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Ellis County Obituaries

Bonita Vernice Dunnihoo

12 Feb 1926 - 7 Jan 2016

Date unknown
(permission granted)
Submitted by: Ann Weber

Bonita Dunnihoo-Gaston, 89 years old of Shattuck, OK slipped peacefully into the arms of Jesus Thursday, January 7, 2016. Bonita was born on February 12, 1926 at the Newman Memorial Hospital in Shattuck, Oklahoma to Leonard Amos Funk and Julia Estella Leist-Funk. She grew up in Gage, Oklahoma where she also attended school. She was one of 6 children; Calvin, Carolyn, Nadine, Coleen and Leonard Haskell. Bonita learned about faith, strength, love and perseverance at a very young age. Not only did her family make it through the Great Depression in the late 1920’s but also the ‘Dust Bowl’ in 1934 and the 1947 tornado. At the age of 16, on May 15, 1942 she was united in marriage to the love of her life, Floyd Earl Dunnihoo and together they had 4 children; Donald Earl, Luanna Gay, Floyd Alan and Charles Frank “Chuckie”. Early in their marriage they loved to goof off and have fun. Spending time with friends, fishing, playing cards and going dancing at the VFW were some of their favorite pastimes.

Shortly after marriage, Floyd, alongside many other male family members, entered into the military. Bonita and the other wives stayed back and worked hard to keep the family farms running and care for their children. It was not an easy life, but she persevered.

After Bonita’s husband was discharged from the military, they operated a dairy farm until an illness forced them to quit milking and find another line of work. In 1950, Floyd began working in the oil and gas industry. This took their family all over Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. They finally settled back in Shattuck around 1960 where they began a life of farming.

It was during this time; Bonita began to study to become a Certified OR Tech. While raising her family and working on the family farm, Bonita studied diligently late into the night to achieve her dream. Her hard work paid off and she made the highest score in her class. She soon became a highly respected, highly sought after, Operating Room Scrub Nurse at the Newman Memorial Hospital where she worked for over 30 years. During this time Bonita had many hobbies and wore many hats. She was mother, nurse and caretaker to many. She was an excellent cook, and baked the best pies and cakes you’ve ever had. She could crochet beautiful blankets, sew, knit, and embroidery. She could catch, kill, and clean something for dinner, butcher and cure meat, put on her dancing shoes on Saturday night then go to church on Sunday morning. She was the embodiment of a true pioneer woman! Her heart was broken in 1997 when Floyd passed away. Bonita began spending more time visiting family and going to church. She decided to take a church bus trip to the East Coast. To her surprise, she ran into her 1st first boyfriend, Emet ‘Deke’ Gaston. He was on that same tour with a different church! After a sweet courtship, she married the 2nd love of her life on December 1, 2000. They made their home in Fort Supply, Oklahoma. They lived a quiet and happy life and truly loved each other and enjoyed spending time with their blended families. Deke and Bonita loved traveling, visiting grandchildren, going to the rodeo, and watching OU football and basketball, and spending time with friends at the Senior Citizen Center. They attended and frequently volunteered at the First Baptist Church in Fort Supply and the First Baptist Church in Shattuck where they were members. Somewhere down the line Bonita became a crossword puzzle genius and a game show junkie. She loved Jesus and reading her Bible and praying for her family. She loved her flower garden and watching the quail, hummingbirds and mockingbirds flit about the yard. But nothing in the world brought her more joy than spending time with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. This woman was LOVED beyond measure and although she will be terribly missed, her legacy will live on through the many lives she touched. Today she is singing, dancing, and smiling down on us from heaven!

Bonita is survived by two sons and one daughter. Donald and Barbara Dunnihoo, of Pottsboro, Texas; Floyd Alan and Idelma Dunnihoo, of Shattuck, Oklahoma; and Luanna and Monty Bratcher, of Edmond Oklahoma, 8 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and 8 great-great grandchildren. Other surviving family members include sisters Coleen Miller of Lawton, Oklahoma; Nadine Marshall of Wayside Kansas; plus a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends who loved her dearly and were very close to her heart.

Bonita was preceded in death by her parents, Leonard and Julia Funk, brothers Leonard Haskell and Calvin and sister Carolyn Null. Also, her beloved Charles “Chuckie” Dunnihoo, husband Floyd Earl Dunnihoo, and 2nd husband Emet ‘Deke’ Gaston.


Funeral Service

Saturday, January 16, 2016 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

First Baptist Church 520 S Locust St Shattuck, OK 73858

Visitation: Monday - Thursday: 9am-4pm Friday: 9am-7pm

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