Bonnie Lee Charlton Poland, on Saturday November 14, 2020, known as “Charlie” to her 13 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren, was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. She is survived by her husband Don; daughter Donna Lee (Tom) Jones, Spring, Texas; son Don, Jr. (Diane), Bradenton, Florida; daughter Debra Lynn (Mike) Byrnes, Helotes,Texas; and all of her grandchildren. Bonnie was reared in Shaler Township, a Pittsburgh suburb and was a 1950 graduate of Shaler High School. She attended Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham University) and the University of Pittsburgh. She met husband Don in the University of Pittsburgh’s Pitt Players theater group. They were married on campus in Heinz Chapel on August 1,1953. Her loving family and many friends will miss Bonnie, her wit, her humor and her beautiful smile. She was a devoted wife and she loved being a mom, supporting her children in everything they did.Those who knew Bonnie will remember her because of her personality. She made friends with everyone. She was also fun-loving, talented and creative. As a child she collected small treasures and her favorite plaything was her dollhouse. When she had to make a project in high school or college, it was always an “inch-to-a-foot” diorama. It became a life-long hobby. In 1978 she ran a small advertisement in Pittsburgh’s North Hills News Record, asking those with an interest in miniatures to contact her. Days later she hosted a meeting of 11 miniature enthusiasts and became the founder of the Pittsburgh Miniature Society. Although Bonnie created, displayed and sold various kinds of miniatures, she specialized in creating and arranging miniature flowers. She sold her miniature floral arrangements at shows in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Houston, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, MInneapolis, Buffalo, Reading, Pa., Rockville, Md., Washington, D. C., and at Arlington, Va., at the NAME (National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts) national convention. In fact, many miniature show-goers referred to her as the “Flower Lady.” She especially enjoyed teaching the art of making and arranging miniature flowers to students who took her classes. Also, she was known to have explained some of her techniques to customers at shows. As a result, she made many friends who corresponded with her regularly. She also produced beautiful, miniature rugs and carpets, some of them containing as many as 15,000 stitches in only a five-inch by six-inch space. After moving to San Antonio, Texas in 2008, she took up knitting and produced for charity a number of ponchos, scarves and beautiful baby blankets and baby hats. Of her life-long miniatures hobby, she said, “It helped me to keep my sanity, and only a fellow miniaturist will really understand that.” In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made to either: Alzheimer’s Disease Research, 22512 Gateway Center Drive, Clarksburg, MD 20871, or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Grand Central Station, PO Box 4777, New York, NY 10163-4777. Bonnie will be interred at Allegheny County Memorial Park, Allison Park, PA. A “Celebration of Bonnie’s Life” for family and friends will be held at Porter Loring Mortuaries/North in San Antonio on February 6, 2021.
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