Earl Gene Bonnin

Published 5:28 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

January 16, 1928, ~ March 17, 2023

Earl Gene Bonnin, lifelong resident of Port Arthur/Groves area, age 95, passed away peacefully at his home on March 17, 2023.

He was born in Port Arthur, Texas on January 16, 1928. His parents were Earl Joseph Bonnin and Jewel Marie Smith.

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Gene attended city schools and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1946.

Before he could receive his graduation diploma, he joined the Navy convinced he would soon be drafted for the war.

By the time he finished “boot camp” World War II was ending. As such, he was not involved in any combat actions.

He served his required two-year tour of duty on several ships.

Most notably the USS Mississippi, BB41, a New Mexico class battleship where he was assigned as a Fire Controlman.

Gene returned to Port Arthur after being Honorably Discharged from the Navy.

He was eventually introduced to Peggy Ruth Leachman, both attending the Port Arthur United Methodist Church also known as “The Temple”.

Peggy was the daughter of Johhny Fred Leachman and Ada Christine Gartman.

Gene and Peggy were married in 1949.

They lived in Peoria, Illinois for a year where Gene went to college on his Navy entitlements to become a watch maker and learning to do engraving.

Gene and Peggy returned to Port Arthur where Gene worked at a trophy shop doing engraving and working on watches.

It was an avocation he continued for many years during his life.

Peggy enrolled in Nursing School where she earned certification as a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN).

Peggy worked first for a Port Arthur doctor and later worked at St Mary Hospital.

Gene and Peggy had two children. Max Randall, born 1955 and Sandra Jean, born 1957.

Gene and Peggy were married 57 years. In 1951, Gene accepted a job with Gulf Refining Company (later Gulf/Chevron) and was accepted into an Apprentice Program.

He became a Boiler Maker by trade.

He progressed through the ranks and became a Maintenance Superintendent. He remained at Gulf/Chevron for 41 years and retired in 1991.

Gene was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church (The Temple).  He was a Mason and was a longtime member of the area Masonic Lodge.

Gene was preceded in death by wife Peggy in 2006 and son Max in 2021. He is survived by his daughter Sandy Jean Jobe and husband Larry Jobe of San Antonio, Texas, Daughter-in-law Linda Hilbun Bonnin of Memphis, Tennessee, Granddaughter Elizabeth Ashley Igo and husband Brooks Igo of Dallas, Texas and great granddaughter June Elizabeth Igo of Dallas, Texas.

Funeral service, officiated by Pastor Willbert Tripplett, will be held at Levingston Chapel in Groves on March 24, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. Gene will be laid to rest next to his beloved wife Peggy at Greenlawn Memorial Park following the service.

Our family will always love and respect the doctors, nurses and in particular the caregivers, that cared lovingly and faithfully for Gene during his latter days.

For them we are eternally grateful.