Bill Bond is being remembered by friends, business associates and colleagues for years of contributions to the Gardner community.
Bond, 76, a pharmacist, entrepreneur and community volunteer, passed away last week at his Gardner home.
Graveside services are scheduled for 10 a.m. on Aug. 12 at Gardner Cemetery.
Bond’s name may be most closely associated with Bond’s Pharmacy, which he operated in Gardner for several years, but he also owned several other businesses, including Habanero‘s, a Mexican restaurant, The Gardner News and The Spring Hill New Era.
He also donated his time and money toward numerous community projects.
Bruce Clayton, a longtime friend, credits Bond with helping him get his Gardner accounting business off the ground more than 30 years ago.
“I was a struggling accountant and opened an office in Gardner in the mid-1970s,” Clayton said. “I was literally walking door-to-door to drum up clients. I went to see Bill at the pharmacy, and he said, ‘We have had a lot of accounting businesses come and go. What makes you think you’re going to survive?”
“I said, ‘I have clients in the city, and I hope I can live off of them as I build my business.’ Bill said, ‘If you survive a year from now, you can have my accounting business for the pharmacy.’
“He (Bond) was true to his word. A year to the day, he and Mary Ellen (Bond’s wife) walked into my office and gave me their business. I will never forget that.”
Gary George, former superintendent of the Gardner Edgerton School District, and a longtime neighbor of Bond’s, said Bond was active in the Gardner Area Chamber of Commerce, helping to found Gardner National Bank, and investing in several business properties in the downtown area.
“He was a very good business person and a great friend, person and neighbor,” George said. “Just a very good person. A fine man.
“He will be tremendously missed.”
Phyllis Thomen, former Gardner mayor, said Bond was a driving force behind the construction of the Westside Park ballfields – along with former Gardner News and Spring Hill New Era publisher Bill Wipperman.
Thomen said before the park was built the city used the high school football fields for parks and recreation-sponsored activities.
She added that Bond was notorious for doing his good works outside of the spotlight, never expecting credit or recognition.
“He worked really hard on Westside Park,” Thomen said. “He did a lot of work behind the scenes. He didn’t seem to want accolades. He just did it.”
Sam Boyajian purchased his business, Gardner Pharmacy, from Bond in the 1990s.
“He (Bond) was a great guy,” Boyajian said. “He was a great guy to deal with both on a personal level and on a business level. When I bought his business, there were none of the horror stories you hear about transferring (ownership of) the business. He did everything he could to help me get started. He didn’t try to hide anything. He was honest, up-front.
“He wanted to make sure that the pharmacy, which is a cornerstone of this community, succeeded. And he wanted to make sure that someone was going to do that. He remained a great source of information for me after I bought the place.”
Boyajian considered Bond both a friend and a mentor.
“He did a lot of things people never would have known,” he said. “I bought the business. It was the intangibles he provided that were invaluable to me.”
In addition to business endeavors, Bond also helped contribute the land where Gardner City Hall is located and purchased the Gardner Beach House for restoration.
Bond owned a cabin at the Lake of the Ozarks where he and his family spent much of their free time.
He was also an avid University of Kansas Jayhawks fan.
Bond was preceded in death by his wife Mary Ellen in 2010, his parents, and siblings Maxine Ballard, Edward and LeRoy Bond.
Survivors include daughters Denise Ellen Bond of Olathe, and Lynda Gale White of Gardner; son Keith Alan Bond of Edgerton; sister Viola Bradbury of Edwardsville; six grandchildren: Guy Krenger (Billy Bond), Garland John White, Buck Bond, Rachel Smith, Nicole Bond, Kasey White, Stacy Garza and 10 great-grandchildren Jordan Krenger, Reality Smith, Taylor Krenger, Gage Smith, Dominic Walters, John White, Tyler Peterson, Jacob White, Olivia Garza and Dylan Walker.
Bond remembered as civic, business leader