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William Earl Burwell Bonnell

MacCoubrey Funeral Home
30 King St. E., Cobourg

Sunday February 4
2:00pm - 4:00pm

This obituary is protected by copyright by MacCoubrey Funeral Home Limited. Proudly serving Northumberland County in the province of Ontario, Canada. All rights reserved.

William Earl Burwell Bonnell

March 14, 1947 - January 26, 2024

Our Prince of Words

We said farewell on January 26th to our precious Bill, husband of Clare for 51 years, father to Suyin (DiPasquale) and Johnathan, father-in-law to Norm, Grandpa to Emma and William and brother to Pat and Doug (deceased).

Bill was born in Schumacher, now part of Timmins, and grew up with a love of ‘the bush’, moving regretfully to urban life in Richmond Hill when he was 11. During his life he experienced living in London (UK), Hong Kong and Chicago where he was involved in community development, and in Scarborough from 1985, settling happily in Cobourg in 2016. He always took care of his health from the age of 15 when he started a life-long practice of weight lifting. He was an honours philosophy graduate from Trent University.

Bill loved the magic of the written word his whole life. He was a master of the evocative metaphor and had several poems published in both UK and Canadian literary magazines. While caring for our domestic life, he wrote speeches, funding proposals, educational material and crime fiction for which he twice received honourable mention for the Golden Dagger Award. Macmillan Canada published a unique cookbook of recipes that he imagined Sherlock Holmes would have eaten on his adventures.

A deeply spiritual man his love of books included Buddhist writings of the Thai Forest tradition (along with anything WWI and WWII!). He practiced Tai Chi and meditation for several years and attended meditation retreats and writing workshops until the relentless march of Alzheimer’s took away his ability to read and write. Sometimes the energy demands of living were difficult for him but throughout his life his intelligent insightful mind, his kindness, playful sense of humour and his quiet patience have been a gift to our family.

A visitation will be held at MacCoubrey Funeral Home 30 King St. E., Cobourg on Sunday February 4, 2024 from 2 to 4 pm.

If you wish to make a donation in Bill’s name we feel he would have been contented to support the Tisarana Monastery in Perth, Ontario (the Thai forest tradition of Theravada Buddhism). Please go to their website - Please click on "Contribute" then follow "Financial Contributions" for instructions.

God give us each our own death,
the dying that proceeds from each of our lives:
the way we loved,
the meaning we made,
our need.
Rilke- The Book of Hours

Message Of Condolence

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Anita Gutteridge - February 6, 2024

I'm sorry clare to hear of Bill's passing. I will keep you in my prayers.

Linda Hutsell-Manning - February 6, 2024

My sincere condolences, Claire, to you and your family. Wishing you strength in the days ahead.

Linda McCance - February 3, 2024

Clare, Bill was an important part of our meditation group at St. Peter's over the years. We missed him as his health prevented him from joining with us, but he was always with us in spirit. Find peace in your memories & his continuing love.

Donna Lee - February 3, 2024

Clare, I’m so sorry for your loss. Wishing you peace and comfort at this difficult time.

Laurie Vandewater - February 2, 2024

Clare and Family - My heart goes out to you on your loss of Bill. May your friends and memories sustain you.

Beverley and Philip Palmer - February 2, 2024

We send our condolences to your family. We often heard wonderful stories from John about his father. Keeping your many memories alive to share with others is a gift to enjoy.

Cathy Huculak - February 2, 2024

Mr. Bonnell will be sorely missed. My deepest condolences to your family.

Nicholas Charles Edward Spencer - February 1, 2024

Bill, as a sailor I know you have crossed the Bar, that spit lying beneath the keel keeping you in harbour until the tide turns, which it inevitably does. Now the tide has taken you across the Bar onto another Harbour where you will be welcomed into loving arms, cherished forever.

Linda Coffee - February 1, 2024

So very sorry Claire for your loss, my thoughts and prayers to you and your family

Wendy & Bryan LaMontagne - February 1, 2024

My very deepest condolences to the family. I will treasure the times that I spent with Bill. I will always remember his wonderful sense of humour and his smile. I will miss him dearly. Bill’s beautiful Spirit will always surround the people he loves. ❤️😇

Tom Groot - February 1, 2024

I'm sorry for your loss, Clare. May your many years together with Bill provide a source of endless peaceful memories.

Anne Burnham - January 31, 2024

Dear Clare and family, I am so sorry to read of your loss. I wish you strength for the days ahead and also a sense of peace.