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Rosemary Bonner


Rosemary Bonner

Bonner, Rosemary Anne (nee Clappen)

August 1, 1922 – January 2, 2018.

Peacefully, on Tuesday January 2, 2018 at the Hospice Wellington, Rosemary Bonner in her 96th year went to be with her Lord.  Amongst her last words, she said, "I know my time is now.  I’ve had a really good life."  Rosemary was the beloved wife of the late Gordon Bonner.  Dear sister of Phyllis Mary (Iain) of the UK.  Cherished and devoted mother of Anthony Bonner (Mae Kotsios) of Toronto and the late Donald Bonner.  Loving and adored grandmother of Anna Jiroutova of Brno, Czech Republic.  Rosemary was a loving aunt to Victoria (Jason) and Charlotte (Chris) of the UK. She is sadly missed in Guelph by cousin Elizabeth and friend Bettina (Kevin). 


A graveside service delivered by Rev Canon Ralph Blackman (St. George’s Anglican Church) will be held on Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at Woodlawn Memorial Park in the War Veteran’s Area (Block P, Marilyn Drive entrance, turn right and then 2nd left). Reception and prayers to follow at Guelph Lake Commons Retirement Home, 520 Victoria Rd. N. (2nd Floor Library).  A church service and celebration of Rosemary’s life will be planned for this summer.


Arrangements entrusted to the GILCHRIST CHAPEL – McIntyre & Wilkie Funeral Home, One Delhi Street, Guelph.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hospice Wellington or to World Vision (Rosemary sponsored a child there for 15 years). We invite you to leave your memories and donations online at: and they will be forwarded to the family.




A Little about Rosemary


Rosemary was born on Aug 1, 1922 in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, UK. She was the first child of Jack and Olive (Shepherd) Clappen. Happy childhood memories included Ridgeway Gardens, Auntie Bertha’s visits from Ashbury and Granny Clappen’s cooking.

In 1941 she trained at Manchester Royal Infirmary (3 years) and became a Registered Nurse.

In 1945, Rosemary joined the Queen Alexandria Royal Army Nursing Corps.  She was posted to Ghana and Nigeria in West Africa treating polio patients. In 1947-48, she served in the Berlin Spandau Military Hospital (a former Nazi school), 1 mile from the Russian zone. She was in Berlin during the Soviet blockade and subsequent allied airlift.

From 1951-54, Rosemary served on troop ships, which took her all over the world. Here she met her future husband, Gordon Bonner (of the Falkland Islands), the 2nd mate (navigating officer) on one of these ships (the "Asturias").  Their first date was in Japan.

Rosemary married Gordon in Kensington, West London, UK, on November 24, 1956.  They emigrated to Toronto, Canada in 1957 with their first son Anthony (aka Tony, born in London).

She continued her nursing career and lovingly raised her two sons, Tony and Donald (born in Hamilton) in Ontario. She founded the Toastmistresses club in Hamilton, and worked as a registered nurse at Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington for 12 years.  In 1978, she and Gordon moved to Edmonton, Alberta, and then to West Vancouver, BC, in 1986. Rosemary loved to travel and fondly remembers holidays with Gordon. Their last trip together (1990) was to Paris, France.

Rosemary was a deeply spiritual woman.  She suffered through a number of tragedies and said that she could not have got through them without God. People remember her as an amazing woman who showed much kindness, strength and generosity.

Rosemary was an avid and accomplished painter for much of her life, painting in oils, acrylics and watercolour. She exhibited her paintings at art shows in three provinces. Art clubs were an important part of her life and she met many close friends there. She fondly recalls art trips and retreats in Alberta and BC and Florence, Italy. She loved passing on her artistic skill to her granddaughter, Anna. 

Rosemary loved Vancouver and it was difficult for her to leave her Art Club and friends and move back to Ontario to live near her little family (2010).  This strong, independent woman slowly adjusted to a new life in Guelph. She enjoyed having her cousin Elizabeth close by. Rosemary loved staying with her son Tony and Mae across from the Beach in Toronto and spending time with Anna.

A few days before passing, she had a joyful Christmas with family in Guelph, enjoying second helpings of her favourite salmon dish and toasting with champagne. 

We love you, Mum. Thank you for everything. You will be remembered forever.


Service Date
Saturday, January 6, 2018
Service Time
10:00 a.m.
Service Location
Graveside service at Woodlawn Memorial Park

Reception and Prayers to follow
Visitation Time
After Graveside Service
Visitation Location
Guelph Lake Commons, 520 Victoria Rd. N. 2nd. Floor Library

Burial Date
Jan 6, 2018
Burial Time
10:00 a.m.
Burial Location
Block P, Veteran's Section - Woodlawn Memorial Park

Requested Charity
Hospice Wellington or World Vision