Bernard J. Bonner of Collegeville, vice president operations of Danella Companies Inc., died of a brain tumor March 7, 2009, at age 70 at the Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester, Pa.
Bonner was born in Philadelphia to William and Cecilia Bonner. He graduated from Springfield Township High School in Montgomery County in 1956. He graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in 1962 with a degree in English.
He then attended F&M, where he was a varsity tackle and co-captain of the football team in his junior and senior years. He also was president of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity in his senior year.
In 1963, he began working at the Counties Contracting & Construction Co. in Philadelphia, which was acquired by Danella Companies Inc. in 1983. He joined Danella as executive vice president, overseeing estimating for all divisions of the company. He would remain with the company for the rest of his life and would be instrumental to its success, partly because of his ability to lead people.
Peter Mazzari, division manager of Danella Construction of New York, described Bonner as a man with a strong constitution.
“He was demanding, yet a man of really great compassion as well. He was inquisitive, yet trusting, which made everyone he dealt with want to do their best. Everybody wanted to succeed for him.”
Bonner lived in Whitemarsh Township from 1975 until his passing, and he was president of the Country Club Swimming Association of Greater Philadelphia for two years in the 80s.
Bonner coached Little League baseball in the early 1970s in Whitemarsh and he was a committee member of Boy Scout Troop 12 in the late 1970s. In his later years, he was a member of the Philadelphia Seniors Golf Association and of the greens committee at Whitemarsh Valley.
He is survived by his wife, Sandra (Shrimplin) Bonner; a daughter, Suzanne L. DeJohn (Chris) of Macungie, Pa.; three sons, Bradley J. Bonner (April) of Perkiomenville; Andrew W. Bonner (Jane) of West Chester; and Christopher M. Bonner (Kristin) of Downingtown; two sisters, Cecilia Friend of Erdenheim, Kathleen Bonner of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia; two brothers, The Reverend William Bonner of Los Angeles, Calif., David Bonner of Easton, Pa.; eight grandchildren, Bridget, Braden, Connor, Gilliam, Erin, Kathryn, Peyton, and Ryan. Also survived by his special aunt, Ruth Bender and her children, Thomas, Emily Collins, Robert, Alice Ardito, Marie Muir and Kristine Moore.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to Abramson Cancer Center, 3535 Market Street, Suite 750, Philadelphia, Pa. 19104 for Brain Tumor Research.