Obituary: Bonnie Brown Kilroy (1947-2023)

Bonnie Brown Kilroy, 75, of Newport, RI passed away on June 17, 2023, surrounded by family after a short battle with cancer.

Bonnie was born on October 14, 1947, daughter to the late Barbara E. (Petersen) Crockett and Gordon L. Crockett at Newport Hospital and brought home to Paquins Lane in Portsmouth. Growing up on Crest Street in Middletown, she was one of eight children. After graduating from Middletown High School in 1965, she pursued a degree in education and mathematics from the University of Rhode Island, graduating in 1969. As a young teenager and throughout college she worked as a pastry and cake decorator at Frasche’s Bakery in Newport, RI making a whopping 85 cents an hour. She was a woman of many occupations and talents. After graduating from college, she was a substitute teacher, doll house shop owner, owner and property manager for many real estate ventures, and a dress maker and vendor. In 1979, she purchased a small restaurant on Bowen’s Wharf and began the entrepreneurial adventure in restaurant ownership, naming the venture The Landing Restaurant. In 2012, she purchased and built The Lobster Bar Restaurant. Today, both restaurants remain family-owned and operated businesses and she is one of the largest employers in Newport.

In 1967, she purchased the Castle Hill Lightkeeper’s house on Ella Terrace and there she brought eight children into the world. Her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were the center of her life, and she loved sharing with them her love of sewing, card games (Pitch and Gin Rummy), Newport history, Hershey Kisses, and a cup of instant coffee. She always had a candy bar in her pocket, small bills for ice cream, and a smile and laugh that lit up the room. She was the #1 Hockey mom, a true safe haven and confidant, the smartest one in the room, the best sister, incredible mother, and had the most giving heart most people would say they ever knew. She was known as “My Bonnie”, “Bon Rock”, “Bon-Bon”, “Gramma”, “Great-gramma”, “the General”, and “Saint Bonnie.”

She was preceded in death by her daughter Amy, her parents Barbara and Gordon, and her brother Donnie Crockett.

Bonnie is survived by her husband, David E. Kilroy, her sons Shawn, David, Patrick, Carey, and Craig (wife Jill); her daughters Kerrie Roderick (husband Al) and Erin Berard; her grandchildren Amanda Rolando (husband Tim), Alexandria, Justin, Candice, and Kevin Roderick, Kyle (wife Bella), Kaelin, and Kameron Kilroy, Anthony Kilroy, Finley, Owen and Dylan Berard, Bonnie and Harper Kilroy; great grandchildren Oliver Kilroy, Brodie Roderick, and Ethan Rolando; siblings Barbara Hammons (husband Paul and their five children and eleven grandchildren), Richard Crockett (wife Cindy and daughter Holly), Lori Cherry, and Wendy Champion (daughters Bethany, Blaire, and Brooke) and sister-in-law Gail Crockett (daughters Becky and Amber).

She told us all from the start… “We never had it all together, but together we have it all!”

Visiting hours will be held Wednesday, June 21, 2023, from 4-7 pm at the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring St, Newport. A Celebration of Life will be held at The Lobster Bar Restaurant in early September.

In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to Newport Whalers Youth Hockey 




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