April 28, 1927 – July 14, 2012
Arthur D. Bonwell, Editor Emeritus of the Historian and long time Board member of the Society, died on July 14, 2012. Art was born in a small town in Indiana and moved to California in 1956. He returned to his hometown in 1987 to care for his elderly mother. He was elected to its town council and served as the Council President for several years before returning to California in 1993. During his tenure on the Council he accomplished many community improvements.
Art served in the US Navy as an electronics technician. After graduating from Purdue University in 1951, he began his employment of many years with DuPont. He retired in 1982 but began his second career as a conservationist. With local botanist Mary Bowerman he organized a group to work specifically on Mt. Diablo conservation issues. “ I didn’t think Mount Diablo was getting enough attention.” Art considered this work the most important work of his life. He served as Save Mount Diablo’s President, Vice President, member of its Executive and Land Committees, and as its webmaster. During Art’s tenure, Save Mount Diablo expanded the park and preserves on the mountain from 6,788 acres to 110,000 acres and built the membership to over 8,000.
Art loved to bicycle and in 1971 founded the Diablo Wheelman bicycle club, which organized rides and trips–some more than 500 miles–throughout Oregon and California.
Art was a long time member of the Concord Historical Society’s Board of Directors. He served as editor of its publication, the Historian. He was a member of the oral history committee and the website committee chair person. He was honored by the Society in 2010 as Editor Emeritus. He was a bulldog at Board meetings and always argued and voted to move the Society forward. He loved to dance and thoroughly enjoyed the Society’s Black & White Balls.
During his lifetime Art received many other awards including the State of California Golden Bear Award, the 1996 Chevron Times-Mirror Magazine National Conservation Award, the Save Mount Diablo Mountain Star Award and Diablo Magazine’s Threads of Hope for Lifetime Achievement. Art will be missed by us all.
A “ Celebration of Life” event was held in Art’s honor on August 19, 2012, at Mitchell Canyon, Mt. Diablo State Park. Donations can be made in Art’s honor to:
Concord Historical Society or Save Mount Diablo
PO Box 404 1901 Olympic Blvd., Ste 320
Concord, CA 94522 Walnut Creek, CA 94596