James Scott Bonner


James Scott Bonner, 63, of Brown's Bridge Road, peacefully passed away Wednesday afternoon, March 27, 2019, in the comfort of his home with his family and his dog by his side.
Jim was born Aug. 26, 1955, in Detroit, Mich., the second son of six to the late Phillip Ronley and Luella Francis (Craig) Bonner. On Aug. 4, 1984, he married Robin Autenrieth; they were blessed with two daughters before divorcing. His educational path started with his graduation in 1973 from Peru High School. He continued his education at SUNY Plattsburgh, graduating in 1976 with his Bachelor's Degree and in 1980 with his Masters from Clarkson University. In 1985, he was awarded his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Clarkson University.
Jim started his career in academics at SUNY Plattsburg before accepting a position at Texas A&M University in College Station, where he would eventually become a full professor. Jim served as the Director of the Conrad Blucher Institute, Director of SERF (Shoreline Environmental Research Facility), Director of Research at the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, and as the President/CEO of RATES (Research Applied Technology Education Service). He returned to Potsdam, N.Y., in 2006 when he accepted a position as a professor at Clarkson University. Throughout his career, he mentored numerous graduate students who have further advanced the field of Environmental Engineering. He loved the Adirondacks and could be found boating on Hannawa Pond or downhill and cross-country skiing.
He is survived by his daughters, Gwen Bonner and her husband, Jason Snyder, of Potsdam and Claire Carey and her husband, Adam, of Meredith, N.H.; his beloved granddaughters, Esme and Helen; his companion, Beth Barrett of Pierrepont; and his brothers, Jeff of St. Louis, Mo., Dave of Albany, N.Y.; Dan of Peru, N.Y.; Jon of Atlanta, Ga.; and Roger of Wilmington, N.Y.; and many close sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews.
At his request, there will be no calling hours or funeral services. A private celebration of his life will be held at his home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his memory to the North Country Children's Museum by visiting: http://www.northcountrychildrensmuseum.org/support/ and the Adirondack Council by visiting: https://adirondackcouncil.donorshops.com/products/donations
Arrangements are with the Donaldson-Seymour Funeral Home, Potsdam, where memories and condolences may be shared online at www.donaldsonseymour.com.
Published on April 8, 2019
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4 posts

Ttesah McGrath Bousquet
Apr 15, 2019
My condolences on the loss of your brother, may he rest in peace
Linda Bonner Brasfield/Beery
Apr 09, 2019
Although I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with my cousin Jim, I knew he was caring, loved his family and had a great smile. He fought a good fight with this cancer. I know that his brothers will miss him terribly, but they also have a lot of great memories. RIP Jim, you will be missed.
Hannah Bonner
Apr 09, 2019
Jim not only had many degrees, was the CEO of companies, and so on, he was also a amazing person. Jim had the most amazing vibrant personality, he always cared about everyone and, had a real sense of humor even when the light couldn’t shine through the dark. I am honored to have stood by Jim’s side through out his long and difficult journey with illness. During his 6 years with his illness, whenever Jim came for another surgery, resection, or even just a check up, we would always get Thai food or Indian food (his favorites). During these times Jim would tell the funniest stories. He would be able to turn a sad day or difficult day into one that was full of laughing. Even when being in ...the midst of his battle with illness, he was the first one to volunteer to go horseback riding in Florida with me, which was filled with many large smiles and contagious laughs. I am so thankful that Jim had such an impact on my life (and I know he had a big impact on many others as well). Over the years Jim has taught me what it means to be brave, even when you may not be able to see the light on the other side, how to have a good laugh even when laughing seems impossible, how to be adventurous, and how to truly love life. I am so thankful that I got to know my Uncle Jim and will never forget his unforgettable presence in my life.
Hannah Bonner
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Susan Richards Daul
Apr 08, 2019
So sorry to read of Jim’s passing. My deepest sympathy to the Bonner family!