Interview with John Booner



In my last interview with our present medical center staff, it has been my good fortune to get to know John Bonner a bit.


On the surface John can appear as an ordinary, average guy but in sitting down with him and asking pointed questions this unassuming, funny, Renaissance man comes into view.


John was born into a down-to-earth country family.  With hard work and intelligence John earned a BS in Aerospace Engineering, and then an MA in Management.  He worked forty years as a pilot, first in the Air Force where he flew 115 combat missions in Vietnam, a couple of which he says he should not have survived.  He has four awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross.  The Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) is our nation's highest award for extraordinary aerial achievement and is awarded to recipients for heroism while participating in an aerial flight.

 John went on to serve two tours with The USAF Presidential Wing.  While John points out, not on the Air Force One Crew, he piloted countless people who literally stepped off the front pages of The Washington Post, and up the stairs of his aircraft, journeying to all fifty states and seventy countries. A tiny selection of these famous names: Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, Nancy Reagan, Bob Hope, Henry Kissinger, Oliver North, Newt Gingrich, Barry Goldwater and the list of interesting names go on and on.

 Retiring from the military, he continued flying for a corporate flight department in San Antonio.  Having traveled all over the world and seen more places on this planet than most, John happily and most contentedly feels blessed to call our little mountain village his home.


In 1998, following a recommendation for a vacation spot, John and his wife Shelby discovered Lake City and as can happen, that one trip kept them coming back. Soon afterwards they bought property and eventually made Lake City their home.. 

Never one to sit still, John became a Lake City EMT volunteer.  In 2010 he had upgraded EMT-I when Dr. Durmond (Lake City’s physician at the time) contacted John inquiring if John would volunteer at the medical center on Mondays, as Mondays are usually extra busy. John’s work is similar to that of an RN and he enjoys it very much. John is also active in the Sheriff’s Reserve Force, Search and Rescue, and is Board Secretary for Community Presbyterian Church. In his free time John enjoys hiking, fishing, hunting, shooting, and four-wheeling.  


The man has been just about everywhere but finds Lake City an extraordinarily special place. John and Shelby, his wife of 30 years, feel blessed to live here.


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