more, or miss him more. Knowing that he died doing something he loved brings us great comfort and he will always be with us in our hearts," his family said.
Walt was preceded in death by his mother, Ethel Prince Jones, stepfather, Bill Jones and sister, Patricia Cook.
He is survived by his wife Betty of Soldotna; daughter Susan Grupp and husband Bill; sons Robert and wife Thadine, Ronald and wife Arianna, and Scott; grandchildren Benjamin Davenport, Travis Rock, Brandon and Travis Bonner, Lauren and Katie Walters, RJ, Donnie and Emily Bonner; sisters Jenny Taylor and Diane Bower; and brother-in-law Walter Futtrup and wife Maryann.
The family prefers memorial donations to the Shriners Hospital for Children-Portland, c/o Mark Thoreson, Dir. Of Development, SHC-P, 3101 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd., Portland, OR 97239.
Peninsula Memorial Chapel
5839 Kenai Spur Hwy.
Kenai, AK 99611
Published in The Peninsula Clarion on July 4, 2012