Salina, KS

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Fortunato Bonilla

KSAL StaffNovember 23, 2022

Fortunato Bonilla, of Salina, KS, was called to heaven Saturday November 19th, 2022, at the age of 80. He passed away surrounded by his family.

Fortunato is survived by his wife, Rosemary Bonilla; children, Don Bonilla (Sabrina Bonilla) of Wichita, KS, Lonnie Bonilla (Connie Bonilla) of Anchorage, AK, April Bonilla (Salvador Carrazco) of Salina, KS; grandchildren, Danielle, Bree Bree, Cody, Rosemary, Linda, DeWayne, Don, Stephen, Eric, Christopher, Cody, Jacob, Eliana, Fortunato, Salvador, Gabriella, Christiana, Christian, and Noah; 13 great grandchildren; brothers, Santos Bonilla (Marlene), Rodrigo Bonilla (Vicky); and sister-in-laws, Elizabeth Bonilla and Maria Bonilla, all of Salina, KS.

Fortunato was preceded in death by his parents, Fortunato Sr and Noberta (Baeza) Bonilla; grandson, Kaleb Bonilla; brothers, Arcadio, Benito, Bernardo, Francisco, Joe, Joseph, Oliver, Bidal, Antonio, Guillermo, Fortino, and John; and sisters, Petra Bonilla and Carmen Montoy.

Fortunato was born in Deerfield, KS on Dec. 15, 1941. His work career included Raytheon plant chairman, a business agent for the Machinist Union, Human Relations Commissioner, retired Master Sergeant of the US Army Reserves and Desert Storm Veteran. He had a passion for music as he performed oldies and was the lead singer and saxophone player for his bands. His passion continued until he couldn’t preform anymore. He was very proud of his Mexican Heritage by serving as State Director of LULAC, liaison of NAACP, and state officer of American G.I. Forum. Fortunato enjoyed athletics playing with the Bonilla family softball team, being an avid bowler, and semi-pro football player. He then served the community by coaching the Salvation Army football team, being a supporter of the Salina Central Wrestling booster club, coaching and managing the Bonilla family softball team, and was a certified umpire. He was an active member of Sacred Heart Cathedral and loved spending time with his siblings and loving wife of 58 years and could always be found supporting his children and grandchildren.

Visitation will be 9-11 a.m. with a Rosary at 11 a.m. and Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 11:30 a.m., all on Friday, November 25, 2022 at Sacred Heart Cathedral with Fr. Fred Gatschet as celebrant.  Burial will follow in Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Salina.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Fortunato Bonilla, please visit the floral store.

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