Longtime Colorado Springs, Colorado resident, Evelyn R. Bonicelli, age 89, died at Avonlea Cottages of Seminole, Oklahoma on April 4, 2013. Evelyn Rose Bonicelli was born on January 19, 1924 to John and Mary (Ceresa) Bonicelli in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She attended Lowell School, St. Mary's, South Junior and Colorado Springs High School. During her early years she worked with her Uncle John and Aunt Vera Ceresa, owners of the Village Inn along with her Mother and Father, Aunt Carmen and Uncle Pete Ceresa. Evelyn spent several years in Muskogee, Oklahoma from 1945 until the mid 70's. The Bonicelli family operated the Muskogee Hotel Coffee Shop during the last days of World War II and later opened and operated the Bonicelli Drive Inn until 1959. During WWII Evelyn volunteered for the Grey Ladies at the VA Hospital, she was a Liberty Belle hostess for the USO, and she did volunteer work for the Red Cross Canteen, knitting large sweaters for the British Military. She was active in the British USO. When Evelyn moved back to Colorado Springs she worked and retired from the Colorado State Employment Services and volunteered at Silver Key, Goodwill and Moms of Military. She spent many hours writing to military personnel during Desert Storm and continued writing to the military until the time of her death. She was especially proud of 2 letters she received from General Norman Schwarzkopf recognizing her work for the troops during Desert Storm. She was a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Pueblo, Colorado. Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents, John and Mary Bonicelli of Muskogee, Oklahoma, daughter Mary Nell Palmour, Colorado Springs, Colorado and brother John J. (JJ) Bonicelli of Fort Worth, Texas. Survivors include her brother Pete L. Bonicelli Sr. of Shawnee, Oklahoma, her grandson Robert and wife Kelly Palmour of Tucson, Arizona, granddaughter Margaret Anderson, and great-grandson Zackary Ford of Janesville, Wisconsin. Services and burial will be in Colorado Springs, Colorado at Evergreen Funeral Home, 1830 E. Fountain Blvd, Colorado Springs on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 10 AM. Donations in her name can be made to Bishop Daniel Jones, Ava Maria Chapel, 210 South 2nd, PO Box 89, Westcliff, Colorado 81252-0099.
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Published in The Gazette on Apr. 10, 2013
Evergreen Funeral Home
1830 East Fountain Blvd. Colorado Springs, CO 80910