YaVonnie ‘Bonnie’ Mae Matthews


February 24, 1922  -  July 9, 2019

Our most precious and loved soul, YaVonnie Mae Matthews, better remembered as ‘Bonnie (Welch) Cox’, went to be with our Lord early Tuesday morning, July 9, 2019, while in the wonderful care of the Seven Sisters Living Center and the Grace of the Pines Hospice in Hot Springs. Our gratitude and thankfulness is extended to each and everyone who took part in our beautiful Mother’s (grandmother’s) care while there. You are all Earthly Angels, God Bless each of you!

Bonnie was born February 24, 1922 in Our Lady of Lourds Hospital in Hot Springs to Harold Welch and Bessie (Parsons) Welch. 

Bonnie attended the old Fall School during her grade school years. She was always telling us of the wonderful adventures and times she had going there, as did most of her family. She then went on to graduate high School at Hot Springs High...at this point, as per my Mother’s request, I will tell just a tidbit of history, something she has always wanted Hot Springs to know...The sandstone which makes up the Hot Springs High School was donated by her Grandmother Patience Parsons. It was quarried from a long rock ledge that was located on her Grandmothers property, way back up into what is now called Eagle Valley. Her Grandmother told her that after the college burned down she wanted to help in the construction of the new high school and by donating the rock this made it possible. She wanted a nice school where her grandchildren could grauduate from one day! And so it came to be, Bonnie graduated in 1941 and Patience’s great grandchildren, great great grandchildren and as of 2019 her great great great grandson have all graduated from the structure built long ago. If a plaque could state this oh how happy Mom would be!

Bonnie moved with her mother and step father to Denver in 1942, where she attended the Charles of Denver School of Cosmetology, receiving her cosmetology license and then stayed on as an instructor for two additional years. While in Denver she spent the war years helping with the USO. Here she met and married Alfred Watts, and to this union was born her first child Wayne Walter Watts.

Returning to Hot Springs in 1950, Bonnie opened her first hair salon in the Evans Hotel. A short time later Bonnie was asked if she would consider managing a hotel property in Lancaster Pennslyvannia. The opportunity was one she excitedly took. She and Wayne (Butch), headed there. While living in Lancaster, she met Charlie Cox, a career Navy man attending Recruiters School. She later choose to move to Texas where Charlie was from and they were married. To this union Ida (Cox) Walter and Charles (Chuck) Cox were born. After several years in Florida and Texas, Charlie and Bonnie decided to settle the family in Hot Springs in 1964. Here they built their new home in Fall River Canyon and  Bonnie opened her 2nd hair salon in the basement of the home and operated it there for six years. Growth of the business brought about moving her hair salon once again into the Evans Hotel, exactly 20 years from her first original salon.

After the passing of her husband Charlie, Bonnie sold her shop and went back into property management. Bonnie and Chuck spent a year in Vista , California where Bonnie managed the Vista Riveria Motel. 

But with family and grandchildren in Hot Springs, they returned and Bonnie became the first manager for the RC Springs Apartment complex in Hot Springs. Bonnie also spent several years as the manager for the Skyline Motel in Hot Springs. 

Bonnie’s working career was diverse and filled with creativity to include owning her own floral shop in Hot Springs and Edgemont.

Bonnie loved people, flowers, animals and her family! She had a huge heart and always a positive attitude...she will forever be missed! 

Bonnie has always been very proud of her lineage...the Parson’s Clan. So many have gone before her, but now she is reunited with her loving mother, brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles.

Having been blessed to have shared the life of this wonderful woman are son, Wayne and wife Mary Watts; grandson, Wayne Jr. and wife Rowena Watts and their 3 daughters and 5 grandchildren; grandson, Michael Watts; grandson, Charlie Watts and his 2 daughters; granddaughter, Laura Lynn and husband Tim Garon and their 3 children (Moriah, Chris & Andrew) and 6 grandchildren; daughter, Ida and husband Jim Walter; granddaughter, Tanya and husband JR Steele and Tanya’s children, Gavin, Megan and Emma; grandsond Casey Jr. and wife Carrie Varick (and to be born Casey the 3rd); son, Charles (Chuck) Cox and Trudy Jorde; grandsond Cameron Cox and granddaughterd Cami Cox.

Bonnie’s wish was to be cremated and her ashes buried with her loving Mother, Bessie at Evergreen Cemetery in Hot Springs.

Burial will be Friday July 19, 2019 at 1 p.m with a Celebration of Mom’s life to follow at 2 p.m. at the Mueller Civic Center Annex.

Fall River County Herald

EDGEMONT OFFICE: PO Box 660 Edgemont, SD  57735-0660   |   605.662.7201
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