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Bonnie Tesh Lillis, 71, lived in Bridgewater

Published 9:24 pm, Wednesday, November 14, 2012
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Bonnie Dale Tesh Lillis, 71, of Bridgewater, died Nov. 10 at home. She was the wife of the late William R. Lillis.

Mrs. Lillis was born July 21, 1941, in Winston Salem, N.C., daughter of the late John F. and Mildred (Bunny) Tesh.

She graduated from Garden City High School in New York in 1959 and from Mars Hill Junior College in 1961.

She retired in 1996 from the state Department of Transportation.

Mrs. Lillis was a Sunday School teacher on Long Island, N.Y., and in Connecticut for 10 years.

In her retirement, she was the caretaker of many children in Bridgewater and Roxbury, which was her first love.

She was also foster-care mom for newborns. She enjoyed making quilts, writing poetry and being busy all the time.

Mrs. Lillis was secretary and membership chairwoman of the Bridgewater Women's Auxiliary, and was in charge of the hobbies for the Bridgewater Country Fair and helped with the fair book publication.

In addition to caring for children, Mrs. Lillis' other passion was being an EMT for the Bridgewater Ambulance. She always felt it was important to volunteer in one's community.

Mrs. Lillis is survived by her brother, John Tesh Jr., and his wife, Connie Sellecca, and their daughter, Prima, of California; her sister, Mary Ellen Grabski, of California; her children, Eric Soetbeer, and his wife, Karen; Jody Zacaroli, and her husband, Clark; David Soetbeer, James Lillis, and his wife, Robin; a stepson, Robert Lillis, and his wife, Dina; and nine grandchildren, Alexi, Holly, Ally, Mason, Cory, Leah, Calem, William and Michael.

Burial was at Bridgewater Center Cemetery.

The Lillis Funeral Home in New Milford was in charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Bridgewater Ambulance, PO Box 9, Bridgewater CT 06752.