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 Estelle Bonner

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Estelle Bonner

Birth
Toxey, Choctaw County, Alabama, USA
Death 8 Aug 2008 (aged 90)
Gulf Breeze, Santa Rosa County, Florida, USA
Burial Toxey, Choctaw County, Alabama, USA
Memorial ID 28912249 View Source
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ESTELLE BONNER
July 5, 1918 ~ August 8, 2008

Estelle Bonner, affectingly called 'Tata' by her nieces and nephews was, the ninth child of the late Seaborn and Viola Bonner and was born July 5, 1918, in Toxey, AL, and died peacefully surrounded by family on August 8, 2008 in Gulf Breeze, FL. Her death was the result of surgery to correct a broken hip. Estelle was preceded in death by brothers Andy, Abner, Seth and Glenny Bonner and sisters Eva Hamrick, Ruth Dicks, Blanche Cook and Clara Bonner.
She received her early education at Toxey Consolidated School, South Choctaw County High School, Silas, AL, and graduated from Choctaw High School, Butler, AL. in May 1935.
After graduation, she remained at home for two years due to finances and to care for her parents. In 1937 - 1939 she attended Livingston State Teachers College, Livingston, AL and earned a Professional Class D Certificate in Elementary Education and taught in a one teacher school in Melvin, AL, with a salary of $60 per month. She taught eight-years at Toxey Elementary School, serving as teaching principal for two years. During this time she took extension courses and summer sessions to complete requirements for a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education from Livingston.
After graduation in 1948 from Livingston, she moved to Santa Rosa County, FL and taught at Jay Elementary and Crossroads schools until 1956. She then transferred to Gulf Breeze Elementary school when it opened in 1956 and taught first-grade there for eleven-years.
During the summers she attended George Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville, TN, and earned a M.A. degree in Elementary Education. She continued courses to become certified in Educational Leadership.
In 1967 Estelle was appointed Director of Elementary Education for the Santa Rosa School District, Milton, FL. and remained in the position for thirteen years. In 1980 she was promoted to Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and served in that position until retirement in 1985. She was well known throughout the state for her educational leadership and served two-terms on the Florida State Commission for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
After serving 46-years in Alabama and Florida education, she retired in 1985.
Estelle has always been active in the Baptist Church of Toxey, AL; Cora Baptist Church of Jay, and The First Baptist Church of Gulf Breeze, FL, where she served as Church Treasurer for almost 40-years. In addition to being the Church Treasurer, she was a Sunday School Director and teacher, Church Training Director, W.M.U. worker and served on many committees. She was active for many years in the Senior Adult Group at First Baptist Church of Gulf Breeze.
Estelle's hobbies included sewing, gardening, embroidering and quilting.
Estelle was a very compassionate person. When a need arose, she rushed to supply her assistance, often disregarding her time and cost.
Though never married, Estelle considered her nieces and nephews her children and rejoiced in their triumphs and was there in their time of need. Estelle was a beloved second mother to Anna Elizabeth and Michael, who miss her loving touch dearly.
Estelle is remembered for her great sense of humor; she always found the right joke for the right time.
Estelle is survived by her sister Hilda Aline Bonner Speed and the niece and nephew for which she was a second mother, nephew Michael Speed (Jan), grand-nephew Jared G. Speed (Jenny) , great-grand-nephew Landon; grand-niece Heather L. Speed; and niece Anna Elizabeth Speed Ratliff (Steve), grand-nephew John H. Ratliff (Amy) and great-grand-nephew Foster; grand-niece Michelle Estelle Ratliff Lee (Nathan) and great-grand-nephew Cooper and great-grand-niece Trinity Estelle and grand-niece Jamie Ratliff.
Estelle is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews and great-grand nephews and nieces who she dearly loved and supported.
Visitation will be at the First Baptist Church of Gulf Breeze from 3:00 PM until 5:00 PM, Sunday August 10, 2008. Memorial services honoring her life and Christian faith will be held at 10:00 A.M., Monday, August 11, 2008 at the First Baptist Church of Gulf Breeze with Reverend Jeff Spooneybarger officiating. A grave side service will follow at 4:30 P.M at the family cemetery, Bonner Memorial Cemetery, in Toxey, AL.
Respectfully serving as pallbearers will be nephews Michael Speed, Steve Ratliff, and Marcus Bonner and great-nephews John H. Ratliff, Jared G. Speed, and Nathan Lee.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to the Renfroe Center of the First Baptist Church of Gulf Breeze where she worshiped her dear Lord for 51-½ years or to the Bonner Memorial Cemetery Fund, 1717 Saint Marys Bay Drive, Milton, FL 32583.
Our beloved Tata is now safe in the arms of Jesus.

Published in the Pensacola News Journal on 8/10/2008


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