Robert Vernon Bonds (1941-2014)
Brother Robert Vernon Bonds Jr. passed onto the Omega chapter this past Tuesday morning. He was the older brother of former MLB standout Bobby Bonds and 1964 Olympic hurdler Rosie Bonds-Kreidle as well as uncle to Barry Bonds. While his brother enjoyed much success in the MLB, Bro. Bonds was no slouch himself. He was a terrific multi-sport athlete at Riverside Poly and in 1960 he became the first athlete in the history of the CIF state track meet to go under 14 seconds in the 120-yard high hurdles. He also was a CIF state meet champion in 1960 in the 180-yard low hurdles. He later played football at San Jose State, was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1965 and played professionally in Canada. However to the Brothers of my undergrad chapter, Omicron Pi, he was much more.
As the first advisor when the chapter was originally chartered in 1984, Bro. Bonds was instrumental in not only getting the Sigma established on Cal Poly’s campus, but actively involved in recruiting as well. He formed such a special relationship with many of the early Brothers that he’s usually one of the first calls when returning to visit. He helped many adjust from city life to the culturally barren suburb of San Luis Obispo. He helped financially by employing Brothers from the chapter at his restaurant – Bonds BBQ. Although the chapter has gone inactive since the late 90s, we still make our way to California’s Central Coast to annually celebrate Founders’ Day – and Brother Bonds is usually in attendance. A greeting like “How are you doing Bro. Bonds?” will almost always elicit a “Blessed!” response and he will undoubtedly tell you he loves you when it’s time to say goodbye. Rest in Peace Brother Bonds.