Ralph Wesley Bonds Jr.

Jun 13, 1943 - Aug 31, 2015


Ralph Wesley Bonds, Jr, age 72, passed away on Monday August 31, 2015, with family by his side. The world seems darker without this kind, humorous, loving man in it!

He was a loving husband and best friend of Sharon, a proud father to son David(Laura), stepson Douglas Calvert (Naomi), stepdaughters Jeray Huerta, Becki Norton
(Doug) and the light of his life his grandchildren Daria, David Jr., Damian, Danica Bonds, Anthony Valenzuela, Clarissa Huerta, Javier Huerta, Jr., Emma and Hayden
Calvert. There is a large and loving family of the heart all over the United States and especially in Texas where he grew up along the border of Mexico.

Ralph was a Viet Nam veteran. He was proud of his service and as an Army bandsman he spoke of being, “instrumental” in the service of his country. Unfortunately it appears his
exposure to Agent Orange shortened his life with us.

He was first and foremost a natural teacher. After 32 years teaching middle and high school students in Santa Barbara and Sacramento, he retired and brought his teaching
skills to the students and visitors that came to Sutter’s Fort. There as a docent in the Vaquero room he shared his vast knowledge of early California history. As a speaker of
a number of languages he left a lasting impression with visitors that came to the Fort from all over the world and many stayed in touch after they left.

Music was another talent of his with a beautiful singing voice and the ability to play many instruments.

He was a unique man. He inspired many, gave hope to many and was a true friend. Quick witted and a consummate punster his knowledge and humor was legendary. He will be profoundly missed.

A memorial service is scheduled for 1:00 pm on Friday September 18, 2015, at Trinity Cathedral at 2620 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95816.

A reception and celebration of his life will be held immediately following the service at the church’s Great Hall.

Funeral Home:
East Lawn Elk Grove Mortuary
9189 E. Stockton Blvd
Elk Grove, CA
US 95624


  • Alma J (Bonds) Wade says:

    Sherry Hopkins Bonds. We are deeply saddened by the loss of your husband, Ralph, our brother. He will be truly missed from our lives, but he will live on in our hearts. Ralph will not be forgotten. Jim and I will also be here for you.

  • Alisa K Shuman says:

    Rest Easy Uncle Ralph

  • Kay Rosenau says:

    I am truly saddened by the loss of your husband Ralph and my cousin but he will be remembered by so many for his kind and caring words. Thank you for the caring support you gave my son Dave while he was in Afghanistan, it helped him get though it all.

  • Ben Ebert says:

    I love my Uncle. We will miss him very much. I wish my kids got to hear him speak. He was a good man.

  • Gene Horner says:

    I am saddened by you loss. I served with Ralph in Vietnam. and have been in touch for the past 15 years.

  • Bill Lathan says:

    Although Ralph and I did not serve together in Vietnam, he left about the time I arrived, he was legend and obviously well liked by those he served with. When I started a webpage about the band he saw it and exchanged a number of Emails about my project.

  • Alice Mattsen says:

    My love and sympathy to family and friends. I pray that God will comfort and console your hearts.

  • Ramon Ebert says:

    I remember my uncle in my earliest memories. ‘Ralphie’ always had a smile on his face and was always ready with a story or a joke. His puns were non-stop and that’s probably what I will miss the most. Ralphie could always make others smile. I will miss his musical talent. It seemed like Raphie could play any instrument and that has made an impression on me my entire life. The one thing I will cherish and always keep with me is that Ralphie married Mandi and I on a beautifully sunny day on a beach in San Diego. It was his joining us that was so important to me and I feel it blessed our marriage in a way that no one else could. I cannot say goodbye to you Ralphie, I will think of you often. Perhaps as often as I look at my wife and family since you helped create that.

  • Yvonne Rivera says:

    My deepest condolences to Sherry and the Bonds family. Ralph Bonds was the kindest, gentlest, wisest, most positive and gifted “primo” anyone could ask for. He was just truly amazing. His spirit lives on in all whose lives he touched, and he will never be forgotten.

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