It is with regret that we announce the passing of Bill Bonnett, former CIGCSA Member and a long time fixture in the Central Florida region with Lesco.
Bill Bonnett, 66, passed away unexpectedly while on a Caribbean cruise on Tuesday, December 9, 2014. Bill and his wife Lin had lived in The Villages for over four years, moving here from Lake Mary, Florida. Bill was a member of the Dragon Boat Club and had competed in the World Championships in Hong Kong in 2012 and Italy in 2014. He had coached all his life including Little League and later Special Olympics; he was honored to have been named Coach of the Year 1996 and the Head Coach for the Special Olympics Florida Golf Team for the World Games in 1999. In 2009 he was inducted into the Special Olympics Florida Hall of Fame. He was a table captain for Operation Shoebox and loved to volunteer at the public events at the Town Squares. Bill was the strong, silent type. He was a gentle soul, even tempered, a wonderful role model and a hero to his children and grandchildren. He will be missed.
Bill attended the University of Illinois and graduated with degree in Ornamental Horticulture and served as the Head Golf Course Superintendent at Sunset Hills Country Club in Pekin, Illinois and the Kankakee Elks Country Club in St. Anne, Illinois before joining Lesco in 1984 as a regional agronomist in golf course sales covering the Gulf Coast region and later relocating in 1986 to Central Florida. Bill retired from the golf industry in 2010 to move to The Villages to continue his love of golf and volunteering his time to worthy causes.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Vivian Bonnett and a brother, Dan Bonnett. He is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Lin Bonnett; three sons, Todd (Rhonda), Trent (Brooke), Travis (Wendy); eight grandchildren, Emily, Keller, William, Katie, Mary, Easton, Carlisle, Abby; siblings, Evelyn, David, Joan, Keith, Sarah, John, Tom; numerous nieces and nephews and his faithful companion, Magic.
Memorial contributions may be made to Operation Shoebox.
A memorial service was held Saturday, January 3, 2015 at Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services, 1511 Buenos Aires Blvd, The Villages.