Earl was born in White Sulphur Springs, Montana on July 3, 1918, the son of Aaron "Elwood" and Jennie (Jefferson) Bonine. He grew up and attended schools in White Sulphur Springs and graduating from Livingston High School in 1936. In 1937, Earl and Wallace Bert gathered enough horses to go to California for the winter. In 1938 while working on the haying crew on the Oto Dude Ranch in Paradise Valley, where he met Claribel Johnson and they were married on July 11, 1939. In 1941, they moved to Hysham to Claribels parentÂ´s ranch and continued to expand the ranch for the next 30 years. In 2005, Claribel passed away after 66 years of marriage.
Earl was a Ray Hunt advocate, in which he sent his children and grandchildren to these clinics. He had a love for rodeoÂ´s in which his son J.C. won the PRCA World Saddle Bronc Rider in 1977 and continued with all of his children and grandchildren. Even in EarlÂ´s last years, he was still buying horses. He was a part of the Montana 1989 Centennial Trail Drive. He had a passion for music, playing the violin. After ClaribelÂ´s death he spent his time playing cards at the Hysham Senior Citizens Center.
Earl is survived by two sons: John (Eileen) Bonine of Black Earth, WI and James Carroll "J.C." (Butch) of Rising Star, TX; three daughters: Virginia (Gary) DeCock of Hysham, MT; Marie (David) Armstrong of Billings, MT; and Marcia Sperry of Trotters, ND; his special friend Betty Cathro of Broadus, MT; one sister, Betty Faries of Livingston, MT; thirteen grandchildren and twenty three great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Claribel in 2005; a brother Jim; a sister Marion Chadbourn; and a son-in-law, Bud Sperry.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at the Community Center in Hysham. Interment will be held at a later date on the family ranch at Hysham. Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home of Broadus is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com.
Should friends desire, memorials may be made to the Bud Sperry Old Cowboys Memorial, 16340 County Line Rd, Beach, ND 58621 to be used for Ag Scholarships.