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bonis, florence

Florence M. Bonis

Florence M. Bonis passed away at 2:45 pm on July 2, 2022, at OSF. St. Mary Medical Center in Galesburg, IL. She was 88. She was born the fourth child of Leo and Helen Hoffa (Romanoski) on December 14, 1933, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She arrived behind Ruth, Ethel, and Robert.

In her twenties, her mother set her up on a date with John Bonis, a meat-cutter from the corner market. A year later, he proposed, and on November 28, 1959, they married. Despite facing the challenges of raising five children, she turned the family home into a haven for babies born into foster care. Through this, she found her sixth child.

Florence was a quiet but kind woman who worked hard and focused her energy on her family. She took whatever steps necessary to care for her loved ones. She did this as she faced medical problems that would have broken a lesser person. In their early years together, she and her husband invested in small businesses. They became part owners of an A&W in Menomonee Falls, WI and later owned their own grocery store, Bonis Foods, in Milwaukee. Through all this, she was employed at All State Insurance, took a position at a local factory, and worked alongside her husband as a meat wrapper.

In 1978, the family moved to Keokuk, IA where she continued her job as a meat wrapper. In 1983, another move brought the family to Galesburg, IL where she became an At-Home Caregiver. She enjoyed day trips and simple rides through the countryside although she wished she had traveled more extensively. She loved hearing of others’ adventures, requesting only a simple post card. 

Her parents and siblings preceded her in death. Her husband, of 56 years, passed through the Heavenly gates in 2015 with her eldest daughter, Mary, joining him two years later. She is survived by five of her children: Carol Bonis (Wally) of Milwaukee, WI, John Bonis (Linda) of Milwaukee, WI, Tom Bonis (Laura) of Beaver Dam, WI, Vicky Queen (Alan) of Keokuk IA, and Andy Bonis of Galesburg, IL. She had seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren (with two more on the way). 

A visitation will be held at Watson Thomas Funeral Home on August 27, 2022, from 10:00-11:30 am with a short prayer service to follow. Immediately after, her ashes will be spread in the Scattering Garden in East Linwood Cemetery. After a short break, a simple cookout will be held at her son Andrew’s house. Memorial contributions may be made to the family. Online expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at www.watsonthomas.com.

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