She aimed for the sky, moving slowly, enjoying every step along the way. It was all those little steps that made Bonita Sue Williams’ journey complete as she passed away peacefully at home with her family at her side, Sunday, August 20th. The phone calls, letters, cards, and visits Bonnie received during the final weeks of her life were a tremendous source of joy, peace, and comfort to her and those who cared for her.
Bonnie, 73, was born on July 25, 1950, to Ina & David Erb in Marietta, Ohio. Bonnie is survived by her loving family: siblings, Dale Erb (Paula); Hilda Imogene Tidd; John Erb (Barbara); Ruth Morris (Bradley); Ronald Erb (Yvonne); sisters-in-law, Beverly Erb (James); Ruth Erb (David), many nieces and nephews and half-sister, Hester McCain. She was predeceased by her parents, siblings: Mary Lou Erb; David L. Erb; James R. Erb; and Gary S. Erb, niece, Lori Erb; nephew, Kevin Tidd, as well as 6 half-brothers and sisters.
At a young age, Bonnie or Barndance as she was affectionately nicknamed by her siblings, developed a love of sports. Slow-pitch softball was her passion. She began in Marietta playing for Harold Hadley. Later, she secured a spot on the coveted McGlaughlin Oil Slow Pitch Softball team in Columbus, Ohio, competing in tournaments across the country. She was a fierce competitor. Classmates feared her hard, fast, arm and accurate aim. Whether it was tennis, golf, volleyball, or softball, no one would even think of taking her on if you couldn’t compete at her level. She compromised her game for no one.
Bonnie loved to travel, especially to Ireland to visit close friends and together those travels reached from coast to coast. She was at her best when playing pranks on friends and family. Her special talent was the strong, unique relationships she developed with all 26 of her nieces and nephews and their children. She gave us all a lot of “firsts.” (first Toni, first movie, first naked run, first dumpster diving, first concert, first “TP”).
Her early jobs, which she held while in school, included working in accounting for Harts. In 1968, she graduated from Marietta Senior High School, and was invited by her boss to continue and expand her accounting career with Harts in Columbus. She married Stephen P. Williams in 1969 and off they went to the “big city.” While still playing softball, she went to work for McGlaughlin Oil as an accountant. Bonnie returned to Pleasant Ridge near her childhood home after retirement in 2005. She devoted her time to family, friends and many elderly neighbors.
Bonnie was kind, loyal and compassionate, and that caring spirit drove all her pursuits, most importantly in helping others. Whether it was driving an elderly neighbor to the doctor, volunteering at a local soup kitchen on Thanksgiving Day, mowing and trimming the yard for her brother or cleaning up ladybugs alongside her sister, whatever she did, she was all in!
For those who knew and loved her, Bonnie has left many meaningful and happy memories that will last their lifetimes. Her friends and family will continue to honor her legacy by living their lives to the fullest and enjoying every step of their journeys.
Those wishing to join the family in honoring her life can help by making a donation to, or volunteering at one of the organizations she loved: Franciscan Community Meals on Wheels; Fearing Volunteer Fire Department, Stanleyville Reunion, Marietta Hospice Care or providing love and assistance to any neighbor or friend in need.
A Graveside Service at East Lawn Memorial Park, followed by a Celebration of Life at the home of Bradley and Ruth Morris (360 Morris Rd., Marietta) will be held Saturday, September 9th at 11:00. Family, friends, and neighbors are invited to attend.