Friends, family, community remembers Tyler Bonner
August 24, 2011 - Ortonville-In his short life, Tyler Bonner touched the lives of many.
Tyler, 19, a 2011 Goodrich High School graduate, died Aug. 18 at Hurley Medical Center, as a result of injuries he suffered after he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into trees early Aug. 13, according to police.
Tyler's impact on others was evident on Monday morning as a funeral Mass at St. Anne Catholic Church brought more than 600 mourners followed by a funeral procession to Ortonville Cemetery that included more than 150 cars. Police closed M-15 for almost a half-hour. An estimated 1,000 people visited Coats Village Funeral Home during the weekend, said David Bonner, Tyler's father.
"He was a talker," said David. "The community support and all they have done has been unbelievable. Our family appreciates everything."
A few months earlier, Tyler told his father he wanted to be an organ donor.
"At the time I just did not want to talk about that—it's something you just don't want to think about."
David said his son's organs were used to save three lives.
"All three surgeries went well—I don't know who the recipients were, but one was a young girl whose life was hanging in the balance. She made it—she's fine now."
David Bonner has owned DL Bonner Jewelry in Ortonville for many years.
"Tyler was just starting to work in the store—I was teaching him the trade. The customers were really getting to know him and responding well. He could really connect with people."
Within hours of the news of Tyler's accident, words of support were being written on Facebook. "Prayers for Tyler Bonner," the most prominent of the pages created in his honor, included 2,365 attendees, and thousands of comments of well wishes and love.
Claire Chernowsky shared on the Facebook page, "Rest in peace Tyler. You had the biggest heart and put a smile on the face of every person you met. I am really going to miss you... "
Samantha Zirzow wrote on Facebook, "Words cannot describe how much I am going to miss you Tyler Bonner. You will always be close to my heart and the memories we made will never be forgotten. You always went out of your way to make sure I had everything I needed before worrying about yourself. I just wish I could get one more great hug you always give and the extra kiss on the cheek. You are honestly the only person I know that had a pure heart of gold. I love you Ty, forever and always."
From Taylor Westerby's Facebook page: "If the people we love are taken away from us, the way they live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever. You will always be my best friend Tyler Edgar Bonner. No matter what. I know you're watching down on me always."
From Trevor Bushnell who wrote on "Prayers for Tyler Bonner": "I feel honored to have known someone with such a kind heart. I'll never forget you man. R.I.P."
From friend Dana Bentley: "Your smile and your hugs. Two of the many things I will always remember about you. You made everybody's day better just by walking past them and saying hey. I love you to the end of forever and I hope you remember that, RIP."
Memorial contributions can be made to the Trauma Center at Hurley Medical Center.