Bonita “Bonnie” L. Mills

Bonita "Bonnie" L. Mills

Bonita “Bonnie” L. Mills, 73, formerly of Chenango Forks, N.Y., went to be with the Lord Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.

She was born Bonita L. Ketchum on Sept. 15, 1944, in Endicott, N.Y., the daughter of the late Myrtle Mae (Porter) and Austin Lester Ketchum. Her education began in 1950-51 with kindergarten at the Whitney Point Central School and continued from first grade to 10th grade at Chenango Forks Central School from 1951-1959. A brief time was spent at the Edgewater High School in Winter Park, Fla., in 1960 and culminated at the North High School in Binghamton, N.Y., where she earned her GED after attending night school for bookkeeping in 1965.

From 1960 to 1962 she worked at the Endicott Johnson Shoe Factory until she married her sweetheart, Frederick M. Mills, from Smithville Flats, N.Y., on Sept. 22, 1962, who had just finished a deployment in Korea for the U.S. Army, just one week after her 18th birthday and over one year after the death of her beloved mother who died Sept. 18, 1961.

After marriage and relocating from Fort Dix, N.J., to Smithville Flats, N.Y., as the family began to grow, she worked at the Norwich Shoe Factory in 1963, the Crescent Corset Factory in Oxford, N.Y., as a seamstress in 1963-64 and sold Avon in 1968 and again in 1975. But her night school courses paid off when her husband began his own business in 1979 as a Roto-Rooter franchisee and the family again relocated from Greene, N.Y., to Jamestown, N.Y., where she worked alongside him to the end of her days.

She was predeceased by her father in 1976; and a brother, Robert J. Ketchum in 2013. Surviving are her siblings: Marilyn J. Barnett Seymour, Richard A. Ketchum both of Dryden, N.Y., and Esther R. (Robert) McGurrin of Endicott, N.Y. Beside her husband of 55 years, Frederick M. Mills, she has four surviving children: Duane F. (Julie Dallas) Mills of Jamestown, N.Y., Karen L. (Mark) Sasse of Saudi Arabia, Wendy B. (Steven) Walzer and Mark A. Mills both of Jamestown, N.Y. Besides many nieces and nephews, she has eight grandchildren and six (soon to be eight) great grandchildren.

Bonnie loved to read and write, she loved photography, animals, especially horses and her cocker spaniels Squirt and Babe, their shi-poos Fritz and Buster, scrapbooking and her family. She had a yearning to learn her roots and became involved in ancestry research. From this extensive study, she discovered that both her parents had Mayflower Pilgrim roots, quite unusual for both parents! Her mother was descended from Edward Doty, an indentured servant to fellow Pilgrim, Stephen Hopkins. Her father’s Pilgrim roots came from Edward Fuller and his son, the physician, Samuel Fuller, all of whom crossed the Atlantic on the Mayflower and settled in Plymouth, Mass., in 1620.

She was a member of the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church for 49 years serving in various positions over the years and always faithful in the reading of the Bible and praying for others, especially for her family to follow in dedicated faith and to pass it down to succeeding generations. Since her conversion to Christ in 1968, Isaiah 54 became the personal guidance that sustained her in life with a favorite verse being “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 KJV.

The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday Nov. 17, in the Lind Funeral Home. The Rev. H. Wayne Eppehimer, pastor of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church will officiate.

The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, in the funeral home.

A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, in the Nanticoke Valley Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church, 1011 W. Third St., Jamestown, NY 14701.

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