Robert S. Bonney, Sr., passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Friday, April 19th, at age 92. He married his high school sweetheart, Ann Tildesley Bonney, in 1947, who remained the love of his life until his passing. They recently celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary, marking a lifetime of milestones along the way. Together, they raised three children to whom he imparted many life lessons, particularly the joy and strength of a loving family - the center of his life. An outgoing and generous spirit, he extended his love to his broader “family” of in-laws, nieces, nephews and friends to share in his family parties, gatherings, trips and events. All were frequent visitors to his “second home” near Okemo Mountain in Vermont that he named “Edelweiss,” which became the unofficial family song.
Born in Ossining, New York in 1926, he grew up in Monmouth County where he remained a lifelong resident. He was a graduate of Asbury Park High School and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps before graduation ceremonies in 1945. He reached the rank of Sergeant and served as the crew chief for a B-17. He attended the University of Virginia and returned to Monmouth County in 1949 where he grabbed hold of the post-war entrepreneurial spirit by becoming a Hertz Rent-a-Car franchisee in Asbury Park. Starting with one car and a tiny office on Main Street, he built his company, Garden State U Drive, with Hertz franchises located in over a dozen cities in Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties. Following his retirement from the business in the mid-1990s, he was employed in the Security Department at Monmouth Medical Center, where he greeted staff members and visitors alike at the hospital’s main entrance before retiring in his 80’s.
Bob was an active sports enthusiast in his day - an avid golfer, skier, and N.Y. Giant fan. He joined Deal Golf and Country Club in 1950 and served as its President from 1966 to 1968. He dearly loved Deal and cherished his many friends there. While President, he oversaw renovations to the 5th hole and in the clubhouse, and in 1979 more than 100 friends honored him with a Testimonial Dinner. The Deal Board of Directors made him a permanent Honorary Member at the time of his retirement.
Bob is survived by his wife, Ann, and their children: Robert S. Bonney, Jr., and his wife, Maureen, of Sea Girt; Craig A. Bonney and his wife, Pamela, of Ocean Township; and Deborah Cheezum and her husband, William, of Skillman, N.J. He is also survived by 5 grandchildren: Jessica Bonney Reveley and her husband, Nelson; Brittany C. Bonney; Robert S. Bonney III; Craig A. Bonney, Jr., and his wife, Katherine; and Kaitlyn Bonney Cheezum and her fiancé, Stephen Resch; as well as three great-grandchildren, Eason, Asher, and Emily, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Joseph Lefferts Bonney, Sr. and Harriett Beers Bonney, formerly of Interlaken, and his brother and sister-in-law, Joseph L. Bonney, Jr., and Ruth Gardner Bonney.
His family will receive visitors at the Woolley-Boglioli Funeral Home, 10 Morrell Avenue, Long Branch, New Jersey on Thursday, April 25th from 4-8 p.m. A funeral will be held on Friday, April 26th at 10:30 a.m. at the Presbyterian Church on the Hill, 10 Cold Indian Springs Road, Wayside. Interment will follow at the Glenwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the New Jersey State Golf Association’s Caddie Scholarship Foundation –www.njsga.org/donate.
The family wishes to sincerely thank Imperial Healthcare Nursing Center and Grace Healthcare Services (Hospice) for their dedicated care and support.