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1946 Bonnie Lee Hnat 2023

Bonnie Lee Hnat

June 25, 1946 — December 8, 2023

Kingsport, TN/ Thompson, CT

KINGSPORT, TN / THOMPSON, CT – Bonnie Lee Hnat, 77 of Kingsport TN, passed away on Friday December 8, 2023, after a long battle with cancer.   Bonnie was born Vonna Lee Dunlop in McKeesport, PA, and was adopted by Robert R. Crissman and Eleanor (Crawford) Crissman, who changed her name to Bonnie Lee.  After their passing at a young age, Bonnie spent her teen years in Florida where she sailed to the Bahamas, was a model for Vidal Sassoon, and became a hairdresser.  She also attended Florida State University covertly, sneaking into lectures because she could not afford tuition.  She understood that education was the key to success.  It was this thirst for knowledge that followed her throughout her life, and it was a lesson she imparted on everyone she met.

In her 20’s, she opened a restaurant outside of the Air Force Base in Blytheville, AR, where she met her husband Stephen P. Hnat, a sergeant in the Air Force.   They got married, moved to Connecticut and open an electronics business where they worked side by side until Steve’s passing in 1993.

Bonnie was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the late 70’s and after being declared cancer free, she enjoyed a healthy, happy life with her family, and her many cats, running the family’s electronics company, Hnat Hindes Inc., until 2000.  In 2002, she was diagnosed with lung cancer and had a lobectomy done to remove part of her right lung.  She also moved first to Texas, and then to Kingsport TN, where she met some of her closest friends.  Her cancer came back again this final time, and after a rather bleak diagnosis, she fought it for another ten years.  However, Bonnie did not focus on herself; she reached out to other cancer patients and helped them with their journey.  She would counsel newly diagnosed patients and show them why they should fight, saving hundreds of lives before her death.  It is her faith, wisdom, determination and fierce warrior spirit that those who knew her will miss most.

Bonnie is predeceased by her husband Stephen P. Hnat, and her brother-in-law Christopher Hnat of Niantic, CT.  She leaves behind a daughter, Barbara J. Dunkerton and her husband Lorne of Charlton, MA, two grandchildren Christian A. Dunkerton and Lillian J. Dunkerton, also of Charlton, MA, her dear friend Joseph Kuszewski of CT, who was like a son to her, as well as her sisters-in-law Barbara Cordell and Kathy Mann (husband Robert), two brothers-in-law Peter (wife Pattie) Hnat and Joseph (wife Elly) Hnat all from Connecticut, as well as several nieces and a nephew.  She also leaves behind her friends, who were her TN family. 

Bonnie was a passionate animal lover, so in lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to the Second Chance Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 136, East Brookfield, MA 01515, in her honor.

Memorial calling hours are Tuesday, January 2, 2024, from 9:30-11:00 a.m. at Paradis-Givner Funeral Home, 357 Main St., Oxford.  A memorial service will be held at the funeral home on Tuesday 11:00 a.m. at the conclusion of calling hours.  Burial will follow at Mount Zion Cemetery in Webster.

 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bonnie Lee Hnat, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Calling Hours

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

9:30 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Paradis-Givner Funeral Home

357 Main St, Oxford, MA 01540

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Memorial Service

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Paradis-Givner Funeral Home

357 Main St, Oxford, MA 01540

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

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