Shirley Mae Lewis Bonenberger

Published 10:37 am Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Shirley Mae Lewis Bonenberger passed away March 25, 2017 at the age of 92. She is predeceased by her husband, Norman G. (Bonny) Bonenberger; parents, Owen C. Lewis and Irene C Lewis; sisters, Lois C. Ayres, Irene E. Lewis; and brother, Owen C. (Buddy) Lewis Jr.

She is survived by her children, Norman Cary Bonenberger (Linda) of Portsmouth and Sandra B. MacDonald (Stevin) of Smithfield; and grand-dogs, Finn and Meggie. Shirley was born in Portsmouth on Nov. 5, 1924. She attended Cradock High School where she was “Miss Cradock High 1940”. She married Bonny, the love of her life, in Nov. 1942 and they were married for 60 years until his death is 2002. His Navy career took them to homes in Florida, Louisiana, Guam, Rhode Island and California. She loved to travel and they made trips to Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Hawaii and Alaska.

After moving to Smithfield in 2004, Shirley began attending classes at the Luter Family YMCA. Shortly after that she started volunteering there and made many wonderful friends. It gave her great joy. In February she celebrated being selected as the “Volunteer of the Year” and was so proud of that achievement. 
A funeral will be held in Arlington National Cemetery where she will rest with her beloved Bonny. A celebration of her life will be held in Smithfield at a later date. Should friends desire, contributions can be made in her memory to the Isle of Wight County Humane Society.  Condolences may be posted online at

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