Disneyland employee killed in golf cart accident remembered for volunteer work

Club 33 manager Bonnye Lear had volunteered for years in her hometown of Fullerton and had just begun docenting at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda in preparation for retirement when she died in a tragic accident at Disneyland.

Lear, 60, of Fullerton was seriously injured on Wednesday, June 5 when she fell from a golf cart in a backstage area behind Critter Country. She died from her injuries on Friday, June 7.

Tributes have been pouring in for Lear, who volunteered at the Fullerton Museum Center and the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum and served as a Discover Fullerton on Foot tour guide.

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“Bonnye was so passionate about our community and it showed through her years of volunteerism as both a leader at our Discover Fullerton on Foot program, docent at the Fullerton Museum Center and more,” Fullerton Mayor Nick Dunlap said in a statement.

The Fullerton Museum Center offers history, science and art exhibits in the city’s historic Carnegie Library building. The Discover Fullerton on Foot program offers themed walking tours of the city. The Nixon Library houses presidential materials, the Watergate tapes, a history museum, the Marine One helicopter and the 37th president’s birthplace home.

I used to work with Bonnye, and she was quite literally the kindest human who worked at the Disneyland Resort. This is truly very sad for her family and fellow Cast at the Club. https://t.co/G7gXAVFQCr pic.twitter.com/KkHyh9gVXD

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Lear led walking tours in her hometown that told stories about Fullerton Mysteries, New Deal public works art and ghost tales.

Lear became a Nixon Library docent just a few days before the fatal Disneyland accident and was scheduled to begin training next week, according to Steve Foster, president of the library’s docent guild.

“It’s very sad from our perspective,” Foster said during a phone interview. “She was a brand new docent for us. In fact, she hadn’t even gone to her first training session.”

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Lear was looking forward to docenting at the Nixon Library as she prepared for retirement, according to Foster.

“As she got towards the end of her career at Disneyland, she wanted to look for something meaningful to apply her trades,” Foster said. “So that’s why she chose us and we were grateful to have her.”

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Lear had just toured the Nixon Library with other new volunteers in preparation for joining the team of 200 docents when Foster received the horrible news.

“We really had just barely got to know her,” Foster said. “We just met her during the orientation process. She just hadn’t had the chance to get going yet.”

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Lear had visited the Nixon Library years ago with her daughter’s Girl Scout troop and thought it would be the kind of place she would like to volunteer, according to Foster.

“She’s exactly what we were looking for in a docent,” Foster said. “We’re just really sorry for her and her family.”

Lear was remembered by her Disneyland coworkers as someone who was kind, gentle, caring, thoughtful, sincere, warm, graceful and full of joy.

Her City of Fullerton colleagues echoed the sentiments.

“Our heart breaks for her family, friends and all who knew her and are mourning her sudden passing,” Dunlap said. “She will be sorely missed.”

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