Joe V. Bonny
January 9, 1926 - March 22, 2008
Former Steamboat Springs resident Joe V. Bonny died March 22, 2008, in Prescott, Ariz., surrounded by his family. He was 82.
Joe Vincent Bonny was born Jan. 9, 1926, in Salt Lake City, the youngest of four brothers to railroad brakeman Fred F. Bonny and Amelia Paulson Bonny. Joe grew up in Salt Lake City and, as a teenager, won three city titles and became a nationally ranked tennis player.
At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy through the V-12 Navy College Training Program and attended the University of Colorado. Joe also attended the University of Minnesota before completing his bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering at the University of Michigan at age 20.
Upon graduation in 1946, Joe married his high school sweetheart, Margy Marie Maher. After marriage, he pursued a master's degree in civil engineering at the University of Southern California, but was called to serve in the Seabees and was based in Guam as an officer during the Korean War.
In 1952, Joe joined his father-in-law, Frank J. Maher, in the general contracting business and moved to Denver. Throughout the next 40 years, Maher-Bonny Construction Company built numerous courthouses, jails, hospitals, banks and more than 50 schools, including two entire college campuses.
In 1967, Joe and Margy relocated to Steamboat Springs to build Yampa Valley College, now the Alpine Campus of Colorado Mountain College. While living in Steamboat Springs, Joe expanded the business to include The Inn at Thunderhead, Steamboat Village Inn (now the Sheraton Steamboat Resort), Ptarmigan Inn, Storm Meadows, Clock Tower Square, The Lodge at Steamboat, Kutuk, La Casa, Chateau Chamonix, The Timbers and The Moraine, as well as the gondola building at the Steamboat Ski Area and the base facility for Mary Jane.
Joe became a widower in 1976, but remarried the second love of his life, Patricia J. Gifford, in 1979. Joe semi-retired in 1986 after closing down Maher-Bonny Construction Co., but could not stay retired for long as he truly loved construction. He starting doing consulting work for Fox Construction, and was their chief estimator for 15 years. He finally retired from Fox Construction two years ago at age 79.
Joe and Pat moved from their beloved Steamboat after 39 years and relocated to Prescott, Ariz., in June 2007. Through it all, Joe never lost his love of life, family or tennis. Through tremendous adversity, his integrity and character never wavered and shaped his family, his friends and everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Joe is survived by his wife, Patricia; son, Clay; daughter-in-law Patty Tomlin; son-in-law Michael Gifford; grandchildren Bridger Tomlin, Mallory and Lauren Gifford, and Geneva and Joe Bonny.
A celebration of his life will be held May 22 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Steamboat. A Joe V. Bonny Tennis Scholarship will be established in his memory c/o the Steamboat Tennis Association, P.O. Box 770533, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477.