The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


July 9, 2013

Thelma Bonner

— Thelma Christopher Bonner died peacefully at the age of 88 on a rainy Saturday morning at Miller’s Merry

Manor in Tipton, Ind. She was privileged to be in the company of many who loved her.

Born in Athens to Robbie and Fred Christopher on Sept. 27,1924, Thelma was one of seven children. She was preceded in death by her parents as well as three sisters, Mary Elizabeth Smith, Eldine Todd and Lula Sanders. She was happily married for 40 years to Roy Bonner, who preceded her in death in 2001.

Thelma graduated from Athens High School in 1942 and went on to help with the war effort as a riveter. She eventually completed secretarial/business school and worked as a bookkeeper, realtor, receptionist, volunteer and tireless advocate for smokers everywhere.

Among her many achievements, motherhood was the most acclaimed. She raised five children who adored her and was blessed to have two stepchildren in her life. She was a strong mother who didn't easily abide misbehavior, but would defend her children against all comers. Her grandchildren thought she was an incredible woman and loved hearing her tell her stories and put life in perspective. She taught them to love life and honor family above all else.

Thelma possessed an uncanny sense of humor and used it to carry her through the toughest times and to make the good times better. Those who knew her well will remember her best for her sharp wit and willingness to laugh with everyone and especially willing to laugh at herself.

She is survived by her one and only brother, Fred Christopher and wife Peasy; and her favorite sister, Virginia Dare McLemore and husband Dempsey. Her children, Sonja Cobb, Denny Cobb, Bridget Brewster, Jeff Bonner, Rob Bonner, Nancy Noble and Richard Bonner; and grandchildren, who are all living and scattered across the country, will honor her with happy hearts.

A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 11, at Limestone Memorial Gardens in Athens. The family requests no flowers, please. Honor Thelma's memory by sharing your laughter and a good story.

In lieu of flowers please make memorials to Miller Mary Manor, 300 Fairgrounds Road, Tipton, IN 46072.

Sign the online guestbook at

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