Bonita ‘Bonnie’ Laurel Rosenthal


Bonita ‘Bonnie’ Laurel Rosenthal

Bonita “Bonnie” Laurel Rosenthal, beloved mother, grandmother, dog mom, and longtime resident of New Canaan, passed away on Saturday July 27 in Los Angeles surrounded by the love of her three children and her beloved dog Flora. 

Bonnie was born in 1943 in New York City, the daughter of Louis and Belle Posner. She grew up in the city and attended the Ramaz School, where she developed a love of learning that continued throughout her life. She attended Hofstra University for college. Bonnie did many different things for her career but some of the jobs she most enjoyed were working in Switzerland for a bank, working as a management consultant when computers were just being introduced into the medical field, working in the Temple Beth El gift shop, and working for the Stamford Jewish Community Center. 

Bonnie was always an active member of the Jewish community wherever she was. During her time in Connecticut she actively pushed to get Jewish holidays celebrated in her children’s school systems, she ran the gift shop at Temple Beth El, and was an integral part of the Stamford JCC for many years. In Boca Raton she was a member of the local JCC and was very proud of her participation in the Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival. During her summers in Chautauqua she helped to cultivate a larger Jewish presence at the Institute and was very proud of her involvement in getting the Everett Jewish Life Center established and running. 

Bonnie had a deep passion for travel, which was driven by her desire to see, understand and be part of the world. She connected with people across the globe, fully embracing cultures and people everywhere she went. She had a passion for learning about other people’s cultures and travelled extensively in her life. Some of her favorite trips were taking her family to Israel and each of her children on a “special trip” to London and France, going to China and taking a boat down the Yangtse river before it was dammed, exploring the Amazon and hiking Machu Picchu, going on safari in Africa, visiting her son Michael when he was in Indonesia, taking a cruise in Alaska and traveling by riverboat through Europe with her son Daniel. And while it wasn’t as exotic as some of her other travels, one of her most amazing travel days occurred earlier this month when she visited Bakersfield and got to tour her son Michael’s and daughter Rebecca’s company, including a ride on a harvester. Her daughter Rebecca was her travel companion for the last 5 weeks of her life, and up until her final days she was still planning their next trip together. 

After raising her children in New Canaan, Conn. in a beautiful home that she proudly renovated and expanded herself, Bonnie moved to Boca Raton, Fla. in the late 1990’s. There she bought a wonderful home, and decorated it floor to ceiling with her favorite mementos from her life and travels. While there, she quickly established friendships throughout her community and across the surrounding area. Bonnie took great pride in her children and was famous for throwing parties at her home each time they would come to visit. Those times in Boca with family and friends were some of her fondest memories.

Thirteen years ago Bonnie found her second home at the Chautauqua Institute in upstate New York where she would spend her summers. It was one of her favorite places in the world, and a community in which she felt loved and accepted. She made great friends there, and was famous for walking around Bestor Plaza with her dog Flora. While at Chautauqua she served on the board of Directors of the Chautauqua Dance Circle, and helped host young dancers each year. She was an integral member in the creation of the Everett Jewish Life Center and was a warm host to many of their special weekly lecturers. She was also a longtime member of the “Friends of the Theater” group where she was the chair for promotional items and a member of their yearly fundraising events. She also spent her time helping out at the Women’s Club, working both as a class docent as well as an usher for many of Chautauqua’s great events, even helping to rent out apartments for the summer. 

Bonnie accomplished many great things in her life, but those who knew her would say she was most proud of raising her three children. Rarely could one have a conversation with Bonnie where she wasn’t sharing the great things her kids and grandchildren were doing. She took great pride in the successes of her family and felt great joy in spending so much time with them over the last few years, including her last few weeks.

Bonnie will forever be loved and missed by her children and grandchildren. She dedicated her life to raising and supporting them, always making them feel that they were the center of her world. In her final years, she inspired them by facing the prospect of mortality with the ultimate bravery – by continuing to live life to the fullest.

Bonnie was loved by many, and will be missed by those fortunate to have known her. She is survived by her son Michael, her son Daniel and daughter-in-law Avery, her daughter Rebecca, her four grandchildren Julia, Mirabelle, Dylan and Elizabeth, her sister Nadine and her beloved dog Flora. 

There will be a graveside burial for Bonnie on Friday August 2 at 10:30 am at the Temple Beth El Cemetery in Stamford, Conn. with a reception to follow, and a larger celebration of Bonnie’s life at her son Daniel’s home on Saturday August 3rd.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in Bonnie’s memory to the Chautauqua Foundation where the funds will be used to support the programs that she loved ( – please select making a gift to an endowment and notate “In memory of Bonnie Rosenthal”). Anyone wishing to get in touch with the family regarding logistics and/or to share a memory of Bonnie may do so via 

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