Bonnie Jean Fleming Small, age 79, died peacefully on Sunday, May 30, 2021, surrounded by her loving family after a long, valiant fight with cancer. She was born in Macon, GA to the late John F. Hogan and Winnie Fleming Hogan. She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Ralph Browne Small III, their three children: Parks Edie Small (Christine) of Tallahassee, FL, Leigh Small Beauchamp (Robin) of Savannah, GA, Ashley Small Olson (Dallas) of Peachtree City, GA, and their six grandchildren: Mackenzie Small, Scott and Tyler Beauchamp, and Parker, Anna, and Mary Olson. In addition, she is survived by her two brothers William and Robert Grovenstein.
Following her graduation from A. L. Miller High School in Macon, she attended Georgia State College in Milledgeville, majoring in voice. Church music was always an important part of her life, and she served as a choir member, pianist, organist, and/or choir director in many cities where she and Ralph lived until their retirements, which included serving many years as organist at the Isle of Hope United Methodist Church in Savannah.
Following Ralph's retirement in 2000 and until their recent return to Savannah, she and Ralph divided their time between their home in the NC mountains overlooking Lake Glenville and life on their boat, the AmmyBoo. During those years, she also had much more time to enjoy all aspects of her love of cooking, and nothing pleased her more than having friends over to their home or boat to enjoy a nice meal and friendship. Even more important to her, these years provided her with many days with all of her grandchildren who affectionately called her Ammy.
A memorial service will celebrate her life at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 5, 2021 at the Isle of Hope United Methodist Church at 412 Parkersburg Road, Savannah, GA. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that you consider a donation in Bonnie Jean's memory to Hospice Savannah, P. O. Box 13190, Savannah, GA 31416; The Joseph Sams School, 280 Brandywine Blvd., Fayetteville, GA 30214 (a school for children with special needs); or a charity of your choice.
Ralph, I love you, and I loved Bonnie Jean since I was in the second grade, when she and I lived next door to each other in Winship Gardens(F-4and F-5). We knew each other on core levels. She was a talented, brave, courageous, funny, tell-it-like -it-is Southern to the core Lady. and she adored you from childhood at Vineville Baptist Church. You were her life, and you have been a wonderfully supportive and loving husband and father for 65 years. My heart and soul cries for all of you, but I envelop you with my prayers and love.
- Judy Jones Greene, Duluth, GA
Dear Ralph, As you know, Bonnie Jean and Page were my closest friends in high school and although we saw each other rarely in recent years, the friendship and love was instantly reignited when we got together as though no time had passed. I will cherish my and Page's visit to see you for the rest of my life. It was a magical time with so many laughs and memories. Much love to you and your family. Liz
- Liz and Sellers Gauntt, Tampa, FL
I am so sorry for your loss,Mrs.Small had a very special place in my heart.I love her very much we made a connection that will never be forgotten.
- Betty Arnett/dutch island guard gate, Savannah, GA
My condolences to my friend Ralph and the family. We became friends during our live aboard boat days and enjoyed many days of cruising together and a lasting friendship after we moved ashore to Georgia. I lost my mate 5 years ago and now Ralph has lost his. I only hope that Judy and Bonnie Jean can now meet up again in Heaven for a drink or two.
- Ron Zeppieri, Darien, GA
I am so sorry for your loss. I will always remember my mother (Sandra Burke Ray) and Bonnie Jean laughing uncontrollably every time our families were together as a kid. I am not sure I ever new where their laughter was coming from, but I knew it was genuine. Bonnie Jean’s laugh was always contagious and brings a smile to me every time I think of her.
- Chuck Ray, Atlanta, GA
To Ralph and Family, So sorry for your loss. Bonnie Jean was a person of love. She saw the good in people and knew how to bring people together to enjoy the day. We had so many great times together on your boat getting to know you after the boat was built. We'll never forget her. Our Deepest Sympathies Alice Vincent Rob Vincent Jon Ashdown Endeavour Crew
- Alice Vincent, St. Petersburg, FL
I have known Bonnie Jean for a long time. She was a very sweet person and I will miss her smiling face. My Condolences to Ralph and the family.
- Margy Wagner, St. Simons Island, Ga.
I had the pleasure of getting to know Bonnie Jean and Ralph through my cousin Linda Fennel back in May of 2018. It was easy to get to know Bonnie Jean very quickly and become her friend. She was an extremely wonderful friend to Linda and I am forever grateful for that. Keeping all of Bonnie Jean’s family in our prayers.
- Marie Quarberg, Fredericksburg , VA
Dear Ralph, it was with deep dismay that we heard of Bonny Jean's death. We will always keep her in good memory. Her laughter will be missed. We wish you and your family a lot of strength. Ute and Manfred Brandner
- Ute und Manfred BraIt was with deep dismay that we learned of Bonny Jean's death. We will always keep you in good memory. Your laughter will all be missed.ndner, Metzingen, Germany
Ralph, you are in our thoughts. Bonnie Jean will be greatly missed.
- Olga Lee, Decatur, Georgia
Ralph, You and the family are in our thoughts. Bonnie Jean was so full of life. She will be missed.
- Robert and Susan Edie, Roseville, CA
Very sorry for your loss. I will keep her, you and the family in my thoughts and prayers.
- Buzz Lasch , Lake Ridge, Va
Dear Ralph, my cousin. . Bonnie Jean infected everyone she came in contact with by her soulful truth, innate kindness, endless wit and the utmost love and caring for those around her. Your memories will enhance your belief in the future and give you and your family the will to live full and productive lives. Her spirit will always be within you. Take good care of each other and I know she would have done.
- Mary Edie Smith, East Orleans, Ma
Ralph, Leigh, Ashley and Parks, Lee and I send our sincerest condolences. We were so saddened to learn of Bonnie Jean's death. We have such fond memories of our girls together on Sweetbriar Circle. She will certainly be missed. Nanci and Leslie share in our sadness. May her memory be a blessing. Janis and Lee Javetz
- Janis and Lee Javetz, Savannah, GA
Growing up we were neighbors on Sweetbriar Circle. I have so many fond memories of playing with Ashley and Leigh, and of course Ms. Bonnie Jean. She welcomed us into their home, we even stayed over during a hurricane! Ashley, Leigh and Parks, I know you will miss your mama so! Much love to you all and Mr. Ralph! God's peace! Emilie Miller Templeton
- Emilie Templeton, Virginia Beach, VA
Ralph, I was saddened to read about Bonnie Jean’s illness and passing. Please know that I send my love and prayers for you and your children. Rome was so fortunate to have you here for awhile and I have fond memories of good times together and Bonnie Jean’s infectious laugh. I can only imagine the joyful reunion in heaven with Patty and Bonnie Jean!
- Anne Kerr, Rome, GA
Bonnie Jean and Ralph lives behind us on Horseleg Creek Rd and we became good friends quickly! No one could make you laugh longer or quicker that Bonnie Jean and one of the kindest souls I have known!!! I am so sorry to learn of her passing and sending my thoughts and prayers for her precious family!!! She will truly be missed!!!!!! In Gods love ❤️ Nancy Meadows McCay
- Nancy Meadows McCay, Bentonville, AR
Leigh - I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. She was a wonderful person. Our prayers are with you and the family. Best, Douglas
- Douglas Henderson, Atlanta, Georgia
We were saddened to learn of Bonnie Jean's death. Remembering sweet times with all of you when we lived next door on Sweetbriar Circle. May God hold you in His tender care.
- Mary and Larry Miller, Savannah, Georgia
Ralph, I am so sorry and saddened to hear of Bonnie Jean’s illness and recent death. Whereas I never had the privilege of knowing Bonnie Jean I certainly have very fond memories of you and the conversations you and I shared while working together at Suntrust. It was obvious from these conversations how devoted you were to her and how much you loved her. We also share many mutual friends who have spoken so highly of Bonnie Jean through the years with much affection and admiration. I hope you will accept my heartfelt condolences and a warm hug from me from Rome.
- Barbara (Babo) Segars, Rome , Ga
Ralph - We are saddened by the loss of Bonnie Jean. We will always remember the good times at the marina with all the boaters. We always looked forward to your arrival. We know she was dearly loved by many.
- Legacy Harbour Marina, Fort Myers, FL