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Elizabeth "Betsy" Bonnell

March 11, 1962 – October 11, 2022

Memorial Mass, Saturday, November 5th at 1:00pm at Saint Clare of Montefalco 1401 Whittier Rd, Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230

The voice of Elizabeth “Betsy” “Liz” “Bea” “Becky” “B” Bonnell, echoes in our heads. We have been crying, laughing and storytelling as a family since she died unexpectedly on October 11th, 2022, from complications of colon cancer.

Betsy could have opened a wine, cheese, and bread shop. The assortment of cheeses she put on a charcuterie board was a work of art. It featured cheeses that were the favorite of every Bonnell, with accents of honey, walnuts, crackers, raspberries, and figs. The party started when Betsy arrived. All her nieces and nephews anticipated her entrance because they knew she would come with bags full of all their favorites. In addition to the cheeses, she would make homemade cheese bread stuffed with prosciutto. She always needed help getting everything out of her car because she brought so much when she came to a grad party, a house party or a birthday party. She brought bottles of wine and maybe even a bottle of whiskey. Betsy brought family tradition.

Betsy loved her 7 siblings, but she probably loved her nieces and nephews more. She always told them they should stop growing up, the birthdays had
to go backwards! She had a nickname for all 16 of them. If you needed her advice, she would give it. She would listen and be truthful. Of course,
there were many times you didn’t want her advice and she gave it to you anyway. On Christmas Eve for example, everyone would usually attend
mass at their home parish and then head to Grandma Gerry’s house. If you came in jeans because you wanted to get out of your Christmas clothes, Betsy would let you know that was NOT okay.

Family was everything to her. Maybe that’s why she never married, she wanted to spend all her free time with family. Betsy joked that she was waiting for a wealthy man, and that’s when her nieces got her on a dating site. She was game, but remained single.

She loved her brothers. She loved to pretend that they irritated her, but she worshiped them. They would call her breasty (instead of Betsy) to annoy
her, and they succeeded, but she loved their affection. She loved her sister in laws like they were her sisters. When any of her sister in laws hosted a meal, she would bring them flowers. When a niece or nephew graduated from grade school, or performed in a play, or graduated from college, she brought flowers.

Betsy loved to get everyone to gather. She started Girls Day, years ago. She would plan crafts, games and food and host it at her house or at a park. We didn’t do it every year, but she always talked about the next girl’s day.

Betsy enjoyed hosting the sugar cookie bake off and decoration. The kids could get flour everywhere in her house, she didn’t care, she was grateful everyone came over.

Betsy took a sincere interest in everyone she met, and she was loyal. If you needed her, she was there.

Besides the love of family, she loved clothes and shoes. She had so many shoes she would periodically give them away to anyone who had the same size foot. She loved boutiques the most. She always wanted to talk about where she shopped, places she didn’t like and the shops she still wanted to get to.

Betsy was not a subtle person. She was straightforward. In regard to game time with the family. She had rules. She wouldn’t play cards, ever. She refused, but she would kill you in a trivia game.

Betsy loved to travel. Her last trip before she died was to Malta and Italy. Betsy was on vacation with her childhood friend Paula, when she became
ill and was taken to the hospital. It was serendipitous that her brother Joe, and his family were to be in Rome a couple days after she was admitted to the hospital. It was meant to be that their paths crossed. What a blessing for everyone involved. Despite the discomfort she was in, and how sick she was, she was still talking about getting back to the job she loved the following week, laughing at a joke about the “hot” doctors in Italy and talking about what she had to do when she got home.

Betsy loved her family so much that in her final days she apologized for “ruining” Joe’s vacation to Italy. Ruining our vacation? We were honored to be with her in the end. Betsy died several days after Joe and family arrived.

Betsy never complained about her cancer, she didn’t want to be a burden to anyone. The colon cancer rarely kept her from work and never kept her away from family gatherings.

Our opinionated sister-in-law, sister, Aunt, and great Aunt to quote her nephew Mike Aumann “is probably up there in heaven right now giving advice to Jesus.” She probably made a charcuterie board too and is offering up some fabulous wine.

Betsy is survived by her Uncle “Unc” Tom (Pat) Berry. Her brothers Bill (Jennifer), Tom (Teri), John (Kob) Mike (Taylor), Joe (Laura) and Jim (Lisa). The loves of her life were her 16 nieces and nephews: Billy (Amanda), Steven (Brooke), Beth (Brandon), Thomas (Mallory), Tobey, Katie (John), Annie (Mike), Molly, Emily, Chelsea, Megan, Patrick, Erin, Gigi, Johnny and Kristine. Her 12 great nieces and nephews: Quinn, Lila, Piper. Lauren, Landon, TJ, Dottie, Harper, Dominic, Nathan, Gabriel and Claire.

Betsy was preceded in death by her sister, Mary Aumann and mother, Geraldine Bonnell.

Betsy worked tirelessly at SME. Years ago, Betsy was a youth minister at St. Anne’s Church.

She will be missed.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Betsy’s name to The Bonnell Foundation: Living with cystic fibrosis (a genetic disease that two of her nieces have). The Foundation helps families in Michigan and across the U.S. with lung transplant grants, financial assistance, and education scholarships).

Donate in honor of Elizabeth “Betsy” Bonnell

Barbara Teicher

In loving memory. We’re so sorry for your loss. We love you! Adam, Barb and Hannah

Kathleen Borgula

In memory of Betsy Bonnell, who was an amazing human and one who I was proud to have known and worked with at SME. Her courage, confidence and strength were things I admired in Betsy. She was dedicated to her work, and didn’t let anything stand in her way, including her medical diagnoses. We all knew how much her family meant to her, as she would proudly share stories about them, definitely about her nieces and nephews! I will miss her.

Rosanne Campbell Nadenichek

In Memory of the beautiful Betsy Bonnell. I am Paula’s sister. Betsy was always so much fun to see when I was in Detroit. Always smiling. Always blunt. Great stories. I will miss her. Deepest condolences to the wonderful Bonnell family. 

Beth Fischer

In Betsy’s honor.

David Lawton

In loving memory of Betsy Bonnell and the many years working with her.

Cynthia L Moore

In honor of Betsy

John, Ann, Kelsey and Erin O’Keefe

In honor of Betsy.

Paula Kelly

In honor of Betsy.

Ally & Cameron Nickert

In Memory of Betsy Bonnell. She was a great coworker at SME. Always someone I could go to to swap travel stories and talk about events. She will be greatly missed by everyone.

Linda Sicklesteel

In honor of Betsy.

Cherekiana Adams

In honor of Betsy.

Patricia Isham

In honor of Betsy Bonnell.

lla Lee

Betsy will live in our hearts forever and be surrounded by beautiful white roses. My sincere best to the family as you navigate through these hard times and loss.

Jane and Mike Ellis

Though we did not personally know Betsy, the love and laughter she brought to the family are palpable. Blessings and peace to all!

Helene Snell

Betsy was such a caring, special person. We have been friends since 2nd grade. Missing her and sending love to the whole Bonnell family.

Frank & Claudia Mallon

In honor of Betsy.

Michael Marlow

In honor of Betsy.

Margaret Tavierne

In honor of Betsy.

Jason and Joy Scott

So very sorry for your loss. We love you guys!

Lois Teicher/Natalie Wicks

In honor of Betsy

Debra and Nick Wynne

In honor of Betsy

Bob and Betty Gonko

In honor of Betsy

Mary Ann Cheek

In honor of Betsy

Feras Shammami

In honor of Betsy

Katherine and Ron Francek

In honor of Betsy

Dave and Barb Francek

In honor of Betsy

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