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David L. Bonhama

Dec. 14, 1958 - Dec. 17, 2013
GRANGER - David L. Bonhama, 55, of Granger, Indiana, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, December 17, 2013, in his home. Dave was born on December 14, 1958, in East Chicago, IN, to the late Lucio D. and Marlene T. Bonhama. He retired from the Steel Workers Union 1010 and Plumbers Union Local 210 (due to disability). On April 20, 1996, Dave married Becky L. Pluta, who survives. Surviving with his wife are his children, Billy (Nina) Anthony and David J. Bonhama. Also surviving are his siblings, Rick Bonhama, DeAnna Bonhama-Smith, Teresita Bonhama, Brenda Bonhama, Cristy Chavez Lara & Eduardo Bonhama. Dave also has 27 nieces and nephews, 3 great-nephews, 1 great-niece and 8 grandchildren who also survive. He was preceded in death by his sister, Rhonda Baron. Dave was a union plumber for 25 years. He enjoyed plumbing so much he said he'd do the job for free. Of course, he graciously accepted the pay despite that sentiment. He was in a union, after all. Dave was considered a "work horse" on the job sites and he often ran circles around the workers half his age. He was "strong like bull"...and he was also called "Speedy Gonzalez" because he had so much energy. Well, until his back gave out and all the medical issues started happening. You know, like the electrocution back in 1999. Ever since that day, we swear he became wired backwards. His doctors considered him a medical mystery for so many reasons. Dave's father was a 20-year police officer in Lake County, IN. Although his father passed away years ago, Dave's secret wish was to be a cop. He recently attended and graduated from the South Bend Police Department's Citizen's Police Academy. He then stayed on to attend the VIPS program (Volunteers in Police Service) so he could eventually do "ride-alongs" and assist the police department for crowd control, etc. He was psyched to be involved in law enforcement for the short time he was affiliated with the police program. He loved it. Dave had a very big heart. He loved kids and animals. At family gatherings, Dave preferred to hang out with the nieces and nephews instead of the adults. The kids lovingly called him "Uncle D." Dave also volunteered at the Humane Society of St. Joseph County and had 4 "furry children" of his own. Dave was an adoring, romantic husband who spoiled his wife rotten. He enjoyed buying (and making) her jewelry. He would clean the house every Friday so when she got home from work she "didn't have to worry about anything" for the weekend. He would leave her voice mails every morning so when she got to work, she could hear his voice and know he loved her. He also never ended a phone call without telling her he loved her because "you'll never know when it will be the last time." Dave also loved riding his Harley, watching his favorite show "Sons of Anarchy" (which he claims was his childhood), rooting on his beloved Chicago Bears, watching Notre Dame football with his wife, playing his drum set, playing golf (before his back went out), getting tattoos, collecting coins and beer steins (even though the closest he came to drinking beer was A&W root beer), shooting off fireworks on the 4th of July, drinking ice cold milk, playing with the dogs and living for the moment. His favorite line was "By the grace of God, I am who I am." He never put on airs for anyone, sometimes to his wife's dismay. What you see is what you got with Dave. And now, Heaven has one mischievous man who will undoubtedly be creating havoc with the angels above...but all in good fun. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 pm Friday, December 20, 2013, in the Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive, South Bend. Funeral services will be held at 10 am on Saturday, December 21, 2013, in the funeral home. Per Dave's wishes, his body will be cremated so, in lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Humane Society of St. Joseph County, 2506 Grape Rd, Mishawaka, IN 46545.

Published in South Bend Tribune on Dec. 19, 2013
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