Chesterton Tribune



Services Saturday, October 17 for James "Jim" L. Bonfield

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James “Jim” L. Bonfield, 69, of Chesterton, Indiana, passed away on Monday, July 20, 2015, having been involved in a tragic motorcycle accident near Jasper, Arkansas.

Jim was born in Michigan City, Indiana, on August 9, 1945, to Joseph and Elena Bonfield (Mazzaia). He graduated from Elston High School and continued his education at Indiana-Purdue University in South Bend. He then joined the Indiana State Police academy as a member of the 24th Recruit Class in 1967.

Jim was married to his loving wife Karla Renee Bonfield (Nallenweg) on April 22, 1978; they were married for 37 years. He is survived by his wife Karla and three children, Kristine (Elias) Zikkos of Kouts; Mark (Ronda) Bonfield of Fort Collins, Colorado; and Matthew (Megan) Bonfield of Brownsburg. He is survived by six grandchildren, Jacob, Zackery, Andrew, Ryen, Gianna, and Leah. He is survived by two sisters, Joan (James) Jarka of Michigan City, and twin sister Janet (Al) Todd of Stevensville, Michigan.

Preceding Jim in death include both of his parents and brothers Richard (Sharon) Bonfield of Placentia, California, and Daniel (Judith) Bonfield of Michigan City.

Jim’s dedication to public service and safety led him to become the Director of Transportation for the Duneland School Corporation for the past 13 years, having retired as a Sergeant for the Indiana State Police after 35 years of service in 2002. He held a variety of positions while with the State Police, including trooper, criminal investigator, forensic data analyst, and participated in joint duties with the FBI, ATF, U.S. Secret Service, and various other federal agencies. Among the highlights of his ISP career, he spearheaded the HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) task force in coordination with the DEA in Lake County, Indiana; he was an integral part of the Kirkley Task Force, helping bring to justice David Malinsky in the murder of Chesterton resident Lorraine Kirkley; and he was a part of numerous U.S. Presidential Security details, including having his photograph taken and published while shaking the hand of then-President Bill Clinton.

Jim was an active member of St. Patrick’s Church in Chesterton for over 37 years, serving as an usher every Sunday for mass. He was a true man of faith. He was loving, selfless, a man of integrity, and a respectful husband, father, and friend to so many. He enjoyed nothing more than helping friends and neighbors relentlessly, whether it meant shoveling snow from their driveways, mowing their lawns, or even helping them pay their bills. He considered his bus drivers at Duneland as a part of his own family, fighting for their jobs and overall well-being at literally every turn.

Jim was an annual member of countless charitable organizations, ranging from medical research to women’s shelters to local police organizations. He was active with the local Boys and Girls club of Porter County, Cub Scouts, and State Park Little League.

Jim was an avid motorcycle rider, and he looked forward to his annual vacation with his wife and friends every summer on their Harleys. He loved taking photos while out on his trips, sharing them with his friends and family after every adventure, and he particularly loved to brag about traversing some of the most challenging roads in the country while on his motorcycle rides. He also enjoyed riding to and spending time in Colorado to see his son Mark along with his wife and grandchildren.

Jim was especially proud of his healthy lifestyle and dedication to physical fitness, even more than a decade after retiring from the State Police.

Jim was a huge sports fan and follower of the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears, and Notre Dame football. But no team excited him more than his beloved Chicago Blackhawks. He attended countless regular season and playoff games over the last several years with friends and family, and was excited beyond words when they took home the Stanley Cup in 2010, and then again in 2013 and 2015.

But above all, Jim was the definition of a family man and loving husband. He gave his heart, strength, and soul to his family at all times, and will be dearly missed by all. He had a consummate love for his beloved wife Karla that will never be duplicated. He was also exceptionally close with and will be sorely missed by the entire Nallenweg family, including brothers-in-law Terry (Kay), Garry (Mary), Glen (Heon), and Jeff (Sandy), deceased, along with Mary Beth (Norman) Whitmer, numerous nieces, nephews, and mother-in law Fran and father-in-law Karl. His granddaughter Leah will especially miss calling for her “pops” more than he will ever know.

Funeral services for Jim will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 17, 2015, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 638 North Calumet Road, in Chesterton.

Visitation with friends and family will take place at Edmonds and Evans Funeral Home, 517 Broadway in Chesterton, on Friday, October 16, 2015, from 4 to 8 p.m., with a wake service to be held at 7:30 p.m.

Following the funeral mass on Saturday, a Celebration of Life luncheon will take place at Chesterton Middle School, 651 West Morgan Ave., around 1:00 p.m. A full lunch menu will be provided.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to assist with Karla Bonfield’s continued recovery expenses from the initial accident. Donations can be made directly to Edmonds and Evans Funeral Home, with excess funds to be put towards a James Bonfield Memorial Scholarship Fund.



Posted 10/9/2015




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