Alliance Bank in Sulphur Springs

Mary Bonham

Mary Bonham, age 96, of Sulphur Springs passed away peacefully at her home on March 27, 2024 surrounded by her family. A memorial service will be held Monday April 1st at 2:00pm at West Oaks Funeral Home, 500 Hillcrest Dr., Sulphur Springs, Texas. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service starting at 1:00pm.

Mary Louise Spencer Bonham was born February 15, 1928 in Hopkins County to Johnny and Annie Kitts Spencer. The 3rd of 5 children, Mary grew up and stayed in her community always working, starting as a beauty operator on Oak Avenue. She had three children with her first husband Bill Adair, the first being stillborn, Rhonda, and then Billy Ray. Tragedy struck when they lost their youngest child, Billy Ray, at the age of 7 in 1968. Mary later married Sam Bonham joining him in business in the Sulphur Springs Parts Company and later Sam and Mary expanded the J-B Weld Company across the United States. Sam passed away in 1989, but Mary never slowed down, bringing her daughter Rhonda into the business as they expanded the company worldwide. Mary remained active in the business until it was sold in 2009. Mary excelled in anything she did, whether it was business, horse racing, cracking and selling pecans or philanthropy, and in later years quilting. The namesake of the local Kid’s Kingdom playground, Mary’s donation and foresight has provided tens of thousands of kids a safe and fun place to play at the local Buford Park. Although Mary worked at an early age instead of continuing her own education, she was adamant that higher education was imperative to success. She established several scholarship funds for Hopkins County students as well as endowments at Texas A&M University-Commerce (TAMU-C) to help students pursue their dreams. Her philanthropy at TAMU-C earned her an honorary doctorate degree with the university. Mary was named Citizen of the Year, a Hopkins County Healthcare Foundation Gala chair, as well as Gala honoree, a recipient of the local MLK award, and honored with the TAMU-C Equine Pavillion being named after her as well as numerous other awards. Mary impacted many lives in the Hopkins County community. Mary was of the Baptist faith and a long time member of Lake Highlands Baptist Church.

Mary is survived by her daughter Rhonda Young and husband Chad, grandchildren; Keith Shing and husband Bobby, Kristin Potts and husband Kerry. Great-grandchildren; Kennedy Potts (Braxton Curliss), Kate Potts (Ty Lopez) and Max Calhoun-Shing, as well as step-granddaughter; Sara Young. Mary is also survived by one brother; Charles Spencer and wife Glenna, sister-in-law Jaquie Spencer, longtime companion, Jack Moore, along with a host of very special cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, one stillborn son, one son Billy Ray, her husband of 20 years Sam Bonham. She was also preceded in death by her siblings; Rose Enix, Ola Worsham, J.W. Spencer Jr.

A private graveside service will be held at New Hope Cemetery with Ben Worsham, Dusty Worsham, David Gideon, Ray Glenn Jordan, Lee Pogue, and Logan Pogue serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers are Carl Bryan, Ronnie Charles, Tom Johnson, and Heath Hyde.

The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the New Hope Cemetery, 2155 County Road 4708, Sulphur Springs, TX 75482.

Open Viewing scheduled for Saturday, March 30, 2024 from 8:00am until 5:00pm at West Oaks Funeral Home

Arrangements are under the direction of West Oaks Funeral Home in Sulphur Springs.

Author: Chad Young

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