Obituary: Ilene Colores Bonilla

Surgical nurse, grandmother, traveler

After many years of declining health due to chronic lung disease, Ilene Bonilla died June 15 at the age of 78. She died peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones.

Ilene was born July 19, 1941 in Youngstown, Ohio to Lewis and Katherine (Nestor) Pusch. After graduating from Chaney High School, she pursued a career in nursing, graduating from Choffin Vocational School of Nursing in 1963.

She had a successful and fulfilling career as a surgical nurse, most recently at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center.

After moving to California she met the love of her life, Dr. Kenneth B. Bonilla, and they were married in 1976. Their marriage was full of adventure, including sailing, skiing and extensive travel.

Ms. Bonilla enjoyed fine cuisine and loved creating wonderful gatherings of family and friends with amazing food and lovely table settings.

She had a flair for design and loved celebrating every holiday. Her home was always a beautiful and festive place. Her many lifelong friends have said she brought joy to those who knew her with her generous and loving spirit.

She was devoted to Dr. Bonilla and took care of him with deep love and compassion for many years as he struggled with Parkinson’s disease. She was with him every day, no matter what, to talk, cook, love him and make him laugh.

In her final years, she was especially grateful for her “guardian angels,” the wonderful women who cared for her and were by her side daily.

Ms. Bonilla was predeceased by her husband of 33 years, Dr. Kenneth Bonilla; her parents; her brother-in-law Edward; and stepson John.

She is survived by her sisters Kathi (Bill) Starr and Donna Bardgett; stepchildren Lynn (Robert) Bonilla Traver, Steven (Gay) Bonilla and Richard Bonilla; and many grandchildren and nephews.

A memorial gathering is being planned for the fall.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Inland Valley Humane Society and SPCA at

She will be missed.


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