James Darl Bonner 80, passed away suddenly from a heart attack on February 6. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest “Buss” and Sylvia Bonner and his six siblings. Born in Henderson, WV, Jim graduated from Parsons High School, where he played drum in the marching band.
After retirement he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame. ln the Army he was a member of the 101″ Airborne Division, a Vietnam Veteran, and served in Burma. He began his career with the CIA Office of Communications in L966. He met his wife, Jane, in Asmara (then part of Ethiopia), where they married in 1968. Jim completed a degree in Business Administration at the Univ. of Md., European Division.
After many tours overseas, always their preference, he made a mid-career shift into the Office of Technology and Science as an elecffonics engineer. Assignments before and after retirement took him and Jane to Africa, Europe, Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, almost everywhere except Latin America. Upon retiring from the CIA in 1995, he was awarded the Career Intelligence Medal for Career Achievement. lt was an exciting, adventurous life with never a dull day. But Jim’s luck held, especially when he left Teheran about two months before the US Embassy hostages were captured in 1979 and held for 444 days.
After retirement Jim bought a neighborhood store , “Party, Packages and Post,” in Montclair, VA, with a welcome commute of 3 miles. The store sold ice cream, party and shipping supplies, and included a contract US Post Office. Jim was also a realtor, earned a private pilot’s license, and enjoyed ham radio, skiing, and ballroom dance.
Jim will be placed at Arlington National Cemetery. Jim is survived by his wife, Jane Bartholet Bonner; Asmara-born son Capt. Stephen Bonner (Kate) of Ft. Knox, Kentucky; Kabul-born daughter Jeanne Weaver (John) of Owasso, Oklahoma; and 10 grandchildren. He was a devoted family man and dedicated patriot. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to any veterans’organization.
Condolences can be sent to the family in care of:
Miller Funeral Home
3200 Golansky Blvd.
Woodbridge, VA 22L92