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Bonnelle (Lawson) ValentineOctober 14, 1922 ~ December 9, 2017 (age 95)
Bonnelle Lawson (Bonnie) Valentine, 95, of Gainesville, Georgia passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 9, 2017 at the home she loved so much. She was born October 14, 1922, the youngest of six amazing children of Minnie and Normus Lawson. She will be remembered as a strong, loving mother of four sons, devoted grandmother, remarkable cattlewoman, and trusted community leader.
Bonnie graduated from Gainesville High School, North Georgia College, and attended Emory University School of Nursing, where she met and married a young intern, Dr. Herbert (Herb) Valentine, Jr., of Valentines, Virginia in 1943. Bonnie and Herb began their journey in Charleston, South Carolina, where Herb was assigned to the 1st Marine Division, serving in Okinawa and Pellilieu in World War II. Following completion of his post-war residency at Emory University, the Valentines moved to Gainesville to launch his Internal Medicine practice.
While raising her sons, Bonnie volunteered at several organizations, including Study Club, Gainesville Junior League. St. Paul United Methodist Church and the Christian Education Center, and served as a board member of the Gainesville City School Board of Education. Often described as "fearless", she fought for excellence throughout her life.
In the early 1970's, Bonnie and Herb's love of the land led to the development of Valentine Farms in Jackson County. The Valentines became national leaders in the breeding of Angus Cattle, traveled extensively, and created lifelong friendships. Bonnie was elected as the first woman to serve on the Georgia Cattleman's Board, possessing the unique ability to work cattle all day, and host at an elegant civic event that evening. She lived fully and beautifully.
Bonnie was passionate in the love for her "boys." She never missed a son's athletic event, and was counted on to be among the most vocal supporters in the stands. Perhaps her son Tommy's athletic prowess came naturally, as she won Gainesville's Grand Slam of Golf in 1974. "Memama" as her grandchildren called her, will be remembered as the eternal optimist, always having faith her team could snatch victory from the "jaws of defeat." This will remain a true legacy for the Valentine family.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, Dr. Herb Valentine, sons Herbert E. (Boots) Valentine, III, and Thomas E. (Tommy) Valentine; brothers, Herbert, Thomas, Robert and Carl Lawson, and sister Reba Proctor Houck, and their loving spouses; and family friend and caretaker, Lettie Mae Jones.
Bonnie is survived by her sons, Richard (Dick) Valentine and his wife, Cherry of Gainesville; Dr. Mike Valentine and his wife, Shannon of Lynchburg, Virginia, "adopted son" Charlie Langford and his wife, Carol of Gainesville; grandchildren, Leigh and Neal Papevies of Atlanta; Brad and Henderson Valentine of Athens; Catherine Valentine of Washington, D.C., Jack Valentine and Brooke Valentine, both in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Valentine family is sincerely grateful to the three women who took such loving care of Bonnie in her final years. Niece Nancy Lawson was like a daughter to Bonnie, sharing laughter, books, and love of birds and flowers. During these past two years, sisters, Beverly Dirickson and Wanda Flanagan, provided compassionate care that extended around the clock, always with gentleness and joy.
A private family graveside service will be held at the Alta Vista Cemetery. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday December 16, 2017 at St. Paul United Methodist Church on Washington Street. Rev. Geoff Grubbs will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial gift to St. Paul United Methodist Church, 404 Washington Street, Gainesville, Ga. 30501; Hospice of Northeast Georgia, 2150 Limestone Parkway, Suite 222, Gainesville, Ga. 30501 or Center Point, 1050 Elephant Trail, Gainesville, Ga. 30501.
Those wishing to send online condolences to the family may do so at littledavenport.com
Little & Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory, 355 Dawsonville Highway, SW, Gainesville, Ga. 30501 is in charge of arrangements.