Gilbert Raymond Bony, age 93, passed away peacefully on June 2, 2021 at his home in Glastonbury, Connecticut. He was born March 28, 1928 in Asnières-sur-Seine, France the son of Robert Michel Bony and Marie Louise (Paradis) Bony.
Mr. Bony was raised in the 14th arrondissement of Paris where his parents had a boulangerie on the ground level of the apartment building he lived in. He recounted many stories living as a young boy in Paris during World War II. In his youth, he served in the French army for one year and attended Arts et Métiers, a prestigious French engineering school, where he graduated in 1949. Mr. Bony married his first wife, Yvonne Berthe Rohr, in 1954 and had two sons, Hubert and Oliver. He married his second wife, Gisèle Marie José (Sanchez) Meccheri, in 1971 and adopted her son, Mark. Mr. Bony and Gisèle later had two daughters together, Laura and Emmanuelle.
Mr. Bony started his career working at Renault, a leading French automobile manufacturer, in 1950. After three years at Renault, he decided to venture out on his own and created a company specializing in plastics and fiberglass molding called Ateliers de Moulages Plastiques (AMP). At AMP, his creations included car prototypes, modern plastic chairs, and plastic decorative boats that were placed on top of street signs all over Paris. AMP would soon grow into a high-tech fiberglass radome manufacturing company. Mr. Bony received several patents and established individual businesses associated with these patents. He was granted the “Legion of Honour Medal”, one of the highest decorations in France, for both military and civil life service, in 1977. The United States Military was interested in one of the defense aerospace patents held by AMP and approached Mr. Bony to bring this business to the USA. In 1977, he moved his wife and five children to start a new life in the United States where he established Radant Systems, Inc. in Stow, Massachusetts. Mr. Bony served as the President of Radant Systems, Inc. until 1988. Radant Systems, Inc. created many jobs locally, and it is still in operation today under different ownership. He then returned to his family roots and opened a French café and bakery, Café de Paris, in Boston adjacent to the Boston Public Garden. After selling the café in 1996, he invested in several commercial and residential real estate properties as well as created a small private mortgage lending company. During retirement, he became interested and created several elaborate model train displays specifically in the HO and larger G scale. He was an avid bridge player starting at age 80, after not having played since his time in the military. He played in several clubs and was known to be a tremendous bridge player.
Mr. Bony’s passion for success was apparent to anyone who knew him. He was a self-starter and determined to succeed in his many business ventures no matter what obstacles he encountered. Several friends affectionately referred to him as “the friendly steamroller” for his ability to never give up and persuade with charm.
He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Gisèle, five children, Hubert Bony of Orsay, France; Oliver Bony of Norwich, Connecticut; Mark Bony of Los Gatos, California; Laura Bony of Glastonbury, Connecticut; and Emmanuelle Merrill of Lafayette, California. He is also survived by ten beloved grandchildren: Pierre, Guillaume, Alexander, Charlotte, Gwendolyn, Theodore, Nathaniel, Margaret, Jared, and Sylvie.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation to DAV (Disabled American Veterans) www.dav.org in Gilbert Bony’s name.