On November 17, 2023, Bonnie Jean (Gillespie) Lewis passed away peacefully in her sleep. She was 73 years old. Bonnie was a beloved wife, mother, and friend and will be deeply missed by all who knew her.
Bonnie is survived by her husband, John Lewis, her daughters, Jacqui Newman (Brian), of Tallahassee, Florida, and Jenn Canton (Paul), of Moorestown, New Jersey, and her grandchildren, Maggie Newman, John Newman, Paul Canton IV, Wes Canton, and Haynes Canton. She is also survived by her mother, Marge Gillespie, and her sisters, Kathy Benjamin (Ed) and Phyllis Jackman (Tom), and many close nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her father, Richard Gillespie.
Bonnie was born in Pana, Illinois, on October 3, 1950, and moved to Fort Myers, Florida, in 1960. She graduated from Cypress Lake Senior High School in 1968. She then moved to Tallahassee, Florida, where she married her high school classmate, John Lewis, and graduated from the Florida State University in 1972 with a degree in home economics. Bonnie was an excellent seamstress and worked professionally as a seamstress while raising her two daughters, Jacqui and Jenn. She also worked in human resources at Munters and at Lee Memorial Hospital and was later able to stay home full-time with her daughters.
Bonnie excelled as a domestic goddess before the phrase was even coined. She was an excellent cook, home decorator, seamstress, and party planner, and generously shared her talents with her family and friends. For anyone who ever needed her, Bonnie was there to help plan a party, bake a cake, sew a pillow, or make alterations to your favorite dress. Her daughters famously enjoyed the fruits of her labors. She was the consummate group organizer and knew how to throw a perfect party or family gathering and always had the right amount of food, drink, and good cheer to go around.
Bonnie was an excellent bridge player and was a dear friend to her “bridge group” for almost 50 years. She was an avid tennis player at Cypress Lake Country Club, played several times a week, and enjoyed spending time with her tennis posse on and off the courts.
But more than anything, Bonnie was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, and sister. She was married to John for 53 years and laughed or rolled her eyes at all of his jokes. She loved spending time with her family and would do anything for her daughters and son-in-laws. Grandma Bonnie or “GB” was beloved by her five grandchildren and she would often travel great distances to North Florida and New Jersey to make sure she saw her grandchildren at least once every 6 weeks. She was also devoted to her mother and two sisters whom she spent time with often.
A celebration of Bonnie’s life will be held by the family in early 2024. Please check back with the Harvey-Engelhardt website in the near future for further details.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bonnie’s honor to the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.
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