|Birth: ||Jul. 5, 1905|
|Death: ||Jun. 28, 2009|
Thank Connie Breedlove for the Obituary:
FAYETTEVILLE — Merle M. Bonham, known as "Mom B" to the members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity when she served as their housemother at the University of Arkansas, passed away on June 28th, 2009, six days short of her 104th birthday.
She was born of pioneering stock in Kansas, her mother having walked as a child behind a covered wagon from Southwest Missouri to Atwood, located in Northwest Kansas near the Colorado border. Her grandfather fought in the battles of Prairie Grove and Pea Ridge during the Civil War. In 1918, she survived the Spanish Flu epidemic, but temporarily lost all of her hair. The following year the family moved to Long Beach, California where she graduated from high school and began working for the Buffams Department Store as a gift wrapper, advancing to become the Assistant Treasurer for the Buffams Corporation.
In 1926, she married Ora L. Bonham, an Arkansas from Harmon Township in Washington County, who was working in the oil fields of Long Beach. They established themselves in Long Beach and in 1932 had a son, Robert. Twenty years later, while Robert was serving with the Navy in Korea, the family moved to Springdale, along with her
sister's family, her brother, and her mother. In Springdale, the men built a chicken farm, while Merle and her sister opened the "Mode-O-Day" dress shop on Emma. Following the death of her husband in 1962, she became the housemother for the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, remaining with the fraternity for 14 years.
During her retirement, she worked with the Methodist Assembly in Fayetteville and traveled widely. She was a resident of Arkanshire, a residential community in Springdale, for over 12 years.
The family wishes to express its gratitude to the staff and friends at Arkanshire, and to Fayetteville Health and Rehabilitation Center where she lived during her final illness.
Memorials may be sent to Central United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 1106, Fayetteville, AR 72702, where she had been a member since 1962.
She is survived by her son, Robert O. Bonham and his wife Roberta of San Diego, California; three grandsons; four great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson.
Graveside service will be held at 10:00 am, Thursday, June 2 at Bluff Cemetery in Springdale, under the direction of Moore's Chapel.
William Ora Mettler (1882 - 1948)
Bertha May Browning Mettler (1881 - 1969)
Ora L. Bonham (1905 - 1962)*
Merle M. Mettler Bonham (1905 - 2009)
Claude B Mettler (1909 - 1975)*
Grace H. Mettler Donner (1913 - 1993)*
Plot: Addition: 1946; Section: 5-D
Created by: Freda
Record added: May 23, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 27026757
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Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal.May you find peace in the arms of Jesus.|
Added: May. 24, 2008