In Memory

Tom Bonner

July 19, 1955- February 3, 2014

Thomas C. Bonner, age 58 years of Niles, Michigan died at 12:55 p.m. on Monday, February 3, 2014 at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, Indiana following a brief illness.

He was born on July 19, 1955 in Niles to Calvin M. and Mary E. (Snyder) Bonner and lived his entire life in Niles. He was graduated from Niles High School in 1974 and earned an Associate’s Degree from Holy Cross College at Notre Dame, Indiana. He has served several area businesses as a delivery agent, including most recently B.A.R.T. Supply, Inc., and the Bit Of Swiss Pastry Shoppe.

Tom always participated in sports at Niles High School. He served many years as an MHSAA registered official, and then as his sons became eligible he coached their teams, and more recently has been scorekeeping and operating the clock for many sports and helping to coach the varsity baseball team. He has also been active with his high school reunion committee, and was a part of the crew responsible for the Santa Claus raft in the Saint Joseph River outside of the hospital. He was a member of Saint Mary Catholic Church in Niles

On April 21, 1979 at Saint Mary Catholic Church he married the former Marsha L. Liggett with whom he celebrated last year the thirty-fourth anniversary of their wedding.

Tom is survived by his wife, Marsha Bonner and by their sons, Brooks Bonner and Grant Bonner, both of Niles and Tom’s brother, Andrew (& Kim) Bonner of Niles and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Mary Bonner in 1995 and Cal Bonner in 2006; and by his brothers, John Bonner in 1962 and Kevin Bonner in 1991.

The Catholic Funeral Liturgy for Tom Bonner will be read at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, February 10, 2014 at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles by Deacon Roger Gregorski of Saint Mary Catholic Church. Committal Rites will follow at Mission Hills.

The family will receive relatives and friends from 2:00 until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, Feb 9th at the funeral home. Contributions in memory of Tom may be made to the Niles High School Baseball Program c/o the Niles Athletic Booster Club.

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02/04/14 07:12 AM #1    

Wendy Rehm (Comar)

I feel such a sadness for all of us having lost our good friend Tom!  He was our nucleus and was so happy when we all got together.  I offer my sincere condolences to Marsha and the kids!  We will always love and miss you Tom!  Thanks for the great memories!  Wendy

02/04/14 11:28 AM #2    

Jim Jarman

Tom was a great person. In school he treated everyone as his friend and was always smiling. Very sad day!


02/04/14 12:38 PM #3    

Bob Liebetrau

Our next reunion won't be quite the same without Tom; I'll miss seeing him around town, R.I.P. my friend... 

02/04/14 04:39 PM #4    

John Hesser

To my dearest friend, Tom: I will miss you greatly!

We grew up next door to each other, we played army and rode bikes together. I remember the long bike ride we took to St Joe, I was so exhausted by the time we got home for dinner and I complained and you just lowered your head and laughed. You were great, I never saw you really get upset. You have always been there when a talk was needed.

I miss sitting around your house on Ferry Street across from Eastside park when we were growing up, listening to your mom talk about History and her love for the Civil War era. Funny the things we remember.

It's probably safe to say now, that we stole our Dads' beer and drank together in Jr. High School. (Yeah Ring Lardner!) Tom's Dad, Clavin liked Budweiser and my Dad, Harry liked Pabst Blue Ribbon. I am not sure who got the better deal, but the best deal was sharing a cold one with you my friend.

We worked together, we both had South Bend Tribune newspaper routes and then later at Tony's market on Lake Street and had alot of fun doing so. It sure was cold delivering papers in January & February.

I have forgiven you long ago for having me join the 151 club the night after our slow pitch softball game the summer when I was a junior at Western Michigan. I thought I was capable of anything and you proved me wrong, but as messed up as I got, you made sure I got home safe. We sure looked after one another, driver's training, Durm's pond, Tony's market, concerts at Notre Dame, and everything else.

Tom, you were a great and wonderful person. You were always social and friends to many but to me you will always be one of the best friends I ever had.

Thank you for the memories. I know God forgives us for the stolen beers. I will see you again in heaven my friend where we can start new memories.

God Bless us for having you on earth with us and God bless your family.

Always your eternal friend,



02/04/14 08:56 PM #5    

Wendy Rehm (Comar)

From Jeff Upton:  Athletic Director/Niles Community Schools

"I am sad to report that longtime Niles Athletic Coach, employee, and supporter Tom Bonner has passed away.  Tom has been very sick at Memorial Hospital in South Bend and most recently Indiana University Hospital in Bloomington IN. He was hospitalized a few days after Christmas. 

I have known Tom over the past three years as he was a volunteer coach for our baseball program and our clock operator for our football , basketball and wrestling programs  Through these events Tom was at Niles on a daily basis.  Tom was a great man, very dedicated and loyal to Niles and he has many friends in the Niles family.

No details have been released.  I will update you when they become available.

Jeff Upton
Athletic Director, R.A.A.
Niles Community Schools

02/05/14 08:34 AM #6    

Lynn Bassler (Porter)

I am taken back by the news of Tom's passing.  Tom was truly a great person and friend to all.  Bill and  I send our condolences to Marsha, sons all his extended family..    Tom you will be greatly missed!

02/06/14 02:14 AM #7    

Jim Lanier

The years have wiped the slate clean of day-to-day memories, but I remember you as always cheerful. Leaving us cheerless now, more or less.

I know high school wasn't the happiest time of life for everyone, but it was for me. I blame you, partially, Tom. You seem synonymous with the Class of 74 for a lot of reasons. My first time playing poker (and getting beat with a full house, thanks so much). You and Steve Marshall introduced me to that. What to do when surrounded by the police in the middle of the night on the roof of the high school, caught red handed holding a Volkswagen. You and the motley crew educated us about that. I think I followed you from the Fayette down to the high school. You got away clean, I got caught. "No, really officer, I was merely returning the Volkswagen to the police station!" The N Club, lots of beers, SBS and that laugh of yours. I remember that laugh when we thought of "Seniors for a Better School" for the name of our little subversive plot. I just had to laugh, too, hearing you laugh.

I don't know your family, but I know their hearts are grieving. May they find some comfort in knowing how many people loved you.

Someone put a red virtual rose by your name. Some day there'll be a field of red virtual roses by all the names, that's the deal in this life. I guess I just figured there'd be one by mine before yours. Here's hoping someday we'll meet again, up yonder, King. I hope to bring a royal flush, but I think right now I'd let you win.

02/09/14 01:34 PM #8    

Jim Van DePutte (Putte)

So very sad to read of Toms passing. I remember Tom as always having a smile and laugh.

It reminds us that you never know when your time on earth is going to be over, and to enjoy your family, friends and life to the fullest while you are here. It always seemed Tom did.

No words can express the sorrow we have for Toms wife and kids. Just the thought of losing a loved one can be overwheling.  Out thoughts and prayers are with them.

Jim Van De Putte  


02/11/14 11:03 PM #9    

Tim Newsted (Newsted)

Tom was a friend to all.  A kind word and a friendly smile.  Our class of '74 has a gaping hole. He will be dearly missed.  God bless you Tom Bonner.

02/18/14 08:52 AM #10    

Brenda Vogel (Visser)

He was a great friend and will be missed by all who knew him. 

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