The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 8, 2012

Josephine E. (Mannherz) Bonham, 97, Northumberland


The Daily Item

— NORTHUMBERLAND — Josephine E. (Mannherz) Bonham, 97, passed away peacefully with her son by her side at Nottingham Village on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012.

Josie, as she was affectionately known was born Feb. 1, 1915, on a farm in Edgely, a daughter of the late Peter and Elizabeth Mannherz.

She graduated from Bristol High School in 1932 where she earned two letters as a member of the girls’ basketball team.

During World War II, she became “Josie” the riveter at Fleetwings Inc. in Bristol, riveting bomber airplanes like the B-17 Flying Fortress and the Grumman Avenger. Fleetwings is where she met Earl Irving Bonham. They married on Sept. 16, 1941, and had two sons, Joel M. and E. Richard Bonham. Josephine and Earl built a house by themselves, on the farm where she was born, along the Delaware Canal in Edgely. Josephine mixed the mortar and Earl laid the cinder block. Josephine worked as a baker in the cafeteria at the James Buchanan Elementary School in the Bristol Township School District until she retired in 1980.

Josephine was a member of Edgely Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary for over 70 years and was a volunteer at the Silver Lake Nature Center and the Grundy Library, Bristol.

In addition to her two sons, she is survived by two grandsons, Bryan Bonham and his wife, Jennifer, of Seattle and Shawn Bonham and his wife, Ayako, of Tokyo, Japan; her great-granddaughter, Kana Bonham; and numerous nieces and nephews.  

She was the only daughter in a family of six. All of her brothers preceded her in death, as did her husband Earl.

Josephine decided many years ago to donate her body to science, and her wishes were honored. She was taken to the Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton. The Kriner Funeral Home in Bloomsburg handled the arrangements. A memorial service is being planned for a date to be determined in January 2013.

Donations in Josephine’s memory may be Mostly Mutts or Haven to Home.