April 24, 1952 - January 26, 2018
David J. Bonsi, 65, passed away January 26, 2018 with his daughter, son, and former wife at his side. He was born April 24, 1952 in San Jose, California to Louis and Dolores Bonsi.
Dave grew up in San Jose and graduated from Bellarmine College Prep in 1970. He attended the U.S. Air Force Academy where he earned a degree in International Affairs in 1974. He was commissioned an officer in the U.S.A.F. He completed flight school and served for 22 years.
Dave spent 14 of those years involved with the iconic U2 reconnaissance program as a pilot and one of those years as the commanding officer of the 99th Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. He served in the Persian Gulf War during Operation Desert Storm as the direct liaison between the U2 program and CENTCOM, organizing real-time and photo reconnaissance which directly affected the success of operations during the conflict. He regularly interacted with General Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of the coalition forces. For his contributions during the war, Dave was awarded the Bronze Star. A year later he flew the U2 in the 1992 Medford National Airshow.
He retired to the Rogue Valley in 1996 to be close to his family, having achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After retiring from the USAF, Dave taught for nine years at St Mary’s School in Medford.
He returned to work with the U2 program through a private contractor for five years, before retiring a second time.
Dave is survived by his parents, Louis and Dolores Bonsi of Medford; his daughter, Kristin Osterhout and son, Matthew Bonsi, of the Rogue Valley; his former wife, Mary Bonsi (Bradley) of Medford; his brothers, Ken and Paul Bonsi of the Rogue Valley and Phil Bonsi of Beaver Creek Ore.; his sister, Cindy Stormberg of Sacramento Calif; and his six grandkids.
A Mass in remembrance of David will be held at the Interfaith Chapel located at the Southern Oregon-White City VA Rehabilitation Center and Clinics, 8495 Crater Lake Hwy, BLDG 248 at 9:00 a.m. Friday, February 16, 2018. After Mass there will be a visitation at the same location where the family will be greeting friends and relatives. Burial will follow at 11:00 a.m at the Eagle Point National Cemetery 2763 Riley Rd, Eagle Point.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations in David’s name be made to St Mary’s School, 816 Black Oak Dr, Medford, OR 97504, or to DAV, at www.DAV.org.