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Thomas J. H. Bonde

Thomas J. H. Bonde Sept. 12, 1931 - Dec. 4, 2013

SPICER - Thomas J. H. Bonde, age 82, of Spicer, died Wednesday morning, Dec. 4, at his home in Spicer.

Funeral service will be held at 2 PM, Saturday, December 7, at Faith Lutheran Church in Spicer. The interment will be at a later date at the Faith Lutheran Church Columbarium. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Shriners Childrens Hospital, Faith Lutheran Church - Capital Campaign Fund or Rice Hospice are preferred. Arrangements are with the Peterson Brothers - Green Lake Funeral Home.

Tom Bonde was born on September 12, 1931 in Blakely, MN to Thomas and Johanna Hert. Although he was baptized in the Presbyterian Church three months later, he was eventually confirmed as a Lutheran at Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar in 1946. After his fathers death, Tom was adopted by Harold and Marjorie Bonde of Willmar, and he graduated from South High School in 1949.

Tom began his academic studies at Luther College in Decorah, IA in 1950 and later transferred to Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Before completing his studies, Tom joined the U.S. Navy and attended naval flight training at Naval Air Station in Pensacola, FL in 1952. At the time of the Korean War, Tom served aboard the U.S.S. Tom Green County until 1953.

After completing his studies and earning a Bachelors degree in Economics from Concordia College in 1955, Tom worked for 3M, but he soon discovered a passion for aquatic biology. Tom started post-graduate studies at the University of Minnesota in the Fisheries department and worked as an aquatic biologist for the MN Department of Game and Fish in St. Paul from 1957-1962. Tom began working for the federal government in 1966 and soon joined the U.S. Corps of Engineers as a Project Biologist on the Libby Dam in Libby, Montana. After working on the project for thirteen years, Tom was transferred to Seattle in 1980, but the bright sunshine of Minnesota called to him. Tom finished his career with the federal government at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Minneapolis in 1986, and returned to Green Lake in 1987 to build his retirement home in the town where he grew up.

Tom had many passions in his life and served in many areas of the community. His love of the outdoors was realized in Boy Scouts and the National Ski Patrol, and Tom was awarded the high honor of a national ski patrol number (#5185) due to his service at Turner Mountain in Montana. Tom had a deep love for history and served as President of the Kandiyohi County Historical Society. Toms dedication to the Green Lake Community resulted in him serving as a Director for the Green Lake Water District in 1992-2000 and President of the Green Lake Property Owners Association. Tom was an active member of the Willmar Area Shrine Club and served as President in 2004, as well as a member of American Legion Post #545. No matter what Tom was doing, people always remarked he had a big smile on his face even in the bone-chilling cold of winter.

Family and faith were prioritized above all else to Tom. Tom met his wife, Catherine Bethke, who worked with his sister as a nurse at Minneapolis General Hospital. He married Catherine on November 28, 1959 and had two children, Paul Franklin in 1965 and Ann Catherine in 1968. Tom relished being a grandfather to his three granddaughters, Andrea, Mara and Michaela. He and his family were active in the Lutheran church, and Tom was a member of Faith Lutheran Church since 1988.

Tom is survived by his wife, Catherine; one son Paul (and Rebekah) Bonde of Austin, TX; one daughter, Ann (and Michael) Wheaton of Mankato and three grandchildren, Andrea, Mara and Michaela Wheaton. Also surviving are four sisters, Lila (and Ed) Linner of Stillwater, Leta Hauser of White Bear Lake, Gloria (and George) Johnson of Roseville and Rosalee (and Dick) Pinomaki of Little Canada; besides many nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, June Runchey.