Bonnie J. Fletcher, 79 / Dec. 15, 1931 — Jan. 20, 2011

Published 6:27 pm Sunday, January 23, 2011

With a little laughing, a little crying and a lot of loving, Bonnie Jean (Hellwig) Fletcher, 79, of Pucker Street Drive in Niles, slipped from life into the arms of her awaiting savior at 11:52 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011, at her home following a nine month battle with cancer.

FletcherShe came into this world on Dec. 15, 1931 in Buchanan as the daughter of Clarence and Georgia (Slabecek) Hellwig and lived in this area all of her life.

She made her commitment to Christ on Dec. 24, 1954 and served Him faithfully the rest of her life.

For many years she was a member and taught Sunday school at the former First Assembly of God in Niles. She was currently a member of the First Missionary Church in Niles where she had served with her husband as deaconess and deacon.

She enjoyed caring for family and friends in women’s church groups mentoring young people, being a passionate prayer warrior and especially with her famous fish fry.

In 1976 she stood faithfully with her husband as they founded the Nub Lake Campground on the north side of Niles. She found new opportunities to care for folks in the camp office as she greeted and checked-in both new and long-time campers, scooping ice cream and her favorite activity — selling penny candy to children.

On July 14, 1950, at the First Methodist Church in Buchanan, she was married to Bruce Fletcher with whom she celebrated the 60th anniversary of that marriage last year.

Bruce met Jesus in March 1955 and with Bonnie became a powerful team in His service.

Bonnie is survived by her husband Bruce and their children, Tim (Debbie) Fletcher of Niles, Andrew (Barbara) Fletcher of Orange Park, Fla. and Pam Brady of Kalamazoo; seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren (with another due soon); brother Duane (Elizabeth) Hellwig of Niles and sisters Nancy Atkinson, also of Niles, Donna (Carl) Newsom of Buchanan and Sally (Bill) Newman of Kissimme Fla. and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and by five children, Glen, Peggy, Jorjen, Molly Beth and Robin Kay.

The funeral service for Bonnie Fletcher will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011 at the First Missionary Church in Niles with Rev. Daniel Miller of the church and Tim Fletcher officiating with the testimony of several friends celebrating her life. Committal will follow at Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. today at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles and beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the church.

Contributions in memory of Bonnie Fletcher may be made to Hospice at Home whose staff cared for Bonnie and her family in many remarkable ways that will long be remembered.