Shirley L. Bonnell, left her Earthly surroundings to go home with the Lord on June 15th, 2019, surrounded by three generations of her loving family at the age of 95 years, 9 months, and 4 days. She led a life of faith and love that she shared with so many. In ways, her life story reads more like a movie script, that not even Hollywood could have dreamed of.
Born September 11th, 1923 to Thomas H. Grudier and Goldie I. (McConnell) Grudier in Cambridge, Ohio. She attended school in Cambridge graduating from Brown High School. She was a lifelong and eldest member, of the Beckett Avenue Methodist Church. She grew up in the depression era and worked in her home town during WW2. It was after these historic events that she was able to marry the one and only love of her life, Cecil E. “Gene” Bonnell on September 8th, 1950.
Mr. and Mrs. Bonnell had one son, and a few short years after his birth, she was given devastating news. Shirley was diagnosed in 1956 with Breast Cancer. At the time, this was considered a death sentence, and her family prepared for the worst. Many doctors at the time gave no hope or options and gave her six months to live, except for one. This doctor put her through one of the biggest trials of her life with major surgery and the latest remedy at the time, high doses of radiation. Her faith and devotion to her family carried her through, against all odds and predictions, and she went on to become the longest living Breast Cancer Survivor in the area. This defiance of the odds against her included out-living every Doctor whom told her that she would not survive.
After she had worked for many years at the Cambridge Glass Company and GFM Post House. Mr. and Mrs. Bonnell went on to co-own Cecil E. Bonnell Realty. She also started Cambridge Telephone Answering Service, that began in her own home. This business venture included answering after hours emergency calls for most towing companies in the area as well as Columbia Gas and AEP. This also led to answering calls for local ambulance services including their radio and telephone calls. Predating 911, she was the voice on the other end of the phone when you had an emergency. For those on the radio, she was their lifeline, and will forever be remembered by the call sign “C-40”.
Mr. and Mrs. Bonnell made their home in Cambridge together up until his passing on September 25th, 1991. She continued to surround herself with her grandchildren, and ultimately her great-grandchildren clear up until the moment of her own passing.
Mrs. Bonnell was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas and Goldie Grudier, Her husband and love of her life Cecil E. “Gene” Bonnell, her sister and lifelong best friend Madeline Burris, her sister Beulah Lintz, brother Thomas H. “Socks” Grudier, brother Russell “Bud” Grudier, brother Raymond Grudier and brother Louis Grudier.
Mrs. Bonnell leaves behind her only son Jack (Anita)Bonnell; Grandchildren Benjamin (Megan) Bonnell, Heather (Matt) Crews, Kenneth (Jennifer) Bonnell, James (Jessica) Bonnell; Great Grandchildren; Jaslynn Bonnell, Kenna Smith-Bonnell, Bentley Bonnell, Maddox Bonnell, Raelynn Bonnell, Piper Bonnell, Madeline Bonnell, Jacob Crews, Kathryn Crews, and Emma Crews; sisters-in-law, Faye Culbertson, Eleanor Grudier; and nephews, Donald F. (Carol) Burris, Jr., Jeff Burris, Russ “Bud” (Martha) Grudier, Raymond (Carmen) Grudier Jr., Dave (Pat) Grudier, nieces, Cheryl (Bill) Calvert, Laila (Bill) Black, Cristeena (Stacey) Robinson, many great-nieces, great-nephews, and friends.
Shirley’s funeral arrangements are entrusted to her son Jack and grandson Kenneth, Funeral Directors with DeLong-Baker & Lanning Funeral Home 56 South 5th Street, Zanesville, OH 43701, where calling hours will be held Friday June 21, 2019 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
Additional calling hours will be held from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Saturday June 22, 2019 at Beckett Avenue Methodist Church, 1401 Beckett Ave, Cambridge, OH 43725, where services will take place at 1:00 PM with Pastor Mark Slay officiating. Burial will follow at Northwood Cemetery, where Shirley will be laid to rest next to her husband.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Guernsey County Cancer Society or The Gideons International.
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