Arthur Bonus, a long-time Newporter, passed away peacefully on Sept. 1 in Spartanburg, SC, at the age of 96.
Art was born in Fall River on November 21, 1924, to Manuel and Jessie (de Mello) Bonus. He was married to the love of his life, Myrtle (Bliven), for 65 years before she passed in 2013. He is survived by his daughters Cathy (Hudson, FL), Jessie (St. Cloud, FL), Ruth (Gaffney, SC), and Lori (Syracuse, NE), each of whom was his favorite, as well as 7 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Dorothy Rezendes. He was preceded in death by his siblings, Barbara Coelho, Francis Duford, and Manuel Bonus.
To his family and many friends, Art was a hero from his days of combat in World War II through his long life as a hard-working, honest, good-natured, family man and devoted friend. As a Private First Class, he served in WWII with the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment in the European Theater. Art fought in the Battle of the Bulge and participated in three major campaigns in Normandy, Northern France, and Germany, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantry Badge, the European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon with 3 service stars, and the Distinguished Unit Badge. He returned to Newport to marry Myrt, start a family, and work hard for Public Works at both NAS Quonset Point and the Newport Naval Base. In later years, he worked at Island Cemetery.
Although the Depression limited his formal education, Art was the smartest man we knew. He could fix anything. He used fisherman knots to make a basketball net, knew the best places to fish based on currents and moon phases, and made the most delicious Portuguese soup or RI clam chowder.
His greatest joy in life was dancing with Myrt and they regularly joined their circle of friends to dance in both RI and MA several times each week. After Myrt’s passing, Art moved to SC where he was lovingly cared for by Ruth, his angel on earth.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Until then, the sadness of Art’s passing is tempered by the thought of Art and Myrt together in Heaven dancing across the clouds.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to his hospice provider who cared for him with love and grace: Providence Care, 634 Fairview Rd., Simpsonville, SC 29680.
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