BIRMINGHAM (WWJ) — Friday was a day of remembering and goodbyes for those who knew and loved iconic newsman Bill Bonds.
Many of the people who gathered a Holy Name Catholic Church in Birmingham were not saying goodbye to a legend, but to a friend.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: Pistons’ Rob Murphy on Helping His Hometown
The memorial was filled with many well-known figures, such as former Detroit mayor Dennis Archer and long-time work associates, like former WXYZ station manager Grace Gilchrist.
“He always took great joy in out-smarting the management, which he did pretty regularly,” Gilchrist said. “We just had a really wonderful relationship and everything was a negotiation.”
Bonds suffered a heart attack on December 13 and died at the age of 82.READ MORE: Ribs RnB Music Festival Kicks Off This Weekend In Downtown Detroit
Bonds, a Detroit native and graduate of the University of Detroit, spent almost his entire career at WXYZ, starting in the early 70s, and was the station’s main 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. anchor until 1995.
Mary Conway worked with Bonds for years and said that he taught her how to ask tough questions and to strive for excellence in every story.
“I don’t think people know just how wonderful Billy was. I think the stories get blown out of proportion about his problems with alcohol,” Conway said. “The guy had a heart of gold.”
Bonds’ youngest daughter, Mary, said that her father instilled all the right values and “never gave up on anything in his life and he always made his dreams come true.”MORE NEWS: Judge Says Michigan Gov. Whitmer Won't Have To Testify In Abortion Lawsuit