August 20, 1926 – November 11, 2018
Rosemary Woodham Bonifay, 92, of Bainbridge, GA, formerly of Pensacola, FL, passed away Sunday, November 11, 2018.
The family will receive friends from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Friday, November 16, 2018, at Ivey Funeral Home. The graveside funeral service will be held Monday, November 19, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. CST at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, FL.
Rosemary Woodham was born on August 20, 1926, in Pensacola, FL, to Zenobia Welch Woodham and Grady Cecil Woodham. As a young child she lived in Nicaragua before returning to the states and attending school in Pensacola, FL, Slocomb, AL and Washington, D.C. Rosemary received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Alabama and a Master’s degree in English Education from Florida State University. She married Walker W. Bonifay of Pensacola and spent most of her career teaching English at Warrington Jr. High and as the Language Arts Supervisor for Escambia County Schools. As a teacher she was both feared and revered due to her high expectations. She was a champion for teacher’s rights and challenged rules and laws that were not in the best interest of students, teachers and leaders throughout her career. Rosemary was active in the Escambia and Florida Education Association, Escambia and National Council of Teachers of English, Alpha Chi Omega, and Daughters of the American Revolution, holding multiple offices in the majority.
An avid reader and lover of the arts, Rosemary enjoyed everything creative. She loved the symphony, theater and visual arts. Rosemary lived by the adage “you are never too old to learn something new” and added drawing to her list of talents at age 69, becoming an accomplished pastel artist. After her retirement in 1988, Rosemary spent the next several decades engaged in community service with Florida Retired Educator’s Association, the Pensacola Museum of Arts, the Pensacola Choral Society, and the Council on Aging. She was a wonderful caregiver for her husband, mother and aunt as they aged. Rosemary continued to enjoy Alabama football each fall—RTR—and continued to correct those she met on the proper use of lie and lay.
Survivors include her children, Cecelia Bonifay and her husband Greg Presnell (Winter Park, FL), and Suzi Bonifay (Bainbridge, GA); her grandchildren, Pearce & Ellen Presnell (Boca Grande, FL), Bryan & Lauren Presnell (Eagan, MN), and Russell Presnell (Harrisonburg, VA); her great-grandchildren, Page, Lara, Nicolas and Ansel; and her three nieces and multiple cousins. She leaves to cherish her memory two good friends and caregivers, Gail Gantt of Pensacola, FL, and Debbie Williams of Bainbridge, GA.
In addition to her parents, Rosemary was preceded in death by her husband, Walker Wilkins Bonifay, her sister, Patricia Woodham Dawkins and her dachshund, Snickers.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Bainbridge-Decatur County Humane Society, 1250 Cox Avenue, Bainbridge, GA 39819 or Bainbridge-Decatur County Council for the Arts, P.O. Box 35, Bainbridge, GA 39819.