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Dr. Rose Mary Hatem Bonsack

Dr. Rose Mary Hatem Bonsack

1933 - 2020
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Obituary

Dr. Rose Mary Hatem Bonsack passed away peacefully in her home on September 27th, 2020 surrounded by loving family. Dr. Bonsack, a devoted wife, is survived by her husband of 63 years, James Bonsack, her daughter Dr. Jeanette Bonsack and her husband David Beard, her daughter Karen Bonsack, P.T, her son Dr. Thomas Bonsack and wife Kelly, and her son James Joseph Bonsack and wife Carrie, as well as nine grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her brothers Thomas J. Hatem and Dr. Frederick Hatem along with her son David Bonsack.

Rose Mary was born on October 24th, 1933 in Havre de Grace, Maryland to Joseph and Nasma Hatem. She was proud of being a third generation Lebanese American. She graduated from Havre de Grace High School, and cum laude from Washington College. She started her medical education at the University of Maryland where she was one of two women in a class of 98. She finished her medical degree at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania where she had two children while attending school. She resided in Harford County, Maryland for most of her life, practicing as a Medical Doctor and later serving in the Maryland Legislature.

Dr. Bonsack lived a full and accomplished life, and family was always most important to her. She enjoyed cooking Lebanese food, dancing the dabke, watching tennis, playing cards, and travelling. She was happiest when hosting birthday parties and crab feasts for her friends and family. Dr. Bonsack’s love of meeting and greeting new people was rooted in her upbringing while her family ran the family store, the House of Bargains in Havre De Grace.

Dr. Bonsack served as Chief of Clinics at Kirk Army Hospital on Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. She worked for the Harford County Health Department in several medical positions. She was on the Board of Directors at the Mann house for 10 years and served as the President for 2 years. She was the Medical Director at Ashley Rehabilitation Center in Havre de Grace, MD. She served on the Board of Medical Examiners of Maryland and was the Executive Secretary of the Board of Physician Quality Assurance. She was a member of the Maryland Academy of Family Physicians and served as its first female president in 1988. She was a member of the Harford County Medical Society and served as their first female president. She was a member and Director of the American Academy of Family Practitioners. She was a member of the House of Delegates to MedChi. She was the president of the Northern MD Heart Association and on the Board of the Cancer Society of Maryland.

In 1991, Dr. Bonsack was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates, where she represented Harford County on multiple committees until 1999. She went on to serve on the Board of Trustees at Harford Community College, the Medical Advisory Board of the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles, the Board of Directors of St. Joan of Arc School, the Board of Visitors and Governors of Washington College, the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Aberdeen, MD, President of the Harford County Medical Society, Committee Chairman of the Medical Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland and a member of the Cal Ripken Foundation Board.

Dr. Bonsack was deeply involved with the John Carroll School as she was the Chairperson and a trustee emeritus. She was very committed to the concept of a Catholic education where she felt discipline was necessary for a good education.

Throughout her lifetime, Dr. Bonsack was honored to receive numerous awards, including those from Havre de Grace High School Hall of Fame, The Washington College Alumni Citation for Excellence in Medicine and Public Service, Maryland’s Top 100 Women, The Lifetime Achievement Award of the Maryland Academy of Family Practitioners, and others from the US Army, the State of Maryland, the Maryland Cancer Society, the University of Maryland, the American Medical Association, and the Maryland Optometric Association. She was also honored as a Harford Living Treasure in her later years. Of all her accolades she was most proud of raising her five children.

Dr. Bonsack managed to balance a fulfilling career path, a full family life, and the demands wrought on a public servant. Her legacy is one of dedication that demands respect, admiration and most of all, emulation for generations to come. In her own words she was “just a woman proving that devotion to family, hard work and the love of mankind are more than just catchy phrases.”

Funeral services and burial will be provided by Zellman Funeral Home in Havre de Grace, MD, and will be limited to family. Memorials and condolences may be left on the website at www.zellmanfuneralhome.com

In lieu of flowers, friends and family may make a contribution in her memory to the John Carroll School, 703 E. Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21014

A Facebook livestream of the funeral Mass will be available on Friday, October 2, 2020 at 10:30 A.M. at the Zellman Funeral Home, P.A. Facebook page.

A Celebration of Life is being planned for a later date, and those interested in being notified should send an email to tjbonsack@hotmail.com
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Location
    Mt. Erin Cemetery
    Address
    Graceview Drive
    HAVRE DE GRACE, MD 21078
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

Condolences

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Private Condolence
CL

Curt and Linda

Posted at 08:51am
Tom, Kelly and the Bonsack Family We are so very sorry for you loss of you mom. Our Thoughts and prayers are with you today and always

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JK

John E. Kelly

Posted at 04:00pm
To all the Bonsack & Hatem Family,

I have known your mother for the past 45 years and found her to be a gracious, fun loving person who did more in a day then I could get done in a week, and her interests and knowledge were overwhelming Rose Mary's public service both in her practice of medicine and in the time she was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates and her love of fellow mankind to be simply overwhelming.

The importance of her family and their education was always an overriding concern. The loss of Rose Mary not only to her family and friends but also to all of Harford County is immense. I am sure Rose Mary will be praying for all of us from heaven.

Our deepest sympathies and condolences,
John E. and Marby Kelly
 
JB

James Bonsac Posted at 10:03pm

Thank you for your thoughtful words.
 
JB

James Bonsac Posted at 10:03pm

Nnn
 
JB

jeanette Bonsack Posted at 03:16pm

Thank you, John and Marby
DD

dick dowling

Posted at 08:10pm
This was a woman who knew joy and gave her gift of joy unsparingly to others.
Dick Dowling, former Ex. Dir., Maryland Catholic (Bishops) Conference
 
JB

jeanette Bonsack Posted at 03:16pm

Thank you for your kind words.
N

Nancy DiLeonardi

Posted at 04:05pm
Dearest Jeanette and family,
I’m so sorry for your loss. My memories of your mother were mostly at St. Joan of Arc , she was such an active member of that community. We shared a fun shopping trip and time at her pool. She was full of life and a force of female! Her accomplishments in life were impressive to say the least. You were blessed to have her as a mother, we were blessed to know her and I was blessed to have one of her children as my dearest friend. May she Rest In Peace. 🙏
 
JB

jeanette Bonsack Posted at 03:17pm

Thank you, Nancy!
JD

Joan DeSoto

Posted at 02:57pm
I am so sorry for your loss. Your mom was clearly very accomplished and contributed so much to the community. May she Rest In Peace.
 
JB

jeanette Bonsack Posted at 03:17pm

Thank you, Joan
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