On Thursday, October 8th, 2020, Bernis (Bonnie) Mihalic passed away after her health started declining from the first of the year at her home in Oxnard, California. She was 87 years old. She was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on October 20th, 1932, to Louis and Hannah Fein.
She studied journalism at George Washington University before she married George Thompson Sr. from Liberty, Mississippi in 1951. His service in the Navy took them to Maryland then to Honolulu, Hawaii before finally settling at Pt. Hueneme Naval Base in 1957. George and Bonnie were later divorced.
Bonnie soon started her first business selling silk flowers and florist supplies in Oxnard. She married the love of her life Paul Mihalic, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, on March 30th, 1969, and together they raised 7 children, at the time of her death they had been married for 51 years. Bonnie was incredibly proud that all 7 of her children graduated from college.
Bonnie was best known as the vivacious proprietor of “Bonnie’s.” Her costume and party store in Downtown Ventura was an institution for all types of celebrations, especially Halloween, where it was a fall tradition of so many Ventura County residents to peruse her floor-to-ceiling selection of costumes that stayed on display all year long. She loved being in the store, always having a solution for whatever party conundrum her beloved customers had. After retiring, she and her husband Paul traveled the world! They loved extended cruises, trips to China, and traveling to family events.
The store was a prominent part of her life but came second to her family. Her family was the joy of her life. Bonnie is survived by her husband of 51 years, Paul Mihalic Sr. Their 7 children, George and Toi Thompson, Louis and Patty Thompson, Sara and Jim Hipple, Ann Swanson, Carol Thompson, Betsy and Susan Byers, Paul Jr. and Candace Mihalic, 16 beloved grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the March of Dimes.
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