Trustee John P. Williams held office from 1970-1979. During his early years in office, John met Eunice Bonner. Eunice was President of the Senior Citizens Club of Portage. She was in her 80’s at this time and was retired from the Lake County Court System. Eunice Bonner wanted more for the senior community and expressed this need to John P. Williams.
Unfortunately, Eunice was involved in an auto accident. John went to see Eunice, who seemed to be doing well. The last thing she said to him before he left the hospital was “Promise me John, you won’t forget my seniors.” Eunice passed away the following day of a heart attack.
Soon after, John purchased a Checker Cab and had it cut and modified to seat twelve people. This was the beginning of senior transportation. John, along with his board members, decided to start planning and funding a senior activity center. The land was found and purchased for $51,000. The property was the Babe Ruth Field owned by Opal Volk.
John P. Williams ran for mayor and won. He asked precinct people to elect Virginia Thomas as trustee to finish the job of building the senior center. John knew he would name the building The Eunice Bonner Senior Center after Eunice because she cared so very much for the senior community. The Center was completed in 1980. We have had many additions and changes to benefit the center and its members. We hope the center keeps getting better with age as all of us do. (Taken from the Eunice Bonner Senior Center Cookbook) unknown author