Bonnie was born in 1936 in New Jasper, Ohio, to Arthur F. and Margaret L. Bowermaster. As the youngest of 8 children on a large farm it was Bonnie's job to milk the cows. She was preceded in death by her parents, second son, Michael A. Stephens in 1975, her first husband, Willard H. Stephens in 1976 and second husband, William J. Gilkerson in 2015, step-children Nanette, Tina, Billy, step-grandchildren Jonny, Andrew and Joe; brother Rufus Bowermaster and sisters Elnora, Laura and Freda. She was an excellent cook and baker, sharing those treats with everyone. Bonnie was also an outstanding homekeeper, not only for her home, but as a career for many others who appreciated her skills and caring, making them friends and not just customers. Bonnie was a member of Parrish United Methodist Church where she enjoyed many friendships and worked in the Thrift Shop. Bonnie is survived by her daughter Joni Stewart, eldest son Dan Stephens and wife Mary, step-daughter Jody Giles, grandchildren Chad (Sarah) Stephens, Crystal (Alex) Stephens, Michael Stewart, Samantha Gilkerson and Jessica Music; great-grandchildren Taylor, Wyatt, Isaac, Devin, Janette. Bonnie passed away at home on April 21, 2016 after a long struggle with cancer. A graveside service will be Friday, April 29th at 10:00 a.m. at Sarasota National Cemetery. Donations in lieu of flowers are requested to Southeast Guide Dog School for their service dogs to veterans program or the
. Arrangements by Covell Funeral Home.
Covell Funeral Home & Cremation
4232 26th St. W.
Bradenton, FL 34205
Published in The Bradenton Herald on Apr. 27, 2016