Gerald “Jerry” Bonham, Sr; 87 of Murphysboro, Illinois passed away on Tuesday, 25 December
2018. He was born on 12 June 1931 to the late John “Bud” Bonham and Helen Bonham (nee
Young). He is predeceased by his son, John Frank Bonham. He graduated from Logan High
School in Murphysboro, Illinois. He joined the United States Air Force in February 1950 and
served for twenty years. He attained the rank of Master Sergeant. He was on the ground floor
of the SNARK Missile Program, with the 556th Strategic Missile Squadron. He also served with
The Strategic Air Command, the 18th Fighter Interceptor Squadron and served in Viet Nam.
After his retirement from the USAF he accompanied his wife Leona to Europe were he worked
as a secretary for the Air Force Family Advocacy Program, he was a tourbus driver for MWR,
and also worked for a British Inventory Corporation.
Upon returning to the United States he continued his involvement with the Knights of
Columbus where he was a Fourth Degree Knight, a Faithful Navigator, and Commander of the
Color Guard. He worked as an Administrative Specialist for Our Lady of the Valley Catholic
Church in Green Valley, Arizona.
He is survived by his wife Georgia Leona Bonham (nee Smith), who he married on 29 August,
1953 in Rapid City South Dakota. They had recently celebrated 65 years of marriage. He is
also survived by his four children: Cynthia M. Bonham-Miller of Bullhead City, Arizona, Helen
Paulson (Einor Paulson) of Willcox, Arizona, Gerald, Jr (Alejandro Espinosa) of Denver,
Colorado and Paul Bonham (Danette Sundem) of North Pole, Alaska. He was a grandfather to
twelve children and a great-grandfather to twelve children.
Cremation arrangements are by Adair Funeral Home. A Memorial Service will be held on
Saturday, 12 January, 2019; 11:30 am, at Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Church,
Tucson, Arizona. Internment will be at a future date in Murphysboro, Illinois. In lieu of flowers
please donate to your favorite charity.