Stuart Ford Bonney was born on February 23rd, in 1936, to Charles and Evelyn Grace Bonney in Brockton, Mass. He spent his early years in Seaside, Oregon, until he was 16. After graduating high school he attended college in La Grande at Eastern Oregon. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served on the first nuclear-powered surface cruiser in Quincy, Mass. He later went to Japan to finish his expedition.
In 1960 he married Genevieve Kelley. They had three children: Kenneth Ford Bonney, Janet Ford Bonney and Betty Ford Hiatt (Michael Hiatt), all of Hermiston. They bought a small farm on Cooney Lane where they allowed their children to run barefoot in the country, play Cowboys and Indians, have a goat and ride bareback down a country lane.
He worked at Hanford and then later Bonneville Power. He later divorced and purchased the Umatilla Buffalo Ranch and managed a large herd, 250 head of buffalo. He loved them very much and was known in his childhood to sing Home, home on the range, where the deer and buffalo roam. He soon discovered that he loved being self-employed and continued on through life wheeling and dealing as if a Monopoly game to him, one that he truly loved. He was not a licensed Realtor but a self-taught and highly successful one.
He was a member of the local Eagles for 40 years. He enjoyed slow dancing to Western music, mostly with his significant other, Barbara Buckner. He was a friend you could always count on, never quick to judge, softly spoken, great storyteller, dedicated, hard-working and a loyal friend. Always quiet about his giving, yet quick to give whenever there was a need, but most of all a man always with a sweet smile.
He was a grandfather to eight grandchildren and one great-great-grandson.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Evelyn Grace Bonney; two brothers, Omar and Howard; and three sisters, Louise, Evelyn and Marianne. His youngest sister, Claire Bettencourt, still resides in Hermiston, Oregon, along with his three children.
Memorial services will be held Tuesday, Nov. 26th at 11:00 a.m. at New Hope Church in Hermiston. Burial to follow at the Hermiston Cemetery, and a special luncheon gathering to honor him at New Hope Church.