Last week on July 2, Commonwealth Senior Living at Georgian Manor had a Veteran’s Pinning Ceremony to honor our veterans in our community. Of the veterans we recognized, we want to share with you the love story of Earlene and Vernon Bonney, a WWII veteran.
Vernon and Earlene met in the 7th grade. He sat behind her in geography class and teased her, saying he was going to dunk her hair in the inkwell of his desk. Later in the 9th grade, they starred in a play together called “Court Case of Cinderella and Prince Charming.” Earlene played Cinderella and Vernon played Prince Charming. He became her Prince Charming from then on.
They started dating seriously in the 12th grade and graduated in February of 1945. Vernon was drafted and sent to Georgia for training in April of 1945. Earlene visited Vernon once in Georgia before he was sent to Okinawa for the Invasion of Japan during August of 1945.
Vernon and Earlene wrote each other every day and sent as many photos as they could. Vernon event sent her a doll dressed in Military Khakis so he would always be with her. He carved out a Valentine’s note to her in the rubble of a building that had been bombed. He also sent her a grass skirt she proudly wore and mailed him photos of.
Vernon returned to Earlene in December of 1946, after the Atomic Bomb was dropped. Once he returned, he announced he was going to go to college. But Earlene said, “No, this little girl has waited for you for two years, and I am not waiting another four to marry you.” He then asked her father for her hand in marriage, and they were married on January 18, 1947.
He was then able to go on to college and graduated from William and Mary as a CPA in 1950. Vernon wanted to join the FBI, but found out he was color blind and was unable. So he worked for Shiver Gas Conversions until 1976, and then started his own business. He and his family made 20 moves before setting in Elizabeth City, NC. He later sold the Bradford Corporation and became a consultant. The couple built a home in Sandbridge called “The Bonney,” becoming their permanent home in 1980. Earlene and Vernon spend 62 wonderful years together.
We are so honored to have the opportunity to learn the life stories of residents like Vernon. Understanding the experiences that make each person who they are make it possible for us to grow closer to them while they live in our communities and provide them with a more personalized experience.
To learn more about one of our communities, visit www.commonwealthsl.com/our-communities today to speak with the community nearest you!