Fred Bonin


First born son of Kenneth and Junice Bonin was born on July 23, 1947, in Duluth, Minnesota. Fred passed away on July 13, 2023.

Fred attended grade school in Tofte and Lutsen. He attended Cook County High School and graduated in 1965. He also went to Sulters Trade School in Duluth and learned carpentry from his dad. He served in the Navy from 1968-1972 as a torpedo man on the submarine Black Fin. He was very proud of his service and said he had the time of his life.

Fred helped his grandpa in the fish house cleaning herring and also fished commercially for herring in Lake Superior. He worked on the Voyager making many trips to Isle Royal. He worked many jobs during winter months. One of his favorite times was living and working in Austin, Texas. He loved country music and barbecue.

Fred headed to Alaska in 1980 to commercial fish and fell in love with Alaska. Fred and his best friend and partner Ward Peterson bought a boat and fishing permit. They fished together 1980 to 1993. Fred and his cousin Jeff Vervoort continued to fish and bought a newer boat. Fred sold out to Jeff in 2009 after he had a heart valve replacement.

Fred met his wife Betz in 1986 and they were married in 1989. They were together for 37 years and finished raising 3 children. Fred and Betz went on many adventures together traveling to many states, Mexico, Europe, east and west Caribbean, and South America. His favorite excursions were cruising down the Amazon River and Panama Canal. His last cruise was March-April 2023. He wasn’t feeling good then but was determined to go.

As Fred got older, he loved being a grandpa and great grandpa. He loved to spoil those kids! All the grandkids loved him.

Fred was a very giving person and enjoyed giving fish, moose, caribou and Betz’s jam to friends. He also loved cooking for friends and family. He was a great cook as many will remember.

A celebration of life will be held on August 10 at the Schroder Town Hall at noon. Food will be provided. Come and share your memories of Fred.