Robert Kenneth “Ken” Bonar, 89, of Kansas City, MO, passed away peacefully at home on January 25, 2018 surrounded by family. A life long resident of Kansas City, MO, he was born on October 26, 1928, the only child of Lyle and Rose Bonar. Ken graduated Southeast High School in 1945, where he had enjoyed choir, band, scouts, and ROTC. He played trumpet in the “Knightlights” band that played at USO functions and dances. Ken was an Eagle scout and very active in church. He loved the military and couldn’t wait to join. And, on Oct. 26, 1945, he enlisted and served four years in the U.S. Navy Combat Aircrew Program during which received the World War II Medal of Victory. Following this, Ken served three years and six months in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, 1949-1953, two years of which was on active duty.
Ken was introduced to Joyce while home on leave from the Navy in October 1947. They wrote letters to each other daily for two years. Joyce and Ken were married at Independence Boulevard Christian Church on February 23, 1951. When Ken was called up for active duty from the Air Force reserves, they moved to Long Island, New York. Ken loved the Air Force as a Crew Chief and Flight Engineer, flying up and down the East coast. After he was discharged in February 1953, he and Joyce bought their first house at 91st and Main St. in Kansas City, MO. Ken graduated from Rockhurst College in 1955, with a Business Degree in Industrial Relations, Cum Laude, and minors in Philosophy and Economics. He worked for many years as a business management consultant and later for the Small Business Administration Kansas City office for twelve years as Assistant District Director, followed by eight years as Assistant Regional Administrator.
Ken and Joyce had an infant son, Kenneth Carll Bonar, on Dec 23, 1961, who passed away on Dec. 25, 1961, due to prematurity. Compounding the tragedy, his mother died six weeks later on February 14, 1962, after suffering a stroke. Following this, Ken and Joyce moved ahead with adoption and Susan Kathleen Bonar entered their lives in July 1963. They then had a second son, Jeffrey Christopher Bonar, on November 30, 1964. Ken and Joyce built a house at 4407 E. 108th St., KC, Mo and raised their family.
Ken was very active in his church, Cherokee Christian Church of Prairie Village, as an Elder and Chairman of the Personnel Committee. He believed strongly in giving back to the community, and in addition to serving on the Hickman Mills C-1 School Board, the Board of the Southern Communities Coalition, one of the two Sixth District representatives to the Silver Haired City Council, Commander of the Hickman Mills Memorial American Legion Post 598, he volunteered both time and money to many noble causes through the years.
Upon retirement, Ken joined the Service Corps of Retired Executives, counseling prospective Small Business Owners, and served as the Chairman of the Kansas City SCORE Chapter 19 as District Manager and District Director. During these years, Ken also enjoyed traveling to many destinations with his wife Joyce, and their greatest joy was time spent with their grandsons. But in 2008, Ken lost his beloved wife Joyce to Alzheimer’s disease. He suffered from mini-strokes in his later years, and eventually lost his ability to communicate. Ken lived his last years with his daughter Susan, her husband David and his two grandson’s, Jonathan and Jens. Ken was predeceased by his parents, his infant son Kenneth, and his wife Joyce.
Ken is survived by his daughter Dr. Susan Bonar (David Benson) and grandchildren Jonathan Benson and Jens Benson; and son Jeffrey C. Bonar. There will be a visitation on Wednesday, January 31, 2018, from 5 to 7 p.m. at D. W. Newcomer’s and Sons Overland Park Chapel, 8201 Metcalf, Overland Park, Kansas. The funeral service will be at the same location on Thursday morning, February 1, at 10:00 a.m., followed by interment at Forest Hills Cemetery, 69th and Troost, Kansas City, MO. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to: Heart of America Boy Scout Council.