Clarke Arrendell Bonham passed away peacefully Monday, 3/18/2019 at the age of 91. He was born November 12, 1927 to Clark Bennett and Berenice Bonham in Ponca City. He grew up in Oklahoma and graduated from NW Classen High School. He attended the University of Oklahoma and Washington University in St. Louis. He served as a hospital corpsman in the Pacific in both World War II and the Korean War.
Clarke began working as a salesman for AT&T in Oklahoma City in 1948. He held numerous positions in the company, transitioning to district manager for Southwestern Bell after the breakup of AT&T. He retired from the phone company after 40 years of service.
Clarke’s life was exemplified by service. He held positions of leadership in virtually every community organization, including the Shawnee Lion’s Club, Shawnee and Central Oklahoma Chambers of Commerce, Last Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Shawnee United Fund, Shawnee Industrial Foundation, the Expo Center, the Salvation Army Board, the Pottawatomie County Chapters of the Heart Fund and the Red Cross, the chair of General Gifts of the OBU Capital Fund, and chair of Special Gifts of the YMCA Building Fund. He was honored as Citizen of the Year by the Shawnee Kiwanis Club, and received the Silver Beaver Award, the highest honor conferred by the Last Frontier Council for his long and dedicated service to the Boy Scouts. He was a member of the local Masonic Lodge and the Shawnee Elk’s Lodge. He attended St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. Clarke enjoyed traveling, camping, boating, and snow skiing, but most of all enjoyed being around family.
He met Sharon Evelyn Cates in 1957 on a blind date. They were married four years later on June 3, 1961, and enjoyed 57 years together. They shared a love of dogs, and Clarke would accompany Sharon to dog shows throughout the Southwest where they would show their beloved Corgis.
Clarke was preceded in death by his parents, Clark and Berenice, daughter Nancy Ellen Bonham-Ownbey, and his Corgis, Duchess, Duke, and Megee.
He is survived by his wife, Sharon Cates Bonham, son Clark Andrew (Andy) Bonham (Elizabeth) of Portola Valley, CA, eight grandchildren: Clark Andrew (Drew) Bonham, Jr., Thomas Adam Bonham, Spencer Aidan Bonham, Sydney Alexandra Bonham, and Taryn Anne Bonham, all of Portola Valley, CA; Millicent Marie Ownbey-Hale (Kendall) of Oklahoma City; Joshua Ownbey of Albuquerque, NM; Aly Ownbey-Land of Albuquerque, NM; and the Corgi, Cinnamon. He will be dearly missed.
A Celebration of Clarke's life will be scheduled in the near future.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to one of the following in memory of Clarke Bonham:Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation https://omrf.org/donation-form/Last Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts of America https://www.scoutingrocks.tv/donate