Timothy Elliott Bonner, 51, life-long resident of Northfield, Minnesota, died in his home on the Laura Baker campus Friday, May 3, 2019, of kidney failure. The last eight months of his life were spent in hospice care.
Tim was born to Bob and Barbara Bonner on Feb. 1, 1968. By the time he was a year old it was clear that he struggled with serious handicaps, both mental and physical, but doctors, teachers, and therapists were unable to produce a working diagnosis. When he was 8, his mother, after years of relentless study, recognized that Tim suffered from autism. Tim then became a member of the generation who introduced this disability to parents and professionals all across the country. His life remained difficult, as everyone worked to learn how to recognize and respond appropriately to the way he understood the world.
Tim lived at home with his family until the age of 20 when he moved to Laura Baker. He continued in a close and loving relationship with his parents and through them he remained a well-known member of the Northfield community. He also attended Northfield High School and spent nearly 30 years working with the people of EPIC Enterprise in Dundas. His abundant personality will be missed by hundreds of people.
Tim is survived by his parents; by his uncles and aunts: Dave and Sue Bonner of Powell, Jim and Julianne Bonner of Casper, Anne Bonner of Santa Cruz, California, and Jim and Barbara Luther of Aztec, New Mexico; and by 12 cousins. He was preceded in death by his sister Jennifer, the sunshine of the first 20 years of his life, who died in 1988.
Tim’s family will always be grateful to the staff at Laura Baker, in particular the staff of Wright Cottage who cared for him so carefully and lovingly, especially the last year of his life. The family also wants to thank the many friends of Tim’s life who visited him during his time in hospice.
A memorial service will be held at the First United Church of Christ in Northfield on Saturday, May 11, 2019, at 2 p.m. Visitation will begin at 1 p.m. and a reception will follow. Memorials may be directed to Laura Baker Services Association, 211 Oak St., Northfield, Minnesota 55057.
Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home.