Robert Wayne Bonnett, 79, of Gulf Breeze, Florida, quietly passed from this life into the arms of his Savior on Thursday, May 10, 2018.
He battled a very debilitating illness, related to Parkinson’s disease, for more than 15 years.
Born May 7, 1939, in Marion, Alabama, Wayne was a man of great integrity with a heart for God and a commitment to challenge others to live for Him. To his family, he was a strong and steady presence—always providing unconditional love, support, encouragement, and advice. He valued education, integrity, and most of all, Jesus. He served as an amazing role model, imparting those values to his children and grandchildren. A gifted Bible teacher, he led others to grow in Christ, ministering mostly to young adults, and taught Sunday school for more than 50 years. He encouraged his children, children in law, and grandchildren toward diligent study and hard, honest work. He rejoiced in their accomplishments and supported their endeavors both at home and abroad. He was married to his wife Sara for more than 55 years, a testimony to love and faithfulness.
Wayne worked as a Quality and Reliability Engineer for 30 years with the Department of Army in Huntsville, Alabama, and the Department of Energy in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, retiring in 1995. He was highly respected by his peers not only for his abilities but for his honesty and integrity. He earned a B.S. in engineering from Auburn University and an M.S. from Texas A&M University.
He was a native of Alabama and was also a long-time resident of Knoxville, Tennessee. Wayne and his wife, Sara, retired to Florida in 2000.
Wayne will be sorely missed by all who loved him, his wife, children, grandchildren, and other family, as well as hundreds of others changed for the better for knowing him.
He loved his Savior. Although he endured a disease that slowly took away the use of his body, it could not touch his mind and it could not touch his faith. He remained faithful to the end and now he has received the crown of life. Jesus said, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25). Wayne Bonnett believed in Jesus and is now standing and worshipping before the throne of God healed, whole, and more alive than he has ever been.
Wayne was predeceased by his parents, Joseph Elzie Bonnett and Eva Glenn Bonnett.
Survivors include his wife, Sara Lindquist Bonnett; children and spouses, Jennifer and Rick Combs, Linda and Clem Edwards, and Steven and Krista Bonnett; and grandchildren, Bonnie, Emily, Taylor, and Nathan Edwards, Natasha Combs, and Darcy Bonnett.
Special thanks to his devoted caregivers: Gyula, Monica, Tracy, Brian, and Michelle, along with the Emerald Coast Hospice staff.
A memorial service was held on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, in the chapel at Midway Baptist Church, 5471 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze, Florida.
A graveside service will held on Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 1:00 PM at Berry Highland Memorial Gardens in Knoxville, Tennessee, with a reception to follow at Central Baptist Church of Bearden, in the Singles Building.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions for the purpose of “Brain Research – Jacksonville” be sent to: Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, Florida 32246. Checks should be made out to “Mayo Clinic” or for online giving, go to https://philanthropy.mayoclinic.org/donatemc
Note that the gift is in memory of Robert Wayne Bonnett and include your return address.
Love and prayers sent your way from Vermont
Christine & Thomas
Christine Kennedy-RiffonMendon, VT
Sarah and family, I am praying for you especially Wednesday as you celebrate Wayne's life. He was truly a servant and gifted man with a heart for others. I will always remember his teaching at First Baptist Church, LEESBURG. I appreciated all that both of you did with your gentle spirit to minister to others. Wayne was so gifted. Wayne and I had some wonderful times visiting prospects and members and on those visits we had some great conversations. He loved all his family and the Lord.
Gary BlanchardLeesburg, FL