Services for Bonnie Truett, 83, of Vian will be held Monday, August 20, 2018 at 2 p.m. at Vian Baptist Church with Reverend Mike Martin officiating. Burial will follow with a "Final Ride" to Garden of Memories Cemetery in Vian. Services are entrusted to Forever Memories Funeral Services of Sallisaw.
Mr. Truett was born July 4, 1935 at Havana, Ark., one of 13 children born to Ezekial and Johnnie Mae (Carpenter) Truett and passed away Monday, Aug. 13, 2018 in Vian.
Bonnie was well known in the Harley Davidson drag racing world as a mentor, friend and all-around good guy. He began racing drag bikes in 1962 but continued to look for ways to get more speed and started by changing the flywheels in his own Sportster.
Around 1964 he found that using nitro-methane worked the best in powering the bikes when others didn't even know what it was, and was the first to go to nitro racing in Wichita, Kansas.
He and racing buddy, Paul Osborn, opened their own Harley shop, Truett & Osborn in 1971. Eventually they started to create and manufacture their own flywheels, cams, cylinders and rods. It was also in 1971 when Truett founded the Truett-Osborn Bike Drags, which commemorated its 47th year this August just before Bonnie's death.
He married his wife, Diane, on Dec. 11, 1973 in Medford.
Around 1979 he started building his own drag bike frames, making the first one in his own garage. His hobby soon turned into a side business, "Truett Frameworks" and it wasn't long before others began wanting the frames, too. His frames had been sold all over the country, including London, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and New Zealand.
Bonnie retired from racing in 1984 but continued to build drag racing frames. He and Paul also continued to run Truett & Osborn together until his retirement from the shop in 1997. He and Diane then moved back to his hometown of Vian.
In 2014 he was formally inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame, which is designed to recognize individuals who've made a long-term positive impact on the motorcycle community, and if you ask anyone in the drag racing world who's had a broad impact, his name will likely come up.
Bonnie raced alongside legends Pete Hill, Jim "The Judge" McClure, Dave Campos, T.C. Christianse, and Marion Owens. Even daredevil motorcyclist Evel Knievel, who is also a fellow Sturgis Hall of Famer, knew who Bonnie Truett was.
Bonnie was also inducted into the Oklahoma and Colorado Motorcycle Halls of Fame, was named one of Vian's Favorite Sons, and was a proud member of Vian Baptist Church.
Bonnie always said before his passing that he '"didn't want anyone wearing a monkey suit to his funeral", so dress will be casual for the service; wear your favorite Harley Davidson or Truett & Osborn T-shirt.
He is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Diane, of the home; one son, Scott Truett of Wichita, Kan.; three daughters and sons in law, Pam Friedlander and husband Bill of Phoenix, Ariz., Teri Dayton and husband Dave of Laguna Hills, Calif., and Wendy Sowalskie and husband Keith of Wichita, Kan.; numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren; one sister and brother in law, Wanda Edwards and husband Kenneth of Vian; numerous nieces and nephews; and a host of other family members and longtime friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Leonard Truett, Hubert Truett and Robert Lee Truett; four sisters, Eoline Lee, Nellie Dale Hendrix, Rosie Jane Toney and Bernice Bryant; and four infant siblings.
Pallbearers were Clinton Cato, Ken Holloway, Mike Davis, James Martin Ross, Jim Lewis, Jeff Edwards, Fred Yount and Terry Kinyon.
Honorary pallbearers were crew members of the Truett Racing Team.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Bonnie's name to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Ok City, OK 73123.