July 16, 2024-March 5, 2024

Douglas Gene Bonzo, beloved husband, father, brother, friend and educator, passed from this life into the eternities on March 5, 2024.

Douglas was born in Cedar City, Utah on July 16, 1932, to James Egbert Bonzo and Eliza Reese Bonzo, the ninth of ten children. He grew up in Cedar City, attending Cedar City High School and later, Brigham Young University, where he completed his undergraduate degree in Political Science.

Following his graduation from high school, Douglas served his country in the U.S. Air Force. He served both in Germany as well as in Washington State as a Staff Sergeant and company clerk.

After having served his country, Douglas chose also to serve his Father in Heaven as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served both in the Paris, France Mission and, following surgery to restore hearing loss, in the Northwestern States Mission. He was a fierce follower of his faith. He served in numerous positions in the church throughout his life, his principle being that there never was any calling he would not accept. He fulfilled each one with intensity, determination, and honor.

Having discovered a passion for teaching English, Douglas pursued a graduate degree in education (M.Ed.) at the University of Illinois and a specialist’s teaching certificate at University of Southern California as well as graduate work at both the University of Utah and Utah State University.

While attending USC, he met his sweetheart Theresa Lorraine Polk in September 1961. Following a four-year courtship, they were married on June 10, 1965, in the Los Angeles Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Douglas was a skilled and passionate educator. Mr. Bonzo (who later came to be known as “DGB”) accepted his first teaching position at Olive Vista Middle School, Los Angeles. In 1965, he returned with Lorraine to Utah to teach, first in Tooele, Utah, and then to his hometown to become an English literature, composition, and A.P. English teacher at Cedar City High School. Tirelessly, he taught hundreds and hundreds of students over the course of many years, even having taught children of former students. Much of that time was spent as the chair of the English department as well as the Key Club and Honor Society adviser. In addition to CHS, he taught evening classes in English at Southern Utah University for several years. After his retirement in 1995, he continued to offer his expertise as an educator as a weekly volunteer at Fiddlers Elementary in Cedar City. When he at last ended his time as an educator in any school setting, DGB had served students for 48 years. His guiding philosophy as a teacher was to be firm, fair, friendly and flexible.

Douglas was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Iron County Teacher of the Year, the Educator of the Year, the Distinguished High School Teacher award from the Utah Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters, the Power of the Dream Award, Recognition of the National Council of Teachers of English Award, and was a nominee for the Utah Teacher of the Year.

Douglas served his community and profession as well. Locally, he served as chair of the library in the park board, Cedar City Youth Council, Art Committee, Bicentennial committee, the treasurer of the Iron County Education Association and a committee member of the Iron County School District. In recognition of his service, he was recognized as the Cedar City Outstanding Citizen. At the state level, he served on the Utah Professional Practices and Advisory Commission, the Utah Textbook Commission, was an officer of the Executive Board of Utah Teachers of English, and the Utah State Curriculum Committee.

Douglas is preceded in death by his wife Lorraine; his parents; his sister Mary Alene Prothero; all his brothers  James Howard, Theron Reese, John Clifton, David Keith, Kenneth Clinton, Max Ray; his brothers- and sisters-in-law, save two; and 10 of his nieces and nephews.

He is survived by his son Joshua Douglas; his daughter-in-law Amber Lyon; his three grandchildren: Anna Elizabeth, Kaitlyn Lorraine and Alexander Russell; his sister Patricia Ann Close; his sisters-in-law: Ione Davis Bonzo and Susan Brockmeier Bonzo; and numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews and great grandnieces and great grandnephews (for whom he prayed every night).

Douglas’ family would like to express genuine and heartfelt gratitude for his friends and neighbors of 300 East in Cedar City, his ward family of nearly 50 years, the East Bench Ward, and especially to the kind, caring people of Bishop Place Senior Living Center in Pullman, Washington.

Funeral services for Douglas will be held on Thursday, March 14, at 11 a.m. at the Cedar City Stake Center, East Bench Ward at 155 East 400 South, Cedar City, Utah. Viewings will be held Wednesday evening from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and on Thursday, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Cedar City Stake Center. Interment will be in the Cedar City Cemetery located at 685 North Main Street.

Arrangements are under the care of Metcalf Mortuary, (435) 673-4221. Click here to visit the Metcalf Mortuary website for condolences, complete obituary and funeral listings.