In Loving Memory Of...

Bernard Day Tonner
Bernard Day Tonner

Bernard Day Tonner passed away on Saturday February 22, 2003, age 90. Bernard was born in Lynch, Nebraska on June 1, 1912. He graduated from the University Of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1939 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. His long life was productive and purposeful. During his twenty-seven years as a Naval Officer he served as Officer in Charge of Construction and Public Works at Dover New Jersey, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and Glenview Naval, Illinois. He was the director, Pacific Division of Yards and Docks at San Francisco and Port Hueneme. Some of the medals that Cmdr Tonner received included the National Defense Service, World War II Victory, American Campaign, and the Expert Rifleman Medal. He retired in 1969 as a Naval Commander in the Civil Engineering Corps from the Naval Air Station in Point Mugu, Ca. Barney was President of the Toastmasters Club, and Secretary Treasurer, Oxnard-Ventura Post A, Society of American Military Engineers.

After retiring Bernard enrolled at Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo earning a B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture. Becoming an avid grower of Fuchsias he soon had over 200 varieties growing in his back yard in Port Hueneme, CA, creating an amazing colorful surprise for anyone stepping out the back door. Barney was an avid fisherman and could back up his fish stories with real evidence. In addition to gardening Barney enjoyed sports and maintained an active lifestyle that included swimming, tennis, and handball. During age 60 Cmdr Tonner was the handball champion at Point Mugu. To keep his title he often had to out score opponents in their early 20s. Barney has always been a fan of the Nebraska Corn Huskers. He met his wife, Bernice, at a football game in true sports fan fashion.

Bernard returned to Pleasant Hill, CA in 1994 where he was one of the original buyers in the Gregory Gardens tract. Living there in the 1950s while working on Treasure Island as a Civil Engineer he experienced early bay area traffic snarls so that he could enjoy being home with his family and friends in their new suburban community. He enjoyed "taking lunch" at the Pleasant Hill Senior Center usually arriving early to watch the children play in the park. Barney took pleasure in helping others and served as an election official for many years in Pleasant Hill and Port Hueneme, Ca. Most importantly he was famous for the kindness and consideration that he showed to each person that came into his life.

His wives Bernice Carlson Tonner, of Nebraska, and Claudette Knotts Tonner of Kansas, preceded him in death. Bernard is survived by 3 children, John Carlson Tonner of Pleasant Hill, Joanne and Paul LaPlante of Nipomo, George and Jan Tonner of Simi Valley, CA, 2 granddaughters, Erin Rae Tonner and Nicole Li and Craig Whiteside, and one great granddaughter, Cassandra Rae Garcia all of Simi Valley, Ca. Bernard's brother, Jack and Louise Tonner reside in Ventura, CA.

Memorial Services are scheduled for Saturday March 29th at 2:00 pm at the Blacklake Community Room, 498 Colonial Place, Nipomo California.

In dedication to the beloved memory of Bernard Day Tonner, a true citizen of the greatest generation, the family is requesting donations to be made to the Pleasant Hill Senior Center, 233 Gregory Ln, Pleasant Hill, Ca, 94523 or the Parkinson's Institute, 1170 Morse Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94089 Attn: Development Dept. Arrangements by Deer Creek Funeral Services, 16190 Foothill Blvd, San Leandro, CA Ph (925) 934 9000.