Patricia Bonner

September 19, 1944 - April 28, 2022
Patricia Bonner

Patricia Anne Elizabeth Bonner, beloved friend, environmentalist, educator, and highly respected public servant, died peacefully on Thursday, April 28, 2022, at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare, Wilmington NC. She was 77 years old.

The daughter of Mary and Stepfather Albert Moakler, Patti was born in New York City, NY on September 19, 1944. A graduate of Carnegie Institute of Technology, Patti earned an MS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with postgraduate work at UCLA in English and History.

Patti maintained a broad range of interests in her early career and was involved in aerospace, oceanography and electronics. She was a communications consultant and taught at the college level. Most of Patti’s extensive government career focused on her lifelong passion – protecting the environment. A perfectionist and real problem solver, she often took on the most challenging positions and never gave up on anything. Patti held a series of key government positions at the county, federal and international levels. Her environmental career began in the Great Lakes Regional Office, International Joint Commission Windsor Ontario, State Department, Canada. Following this major international project, Patti began the next major phase of her career in 1984 when she moved to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Washington DC. Patti served in several key EPA program management roles, supporting the Chesapeake Bay Program, Director of External Affairs. She was also detailed to the White House as Director of Outreach and Communications for Coastal America. Patti was recognized for developing the first comprehensive measuring and tracking program impacting all ten EPA regions while supporting the Office of Water. EPA recognized Patti’s accomplishments with several silver and bronze medals for exceptional service, among other awards.

Upon retirement from the EPA and relocating to Wilmington NC, Patti became a strong supporter of the New Hannover County Public Library, where she served on their Friends of Library Board for several years, ultimately presiding as board president. Her efforts were instrumental in raising over $25,000 to assist in key library projects. Patti’s love of music was also demonstrated through extensive support to her local WHQR Public Radio station. A major donor to WHQR, Patti dedicated significant time supporting their events and funding drives. She was also part of their leadership circle and legacy society. Locally, within her Wilmington community, Patti was very active in bringing her North Chase neighborhood closer together, attending bi-weekly friendship gatherings and monthly social luncheons. On a more personal note, Patti was an avid traveler having visited 80 countries and all 50 states.

She was a beloved friend to many over the years, and maintained close lifelong friendships across Canada and the U.S. An animal lover, Patti was passionate about cats. She also loved jazz, classical music, art, cooking and jewelry making. Patti’s life and friendship have left an imprint that will never fade with time.

Patti did not wish to have funeral services, but her friends may plan a memorial service at a future date.

Donations may be made in her name to Carnegie Mellon University-The Carol Kurtz Memorial Scholarship Fund/Supporting Women in Science and Engineering, WHQR Public Radio Station (for classical and jazz programming), the Cameron Art Museum, or Friends of the New Hanover County Public Library.

Please Share memories and condolences with the family by visiting the “Condolence” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099


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  • June 23, 2022
    Jeanne Pascal says:
    I found out today, 6/22/2022, that Pat is no longer on Earth. Pat was a wonderful, smart, accomplished, dedicated woman who was unpretentious and kind. We shared a friendship for the past 25 years that involved being redheads, books and reading, a passion for the environment and animals, and beading and jewelry making. Pat taught me to bead and said though I might love beading it was not an inexpensive hobby, and that I might eventually regret that she taught me. I never did. I spent many hours beading happily and I have shared Pat's words to me with many others who I taught to bead. And, so her joy spreads. The world seems a lesser place with Pat gone, but our friendship and the love I have for Pat will endure until I am no longer. And, I will remember, always.....

  • June 23, 2022
    Jeanne Pascal says:
    I just found out today 6/22/2022 that my precious friend Pat has left this earth. Pat was a wonderful, smart, talented, unpretentious and very lovely lady. I met her many years ago, and we shared being redheads, a love of books and reading, passion about the environment and animals, and she taught me to bead and make jewelry. She told me though I would love beading, that it was not an inexpensive hobby and I might eventually be unhappy with her for teaching me to bead. That never happened. I have spent hours over the past 25 years happily beading, thanking Pat for the hours of joy and pleasure, and, I have passed Pat's words on to many people I have taught to bead. I honor and I miss and will miss Pat. The world is less with her not here, but the love and friendship we shared will give me joy and delight until the end of my time. I am glad I love Pat, and I will celebrate her very rich and fruitful life. And, I will always remember....

  • June 22, 2022
    Barbara Lither says:
    I just learned of Patti's death on June 22, 2022 and I was saddened to learn of her passing. I will always remember Patti for her enthusiasm for environmental protection, her executive skills, kindness and sense of humor, especially when she was working at EPA Region 10. She was a very thoughtful person and will be greatly missed. Seattle, Washington

  • June 19, 2022
    Lynn Bradley says:
    I'm just now seeing word of Pat's death in the newsletter of the EPA Alumni Association. I had not heard from her since she sold her home and moved into a retirement community earlier this year, but now I know why. Such a loss, to me personally but also to her many friends. Whatever it was that got her, I believe she must have fought it to the end, as she did with earlier illnesses and accidents. Farewell, Pat. Since we went to the Kristofferson concert at the Birchmere, I will think of you every time I listen to his music.

  • June 16, 2022
    Doug Sarno says:
    I had the pleasure of working with Pat on many projects. She brought endless enthusiasm, insight and passion to all of them. She contributed mightily to the practice of public participation at EPA and the projects and initiatives that she spearheaded have made impacts to the practice around the world. She will be missed.