Bonnie was born February 9, 1928 to George and Katie Pace in Hodge, Louisiana. She moved with her family to Texas at an early age. Eventually settling in Big Lake, Texas, where she graduated from high school. She went to business college in Abilene, Texas and then started her career at Big Lake State Bank in January of 1946.
While working at the bank, she began dating twin brothers, Leon and Leo Snelson. After several weeks, Leon requested that she choose which brother she wanted to continue dating. In what she later called the best decision she ever made, she chose Leon. Bonnie and Leon were married May 29, 1948 in Big Lake, Texas. God blessed them with six sons over the next 14 years.
In Crane, Texas, in 1951, both Bonnie and Leon had a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, which changed their lives and the direction of their future. This decision led to a life of love, devotion, and service to each other and to multiple church bodies throughout the Southwestern United States. After serving with the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, they served as pastors of multiple churches in and around the Permian Basin. After Bonnie retired from the banking industry in 1986, she and Leon moved to their cotton farm in Midkiff, Texas. In the late 1980s, they moved back to Midland, and served at Ranchland Hills Baptist Church, as well as discipling many couples in their home. Leon went to be with the Lord in 2001. In 2006, Bonnie was blessed again by marriage to her lifelong friend, Cecil Robinson. Bonnie and Cecil had ten wonderful years together before he passed in 2017. Into her 90’s, she continued her heart of service to the Lord in small groups, prayer groups, the Teen Challenge Women’s Ministry and as a church greeter.
Bonnie’s unwavering joy in the Lord was her greatest strength in life even as she experienced many great losses and tremendous tragedies. One could not ask for greater proof of this than her ever present testimony from the last few years, always stating with her contagious smile, that “The Lord has always been so good to me.”
She is survived by her children and their spouses, Denny and Mona Snelson, Tim and Sherry Snelson, Steve and Janie Snelson, Mark and Treva Snelson, and daughter in law Beverly Snelson Looney; niece Katie Pace and her son Douglas Waters; her grandchildren Christy Snelson, Lindy Coulliard, Billy Snelson, Roxanne Snelson, Cari Butler, Jeremy Snelson, Brody Blissard, J.Tom Snelson, Dillon Evans, Tyler Snelson, Chris Snelson, Amory Skaggs, Tyrel Snelson, and Sydney Snelson; and multiple great grandchildren and one great great grandchild. She is preceded in death by her first husband, Leon Snelson, second husband Cecil Robinson, her mother and father, her brother Bennie Pace, and sons Terry Leon Snelson and Kerry Michael Snelson.
Funeral service will be held on Thursday, January 5, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at Hope Community Church in Midland. Burial at Resthaven Memorial Park in Midland will follow the service.
Pallbearers will be Billy Snelson, Jeremy Snelson, Brody Blissard, J. Tom Snelson, Dillon Evans, Tyler Snelson, Chris Snelson, and Tyrel Snelson.
The family suggests any memorials be donated to Teen Challenge Midland or Hospice of Midland.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Midland. Online condolences may be made at www.npwelch.com.
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