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 Oby James Bonawit

Oby James Bonawit

Sandusky County, Ohio, USA
Death 1 May 1992 (aged 80)
Ohio, USA
Burial Sandusky County, Ohio, USA
Memorial ID 111814769 · View Source
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Oby graduated as Valedictorian of his 1929 Risingsun High School class. As his motto he chose, "One can but estimate what is in a quiet fellow."

According to one of his nephews, Oby somehow met the president of Lincoln Memorial University in Detroit during the Depression and was offered a scholarship. Oby's parents then bought him a used Model T Ford for $15 to drive to LMU in Tennessee. He had the engine overhauled for $5, and his mother bought a new top for it for $2.

As part of his scholarship, Oby worked hauling coal to the college boilers with a horse and wagon. One day while driving a load across the president's front lawn, the horses bolted. The wagon collapsed, leaving coal all over the president's front lawn and Oby to ride away standing on the front axle, holding the reins, horses galloping.

After graduation, Oby became a surveyor in the District of Columbia, and it was there that he learned to fly. On President Roosevlet's inauguration day (in either 1940 or 1944), Oby went up for a flight over DC. Looking down, he saw hundreds of bombers and fighters flying over the Capitol. Returning to base, he landed and then saw a notice on the wall: "All flying prohibited today."

Oby married Marie Schotter Reed in Virginia. They adopted a son.

For a 1966 family history, Mr. Bonawit wrote:

"Oby graduated cum laude from Lincoln Memorial University at Harrogate, Tennessee in 1935. He was living near Washington D.C. when he became employed by Eastern Air Lines as a pilot in 1942. He flew as Captain on DC3, DC6, DC7, Martin 404, Lockheed Constellation and Lockheed Electra planes before being grounded for health reasons in 1959. He has been based at New York, Miami, New Orleans, and Charlotte, N. Carolina. He is now working as a Simulator Instructor for Eastern at Miami. His hobby is genealogy."

In the early 1980's he moved into his sister's home in Risingsun. During those years he volunteered for the Hayes Presidential Center, indexing Census and newspaper records.

Find A Grave Memorial# 149530031 is a cenotaph for Oby Bonawit.


Captain - Eastern Airlines
I Flew In A Different World




  • Maintained by: Flutterby
  • Originally Created by: Henry Schermbeck
  • Added: 5 Jun 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 111814769
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Oby James Bonawit (26 Feb 1912–1 May 1992), Find A Grave Memorial no. 111814769, citing Chestnut Grove Cemetery, Sandusky County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Flutterby (contributor 48250201) .