2017-02-17 / Front Page

Well-known businessman dead at 89

By LARRY HILLIARD
Ledger Staff Writer

Those who knew Warren Bonner say he was a consummate businessman who had a deep connection to Gaffney.

Bonner, Sr., 89, who had been in declining heath for months, died Wednesday.

“He was a longtime member of the business community and was from a prominent family who will be missed,” Gaffney Mayor Henry Jolly said.

Bonner was the owner of Bonner Implement, a farm equipment and supply company located in downtown Gaffney.

He was also a member of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors from 1976-1979 and a member of the S.C. National Guard, Gaffney Lions Club and American Legion. He was a Mason and a Shriner.

He received many awards, including being inducted into the Gaffney High School Hall of Fame, receiving the Community Chest Award, being named the Lion of the Year, Lions Melvin Jones Fellow (highest award in Lionism), Fifty Year Monarch Milestone and Chevron Award (Given by International Association of Lions Clubs).

Grady Randolph said he will remember Bonner as his longtime friend. The two became friends as 5- or 6-year-olds and remained close throughout their lives. Their bond was strengthened through their business and public service ties.

“When our trucking company moved from Blacksburg, we bought property from the Bonner brothers,” Randolph said. “We also became close friends as commissioners on the Gaffney Board of Public Works.”

Randolph joked that while his brothers bought a lot of farm equipment from Bonner, he only bought a lawn mower.

Randolph said Bonner was a man of character.

“If he would tell you something, you could depend on it,” Randolph said.

Legendary Gaffney High coach Bob Prevatte said Bonner was one of the first people he met when he moved to Gaffney in 1957.

“We went to the same church and Sunday School,” Prevatte said. “He was one of the finest people I ever knew.”

Like Randolph, Dewitt Mc- Craw said he forged a strong friendship with Bonner while serving on the Board of Public Works Commission.

“We’ve been friends since then,” McCraw said. “He was a good friend and good supporter of mine.”

“He was a great neighbor,” said Ledger Editor Klonie Jordan, who has lived next door to the Bonners for the past 25 years. “I remember when we moved into our house. He and Sarah (his wife who passed away last July) brought us a pie. We would often see him when he was out in his driveway and he would comment about how much Sarah enjoyed looking at the flowers in our yard. They were a wonderful couple and such remarkable people. I’m going to miss seeing him out there.”

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