Bonnell Sapp greeted a new day and his Maker on May 7, 2019 after an extended illness. His illness robbed him of mobility but left him the ability to enjoy his last months in his favorite spot – in front of the television with a view of cardinals, wrens and Indigo buntings at feeders outside his window. He watched traffic on the road and enjoyed the constant daily visits from friends, relatives, neighbors, and classmates. He was blessed to have little pain and passed from this life in the presence of family members and a dedicated caregiver.
Bonnell was born in Washington County on November 9, 1935 to Ira Sapp and Helen Wright Sapp, the second son in the family. His brother Buel Sapp predeceased him. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Charlotte, his daughter Suzanne Sapp Waymire and husband David Waymire of Birmingham, Alabama and his son Wesley Sapp and wife Patty Groft Sapp of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Also surviving are grandchildren Emily Waymire Fogleman and husband Evan Fogleman of Birmingham, Alabama, Alexandria Waymire of New York City, Kaitlin Sheppard of Charlotte, NC, Will Sapp of Dallas, Texas, and Scott Sapp of Gainesville, Florida.
Bonnell attended Washington County schools and played football during the undefeated glory years of the 50’s. His respect and high regard for coaches Philip Rountree and Lester Kitching stayed with him all his life.
Instruction from Sunday School and public worship at First Baptist Church, Chipley, shaped his spiritual growth and he credited his youth leader, Howard Bowers, with leading him to Christ as an early teen. He believed that an individual should attend and belong to a local church and move his membership as his residence changed. He led his family to join and worship at Baptist churches where available and attended military chapels otherwise. In retirement years, he was ordained a deacon at Oakie Ridge Baptist Church.
Bonnell’s working life started with after-school and Saturday duty at his dad’s Texaco Service Station in Chipley where he was accused of consuming more RC colas and Moon pies than his salary covered. After High School he was Radio Operator for Florida Highway Patrol for a short stint before being called to active duty with the US Army.
The next twenty years Bonnell served at Army Records Center in Kansas City, Missouri; Mineral Wells, Texas; Ft. Bragg, North Carolina; Underground Pentagon at Ft. Richie, MD; and Ft. McPherson, Georgia. Overseas he served in Dong Tam, Vung Tau and Bear Cat Camp in Vietnam; and in West Berlin, Germany at the times the Berlin Wall was erected. One of his most enjoyable tours was five years in northern Italy at Caserme Ederly, Vicenza.
Always a sportsman, he enjoyed playing golf on courses wherever he lived and liked to recall golfing in West Berlin where the People’s Police of East Berlin (VOPOS) watched from their guard towers. He once painted red nail polish on Golf Balls so they’d be visible in Snow.
The family is grateful for the services of Gulf Coast Hospice and the caregivers from Dot’s Caring Hands for care during Bonnell’s illness.
Funeral services will be held 10:00A.M. Saturday, May 11, 2019 at Oakie Ridge Baptist Church. Interment will follow in the Oakie Ridge Baptist Church Cemetery. Visitation will be held 6:00-8:00P.M. Friday, May 10, 2019 at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Oakie Ridge Baptist Church Building Fund.
Brown Funeral Home in charge of arrangements: www.brownfh.net.