Hon. David William Bonem was born June 1, 1940, in Tucumcari to Lorraine (Killer) and David Samuel Bonem, and died at his home in Waco, Texas, on Aug. 4. Judge Bonem was a member of “The Greatest of the Great,” the ’58 graduating class of Tucumcari High School. While in high school, he was active in the Tucumcari chapter of the Order of DeMolay. He went on to earn his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of New Mexico, graduating in 1962. He earned his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the Washington College of Law at the American University in Washington, D.C., graduating in 1965. Judge Bonem began his law career by clerking for then New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Irwin Moise. After a year, he joined the Wesley Quinn Law Firm in Clovis. After working there for about a year, he became an assistant district attorney under Fred Hensley. In 1976, he was elected district attorney and served in that capacity until 1987 when he decided to run for the office of district judge. He became a judge for the Ninth Judicial District on Jan. 1, 1988, and served until Dec. 31, 2002. In 2003, he was appointed by the State Supreme Court to mediate the Pecos River Water Case and served until 2008. For the next two years, Judge Bonem was an instructor in collecting evidence and criminal law at the Clovis campus of Wayland Baptist University. Judge Bonem married Merriellen Grant on Aug. 23, 1975, at Heights Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque. They lived in Clovis until1987, when they moved to Portales. Since 2013, they lived in Waco. Judge Bonem was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Clovis for nearly 40 years. He was a member of the State Bar and the District Nine Bar Association. He served on the board for Youth Opportunities Unlimited in Clovis, the New Mexico State Juvenile Justice Advisory Commission and the Juvenile Court Rules Committee. For 23 years he coached Little League, and later served as the District Administrator for Little League serving Tucumcari, Clovis and Portales.
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