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Bonitha Imogene Horgan

Born: 12/29/1937
Died: 9/13/2012

Bonitha Imogene Horgan, age 74, of Newark, DE, died peacefully in her sleep after a brief illness on Thursday, September 13, 2012, at Kent General Hospital in Dover.

Bonitha was born on December 29, 1937 in Ohio,but lived in Newark from the age of 14, graduating from Newark High School in 1956. She attended the University of Delaware, where she was a member of the school chorus, and Thompson’s Business School in Wilmington, where she excelled in both typing and shorthand.

Bonitha was stricken with schizophrenia, a brain disease, with which she struggled her whole life. Despite her illness, she managed to both inspire and benefit from the kindness of many friends, to whom her family remains truly grateful. She inherited her mother’s talent as an artist and worked briefly as a commercial sketch artist, creating pencil portraits of pop singers for demo record covers. To her close friends and family,Bonitha would often display a surprising and wicked sense of humor. She had a love of music and would regularly sing a favorite or two for any and all in her presence. She also had a fondness for Coca-Cola, Christmas, chocolate-covered cherries, babies, magazines, small animals, pretty dresses,and nice purses.

Bonitha was preceded in death by her mother, Mae R. Turner Horgan, and her father, Joseph B. Horgan. She is survived by her three siblings, Robert Horgan and wife Marybeth of Somerville, NJ, Michael Horgan and wife Diana of Ontario, NY, and Barbara Lynn Carney and husband Mark of Hockessin; seven nieces and nephews, Michael, MaryRose, Meghan, Alexandra, Mark,Kate, and Ryan; and her aunt, Gladys Walstead of Merced,CA.

The family wishes to thank the many mental health professionals, caregivers, staff, and residents of the various placements in which Bonitha lived throughout the years. Many of them became Bonitha’s extended family. In particular, the family acknowledges the staff and residents of the Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill in Smyrna.

A memorial service will be held at 1 pm on Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at the Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 West Park Place, Newark, where visitation will begin at 12 noon. Interment will follow in All Saints Cemetery, 6001 Kirkwood Highway,Wilmington.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to NAMI Delaware, 2400 West 4th Street, Wilmington, DE 19805 (namidelaware.org / 302-427-0787).

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