Mary touched so many lives during her career

THE death of retired teacher Mary Anne Bonner, Springfield ,Enniskillen has caused widespread sadness and regret in the area.
Mary aged 88 passed away on 20th May following a short illness.
Born in January 1934, Mary was the only child of Ellen and Thomas Flanagan, Gillyholme, Springfield. At the age of 6 Mary started school in Monea, having to walk miles across the Rolling Stone to get there. She had many fond memories of those times, including the American Army personnel who were training in the area giving her lifts to school in their jeeps during the war. Mary later went on to the Convent Primary School in Enniskillen when the bus service started on the main road and then to Mount Lourdes.
On leaving Mount Lourdes she helped out teaching at various local schools before heading off to Coventry to be trained as a teacher in nearby Rugby. It was during her time in Coventry that she met and married Philip Bonner in 1959, he was a shoemaker from Greencastle in Co. Donegal. After working in Coventry for a number of years in 1962 Mary and Philip returned home to Springfield with their son. They later went on to have four daughters.
While Philip set up a shoe repair shop in Enniskillen Mary obtained a teaching post in Drumbeggan School in Monea before moving to the Convent Primary School and later St Teresa’s Primary School. She spent many happy years teaching in these schools and made lifelong friends among the staff before retiring in 1988.
Over the years Mary taught many hundreds of children and on numerous occasions when out shopping she would be approached by past pupils for a chat. Mary always had an interest in how her past pupils’ lives had turned out and it was evident in all the beautiful messages received following her death just how many children’s lives she had touched during her teaching career, with many stating she was their favourite teacher.
Mary was predeceased by her husband Philip in 2003 and is survived by her son Philip (Mary), and her daughters Mary Majella (Cahal Rip), Eileen (Frankie), Catherine (Paul), Anna and her 13 Grandchildren and 4 Great Grandchildren.

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