In Loving Memory of

Bonnie Rose Paterson (nee Abbs)

1932 - 2022

Obituary of Bonnie Rose Paterson (nee Abbs)

February 8, 1932 - December 14, 2022

Beautiful Bonnie Paterson peacefully passed away at home on Wednesday, December 14, at the age of 90.

Beloved Mother of Shawn (Tom Laing), Norma (aka Enlynne), Brian (Sue), and Susan (Danny Pasquale). Adored Grandma of Jordan (Jaclynn Duncan), Justin (Sara), and Lauren (Jamie McEwan) Laing, and Zachary Pasquale (Margo Dao). Loving GG to Thomas Laing and Nolan Laing.

Born at home on Berryman Avenue to James and Isabella Abbs (nee Gough), Bonnie lived her whole happy life in St. Catharines. She grew up in a close neighbourhood, spending summers at Jones Beach. While waitressing weekends at the Columbia Restaurant downtown, she overheard a handsome man tell his friend, "That's the girl I'm going to marry.” Eventually, he did. Norm and Bonnie tied the knot in 1953, and spent 67 wonderful years together, until Norm passed away at 93 in December 2020.

Happily ever after came naturally to Bonnie and Norm. They showed us what love looks like. We can still see Dad serenading Mom in the kitchen, and the two of them curled up on the couch watching a Leafs game, Bonnie shouting at the TV as if her boys could hear, Norm just grinning. They enjoyed simple things together, a meal out, a meal brought in, spontaneous road-trips, and cottage vacations. They would leave the house with no set destination and always had an adventure “following the hood ornament around”. By far, their greatest joy was time spent with their four precious grandchildren.

Before becoming a Mom, Bonnie worked at Zellers and Monarch Knit. Once her four children were in school, she volunteered at the General Hospital’s coffee shop, then with special needs children, ultimately at the Children's Centre, where she became a beloved teaching assistant. The job was a perfect fit for her "nothing but kindness" style and she found her people there. For years, she shared her lovely voice with the Westminster Church choir.

Home felt like a hug, especially with family gathered in the living room. We've yet to replicate her spaghetti and meatballs, roast beef dinners and chocolate chip cookies.

If you knew Bonnie, you have an ember of her in your heart. How many times did we hear, "Your Mom is a gem.” Her unconditionally loving nature looked for the good and found it in everyone. That eternal (at times infernal) optimism kept her young. She had a quiet way of boosting souls. Your happiness fuelled hers. A good talk with Bonnie would always "feel you better" because she actually listened and truly cared. She'd untangle any turmoil with a few wise words, and she was always right. Her sensible advice served us well: "Don't do anything you wouldn't want put on the front page of the Standard." "Look around, see what has to be done, and do it."

Bonnie was predeceased by her loving husband Norm, her sisters Ida Frado (Joe) and Edie Stones (Dan) and her family-in-law, Alexander and Lily (Ross) Paterson, Edna and Tom Church, Alec and Jean Paterson, and Chuck and Shirley Paterson. She is survived by her dear sister Betty Chivers (Norm 2012) and brother Jack Abbs (Pat). Aunt Bonnie was beloved by her nieces and nephews. She will be dearly remembered by her friends and neighbours. Special thanks to our outstanding neighbour and friend Steve Doig, Bonnie’s always excellent nurse Marek, and spirit-lifter friends Vi, Myrna, Anita, Nancy and Elizabeth.

We take comfort in the thought of Bonnie and Norm reunited, guiding our hearts forever.

Cremation has taken place, care of the great people at Essentials. A family inurnment for Bonnie and Norm will happen in the spring at Niagara Lakeshore Cemetery. Flowers respectfully declined in favour of a donation to a family in need. In the spirit of Bonnie, ask someone how they are doing, and listen with your whole heart.

Service Information

There are no upcoming public services scheduled or the service has occurred in the past.

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9 months ago

So very sad to hear about Bonnie’s passing.


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