Albert Henry “Al” Bonilla born Saturday, July 18, 1931 passed into the hands of God at home surrounded by his family Thursday, November 7, 2019 at the age of 88 years. Al was born to the late Joseph C and Marie “Ada” (Matt) Bonilla in Drummond. He was very proud of his native heritage and was a member of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (Séliš-Ql̓ispé) of the Flathead Reservation.
Al was the Grandson of a respected Tribal Council elder and the Great-grandson of a Salish Chief. In 1944 at the age of 13, the family was reunited and moved to the Sacramento area. He worked many jobs including Campbell’s soup to help his mother and learned the value of hard work.
Albert married the love of his life Phyllis Anderson May 10, 1952. The young family settled in West Sacramento in 1957 and remained for the rest of his life. The entire family has many fond memories of camping, fishing and water skiing trips all over Northern California. Al always put his family first and was dedicated to seeing his children succeed.
He joined the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 150, in the early 1950’s while working as a truck driver for Consolidated Motor Express (CME). He rose through the Union ranks and was elected to several positions including Local President and culminating in his election as Secretary Treasurer, the top position of the Local. During this time he was one of the founding members of the Coalition of Organized Labor (COOL). He remained as Secretary-Treasurer serving his members with honor.
He returned to driving and worked for Teichert Construction, finally retiring in 1989. A staunch Democrat in politics he stayed active in local and national politics. He was a long-standing member of the Loyal Order of Moose West Sacramento, CA Lodge #1762.
He was an avid sports fan and followed several of the area teams. He also closely followed the many organized sports his children participated in. Al and Phyllis were also very active in the Washington Little League and Bobby Socks program. Most of all he loved Major League baseball. His passion was the San Francisco Giants. From spring training to the last game of the season he followed the team religiously, good times or bad. One of the most exciting sports events of his life was the first World Championship in the San Francisco era and then followed by two more.
Al was baptized on November 7, 1931 and was raised in the church tradition. He continued to be a dedicated and practicing Catholic his entire life. He prayed daily and tried to live the good and decent life the bible tells us to strive for.
Albert was preceded in death by his loving wife Phyllis, and his son Danny Ray, also his brothers Frank, Jessie, Joe, and his sisters Lipa and Doty.
Al is survived by sons John Bonilla (Kathy), Perry Bonilla, daughter Cindi Bonilla-Ernst (David), Grandchildren John Bonilla Jr. (Janell), Christina Bonilla-Wong (David), and Phylene Bonilla, 7 great Grandchildren; Megan, Nicolas, Jared, Xavier, Joseph, Milania, and Kaitlin. Al also has many Nieces and Nephews as well as numerous cousins both locally and in Montana.
The Holy Rosary was held Friday, November 15, 2019 at George L. Klumpp Chapel of Flowers, 2691 Riverside Boulevard Sacramento, California. A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Saturday, November 16, 2019 at Holy Cross Church, 1321 Anna St., West Sacramento. The graveside services were held at St. Mary›s Cemetery.
We would like to give a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Catherine Vu aka Dad›s guardian angel and the entire UCD vascular team. Also, a special thank you to Dr. Jennifer Draper for her years of dedication to Albert.