Clayton Lane Bonnell, aged 68, peacefully passed away surrounded by loved ones on December 4, 2019.
Clay was born on July 13, 1951 in Dalton, Georgia, to Frank and Rosemary (Boyles) Bonnell. Clay’s father was with the Boy Scouts of America, so Clay’s childhood was filled with camping, swimming, canoeing, and other athletic activities.
He played football and graduated from Columbus High in 1970. Midway through his freshman year in college, he was called to serve his country. He did two tours during the Vietnam Conflict as a member of a SOG unit. Upon returning home, Clay was offered a spot on the track and field team at Berry College in Rome, Georgia, graduating with a degree in chemistry. He threw the hammer in the 1976 Olympics and afterwards at Scottish games.
After graduation, he continued his military service at Camp Pendleton in California.
He returned to Berry College to get his teacher’s certification and began his second career as a teacher of P.E., health, chemistry and physics, and coached various sports in Whitfield Co., Columbus High, Social Circle, Greene Co. and Apalachee.
He is survived by his wife, Ann Cabaniss Bonnell, and children: Robert (Danielle), Chelsea, Miriam (Bobby), Brandt (Maggie), and Margaret Ann. He also leaves seven grandchildren: Carter, Penelope, Ella, Kensley, Piper, Vivian, and Kerristen, and siblings, Keith (Pam) and Libby, his aunt JoAnne, and nieces and nephews Tipp, Arial, Meghan, Ira, Reed, and Lainee.
A celebration of life service was held on Saturday, December 7, 2019 at A.E. Carter Funeral Home in Madison, Georgia.
There is a fund set up for the education of his minor child, Margaret Ann Bonnell at the Bank of Madison in Madison, Georgia. Donations in Clay’s memory may also be made to Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge, Georgia.
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