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Billy Ray Bonham

Greenville Herald Banner
Wednesday, Feb 7, 2007

Billy Ray Bonham died Jan. 10, 2007, from complications of Multiple Sclerosis, a disease he battled for 35 years. Billy quietly passed from this life at his residence with his wife, Consuelo “Connie” Bonham, at his side.

Bill was born Sept. 21, 1928, in Campbell, son of Ruth and Essie Carlton Bonham. He served in the United States Navy during World War II and was discharged in 1949.

He was a barber and hair stylist in the Dallas area for more than 30 years until he and his wife retired to Greenville in the early 1980s.

Bill was a member of the Masonic John L. DeGrazier Lodge for more than 50 years, AMVET and the American Legion of Dallas. He belonged to the Scottish Rite and Hella Temple of Dallas for 40 years and was active in various Temple assignments, including Hella Bowlers and Hella Golfing Association. Mr. Bonham was a member of Grace Presbyterian Church in Greenville.

Bill will be remembered for his lively sense of humor, his independent spirit and his strong determination to overcome his disease. A contribution honoring Noble Bill Bonham was made by the Shriners to the Hella Shrine Building Fund in recognition for his many years of service.

Survivors are his wife of Greenville; daughters Sharon Groves of Sidney, Australia, Cheri Gibson of Virginia Beach, Va., and Adrianne Bruce and husband Don of Punta Gorda, Fla.; a son, Michael Gibson of Florida; an aunt, Edith Fuselton of Greenville; sisters-in-law Virginia Bonham of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Pansy Ramey of Houston; a niece, Becky Sullivan and husband Pete of Pasadena; nephews Kimble Parks Ramey of Dallas and Bradley Ramey of Houston; cousins Jimmy Cummings, Carolyn Saylors and Delores Donaldson, all of Greenville and Lisa and Alan Stowers of Commerce; three grandsons, three granddaughters; one great-granddaughter and a great-nephew.

His parents and a brother, Lee Bonham, preceded him in death.

Bill generously donated his body to the Southwestern Medical Center Willed Body Program to be used in M.S. research. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to Grace Presbyterian Church in Greenville.

Elaine Nall Bay

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