Ernesto Bonnette, 72 of Penonomé Coclé, Panama Passed away peaceful Saturday February 12, 2022, at his home with his family beside him. Ernesto was born July 19, 1949, in Panama City Panama and was the youngest son of the late Ephraim Joseph Bonnette and Julia (Dogue) B0nnette. As a young Boy, Ernesto also known to his family and friends as "To-To" or "Patua", would help the family financially by, Hunting, shining shoes and selling newspapers. He attended Republica De Nicaragua Elementary School, and then graduated from Artes Y Oficiales High School. He had developed a love for outdoors at an early age and was a highly active child. At the age of 13, he became a hero to all the neighborhood children by making them kites, slingshots, skateboards, and other fun trinkets. He enjoyed being the mischievous sibling to his elder brother Leonardo and sister Graciela. He earned a diploma from Thomas Alva Edison School for Auto Mechanics and learned motorcycle mechanics on his own.
Ernesto worked for Otis Elevator in Panama before moving to the United States in May of 1971, making NY his home for the next 33 years. He served in the U.S. Army as a Paratrooper and a Gunnery Sargeant in the Army Reserve. During his tenure in the military, he was called upon by country to give aid in the training of US soldiers in Vietnam. Returning to the US, Ernesto continued to dutifully serve his country the next 18 years in the Army Reserve until he achieved a Honorable Retired Discharge.
As a civilian, Ernesto took Courses to operate heavy duty construction vehicles in Florida. With his newly acquired skills he began his career as a hi-lo (Forklift) operator for Krasdale Food Company for the next 20 years until his retirement in April of 2004. As an employee of Krasdale, he served as the shop steward, assisting in establishing a liaison between the company and its employees. He did this to ensure a fair and safe work culture while maintain core corporate values. On November 23, 1973, he married the love of his life, Emelinda Rogers. The two were inseparable and spent their time enjoying activities like roller skating fishing, gardening, bargain hunting, traveling, scuba diving, camping, motorcycle riding and enjoying each other's company. Ernesto had a love for animals and has owned a variety of pets ranging from snakes, piranhas, birds, dogs, turkeys, chickens, monkeys, salt-water fish, lizards, raccoons, and any other animals he rescued. He had a profound love of music and musical instruments. He was particularly fond of his harmonica and carried it everywhere he went in anticipation of any impromptu musical jam session.
Aside from music, Ernesto had a deep passion for motorcycles, his favorite being his beloved collection of Harley Davidsons. He formed a motorcycle club with his best friend Norman Santiago, called "Las Ratas Misérables", They were more than lifelong friends, they were brothers. Ernesto and Norman, along with their wives and countless other bikers, enjoyed going to various bike rallies, events, and road trips.
Ernesto and Emelinda Welcomed their first child Ernesto Bonnette Jr. in November of 1977 and Daughter, Consuelo Anayansi Bonnette in January of 1982.
Ernesto Shared all his hobbies, interest and talents with his family and went above and beyond to provide his children with the childhood he had always dreamed. He extended this childhood dream to many of his nieces and nephews and became a father figure to many. His infectious smile, Love of laughter, and willingness to embrace people with open arms has been influential to any and everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. He was loved by many and now missed by all!
Ernesto is Survived by his wife, his two children and his beloved grandchildren, Sister and a host of nieces, nephews, and a multitude of friends.
Military Honors and Funeral will be live streamed @ https://my.gather.app/remember/ernesto-bonnette
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