BONHAM, WILLIAM N. (1928 ~ 2010)
The following obituary was published in the Austin American-Statesman on December 28, 2010.
William N. Bonham passed away quietly in his home surrounded by his loving family, on December 25th, after a brave battle with cancer. Bill was born on October 19, 1928, to Jarrell Cecil Bonham, of Smackover, Arkansas, and Amelie Cecile Bergelle, of Chicago, Illinois. His youth was spent in Houston and in the piney woods of East Texas, where he delighted in hunting and fishing for bass with his father.
He graduated from Allen Academy in Bryan in 1945 and afterwards went to the University of Texas at Austin, where he received the degree of Bachelor of Architecture in 1951. Subsequent to graduation Bill established his own practice until the opportunity came to join Pan American World Airways as director of architecture for Inter-Continental Hotels, then a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pan Am. Drawing on his worldwide experience, which followed, Bill later helped found and build Texas-based 3D/International into a major firm. After serving as President and eventually Vice Chairman of that firm, Bill subsequently established an international consulting practice, until joining the Texas Facilities Commission.
Bill's great-grandfather was the cousin of James Butler Bonham, who died defending the Alamo. Fulfilling a lifelong interest in James Bonham, Bill eventually wrote and published the story of James Bonham's life, James Butler Bonham - Messenger of Defeat. Bill made friends for Texas and the United States throughout the world. He was a Renaissance man who loved sailing, art, history, music, good wine, anything and everything to do with France, and down-home cooking.
He is survived by Sandra, his wife of nearly 30 years, his beloved daughter Cody and her husband Brandon Gredler, his granddaughter, Anita Ried, his nieces Barbara Bonham Kleiner and Nancy Bonham, his nephew, Chris Bonham, and the many good friends and respected colleagues who touched his life along the way. A private family burial at Texas State Cemetery will be followed at a future date by a memorial service celebrating Bill's life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice Austin.