Detroit news anchor Bill Bonds Obituary


CLAWSON, MI – Bill Bonds of Bloomfield Hills, died December 13, 2014, at St. Bill BondsJoseph Mercy in Pontiac. He was 82 years old. Bill was born February 23, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan to Katherine (nee Collins) and Richard Bonds.

Bill was a graduate of the University of Detroit with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Bill also proudly served in the United States Air Force. He worked most his life as a television news anchor whose hard work and extreme talent made him Legendary.




Bill came to fame initially as a reporter for the city’s Contact News on WKNR-AM, known as Keener 13. He was also a reporter for several Michigan radio stations including WCAR, WPON and WQTE. Bill joined WXYZ in 1963 as a part-time booth announcer. He worked his way up to the anchor desk with Barney Morris. He and WXYZ first came to prominence for the station’s coverage of the 1967 Detroit riots.

Bill was employed by ABC to become anchorman at KABC-TV in Los Angeles in 1968 to help launch its version of Eyewitness News. He returned to WXYZ-TV in 1971 just as the station was beginning a major upgrade of its news department under the Action News banner. Two years later, it became the highest-rated news broadcast in Detroit, a position it held up until 2011.

Bill was WXYZ’s main 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. anchor until 1995. He also occasionally filled in as anchor of ABC’s weekend newscasts. Over that time, Bill became something of an icon to the Detroit viewing public. Bill had a great passion for the news business. More than anything, he loved bringing the news to the people of Detroit. Bill believed we were a better community, if we were a well-informed community.

Bill’s family said, “For us Bill was so much more than the face on TV, the talented anchorman. He was a wonderful husband and father who cared deeply about his children and his family. We will miss him greatly.”

A devoted husband, father, brother, uncle and friend, Bill will be remembered for his passion, his hardworking nature, his sense of humor, and especially his love of family and friends. He was greatly loved and will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

Bill is survived by his beloved wife, Karen and his loving children, John C. Bonds, Kristine (Greg Swan) Bonds and Mary (Gregory Hancock) Bonds. He is also survived by his brother Robert J. Bonds, Joanne Bonds, and many nieces and nephews. Bill is preceded in death by his daughter, Joan Bonds.

Visitation will be held at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks Road (between 14-15 Mile Rds.) Thursday 1-8pm. There will be a sharing of memories service, Thursday at 7:30pm. A Funeral Mass will be held at Holy Name Catholic Church, 630 Harmon, Birmingham, on Friday at 11am. Friends may visit at church beginning at 10:00am.

Memorials appreciated to Focus Hope Foundation, 1355 Oakman Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48238, the Michigan Humane Society, Detroit Center for Animal Care, 7401 Chrysler Drive, Detroit, MI 48211, and the Alzheimer’s Association, 25200 Telegraph Road, STE 100, Southfield, MI 48033

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