Thomas Bonnell

October 16, 1933 - July 15, 2017
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Geib Funeral Home & Crematory
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Joanne Raynow
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Thomas Howard Bonnell, 83, of Canton and formerly of Bolivar, Ohio, passed away under the care of Aultman Hospice on July 15, 2017 following a two year battle with Pancreatic Cancer.

Born in Columbus, Ohio on October 16, 1933, he was the son of the late Dr. Rollo Wyrick and Nina Grace (Figley) Bonnell.

Tom’s ea…

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Thomas Howard Bonnell, 83, of Canton and formerly of Bolivar, Ohio, passed away under the care of Aultman Hospice on July 15, 2017 following a two year battle with Pancreatic Cancer.

Born in Columbus, Ohio on October 16, 1933, he was the son of the late Dr. Rollo Wyrick and Nina Grace (Figley) Bonnell.

Tom’s early education began at the Columbus Academy where he graduated in 1951. He obtained his first college degree, a Bachelor of Arts, from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1956. Tom then completed a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture, cum laude, from The Ohio State University in 1961 and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 1965.

Tom’s exemplary career began with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources completing site planning and design at state parks. He then shared his talent with the Minneapolis Board of Park Commissioners in Municipal Park design. He worked for three years in the Boston area on projects at university campuses, corporate headquarters and industrial parks, achieving notoriety in on-site lighting.

From 1966 to 1986, Tom was a partner with Bircher-Bonnell & Associates in North Canton, before starting his own firm, Bonnell & Associates. Later in 1986, he merged with E.G. & G. in Akron. He enjoyed 32 years of challenging and rewarding landscape architecture in the private sector prior to his retirement in late 1998. During that time, Tom also was a part-time faculty member at The Ohio State University in architecture and landscape architecture, a visiting lecturer at Penn State, Virginia Tech and West Virginia Universities, a visiting evaluator to university programs for the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board, a member of the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board and the Ohio Board of Landscape Architect Examiners, as well as numerous review boards and advisory committees.
Tom was a lifetime Emeritus Member and Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects. He served on the Executive Committee of the Ohio Chapter of the ASLA for several years holding many offices on the board. He was adorned with numerous local, state, national and international awards for design, preservation, and economic development. Notably, he was recognized by former First Lady Nancy Reagan at The White House for a design he completed for The Timken Co.

Tom is survived by his family including his wife, Georgia A. (Cummings) Bonnell of Zoar; his children, Kathleen (Stephen) Lyman of Rockville, MD, and Tom (Peggy) Bonnell of Pittsburgh; his grandchildren, Dr. Matthew (fiancée, Jay Jay Schenbeck) Lyman of Denver, Nathan Lyman of San Francisco, Michelle Lyman of Rockville, MD, Jacob Bonnell of Woodberry Forest, VA, Ali Bonnell of Philadelphia, and Sam Bonnell of Pittsburgh.

In addition to his parents, Tom was preceded in death by his sister, Rebecca S. Bonnell.

A memorial service celebrating Tom’s life will be held in the Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home, 116 Second Street NE, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663, on September 3, 2017 1:00 PM. A reception will follow in the Geib Family Center, located adjacent to the funeral home.
Memorial contributions in Tom’s memory may be directed to American Cancer Society.


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Service Information

Service Information

Date: Sunday, September 3, 2017

Time: 1:00 pm

Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory


116 Second Street NE, NEW PHILADELPHIA, OH, 44663

Reception Information

Date: Sunday, September 3, 2017

Geib Family Center


116 2nd Street NE, New Philadelphia, OH, 44663

Donation Information

American Cancer Society

525 N. Broad Street
Canfield, Ohio 44406

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Timeline for Thomas Bonnell

Born: October 16, 1933
Died: July 15, 2017

Condolences for Thomas Bonnell

Geib Funeral Home & Crematory

On behalf of the Geib Family and Staff, we offer our most sincere sympathy for your loss. We are honored to have been called upon to serve your family.


Diana Yost Malvern, Ohio posted on 9/3/17

I offer my sympathy to you Tom's family. I wish so badly I had known where Tom was in the past several years because I would have reached out. I worked in North Canton as a graphic designer for Bob Stanley in the same building on Glenwood as Tom's business BONNELL & ASSOCIATES. That was the mid '80s. I remember him to be highly intelligent, and witty. I enjoyed our interactions in sharing workspace and conversation and a love for good design. I didn't stay there long. But I kept in touch with him for years through Christmas cards/letters until one year the card came back; I assume because the family moved from the N.Orchard address, late '90s. (?) It saddened me. Tom was always supportive to me as a person and lauded my talents, repeating annually in his own Christmas card his desire for us to design a Christmas card together. I'm sorry that opportunity was lost. Again, I offer you my regrets for his illness and passing. My best wishes to you all for peace in his absence. I will continue to remember him fondly.


Linda Jordan posted on 8/20/17

Georgia, Kathy, Tab, and families...I just learned of your loss. Tom and I had lost touch after the death of Becky,and unlike Becky I don't read the obituaries in the Dispatch, so I had not seen Tom's. Fortunately Emily (who also dearly loved Becky) told me he had died. Tom is included in many of my memories, so I send my sympathies to each of you.


Bruce & Liz Homfeldt posted on 8/19/17

A 60+ year friendship is a treasure - one of the benefits of a long life. We go back to OWU days with the Delt connection and double dating with Tom and Georgia, then re-connecting in later life and having some wonderful trips together. We came back from one of those trips to pick produce and dig potatoes from the garden in advance of a freeze We still have a message on our voice mail from Tom. Memories are savored. Our hearts go out to you, Georgia, Kathy and Tab.


Doug Laymon posted on 8/11/17

My best friend and Delt brother


John A. Bentley/FASLA posted on 8/8/17

I am so saddened to hear of the news of Tom's passing. We knew each other through various State of Ohio activities including Ohio Chapter of ASLA activities, and the State Board of Landscape Architect Examiners. During those years of the late 70's and early 80's, We, including another dear friend and colleague, Dick Meyers, would convene in Columbus for board business and elsewhere to grade L.A. Exams. He was in my opinion a very astute professional, who had a broad perspective on matters of Design, and the bigger picture of Life. Above all of the other attributes, I will remember Tom as a dear friend, an exceptional mentor, but above all the wonderful qualities, for his outrageous and wry sense of humor. It was in his mentorship role that he, and Dick nominated me for Fellowship in The American Society of Landscape Architects. I will miss Sir Thomas, and I will miss the laughter we all shared.


Joanne Raynow posted on 8/3/17

Tom was a brilliant man. He will be missed.


Kathleen Fox, FASLA posted on 7/30/17

Tom was a true mentor to many landscape architects, including me. In my earlier career, Tom was a volunteer in the Ohio Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects Community Assistance Team that created a master plan for the Ohio Statehouse grounds. Tom's work helped set the stage for the revitalization of this important site. I will always be grateful for his contributions to our natural and built environments and to the careers of so many landscape architects.


Jeff Andrew posted on 7/28/17

Tom was a true friend who I am missing already! WE shared a common interest in design, life, and a good joke. I will miss our meetings for lunch and solving the problems of the world through a better design. My Sympathy goes out to his family at this difficult time. The world is a better place because Tom took the time and talent to find the perfect place to plant a tree.


Cindi Tillapaw posted on 7/28/17

My deepest sympathy to The Bonnell Family. Your in my thoughts and prayers. Kathy, if you need anything let me know and again I'm so sorry about your dads passing away. Cindi(Limbacher)Tillapaw


gary g carr posted on 7/27/17

i knew TOM from heart camp that we both went to ,he and i became very good friends and i will miss him greatly, my condolences to Georgia and the family


Mollie Hendricks O'Donnell posted on 7/27/17

I came to Bonnell and Associates in North Canton not long after graduating from Ohio State (1976) Landscape Architecture program. Tom was my boss, mentor and friend. He taught me so much and he has always held a warm place in my heart. He was instrumental in helping me through state registration exams. I would not have had the success today without his guidance. Bless you Tom and may you your life continue to influence others. Well done.


J.E posted on 7/27/17

The pain of losing a dear one in death is difficult and challenging but with the support of true friends and family there is relief. Be comforted in knowing that the God of comfort and love is also there to provide much needed help. Psalm 94:14


Gwendolyn Lee posted on 7/27/17

My condolences to the Bonnell family I'm sorry for your loss. May you find comforting God's promise of a world without tears and pain. Revelation 21:4


BOB DEHOFF posted on 7/26/17

Tom was a genuine good man! Early in my career in real estate development , I called on Tom to help make our buildings and developments more attractive. Tom was always responsive, creative and practicable and yes sometimes not hesitant to have a different opinion when I was thinking of doing something he didn't agree with ! Our community has a more attractive landscape because of his good work ! Our condolences to Georgia and the Bonnell family.