More detail on this person: Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) - Tuesday, September 27, 2011
BONNER Bruce Alan, beloved husband of 36 years to Tammy Lynn Bonner, died Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at Saint Joseph Hospital. He was 63. Born on Jan 27, 1948, and raised in Lake Villa, II, Mr. Bonner was a farmer during his youth, farming land in Lake Villa that had belonged to the Bonner family for over 100 years. He attended Antioch High School and graduated in 1966. He then enrolled at Wabash Valley College and graduated with an Associates Degree in Agricultural Mechanics in 1968. In 1969, Mr. Bonner joined the U.S. Army and reported to helicopter flight training at Fort Rucker, Alabama. After earning his pilot wings, he reported to the 162nd Aviation Company (Assault Helicopter) located near Can Tho in the Republic of South Vietnam and served a year-long tour from January 1970 through January 1971. As a UH-1A Huey pilot, Chief Warrant Officer-2 Bonner flew casualty evacuation, insertion/extraction, and close air support missions for U.S. ground forces. While serving in Vietnam, Mr. Bonner was decorated for heroism and valor earning the Army Commendation Medal, the Air Medal, the Bronze Star with "V" device, and two Distinguished Flying Crosses. After being Honorably Discharged from the Army, Mr. Bonner lived in Illinois until moving to Lexington in 1982 where he enjoyed a lifelong career in aviation. He flew for local coal companies and charter businesses and also served for 18 years as President of Air Lexington, Inc. In 1995, Mr. Bonner began flying exclusively for Lexington businessman and philanthropist William T. Young until Mr. Young's death in 2004. He continued flying for the Young family until 2010 when he moved to Collinsville, OK in order to become Chief Pilot for country music singer Garth Brooks. He flew for Mr. Brooks until his death. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Britney Gavenonis; a daughter-in-law, Kerri Bonner; a son, Nute Bonner; a son-in-law, Tom Gavenonis, Jr; a sister, Gail Wiegand (Jim); and a brother, John Bonner (Sandee). Services will be at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home on Harrodsburg Rd. Visitation will be Tue from 7-9pm with the funeral service on Wed at 2:30pm followed by burial at The Lexington Cemetery.
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