Cover photo for Donald C. Bonar's Obituary
Donald C. Bonar Profile Photo
1924 Donald 2020

Donald C. Bonar

May 27, 1924 — December 8, 2020

You could tell the love Don Bonar had for you by the effort he put into teasing and joking around with you. He was hardworking, generous, loyal, could do anything he put both his mind to and hands on and was a great role model. He taught his children the value of work and if you were caught up on working, make yourself look busy. Don left his touch on so many homes in his community, churches out of state and even overseas.

Before any major airline was established, the year 1924 marked the beginning of the first regular airmail service, the U.S. Army made their first world flight and New York City hosted the first ever Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. IBM corporation was founded along with Willem Einthoven winning a Nobel Prize for the invention of the electrocardiogram. That same year on May 27th, Curtis F. and Cora A. (Shambaugh) Bonar welcomed the birth of their son, Donald C. Bonar.

Don was born in Noble County, Indiana and was the youngest child of Curtis and Cora. He spent most of his life living in the Churubusco and Columbia City area. Growing up on a farm, there was plenty of chores to keep him busy along with his family operating the Green Center Store, which also served as a Post Office. As he attended Churubusco High School, Don found the time to play basketball. In his senior year, he and his classmates learned of the horrible news that Pearl Harbor had been attached on December 7th and the United States would enter World War II.

After graduating with the Class of 1942, Don joined the U.S. Navy and served in the Asiatic Pacific campaign during World War II. Four years later, on December 15th, 1945, Don was honorably discharged, and he returned home. Having learned carpentry skills from being on the farm, Don would set a career out to be a self-employed carpenter. He left his touch on many homes over the years throughout Whitley and Noble County.

During his earlier days after returning home from the war, Don’s life would be forever changed while roller skating at the Happy Valley Roller Rink in Columbia City.  It was there where he met Barbara L. Zolman and the two would go on to marry on April 17, 1949 at the church she grew up attending, Churubusco Methodist Church.  Don and Barb would build their 1st home on her parent’s property on 450 E. in Smith Township and would welcome three children into their hearts and home, Rick, Rex and Tina.

The family attended Merriam Christian Chapel and Don also had been a member of the Gideon’s International. Over the years both of Don’s sons had worked for him in summer months and his daughter even helped as he built a church in southern Illinois. Don traveled to Guatemala to lend an extra hand and pass on his knowledge to help rebuild 11 churches destroyed in an earthquake. Family meant a lot to Don and he enjoyed taking the family camping and even built his own 5th wheel camper. In their retirement years, he and Barb spent 10 years wintering with friends in Brownsville, Texas and they caravanned for over 2 ½ days to make the trip each time. Even though Don kept busy, he found relaxation in his woodworking and fishing!

On Tuesday, December 8, 2020, Donald Bonar passed away at Bethlehem Woods Nursing and Rehabilitation in Fort Wayne where he had been for a little over a month. He was 96 years old and survived by his children, Rick (Karen) Bonar, of Churubusco, Rex (Susan) Bonar, of Spring Hill, Kansas and Tina (Tim) Atkinson, of Columbia City; six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death parents; loving wife of 69 years, Barb Bonar on June 25, 2018; brothers, Arthur Bonar, Trevor Bonar, Everett Bonar; and sister, Ruth Hynman.


Due to the current Covid Restrictions, there will be a private visitation and service for his family but the funeral service may be watched live on Facebook through DeMoney Grimes Live at 11 a.m. Saturday with Pastor John French officiating. Burial will take place at Christian Chapel Cemetery. Arrangements with DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Memorial donations may be given in memory to Merriam Christian Chapel Church Missions, UP Global Network or Gideon’s International. Visit www.DeMoneyGrimes.com to send Donald's family online condolences or sign the online guest book.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald C. Bonar, please visit our flower store.

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Saturday, December 12, 2020

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