Robert Lee Bonta, 72, of rural Fort Madison, died unexpectedly Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in Arizona, the result of a car accident while enjoying a morning walk with his wife, Karen.
He was born April 11, 1945, in Quincy, Ill., to Robert G. and Jessie L. Snodgrass Bonta. Robert attended Culver-Stockton College where he acquired a degree in education, joined the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and met the love of his life, Karen Kay Bruder. Robert and Karen were wed on July 29, 1967, in Morris, Ill., while both were attending graduate school at Western Illinois University. With his graduate degree in counseling education, Robert began his career as an elementary teacher in Lomax, Ill. Robert "Bob" retired as the education administrator for the Great River AEA in Burlington.
After retirement, Bob was passionate about community programs, the First Christian Church and being active with Fort Madison Community Hospital. He was a member of the Fort Madison Lions Club and enjoyed being a Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) counselor. He also enjoyed gathering for breakfast with friends for discussion and bragging about his grandkids.
Bob and Karen enjoyed traveling the globe with their close friends and family. In addition to spending the last several winters in Fountain Hills, Ariz., they had visited Africa, China, South America, Antarctica, Australia, Egypt, Alaska, Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico.
Mostly, Bob enjoyed spending time with his family. Bob's priority was being a great husband, father, grandfather, brother-in-law, uncle and friend. His children and grandchildren looked forward to his waffles, convertible rides and spending time discussing his travels and history.
Bob is survived by his three children, Grant (Amy) Bonta of Belleville Ill., Barb (Jeff) Snyder of Manchester, Mo., and Amy (Nic) Ferin of Marion. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, Carter, Chandler and Camden, children of Grant and Amy; Harrison, Alexa and Ainsley, children of Barb and Jeff; and Olivia, Madisen, Dexter and Stella, children of Amy and Nic.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert G. and Leola Bonta.
SERVICES: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 24, at First Christian Church, 608 10th St., Fort Madison, with the Rev. John Simpson conducting. Burial will be in Claypoole Cemetery in rural Wever.
VISITATION: After 3 p.m. Friday, March 23, with family present 4 to 7 p.m., at First Christian Church.
MEMORIALS: A memorial has been established in Bob's memory.
ARRANGEMENTS: King-Lynk Funeral Home and Crematory, Fort Madison.
Condolences may be expressed online at whig.com
Published by Herald-Whig from Mar. 21 to Mar. 23, 2018.