Kenneth DeWitt Bonds
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Kenneth DeWitt Bonds
  • November 8, 1923 - October 18, 2017
  • Scottsdale, Arizona

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Kenneth DeWitt Bonds was born in Vian, Sequoyah County, Oklahoma on November 8, 1923, the first child of Clayton Dewitt Bonds (1902 - 1946) and Ella Wariner Bonds. (1904 - 1991) His four younger siblings were Harold, Norma Jean, William and Robert.

As a young infant, Ken contracted polio, which twisted his spine and shortened one leg but with his mother's determination, he overcame most of the disadvantages it left him. Because he stumbled a lot and bumped into things, Ken was nicknamed "Bumper", a name family and close friends used well into his middle age. In spite of all this, he was athletic, playing sports including softball and stock car racing. In the forties, he was a boxer in the lightweight class. The Arizona Republic dubbed him "The kid with the wild, yellow mane."

Ken was a paperboy in his teens, and found that one house in particular deserved special attention, the home of 14 year old red haired beauty, June Delap. It was love for them at first sight.

Ken and June were married on February 27, 1943. Soon after, Ken enlisted in the Navy and was stationed on the tanker, USS Lackawanna, as a Fire Control Officer.

Ken saw a lot of action in the Pacific during the War, earning 5 battle stars including Midway, Iwo Jima, Leyte Gulf, Saipan and Guadalcanal. While anchored at Ulithi Atoll, Ken also personally observed the Kaiten attack upon, and sinking of the USS Missenewa. Like many WWII Vets, he didn't much talk about his war experiences.

Shortly returning from WWII, Ken became a driver for Greyhound where he worked until he retired. He and June were blessed with four children, Lawrence DeWitt, Sandra Lee, Kenneth Daniel and Mark Douglas.

Ken was very active in the Catholic Church, working for his parish, his school, and Catholic Charitites. He was an avid member of the Knights of Columbus, serving as Grand Knight and achieving full knighthood just last year. As Grand Knight, Ken instituted a program in which retired Knights of Colombus working with the Missionaries of Charity, built houses for families on Northern Arizona Reservations. He was an active member of St. Agnes Church in Phoenix, and St. John Vianney in Sedona, and finally St. Joan of Arc in Phoenix. Ken was also a member of the Elks Club, American Legion and the VFW.

After putting all four children through Catholic schools, Ken was ready to retire, and moved with June up to their property in Oak Creek Canyon,

where they lived a happy and busy life of church, family and Ken's love of country music. His band, The Country Travelers, performed all over Northern Arizona.

After a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, June passed away on October 23, 2008. Since June's passing, Ken has stayed active with church, family and friends, in particularly enjoying the Karaoke club at his subdivision.

Ken is predeceased by his wife, June, parents, his siblings Harold, Norma Jean. William and Robert, As well as daughter in law, Cheryl Bonds, and son in law, Joseph C. McDaniel.

He is survived by his children
Lawrence DeWitt Bonds of Peoria, AZ
Sandra Bonds McDaniel of Phoenix, AZ
K. Daniel Bonds of Phoenix, AZ
Mark Douglas Bonds of Mesa, AZ
Daughter in law Melissa Bonds of Mesa, AZ
Grandchildren:
John DeWitt Bonds of San Diego, CA
Siobhan Bonds McKenna of San Diego, CA
Michael Christian Bonds of Ballston Spa, NY
Nathan Allan Bonds of San Antonio, TX
Sean Kenneth McDaniel of Phoenix, AZ
Caitlin Bonds McDaniel of Phoenix, AZ
Brittany Bonds Schatz of Phoenix, AZ
Taylor June Bonds of Chicago, IL
and Great Grandchildren:
Gavin McKenna of San Diego, CA
Conor McKenna of San Diego, CA
Brianna Bonds of Ballston Spa, NY
Allison Bonds of Ballston Spa, NY
Emma Bonds of San Antonio, TX
Noah Bonds of San Antonio, TX
Peter Kenneth Schatz of Phoenix, AZ
Skylar Grace Schatz of Phoenix, AZ
Jocelyn Joy Schatz of Phoenix, AZ

Pallbearers for Kenneth are John Bonds, Gavin McKenna, Sean McDaniel, Nathan Bonds, Jared Shatz and Bob Everett.

A visitation will be held on Thursday, October 26th, from 4:00-7:00PM, at Shadow Mountain Mortuary, 2350 E. Greenway Rd. in Phoenix, A funeral mass will be held at 10:00 AM, Friday, October 27th at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 3801 E. Greenway Rd. Following the funeral mass, concluding services will be held at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery, 2033 N. 48th St. in Phoenix. We request that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in dad's name to St. Vincent De Paul. Following the services at the cemetery, a reception will be at St. Joan of Arc.