Robert Lee Bonta, 72, of rural Fort Madison, IA, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 in Arizona, the result of a car accident while enjoying a morning walk with his wife, Karen. He was born on April 11, 1945 in Quincy, IL to Robert G. & Jessie L. Snodgrass Bonta. Robert attended Culver Stockton College where he acquired a degree in education, joined the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and met the love of his life, Karen Kay Bruder. Robert and Karen were wed on July 29, 1967 in Morris, IL while both were attending graduate school at Western Illinois University. With his graduate degree in counseling education, Robert began his career as an elementary teacher in Lomax, Illinois. Robert (Bob) retired as the Education Administrator for the Great River AEA in Burlington.
After retirement, Bob was passionate about community programs, the First Christian Church, and being active with the Fort Madison Community Hospital. He was a member of the Fort Madison Lions Club and enjoyed being a Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) counselor. He also enjoyed gathering for breakfast with friends for discussion and bragging about his grandkids.
Bob and Karen enjoyed traveling the globe with their close friends and family. In addition to spending the last several winters in Fountain Hills, Arizona, they had visited Africa, China, South America, Antarctica, Australia, Egypt, Alaska, Europe, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico.
Mostly, Bob enjoyed spending time with his family. Bob’s priority was being a great husband, father, grandfather, brother-in-law, uncle and friend. His children and grandchildren looked forward to his waffles, convertible rides and spending time discussing his travels and history.
Bob is survived by his three children, Grant (Amy) Bonta of Belleville IL, Barb (Jeff) Snyder of Manchester MO, and Amy (Nic) Ferin of Marion IA. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren; Carter, Chandler, and Camden, children of Grant and Amy; Harrison, Alexa, and Ainsley, children of Barb and Jeff; Olivia, Madisen, Dexter, and Stella, children of Amy and Nic. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert G. and Leola Bonta.
Friends may call after 3:00 p.m. on Friday, March 23, 2018 with the family to receive friends from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday evening at the First Christian Church, 608 10th Street, Fort Madison, IA 52627. The funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at the First Christian Church with Rev. John Simpson officiating. Burial will be held at Claypoole Cemetery in rural Wever, IA. A memorial has been established in Bob’s memory. Online condolences and a video tribute of Bob & Karen’s lives may be viewed at the King-Lynk Funeral Home & Crematory website: www.kinglynk.com. King-Lynk Funeral Home & Crematory in Fort Madison, IA is assisting the family with the arrangements.