What Joel and Thelma Thompson remember the most about their daughter is her caring personality and her ability to become "the life of the party" where ever she went.

"She just loved life," Joel Thompson said. "She cheered the party up whenever the families would get together."

The Thompson's daughter, Bonita Thompson, died from an aneurysm at her home on Jan. 21, 2005. She was 38 years old.

In her honor, a memorial fund at Eva Bank is being established to provide scholarship money to eligible candidates who are seeking a degree in respiratory therapy from Wallace State Community College.

Bonita graduated from Vinemont High School in 1985 before attending Wallace State, where she earned a degree in respiratory therapy. She assisted in the sleep laboratory at UAB and was a respiratory therapist at Princeton Hospital.

Joel Thompson said Bonita was a mentor to her younger brother and sister.

"They'd call her when they wouldn't call mama and daddy," he said.

"Then, she'd call us," Thelma Thompson said.

The Thompsons said losing a child is one of the most emotionally painful experiences in life.

"You just have to take one minute at a time every day," Thelma Thompson said.

A screening committee will meet in February and will interview three candidates most eligible for the scholarship.

Donations to the scholarship fund should be mailed to Eva Bank, 1710 Cherokee Ave. SW, Cullman Ala., 35055.

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