May 25, 1919 – Oct. 15, 2014
Leslie G. Bonney, a native of Jamaica who worked on the Panama Canal, a farm in Batavia and was a longtime pharmacist, died Oct. 15 in his Niagara Falls home. He was 95.
Mr. Bonney was born in Mount Zion, Jamaica, and as a young man performed maintenance on the Panama Canal. During World War II he worked on a farm in Batavia, then traveled to England before immigrating to the United States with the help of a sponsor from Batavia named Frank Pixley.
While completing secondary school in Rochester, Mr. Bonney met his future wife, the former Kathleen Dorsey, and they married in 1952.
The couple moved to Minneapolis, where Mr. Bonney earned his degree in pharmacology from the University of Minnesota. As a college student, he juggled home life, studies and work as a laboratory assistant.
In a nod to his sense of humor, family members said, Mr. Bonney recalled that when someone told him blacks could not become pharmacists, he relied on his Jamaican roots for a reply: “Where I come from, all pharmacists are black,”
For 20 years, he was employed as a pharmacist for Snyders Drug Stores, a Minnesota chain and for Rite Aid in Niagara Falls. After retiring, he and his wife moved to Niagara Falls, where they owned and operated a real estate business. They attended St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Buffalo.
Family members said Mr. Bonney had an “uncanny ability to see the positive” and enjoyed helping others.
His wife of 55 years died in 2007.
Survivors include two daughters, Lorna P. and Elizabeth A.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday in St. Philip’s Church, 18 Sussex Ave.