Joy In My Heart

Texas Divisional Youth Band, USA


Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising
give me joy in my heart, I pray.
Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising,
keep me praising till the break of day.

Sing hosanna ! Sing hosanna !
Sing hosanna to the King of Kings!
Sing hosanna ! Sing hosanna !
Sing hosanna to the King !

Give me peace in my heart, keep me resting,
give me peace in my heart, I pray.
Give me peace in my heart, keep me resting,
keep me resting till the break of day.


Give me love in my heart, keep me serving,
give me love in my heart, 1 pray.
Give me love in my heart, keep me serving,
keep me serving till the break of day.


Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.
give me oil in my lamp, I pray.
keep me burning till the break of day
keep me burning till the break of day.

Bonna and I both played in the Texas Divisional Youth Band shortly before we were married. It was in this band that I first met John from Houston. I got him into the Texas Gulf Coast Area Band and he played that great solo: "The Better World."


I want you to meet my wonderful wife, Bonna. This is page two of my little tribute to her. For other pages, look at the bottom of this page.


From Bonna's College Life to Our Marriage

TCU Logo in Floor

When Bonna approached graduation from Asbury Park High School, she looked around for a college to attend. She applied to Texas Christian University and was accepted. Part of her tuition was paid by a music scholarship. She played a mellophone and was in the percussion section of the "Froggie Marching Band" at TCU. Just like me, the first thing she did when she hit town was to look up The Salvation Army Corps. She ended up checking out The Fort Worth Salvation Army Corps. When she met the Corps Officers they immediately fell in love with her. They adopted her the same way each corps had adopted me. She was extremely active at the corps and the officers' family became her family.

Chapel at TCU

Bonna Attended Chapel Inside This Building at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.

Inside Chapel at TCU

Bonna Attended Services in This Chapel at Texas Christian University, In Fort Worth, Texas

Texas Christian University, The Horned Frogs, is owned by the Disciples of Christ denomination of the Protestant Church. It includes Brite Theological Seminary. Bonna took classes at Brite Theological Seminary and was the first woman to get an A in the homiletics class there. She finished her program in three years and came away with a triple BA degree. She attained a BA with a triple major in Religion, History and English and a minor in Education. Pretty good for three years.


When I found out about this, she went up another seven and a half notches in my estimation.


Salvation Army School For Officer's Training - Atlanta, Georgia


After graduating from TCU, Bonna applied to the Salvation Army School For Officers' Training in Atlanta, Georgia. She was accepted as a Cadet and entered training there. Being a very smart cookie, a college graduate with Brite Theological Seminary training on her resume, she did officer's training as a Cadet Lieutenant which meant that she only took one year to finish a two year course. She was appointed to assist officers in Wichita Falls, Texas, and then she was sent to assist the officers in Waco, Texas. She had decided to pursue her dream of being a Salvation Army Officer Missionary in Africa and when I met her, her application was being processed.

 Bonna and femaie cadets in Virginia
 When Bonna was a Cadet in the Salvation Army School For Officers Training in Atlanta, Georgia, the cadets were sent out to visit various locations. This group of women visited Norfolk, Virginia. They are standing next to an aircraft carrier. They had lunch on the aircraft carrier courtesy of the US Navy. Bonna is (at last) the SECOND shortest one, second from the left.
 Bonna with cadets
 There was a group of male Cadets from the SASFOT which was also sent to Norfolk, Virginia. They met up with the ladies at the Navy base and had lunch with them on the aircraft carrier behind them. Bonna is the short one in front, 5th from the left.

My "Dream List" of Attributes to Look For in a Wife

After Basic Training I went to Fort Holabird. At Fort Holabird, I spent about six weeks on "casual status" waiting for my Advanced Individual Training class (AIT) to start. I had a LOT of spare time to sit and think. So I took out a piece of paper and started a list. On that paper, I listed all of the attributes I wanted in a wife. I thought of every woman I knew and wrote down what I liked about them, what there strong admirable traits were and what I wanted to avoid. I kept this list with me and through AIT, Vietnam, Fort Bragg and West Fort Hood, I would occasionally take it out and look at it and revise it here and there. I wanted nothing to do with romance as long as there was even a slight chance I might be called back to Vietnam. I didn't even want a sliver of a possibility that I would get a "Dear John" letter. Every day in Texas, however, meant the chances of another trip to Vietnam was getting slimmer and slimmer, but still, my only interest in the list was to revise it. By the time I reached West Fort Hood, I seldom looked at the list and almost forgot about it.

The Change in Status

 Bonna at wishing well

 Bonna about the time we started going places together.

I do believe this is the outfit whe was wearing the first time she attempted to take my life. Isn't she cute?

As I was more at home at the Waco Corps and around the Corps Officers, I spent most of my weekends in Waco. I was at some sort of meeting and it came time to take the teen agers home. Bonna asked me if I wanted to ride along and I said, "O.K." We got in the van full of kids and Bonna took off like a rocket. She's only five feet tall, but she's a dynamo. I was in fear for my life. I was in fear for the lives of the teens in the van. When Bonna got the van stuck in the mud at one of the kids houses I saw an opportunity to save myself AND the teens in the van. I offered to get the van out of the mud and I just sort of took over the driving. After that, I was there enough to do a lot of driving for the Corps "for the kids' sake." As I look back on it, they weren't in any real danger, I was just unfamiliar with the roads. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Then one night, the teens were going to a pizza parlor and I offered to drive the van again. Bonna said "O.K." We got to the Pizza Hut and went in. I found myself sitting next to Bonna and the kids did a lot of whispering. Later on, I found out that the teens had decided that Bonna and I would make a nice couple so they had started conspiring to get us together. Beginning with the pizza party I discovered that they would all maneuver themselves and arrange to have me sitting next to Bonna. It became obvious after awhile so I confronted them and they confessed. It was actually then that I started thinking about Bonna as a possible "date." The odds seemed pretty much against it because she was a Salvation Army Officer and would not "date" me without written permission from the Divisional Commander. This permission would never come because an "officer" cannot date a mere "soldier." Also, her heart was set on going to Africa. But I suddenly was thinking about it.

The spare bedroom in the officer's house had a sliding door. I would leave West Ft. Hood so quickly after my duty was done on Fridays, that I would just jump in the micro-bus in uniform. So when I arrived at the officer's quarters in Waco, I would go to the guest room to change. One day I slid the door shut and there was a note from Bonna taped to the door. It said, "There is a sugar free pecan pie for you in the refrigerator with some milk. Enjoy." From then on, every time I slid the door shut when I first got to Waco, there would be a note telling me about the snack in the refrigerator. This was pretty kewl! Unfortunately it ended soon after we got married. It turns out that I am the cook in the family. I'm pretty good too. Even I like my cooking. I also have every gadget and cooking untensil and appliance known to humankind in my kitchen. It turns out that Bonna's real gift in the culinary arts is finding restaurants, and coupons for free meals. She's exceptionally good at it.

I was sitting in my barracks one night and my mind was pretty much "free associating." I was rummaging around in my foot locker and there it was. The list popped to the surface. I took it out and began reading it. There on that piece of paper was the perfect description of Lieutenant Bonna Zindler, an Officer in The Salvation Army. Let me make this clear, she was an ordained minister in the church. She was a college graduate. She was a "seminary" graduate of the Salvation Army School For Officers' Training. She was one of the best speakers I had ever heard in my life. She was a super shepherd of the children and teens in her care. In everything she did, she was the most "prepared" person I've ever met. She was "CAPABLE WOMAN." She was the woman I had perfectly described in my list of things to look for in a wife.

I was now in a pickle. We had become very close friends, but there wasn't even the hint of romance between us. We had never kissed or held hands or exchanged any sign of affection between us yet the teens had decided we would make a good couple and she was the woman in my list. We did have a very deep respect for each other and a sort of trust had developed. We had shared our most painful experiences and our happiest experiences with each other. I started looking at her as a possible wife.

Bonna's First Attempt To Take My Life

 Flying over Waco

 This is what I was looking at just before I decided to kiss Bonna. This was almost the last thing I would see in my life.

I was flying a Cessna 150 and Bonna was sitting next to me, so calm, so cool, so ... well, ...deadly!

We are approaching Waco, Texas, after flying around Fort Hood. The air was absolutely smooth.

I had finished off all of my pilot training when I returned to Seattle from Vietnam and had obtained my pilot license. I decided I should take Bonna for an airplane ride. I went to the Waco airport one Saturday and got checked out in a brand spanking new Cessna 150. This plane had as full an instrument panel as I've ever seen in a Cessna 150. It had at least three gyro operated instruments. I checked out very well in the Cessna 150 and scheduled a rental for the following Saturday to take Bonna for a ride. On Sunday, I asked her if she would like to take a little trip with me in an airplane. She replied nonchalantly, "Sure, when do you want to go?" Well, the following Saturday, we went to the Waco airport. Then she told me, "There's only one thing I want. You've got to promise that if anything goes wrong, you won't tell me about it." I promised. Then I told here, "One thing I need to warn you about is that with high wing Cessnas, the doors occasionally pop open. If that happens, just kind of hang on to the door and when I get a chance, I'll reach over and shut it. There's really no problem." She said, "OK, I understand." Now I've never been in a plane when the door popped open. I was just trying to be cool and macho.

So we walked around the plane and did the checklist which impressed her. Then we got in the plane and cranked her up. With the engine idling, I was going down the printed checklist. I came to "Set the Directional Gyro," and reached up. There was a hole in the instrument panel where the DG belonged. I said, "Hey, the Directional Gyro is gone." She said, "You promised you wouldn't tell me if anything goes wrong." I said, "There's no problem, I just think it's weird" as I looked back down at the checklist in my lap. The next item was, "Set the artificial horizon gyro." I reached up and there was a hole in the instrument panel. I said, "Hey, the artificial horizon gyro is gone." She said, "If anything else goes wrong, I'm getting out. Don't tell me any more." I then noticed another hole in the instrument panel where another gyro instrument should have been. This time I kept my mouth shut and said, "It's no problem. We won't be flying on instruments and we don't need those things. They're just nice to have." Somebody had taken the plane up that week, entered a spin and tumbled all of the gyros. They were in the repair shop.

We then headed out to the runway and took off. We got about fifty feet off the ground and MY DOOR POPPED OPEN! It scared the living daylights out of me. I kind of held it in as I continued to climb. We got about 500 feet in the air and I turned my attention to shutting the door. I pulled it closed, but it wouldn't latch. I yanked real hard and tried to slam it shut but it still wouldn't latch. I banged it and slammed it shut, but it still wouldn't latch. We were now over 1,000 feet in the air so I said, "Hang on for a minute. I'm going to let go of the controls, but there's no problem." I figured the air pressure in the cabin was keeping the door from latching. I may have been sweating a little. I held the door in with one hand and unlatched the window. It slammed up against the wing with a loud crash and stayed there. That was kind of spooky. I yanked on the door and it slammed shut and latched solidly. I then reached out and pulled the window down and shut and latched it. Then I turned my attention back to navigating the plane. Being a real genius, the next words out of my mouth were, "Uh Oh. I'm totally lost. Can you see Waco or the airport out your window?" Bonna said, "No." So I allowed as how I would take up the heading I had planned on and we would recognize the fence around Ft. Hood when we got to it. I'm pretty sure I was sweating then. Pretty soon we saw a familiar highway with a familiar fence. We had found Ft. Hood.

For the next half hour or so we followed the fence around the Main Fort. Then we came to West Fort Hood. We flew over the tunnel entrance to my office and I showed Bonna my barracks and the tunnel entrances. We flew on until we had completely circled Ft. Hood. As we headed back to Waco, I had pretty much stopped sweating. The air was absolutely smooth and the ceiling and visibility were unlimited. I was feeling pretty good about then. I snapped a picture through the front windshield and took a look at Bonna. I thought, "I think I'll just lean over and kiss this cute girl." I nonchalantly got into the position to kiss Bonna and got a real shock. As my lips met hers, I suddenly realized I was in a hammer lock. Her arms were around my neck and she was squeezing with all of her might. I thought, "This is way beyond romantic. She's trying to kill me." It was so fast, it reminded me of the idiot in Vietnam who would charge people 35 piastres each to watch his snake eat a chicken or a guinea pig. The snake was so fast, nobody ever saw it move. We would just suddenly see the guinea pig being swallowed. I tried to turn my head, but it wouldn't turn. My eyes were bugged out, but all I could see was the top of Bonna's blouse. The plane was pretty well trimmed so I let go of the controls and moved my feet off of the rudder pedals. I was trying to figure out what to do as I was being strangled by Bonna. I did the only thing I could think of and in my most calm voice I said, "Bonna, if you don't let go of me, we're both going to die." That did it. She let go of me as fast as she had grabbed me.

The rest of the flight was uneventful. There's a lake or reservoir at the end of the Waco runway so the approach to the runway was literally glassy smooth. Not even I could tell when we touched the ground. Finally, Bonna said, "Are we on the ground yet?" It was at that point that I began to become aware of Bonna's absolutely petrifying fear of heights. She told me she had thought that all of these little planes were met at the airport by ambulances. It took every ounce of courage that Bonna could muster to get in that airplane with me. The rocky beginning of the flight must have terrified her, but she never said a word. She must have really wanted to be with me in order to get up the courage to strap herself into that tiny plane and pretend it was nothing more scary than sitting down to watch television. She is still as courageous as she was the first time she got in a light plane with me. I just now, as I'm writing this, asked Bonna what she was thinking when she got in that Cessna 150 with me. She told me she was very impressed and that's probably what convinced her she should actually marry me. She said she thought that anybody who could do that would go places. (Well of course I would go places. That's what an airplane is for, after all.)

 Bonna at six flags
 Bonna just as we got out of the VW micro bus at 6 Flags Over Texas.

We actually began "dating," (unofficially of course) but it was rather platonic. I didn't really know what to do. If we actually started dating openly, she would hear from her Divisional Commander. The Salvation Army could call her up and say, "Go to the airport, your papers just came through. You're going to Africa." Now I don't recall the actual sequence of events or how much we "dated," but one day I decided I was going to ask her to marry me. I got the shock of my life.


I Pop The Question, She Responds

I Finally Meet "Capable Woman" "She Who Must Be Obeyed"

We were standing in the kitchen of the Officers' quarters one day and I said, "Bonna, will you marry me?" She looked at me with a sort of bemused look and said, "Are you serious?" I said, "Yes. You know the teens think we would make a great couple." She dismissed that as only Bonna can. Then she said, "You don't really want to marry me. I'm too old for you and I'm going to Africa. Besides, I'm an officer." I remember this whole thing vividly because what happened next was so shocking I'll never forget any of this. I said, "Yes. I'm serious and no you're not too old for me and you'll have to resign your commission." She said, "O.K. Wait a minute, I'll be right back. UNTIL I DIE I'LL SWEAR THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED EXACTLY THE WAY I'M DESCRIBING IT. She went into her bedroom leaving me in the kitchen. I heard her rummaging in her trunk then she came back into the kitchen. She held out five different wedding invitations and said, "I've narrowed the wedding invitations down to these five different styles. You pick the one you want." All I could think was, "WHOA!! What's happening to me!?! What have I got myself into!!?!!"

Then she handed me a sheet of paper filled on one side from top to bottom and said, "These are the wedding vows you'll need to memorize. We won't do the regular questions and answers. Just put your own name there at the top. I will memorize my vows too." Then she explained that we probably didn't have enough money to get a tux and a wedding dress so we would be married in Salvation Army uniforms if that was O.K. She also said she would like to be married in Fort Worth with Major and Mrs. Wyatt there. She told me she would have to tell Colonel Thronberg, the Divisional Commander that she was resigning to get married. "And one other thing," she said, "You can pick a wedding song if you like and Major Lanier will sing it as a solo."

Trapped by "CAPABLE WOMAN," the most prepare person I've ever met! I absolutely loved it! Marrying Bonna was the easiest thing I've ever done in my life. Pretty much the smartest thing I've ever done too! I noticed that she left out the "obey" part of the vows, but that just seemed right if I wanted to marry the girl who became known as "She who must be obeyed." (No exclamation point needed. It's just a fact.)

Bonna made an appointment with the Divisional Commander. She went into his office and told him she was resigning to get married. He told her she should think about it and picked up some papers from his desk. He told her they were her orders to go to Africa. They had just been received and she would be giving up the chance to do the most important thing she had ever wanted to do. She simply told him, "No thank you. I'm going to get married."


The Milieu of Marriage

Bonna and I shared a tremendously similar background. We loved music and participated in it. We loved The Salvation Army and participated in it. We trusted each other completely. O.K. We were both pragmatic realists and we recognized that we had no family near us to warn us about the dangers of our predicament. One of the greatest fears of Salvation Army Officers is that one of their daughters will end up marrying a "client" or "transient" just passing through The Salvation Army from one hopeless situation to the next. We had both seen this happen to girls who fell for guys that just weren't worthy, but just happened to show up at the time the girl was ready to get married. It was especially a danger for young Corps Officer Assistants just like Bonna. I'm sure that when each officer heard that we had decided to get married, this situation immediately ran into their heads.

The vetting process in marriage is very straightforward and the gals and guys who bypass it are frequently in for years of heartbreak. Even though we had become engaged, Bonna and I wanted to get the approval of people we knew and trusted. Bonna talked it over with her friends who were well aware that younger women were especially susceptible to the weird marriages that develop sometimes when a strange guy shows up and sweet talks a gal. The Corps Officers in Waco thought the marriage was O.K. Bonna took me to meet the Wyatts in Fort Worth on several occasions and they each spent a little time with me getting to know me. We discovered that we had Salvation Army friends in common. Mrs. Wyatt and I both knew J.D. Hopps, a member of the Seattle Temple Corps Band. Bonna watched to see how they reacted to the idea and they seemed O.K. with it.

 Wyatt Family
The Wyatt family "adopted" Bonna when she first moved to Texas. Bonna took me to meet Major and Mrs. Wyatt before we were married.

She called her mother and family in New Jersey and they seemed O.K. with it. I called my mother in Seattle and she was thrilled. She talked to Bonna and convinced her I wasn't some nut axe murderer looking for my next victim. She also said beneficial things to Bonna like, "Are you sure you want to marry him? He's kind of strange sometimes. I even asked Major and Mrs. Stephenson what they thought about Bonna. They were older and retired and they asked some fairly pointed questions, but I had gotten along with them quite well and they seemed O.K. with it. When we visited Fort Worth, Bonna discussed the wedding plans with the Wyatts and everything was set. I also asked the Wyatt's privately what they thought of Bonna and we had very frank discussions. The final touch was when my brother, Tim, told me he would come to Fort Worth for the wedding. All of this was encouraging to me and to Bonna. Nobody anywhere objected to our wedding including the Divisional Headquarters officers who took part in the wedding.

My fate was sealed, the die was cast, the inevitable was about to happen. My brother, Tim, arrived in Fort Worth and he and I stayed overnight at the home of some of Bonna's Training School classmates. The morning of the wedding, I was feeling the pressure to get there on time. I was speeding and after a little while Tim said, "You know you're going in the wrong direction don't you?" I said, "What are you talking about?" He said, "The corps is back there. We're heading out of Fort Worth. Do you think something subliminal is going on in your head? Maybe we should just keep going this way. Maybe you don't want to get married at all." he majored in psychology so I just ignored him. I did a quick U-turn and headed back to the Corps.


01 Meet My Wife Bonna Before College

02 College To Marriage <=YOU ARE HERE

03 Wedding Pictures 01 - 05

04 Wedding Pictures 06 - 10

05 Wedding Pictures 11 - 15

06 Wedding Pictures 16 - 19

07 Seattle Washington

08 Houston Texas

09 Seattle Washington

 Visit the website of

The War College of The Salvation Army

in Vancouver, Canada

Just 120 miles or so north of The Seattle Temple Corps.

Back To Your Family Tree Homepage

Dan Ross Bonna Ross Jordana Ross Dan & Bonna Ross Dan and Bonna Ross drdan71, cornucopiagenealogica 09/30/03

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