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Willard Clark Fonda

February 23, 2012

Willard Clark Fonda

Pebble Beach ~ Willard Clark Fonda, fondly known as "Bill", passed away peacefully on February 18th, at the age of 91 with his beloved family holding vigil.  Born in Seattle, WA on June 14, 1920, he was a proud father, grandfather, great-grandfather and loving husband to his wife of 65 years, Jeanne, who preceded him in death. No greater love existed. Our extraordinary patriarch was wise, generous and profoundly loving, exuding confidence with loving advice, comforting and supporting his precious family at every opportunity.  

In 1942, while attending Washington State University, Bill was drafted into World War II and trained as a pilot. Promoted to Captain, he bravely led 50 air missions in the European African Middle Eastern campaign, Operation Torch, which was
designed to push the Germans back to Germany in anticipation of D-Day.
Operation Torch included General George S. Patton, and Britain's General
Bernard Montgomery.  Captain Fonda was forced to crash-land his plane, successfully, after completing a mission on the Sicilian Coast. A recipient of the Silver Star, Air Medal, Oak Clusters and seven other medals, he then considered applying for the Jet Fighter Squadron, but instead flew to visit his high school sweetheart and proposed to her that very day. They were married July 29, 1944. Bill lost his beloved Jeanne on January 1, 2009.

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Bill and Jeanne raised their family in Pacific Palisades, where he owned and operated two Baskin Robbins ice cream stores. In 1970 they relocated to Pebble Beach, where he established Sundance Shutters, installing unique shutters in many local hotels, schools and private homes. He loved woodworking and created unique gifts for his family. Bill loved Golf, and volunteered for 20 years as a course marshall at the AT&T Pro-Am golf tournament; previously known as "The Crosby.”

He is survived by his daughter, Lynne Fonda, of Colorado Springs
and son, Robert Fonda, M.D., of Newport Beach. His youngest daughter,
Laurie Fonda Gile, passed away in 1991. In addition to his children, he is survived by nine grandchildren, Zoe Dombrowski, Beka Gordon Chinery, Jeremy Caraway,
Jason Caraway, Zachary Phillips, Scott Gile, Jacob Gile, Clark Fonda,
Emilia Fonda, granddaughter-in-law, Topaz Kosorek, plus thirteen great-grandchildren and former son-in-law Vincent Kosorek.

The family would like to thank the staff at Sunrise Senior Living, for their extraordinary care and compassion. We would also like to thank Dennis Taylor, at the Monterey Herald, for his marvelous feature on Dad, which was published September 5, 2011.

Memorial services will be held at The Little Chapel by-the-Sea in Pacific Grove on Saturday, March 17 at 1:00 PM. He will be interred at El Carmelo Cemetery beside his wife and daughter. Please visit www.thepaulmortuary.com to sign Bill’s guest book and leave messages for his family.

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