Carmela J. Bonat, 92, of Sellersville, Bucks County, and formerly of Hershey, entered into eternal rest on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, at her home.
She was born on Oct. 18, 1928, in Hershey, and was the loving daughter of the late Anthony and Mamie (Purcell) Bonat.
Carmela had numerous physical and mental challenges, almost from birth. Because of her disabilities, her parents were unable to care for her at home. As such, she resided at Pennhurst State Hospital for many years. Thankfully, society itself — and the processes and beliefs of our health care industry about those with disabilities — changed, and Pennhurst was closed down. At that time, Carmela was able to transition to a group-home setting where she was lovingly cared for within the LifePath organization for several decades.
We wish we could name all her wonderful caregivers and staff, but there have been so many that we risk not mentioning someone. A heartfelt thank you to all of you: You know who you are and God does, too. We should all be so thankful that selfless people like you exist to help those less able. It is not always an easy job. Your place in Heaven is secure.
Carmela enjoyed life and spending time with her family during our visits several times a year. At her LifePath home, she loved baking with the staff, drinking her coffee and having her hair and nails done. She especially enjoyed going out to eat and shop with Kathy Histand, her friend and helper of 25 years. Since the family lived several hours away, Kathy was our eyes and ears to keep us up to date and, most importantly, spend quality time with Carmela when we could not. When notified of Carmela’s passing, Kathy immediately went to the home and worked with the staff to select burial clothing for her and spend time in prayer over her. We are forever grateful.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Carmela’s name may be made to the LifePath organization at www.lifepath.org. This wonderful organization provides programs and services to individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities in an environment of dignity and respect to people throughout the Lehigh Valley and southeastern Pennsylvania. In addition, a wonderful tribute would be simply to do as Carmela did. Slow down, take time to breathe, enjoy the simple things in life and embrace your family. It also wouldn’t hurt to kick back with a steaming cup of coffee, and better yet, add a piece of cake. Carmela loved cake! During our many trips to see her, usually around a special holiday, there was always space in the car for the cake. We enjoyed many, all flavors and shapes, all lovingly baked and beautifully decorated by our family’s master baker, Carmela’s niece, Shirley Fink. So many happy memories!
In addition to her parents, Carmella was preceded in death by her sisters, Dolores Houser and Antoinette Crout, and her brothers, Fred and Theodore Bonat.
Carmella is survived by her sisters, Mary Jackson, Caroline Butsko, Irene Rice, Janet Leach and many nieces and nephews.
Our family wishes to thank Deb, Zack and all the staff at Matinchek’s Funeral Home for their assistance in her arrangements.
We also thank Fr. Ted Keating of Seven Sorrows Roman Catholic Church for his kindness in officiating at her service and burial.
Services will be private and at the convenience of the family.
Interment will be at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Middletown.
The family has entrusted the Matinchek Funeral Home, 260 E. Main St. Middletown, with the funeral arrangements.
Condolences can be sent at www.matinchekfuneralhome.com