Long-time Idyllwild resident Bonnar Blong peacefully passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009, of natural causes. He was 86 years old.
The son of Dr. Peter H. Blong and Eleanor Blong, Bonnar grew up in the Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley area. After graduating from Alhambra High, Bonnar joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served his country in World War II. During his military duty he saw heavy conflict on Okinawa and other areas of the Pacific.
Upon completion of his military service, Bonnar enrolled at Washington State University where he received a bachelor of science degree in conservation and wildlife studies. His college degree was the tool that enabled Bonnar to spend his entire working career doing a job he was passionate about.
Hired by the California Department of Fish and Game as an associate wildlife biologist, Bonnar, with his new bride, Janice, moved to Idyllwild in 1952. His first job was to work on a deer study; however, he soon became heavily involved in research, mapping and wildlife management.
An early advocate of the conservation of the Peninsular Big Horn Sheep, which are native to the Santa Rosa Mountains, Bonnar wrote numerous articles throughout his career bringing attention to the status of these animals.
Bonnar officially retired from Fish and Game in 1984. However, after retirement, he was again called upon to contribute a study on the “Use of Habitat by Colorado Desert Deer.”
A celebration of his life will be held at his residence in Idyllwild at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 9.
Bonnar was preceded in death by his wife, Janice. He is survived by his two daughters, Karen (Gary) Brown and Ann (Steve) Erler, both of Idyllwild; a grandson, Brian (Juliet) Brown, and great-grandchildren Wyatt and Phoebe Brown of Camarillo; a sister Barbara Stiers and a nephew Scott (Lynn) Stiers of San Diego.