Thurman Bond, 90, who lived in Doe Bay for 67 years, died on Friday Aug. 30, 2013. Thurman was born in King City, Calif. on November 28, 1922, to Wellington and Eva Bond. He grew up in Garberville, Calif. with his older sister, Lillian and two younger brothers, Joseph and Richard.
The forest and a nearby river were their playground and Thurman helped put food on the table by fishing and hunting. Thurman enjoyed a special connection with nature throughout his life.
During WWII, Thurman was in the South Pacific serving in the Navy and his parents found work as caretakers for a farm on Orcas Island. After the war, Thurman and his brothers joined their parents on Orcas, and settled on a farm in Doe Bay and raised sheep, cattle and chickens. Working outside the farm, Thurman cleared power lines for OPALCO, helped build the KVOS tower at the top of Mt. Constitution, and was employed at a limestone quarry on Orcas for 20 years.
In 1949, the Bonds purchased a saw and planer mill and the Bond Lumber Company was established. Thurman joined Joe fulltime at the mill in the 1960’s and they supplied lumber to builders throughout Orcas and beyond. Thurman was a talented mechanic who kept the vehicles and equipment running in resourceful ways and took pride in getting the most lumber from a log. The slab wood from the mill was sold for firewood and Thurman enjoyed connecting with people on the deliveries; one’s placement on the wood list was very important.
Thurman connected with friends of all ages, but loved children and old-timers the most. Although he never started a family of his own, Thurman served as a role model and mentor to generations of island youth. Thurman fostered the sense of community in Doe Bay and helped create the Doe Bay Fire Hall and Community Center. Although Thurman was cantankerous at times, he was also known for his generosity and no one would question his integrity.
Thurman hosted a coffee social every Sunday afternoon; a tradition started by his mother. Thurman, with the help of Betty (Crocker), would bake a batch of cookies, put the coffee on to perk, and play solitaire while waiting for friends, both old and new, to arrive. Thurman looked forward to this event each week and kept a careful mental tally of guests.
While Thurman wasn’t drawn to organized religion, he was religious about opening his home to the community and thought Doe Bay was “heaven on earth.” He was one of a kind and will be remembered as a rare treasure on Orcas Island.
The graveside service originally planned for Saturday, Sept. 7 is postponed. Thurman’s life was celebrated at a coffee social and dessert potluck on Sept. 8.
Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, Wash. and the San Juan Islands. To share memories of Thurman, please sign the online guest register at www.evanschapel.com.