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Born in Carroll, Nebraska to Harold O. and Mae Harmer Bonnie Lee (Harmer) Smith was born April 11, 1927, in Carroll, Nebraska to Harold O. and Mae Harmer. After the divorce of her parents, she was raised in Mississippi by her aunt, Gladys Mills and husband Charlie. She entered her eternal home on October 16, 2005. She was greeted there by husband Vernon, Gladys and Charlie, her mother and dad, sister Pat and brother Don.
Bonnie was introduced to Vernon G. Smith as a blind date. After only knowing each other for seven days, Vernon proposed marriage. They married on June 3, 1952, and to this union four children were born: Connie, Cheryl, Charlie and Craig, or the 4C’s as they were lovingly called. She was a wonderful mother and was vitally interested and actively involved in the 4C’s many activities.
In 1947 she graduated Magna cum Laude from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, with majors in Education, Spanish, English, and History. Bonnie was the consummate teacher, whether in school (1st and 2nd grades) or tutoring children with reading problems in her home, she welcomed any opportunity to enrich and teach young people. Her career as a Scout leader (both Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts) continued long after the 4C’s had completed the programs.
The family moved to Cabool, Mo. in 1967 when Vernon retired from the FBI and they built a family friendly home, and Bonnie sewed curtains for every one of the ten rooms. She was an avid reader and her big home library attested to her love of books. Another passion was flowers – at one time having more than 5,000 African violets in her home and greenhouse. She and Vernon enjoyed playing bridge with friends and in their younger days they loved to square dance. Bonnie was a devout Christian and a stalwart church member. She taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible School for many, many years. She also served on the Board of Directors for Texas County Memorial Hospital, and held the office of president for one term.
When her health began to fail, she moved to Ava in 2003 to be near her daughter Connie. Even then she wanted her daughter to find a child for her to tutor in reading. She moved her church membership to the Ava Methodist Church and enjoyed making new friends there.
Bonnie was a very gracious lady. You never heard her say a mean word about anyone or complain about anything. She always displayed true Southern hospitality to anyone who had the privilege to come to her home. Bonnie always had a wonderful smile on her face and truly loved people.
Survivors include the 4C’s: Connie L. Bacorn and husband Fred, Ava; Cheryl L. Simms and husband Dan, Hartsville, South Carolina; Charlie V. Smith, Springfield; and Craig N. Smith and wife Ann, Sacramento, California; five grandsons, Kelsey, Drew, Mac, Liam and Philip; nieces; nephews; and a host of church family and friends.
At her request, the body will be cremated and a memorial service held in Cabool at a later date. Memorials are suggested to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, PO Box 96305, Washington, DC 20090-6305 or Gideons International.