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Bonnell Lauded at Milford’s Senior of the Year 2012

Holding the special golden key presented to Milford's Senior of the Year was the 2012 honoree, Shirley Bonnell, center. She is flanked on the left by Vincent Squiciari Chairman of the Milford Council on Aging, and Stanley Nalewajko, Vice Chairman Council on Aging on the right. Harry Platcow photo

Hundreds of Milford residents, who donate thousands of hours of their time, were honored at the Milford Senior Center Annual Volunteer Recognition on May 11. The volunteers were treated to lunch, caricatures drawn by Mendon artist Tim Snow and music provided by Dave Valerio.

Among the hundreds honored was one special volunteer, Shirley Bonnell, who was chosen as the Milford Senior of the Year 2012. The yearly award is given to an outstanding volunteer. According to Senior Center officials that definition more than describes Bonnell.

She enthusiastically volunteers for the Tri-Valley Nutrition Site and helps weekly with the Senior Center Bingo Game. Additionally she uses her creative talents to knit and crochet items for the Senior Center Gift Shop.

Born in 1931 to Louise Eldridge and Warren Jepson in Melrose, Bonnell is a triplet. She is the eldest with her sister, Marilyn, arriving five minutes later, and her brother, Robert, 25 minutes after that.

After their father passed away when Bonnell was eight-years-old, her mother raised the family of five, who included another brother and sister plus the triplets, on her own. One of Bonnell's most vivid memories of her childhood home is of their garage blowing away during a tornado that hit Melrose in 1947.

A graduate of the Chandler School in Boston, Bonnell became a medical secretary. Her triplet brother introduced her to her future husband, Robert Bonnell, one of his friends. The couple dated off and on for a few years and married after he returned from World War II. Making their home in Milford, they started Bob's Motor Workshop on East Main St.

The couple had six children Bradford, Richard, John, Bonnie, Michael, who now owns the garage, and Rob, who is Milford's Chief Technology Officer. They also have 17 grandchildren.

Town and state officials, who included Selectman Brian Murray, State Senator Richard Moore, D. Uxbridge, State Rep. John Fernandes, D. Milford and Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangeldis, praised and thanked Bonnell for all she and the other volunteers have done for the Senior Center.


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