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Ethel Gready Turner Bonner

Ethel Gready Turner Bonner
  • September 27, 1924 - October 22, 2017
  • Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
  • Memorials may be made to:
  • Pet Helpers
    1447 Folly Road
    Charleston, SC 29412
  • Memorials may be made to:
  • The French Huguenot Church
    136 Church Street
    Charleston, SC 29401

Pause Looking Back by Bruce H. Zimmerman (ASCAP)
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“Ethel and I were political friends through the years working on various campaigns to get "our candidates elected." A wonderful lady whom I did not...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Tom Masi - Charleston, SC

“What fun we had eating at Jimmy Dengates with Frank and my late husband Jack/Blick. ”
2 of 3 | Posted by: Anna Blythe - Adams Run, SC

“Kind thoughts are with the family at this very difficult time of grief. May your fond memories bring you comfort. God's promise at Jeremiah 29:11,12...Read More »
3 of 3 | Posted by: A friend


Ethel Gready Turner Bonner, 93, of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina passed away Sunday, October 22, 2017. Her funeral service will be held at the graveside Wednesday, October 25, 2017 in Magnolia Cemetery, 70 Cunnington Avenue, at 11:00 a.m. The family will receive friends Tuesday in J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. Downtown Chapel from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Mrs. Bonner was born September 27, 1924 in Charleston, SC, daughter of the late Bessie Emmette Adair Gready and James Rodolph Gready. She was formerly married to Clyde H. Turner and widowed September 2, 1986. On December 2, 1989 she married John Calvin Bonner and was widowed on February 4, 2010. She was a graduate of Memminger High School and attended the College of Charleston.

Ethel worked closely with the art groups in the 60's and 70's; sang for the Carolina Art Association Concert series at the Gibbes Art Gallery in 1959, 1961 and 1962 as organized by Russell Wragg. During a two year stay in Columbia while her husband attended law school, she associated with the South Carolina Opera Workshop under the direction of John Richards McCrae and sang the role of Micaela in the opera "Carmen" in several SC cities; also in Columbia performed in the USO presentations of Broadway musicals. Back in Charleston, she was a soloist for "The Chinese Flute" with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra under conductor Donn Mills, January 20, 1962. As a member of the Charleston Symphony Women's Association in the early 60's, she served as treasurer, publicity chairman and chairman of the Viennese Ball. She was heard in Sunday afternoon concerts in Hampton Park as guest soloist with the Community Band and as guest soloist in many Charleston churches. While a member of Grace Episcopal Church Choir in the 50's and 60's, she was a soprano soloist for the Christmas portion of Handel's "Messiah". She was a member of the Charleston Music Study Club, served as President from 1958-1960, organized The Junior Charleston Music Study Club and was Southern District Director of the Junior Division of the South Carolina Federation of Music Clubs. Ethel was a charter member of The Charleston Choral Society organized by Vernon and Mary Weston in 1944. She sang many roles with the Society: Nedda in "I Pagliacci"; Siebel in "Faust"; Serpina in Pergolesis "La Serva Padrona" that was reviewed as a smash hit in 1960. In 1973 with members of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Lucien DeGroote as conductor, she performed Frasquita in the opera "Carmen". Ethel served as president of the Society from 1963-1965 and through her initiative, the Society became The Charleston Opera Company; operating for many years until it was overtaken by financial stress and closed its doors. In 1968, she spent the summer at the Brevard Music Center studying in its voice and opera departments and sang the role of Mrs. Gobineau in the Menotti opera "The Medium". She had been a board member of the Charleston Area Arts Council and served as membership chairman. As a charter member of the West Ashley La Sertoma Club, Ethel served as President and District Governor. She had been an Episcopalian and had been President of The Women of the Church. In 1977 she broke ties with the Episcopal Church and following her husband's lead, helped found St. Timothy's Anglican Church to give a congregation disillusioned with the Episcopal Church the opportunity of continuing the Episcopal tradition of worship from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. In 1974, Ethel graduated from Rice Business College as a Legal Executive Secretary and after graduation, became Treasurer-Manager of The Charleston Postal Co-Op Credit Union until her husband's death in 1986. From 1987 through 1992, she was Commissioner of the St. Andrew's Public Service District Commission having been appointed to her husband's remaining two-year unexpired term, then elected to a four-year term in 1988. Ethel was a member of the Garden Club of Charleston, past Treasurer; Charleston Chapter #4 United Daughters of the Confederacy; The Women Council, Gibbes Museum of Art; Charleston Republic Women's Club, The Ladies Benevolent Society; The Ladies Fuel Society; Committeeman for the Charleston County Republic Party. She was also a member of The French Protestant (Huguenot) Church.

Mrs. Bonner is survived by her nephew, Richard G. Fessler, M.D. and his wife, Ann P. Fessler, M.D. and their four sons: Daniel G., Mark P., Matthew A. and Stephen Adair; step-nieces Carol Patey Welch and Marjorie Patey Burkart; three step-sons: J. Douglas Bonner, Frank L. Bonner and Robert C. Bonner; step-daughter, Elizabeth B. Wright; and step-grandchildren: John Bonner, Paul Bonner, Logan Bonner, Heyward Bonner and Rebecca Bonner.

Memorials may be made to Pet Helpers, 1430 Folly Road, James Island, SC 29412 or the Charleston Animal Society, 2455 Remount Road, N. Charleston, SC 29406 or The French Huguenot Church, 44 Queen Street, Charleston, SC 29401 or The Confederate Home and College, 62 Broad Street, Charleston, SC 29401.