Margaret A. Bonning

Aug 20, 2013
Margaret A. Bonning

Margaret Ann (Doelker) Bonning was born and raised in Detroit, Mich.

Her parents were Adeline Todd Doelker and Lawrence Theodore Doelker, and her half sister was Jeanne Doelker Jones.

She attended Detriot area public schools and spent summers growing up in Mio, Mich. where her family had a fishing lodge on the Au Sable River. She loved cooling off in the chilly river waters, but did not enjoy trips to the outhouse or icehouse where it was rumored a snake sometimes took up residence.

In 1944 she graduated from Stephens College in Columbia, Mo. and received a degree in liberal arts. Back home in Detroit she attended the University of Detroit and then Detroit Arts and Crafts School at the renowned Detroit Institute of Arts. In 1946 she met John C. Bonning, a fellow student at Detroit Arts and Crafts, and an accomplished painter. They were married in 1948 and spent the next 62-and-a-half years together.

They moved into an apartment in the New Center area of Detroit where Marc worked at Saks Fifth Avenue as a model.

Marc and John raised four daughters, Jennifer, Suzanne, Melissa and Aimee, and lived for many years in the suburban Detroit towns of Royal Oak and Birmingham where John pursued a career as a commercial artist and Marc volunteered in the school system and sewed many of her daughters’ clothes; both encouraged their children’s interest in art and literature. It was a family tradition each fall to choose fabric for the girls’ back to school wardrobes that Marc, together with her mother, sewed.

In 1963 the family moved to Rockport, Mass. on a six-month sabbatical for John to pursue his love of painting the sea. When they returned to Michigan, with Marc’s patient encouragement, John displayed his work at the Kenilworth Gallery in Birmingham and Marc worked in fashionable village shops.

In 1969 the family again moved to the East Coast, this time to Bremen, where John set up a small studio and Marc began volunteering at the small Bremen Town Library. In 1971 Marc became the head librarian at the Bremen Library and in 1972 she organized the move to a new expanded library facility, donated by philanthropist, Elizabeth Noyce, a Bremen resident.

In 1981 Marc took over as the director of the Waldoboro Public Library where she worked until her retirement in 1998; after that she and John indulged their love of gardening, and she her lifelong love of reading.

Since then she has devoted her time to John until his death in 2010, and to her daughters and their families.

Mrs. Bonning is survived by her four daughters, Jennifer Ruddy and her husband, Jim Ruddy, Suzanne Bradley and her husband, Rob, Melissa Bonning and her husband, Lincoln Clapp, and Aimee Pearson and her husband, Scott. She is also survived by her six grandchildren, Jamie Ruddy and his wife, Samia, Sarah Bonning Ruddy, William Ross Bradley and his wife, Crissy, Lauren Rebecca Bradley and her partner, Matt Aceto, Julia Bonning Clapp and Liddy Rose Clapp and six great grandchildren. The loss of her beauty and loving presence is very much missed by all of them.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Broad Bay Congregational United Church of Christ in Waldoboro, Maine, or the Waldoboro Public Library.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Christine M Starrett | Aug 22, 2013 09:52

May peace and prayer help these four girls through this sad time! I remember their mother as one of the most beautiful Ladies I had ever met, both inside and out! A woman who was always smiling with a gentle voice and one who was a true lady! Sorry for your loss Aimee, remember a mothers love lives on within our hearts!

Posted by: Penny Gentle | Aug 22, 2013 08:03

The first time I saw Margaret and Jennifer I thought they were the most beautiful women I had ever seen.  I will never forget that day.

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