Mary Therese Bonnet lost her last fight for life on May 12, 2016 at St. Francis Medical Center. Even in that she was an inspiration to everyone present at her bedside. For almost forty-two years, Mary was the beloved wife and best friend of Joseph C. Bonnet III. She left her life as she had lived it, with passion and quiet determination. She fought hard for what she believed in and for those who mattered to her, and that is indeed a large and eclectic group of friends and family.
Adjectives abound but do little to describe the essence of this wonderful and highly accomplished lady. She was very intelligent, incredibly hard working and beautiful both inside and out. She was warm and welcoming with a quiet, private side. Mary was easy to talk with and had a great sense of humor. She treated everyone the same regardless of one's station in life. As a result, everyone felt special in her presence. She loved our dogs, bird, and all animals. Since arriving in Colorado, she took to the owls that had roosted near the house. Mary loved flowers and gardens, and her home was always special as a result of her green thumb. Her innate gift and love for helping people helped enable others to reach their potential. Mary had a distinguished record of service in two careers.
Mary was born on March 10, 1953, in Newark, New Jersey, to Mary Elizabeth and Nicholas Joseph Frankie of Tenafly. Mary was an avid dancer for sixteen years and an academic over-achiever at Mount Carmel Elementary School and Tenafly High School. She attended the College of Saint Elizabeth in Convent Station, New Jersey, and graduated first in Mathematics and second overall in the Class of 1974. At Georgia State University, she earned a 4.0 GPA in Educational Psychology, Research Methods and Statistics. Her penchant for life-long learning contributed to her success in the Department of Defense Civil Service, where Mary completed Air Command and Staff College by seminar, and Air War College in residence.
Mary met the love of her life on September 12, 1970, at West Point, New York. It was her first weekend at college and her first dance, as well as the night before Joe's 18th birthday. Since then, he has always said, God brought Mary to him for that birthday, and they have been dancing together ever since. She was the best thing that ever happened to him. Everyone agrees. Mary and Joseph were married on June 8, 1974.
Mary led a varied professional life that included teaching mathematics to service members earning their GEDs at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and in the Canal Zone. She then taught junior high mathematics at St. Mary's Catholic School and Curundu Junior High School, before beginning a long and distinguished career as a DOD Civil Servant.
She initially served as an Engineer Technician. She excelled at her duties, which included energy conservation across the Canal Zone. Mary advanced to a Technical Information Specialist at the Tropic Test Center and then transferred to the then Armor-Engineering Test Board at Fort Knox, Kentucky. After a quick stint as a Supply Tech at the Florida Ranger Camp, Eglin Air Force Base, Mary advanced to the Operations Research Systems Analysis (ORSA) career field. In this role she became a leading member of the Board of Directors of the Military Operations Research Society (MORS) and achieved the highest level in the Civilian Service. MORS is the professional society for military, government, and defense industry ORSAs.
Mary's ORSA career started at the Infantry Board, Fort Benning, Georgia. This duty involved testing weapon systems, vehicles, and new equipment, including the Mark 19 Light Armored Vehicle and prototype combat boots. She then went on to operationally test weapon systems including the Apache helicopter, Abrams tank, and a prototype remotely piloted vehicle, then a concept a few years before its time at Fort Hood, Texas. She next performed resource analysis at TRADOC Headquarters, Fort Monroe, Virginia. This was followed by readiness analysis at the Headquarters of the Department of the Army, in the Pentagon. There she was able to reduce the readiness analysis time requirements by over 80%.
Mary transferred to the U.S. Air Force Studies and Analyses Agency (AFSAA), where she made indelible contributions to the national defense and her profession. She was responsible for organizing technical exchange meetings with AFSAA's counterpart in the United Kingdom. She led the study that ultimately "fire-proofed" the acquisition decision for the C-17 and developed a methodology dubbed "the so what" analysis which the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force constantly carried around with him. Mary culminated her Civil Service career as the Division Chief responsible for Air Force analytic study policy. She earned numerous awards for her studies and analyses including the Civilian Meritorious Service Medal.
Upon retiring from the Air Force, Mary founded her own company, The Bonnet Group, LLC; and embarked on a successful second career as a Certified Hypnotist and Energy Coach, in Herndon, Virginia. She loved helping people unlock their "unlimited potential" and she was very good at it. Upon her husband's transfer to NORAD/USNORTHCOM, she moved her business to Colorado Springs. She continued her professional work in Colorado and across the U.S. and abroad, assisting a great many people.
Her husband, family, and friends hope that Mary will be remembered for the life she lived, who she was, and how she helped others. She was a cherished wife, sister, daughter, godmother, and friend.
She is survived by her beloved husband and best friend, Joseph C. Bonnet III of Colorado Springs; brother, Martin Frankie and his wife Patty, of Middlebury, Vermont; two goddaughters: Danielle Lifsey of Phoenix City, Alabama, and Theresa Capoano of Toms River, New Jersey; six godsons: Robert Pangrazzi of Landis, North Carolina; Benjamin Holdredge of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Joseph Bonnet of Grand Rapids, Michigan; Matthew Hutzel of Newark, Delaware; Cody Bonnet of Tucson, Arizona; and Jens Nicholaysen of Louisville, Colorado.
Memorial Service, 1:30PM, Thursday, May 19, 2016 at the Base Chapel, Peterson Air Force Base.
Visitation, 5:00PM-8:00PM, Thursday, May 19, 2016, The Springs Funeral Services, 3115 East Platte Avenue, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909.
Celebration of Life, 11:00AM Friday, May 20, 2016, Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church, 11020 Teachout Road, Black Forest, Colorado.
In lieu of flowers, donations to some of Mary's favorite charities in her name would be appreciated.
See The Springs Funeral Services website for details at www.thespringsfuneralservices.com
or call 866-943-5752 or 719-328-1793.