Dr. John R. Bonfield, 72, of 408 E. Second Ave., Lititz, Pa., died peacefully at Moravian Manor, Lititz following a battle with cancer.

Born in New Castle, he was a son of Mary Mancini Bonfield of New Castle and the late John A. Bonfield.

He was married to Rachelle “Shelly” Rickens Bonfield. She survives. They celebrated their 25th anniversary on Nov. 5, 2008.

His first wife, Marilyn Moyer Bonfield, died in 1981.

Dr. Bonfield was a veteran of the Marine Corps.

He received his bachelor of science in education from Indiana State University of Pennsylvania in 1958, his master of science degree from Westminster College in 1961, his doctor of education from Penn State University in 1968 and his state superintendent’s letter of eligibility from the University of Pennsylvania.

He started his professional life as a teacher in the New Castle Area School District from 1958 to 1961, teaching music at the former Ben Franklin and George Washington junior high schools; director of guidance from 1961 to 1964 at the former Northwestern Beaver County School District, Darlington; psychologist and supervisor of special classes from 1964 to 1966 in Lawrence County; instructor from 1966 to 1967 at Penn State University; coordinator of pupil personnel services from 1967 to 1974 for the school district of Lancaster; assistant superintendent of elementary education of Lancaster schools from 1974 to 1977; and superintendent from 1977 to 1998 for the Warwick School District.

He was an adjunct professor at Penn State University and Millersville State College and also ran JR Best Associates as a consultant to school districts and intermediate units on program evaluation, educational planning and community involvement. John was very active in the community and enjoyed playing trumpet earlier in his career with Red Coat Band and the Butler Symphony; the Moonlighters and the Lititz Community Band.

He served on the boards of the United Way, Lancaster Symphony, and Lancaster Chamber of Commerce.

John greatly enjoyed all of the athletic programs, concerts, musicals, and dramas put on by students and staff at the Warwick School District. In September, 1993, the Warwick School Board Directors, proclaimed that the new elementary school to be constructed be named the John R. Bonfield Elementary School.

He was active in the annual Queen of Candles July 4th celebration, serving as master of ceremonies for many years, as well as other community programs throughout Lititz, including Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies. John was active at St. James Catholic Church, where he taught RCIA classes, was a lector and served on various committees.

He enjoyed spending time with his grandsons, music and going to Penn State games with family.

In addition to his mother and wife, survivors include two daughters, Lisa and Mike Himes, and Marianne G. Bonfield, all of Lititz; two grandsons, Nolan and Brady Himes; a brother, Reggie J. and Marianne Bonfield of Pittsburgh; and two nephews, Christopher and Jonathan Bonfield.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend John’s Life Celebration Service in a Mass of Christian Burial at St. James Catholic Church, 505 Woodcrest Ave., Lititz at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The Rev. James O’Blaney will officiate. Private Commendation and Farewell will take place in Moravian Cemetery, Lititz.

Friends may call at St. James Hall, St. James Catholic Church from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, and 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday with a reciting of the Rosary at 8 p.m. tomorrow. There will be no visitation on Saturday before Mass. Please omit flowers. Memorial contributions can be sent to the Dr. John R. Bonfield Scholarship Fund, c/o Wachovia Bank, 741 S. Broad St., Lititz, Pa. 17543. Spacht Funeral Home, Lititz, is handling arrangements.

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