Obit: Porter Bonner

Obit: Porter Bonner

October 18th, 2013 in Obituaries
Location: Hamilton county

Porter Bonner, 92, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, in Chattanooga.Porter Birdie Larkin was born to Walter and Pearl Larkin as one of six children in Nashville. She was educated in the Nashville Public Schools and graduated from Pearl High School, Nashville. She later continued her education at Tennessee State University Extension in Chattanooga and also Illinois State University Extension in East St. Louis, Ill.She gave her life to Christ at age seven at Mount Zion Baptist Church, Nashville, and continued her service in Ministry until her health failed.On Dec. 21, 1939 she married a young evangelist/missionary by the name of Julius Caesar Bonner III, and to this union three children was born. In her role as pastors wife and help-meet she excelled with great fortitude and tenacity. Mrs. Bonner subsequently became the person God would have her to be. She was wife, mother, homemaker, as well as a teacher in the public schools of Chattanooga. She was also a fashion coordinator, instructor and administrative assistant to her husband.She loved young people and became counselor and confidante as she administered and sought to direct their lives. She was active in religious and civic affairs in the churches where she served. She worked under five pastors as Sunday school teacher, director of religious education and director of the Young Peoples Organization. She served on the local, state and national levels. She served as past president of the Baptist Ministers & Widows Association; president of the Boynton Terrace Association and Board Member of the Westside Community Center.Her personality won for her many friends across the nation. Her philosophy of life was "when one gives unreservedly of themselves to humanitarian causes and uses their God-given talents, the rewards are unlimited because they serve to inspire others to greater heights of service to their fellowman."Down through the years she and her pastor/husband entertained many notable dignitaries to include a young Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Ralph Abernathy and many others.She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, all of her siblings and her husbands siblings, one grandson and many other relatives and friends.She leaves to mourn her memory; one son, Julius Caesar Bonner IV (Wylene); two daughters, DeHavilland Bonner Rivers (William) and Juan Bonner Chambers (Jerome); eight living grandchildren, William, Aneika, J.C., Ornisha, Oba, Jovan, Durius and Devonne; 13 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren; a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives. Also she leaves to carry on her legacy many sons and daughters in ministry along with her Westside Baptist Church family.Funeral services will be held at noon on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, at Westside Baptist Church with Pastor Moses Javis officiating.The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until time of services at the church.Interment in Highland Memorial Gardens.The body will lie in state after noon today at John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Ave., 622-9995.


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