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Bonita Marie Salamanca


Bonita Marie Salamanca, age 89, of Doylestown, Pa., passed away Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023 at her home. She was born on Feb. 8, 1934 in Tacoma, Wash., daughter of the late J. Manley and Bonita Carlisle.

Bonnie was a graduate of Stadium High School where she was president of the Art Club, Hike Leader, Honor Roll, World Staff Leader, and member of the Royal Fins water ballet. She was also a member of the Tacoma Figure Skating Club and performed in many Ice Reviews and Ice Cycles.

After high school, Bonnie left Tacoma for a five-day train ride to Parris Island, S.C., where she completed USMC boot camp. Her first duty station was Cherry Point, N.C., where she worked officer’s records. Her next duty station was Camp Elmore, Norfolk, Va., where she met her first husband, a Naval officer and was discharged. From 1954 to 1975 she was a Navy officer’s wife and mother of two children. Stationed with VR-24 squadron at Port Lyautey, Morocco and Rota, Spain, she participated in Officer’s Club activities, traveled throughout Europe and the Near East, and served as Girl Scout leader.

Upon return from overseas in 1966 to Doylestown, Pa., Bonnie taught swimming and water safety to the Red Cross. In addition to her love of swimming, she was an avid tennis player, artist, gourmet cook, master knitter, played piano and was longtime member of the Doylestown Methodist Church choir. She was a member of the Doylestown Tennis Club. And she volunteered many hours at the Pearl Buck Foundation and Meals on Wheels.

In 1975, Bonnie reenlisted in the U.S Marine Corps Reserve as the USMCR’s oldest lance corporal. After meritorious promotions to corporal, sergeant and staff sergeant, Bonnie entered the warrant officer program. At age 65 she retired at the rank of chief warrant officer 4. Memorable assignments included teaching combat swimming, serving on promotion boards, duty in Okinawa, Japan, serving as general’s aide, and participation in numerous joint exercises. All told, Bonnie had 22 years of service to her beloved Corps.

In 2012, Bonnie was predeceased by her second husband of nine years, R. Wayne Bailey. In 2021, she was predeceased by her first husband of 30 years, Raymond J. Salamanca, from whom she was divorced. She is survived and dearly missed by her daughter Beth Salamanca and spouse Norma; her son, Ronald Salamanca; grandchild, stepchildren and grandchildren and great-stepgrandchildren.

Entombment with military honors will be held at the Washington Crossing National Cemetery, 830 Highland Road, Newtown, PA 18940 on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023 (Marine Corps Birthday!) at 11 a.m., followed by a memorial service and reception at the Doylestown United Methodist Church, 320 E. Swamp Road, Doylestown, PA 18901 at 12:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in Bonnie Salamanca’s memory can be made to the Woman Marine Association and the Bucks County SPCA To share your fondest memories of Bonnie, please visit

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