Bonnie Hamilton Rising, 77, of East Norwalk, CT and Port St. Lucie, FL, died peacefully on May 24, 2022 following a stroke. She was surrounded by her family.
Bonnie was born in East Norwalk where she grew up with her parents, Towers and Kip Hamilton. She graduated from Norwalk High School and Colby Sawyer College.
She met her husband, Doug, at a Youth Fellowship group and they were very happily married for 53 years. For most of those years, they enjoyed living in the Marvin Beach neighborhood of East Norwalk in the house where Bonnie’s grandparents had lived since 1916. On most nights, you’d find her and Doug on their front deck enjoying the sunset and a glass of wine happily chatting with neighbors and giving out treats to all the local dogs.
For many years, Bonnie served as President of the Tower Optical Company, the Norwalk-based designer and manufacturer of the iconic outdoor binocular viewers found on the top of the Empire State Building and at many tourist destinations around the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. In this role, she and Doug, who also worked for Tower Optical, traveled the US servicing the binocular viewers and building life-long friendships with people with whom they did business. Bonnie led the family-owned company as its fourth-generation owner, passing it along to her son, Greg, who now runs the company.
Bonnie loved being on and near the water, whether collecting shells and smooth rocks at the ocean beaches in Florida, or swimming in front of their home on the Norwalk River. She and Doug spent many summers exploring the harbors of Long Island Sound with their friends and fellow boaters from the Shore and Country Club.
She was a long-time member of the First United Methodist Church where she ran the senior program for more than 15 years. Always finding ways to give back to the community, Bonnie was a member of the East Norwalk Improvement Association and could be found volunteering at her children’s schools when they were young. She was a talented seamstress, thoughtfully making gorgeous quilts, wall hangings, beloved toys and lovies, fabric books, and clothes for her children and grandchildren.
More than anything, Bonnie was incredibly devoted to her family and friends. You could always count on her to be there for milestones big and small. Bonnie delighted and took great pride in her grandchildren and their accomplishments, loving every piece of art, cheering for every goal, and celebrating every book read. Her door was always open and her home always filled with homemade food, especially during the holidays. She loved hosting a big open house on the 4th of July.
In retirement, Bonnie and Doug became Florida snowbirds, savoring their morning coffee on the lanai, spending time with extended family, and enjoying the outdoors and nature. Bonnie enjoyed attending the First United Methodist Church of Port St. Lucie.
Her family will cherish their loving memories of her always. She is survived by her husband Douglas Rising; children Lori Young (Tim Young), Greg Rising (Christine Rising), Megan Rising (Erica LeBow); and grandchildren Sarah Young, Riley Rising, Tyler Rising, Kaelin Rising, Rose Rising, and Levi Rising.
There will be a celebration of Bonnie’s life in Norwalk later this summer. The family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation to Treasure Coast Hospice at
in Bonnie’s name.