Bonnie Lee Gregory

January 1, 1943


Bonnie Lee Gregory, 77, of El Paso, Texas left this earth to begin her spiritual journey from her home in Knoxville, Tennessee.

She was born Nguyen Thi Lan in a village in North Vietnam prior to the start of the Vietnam War, orphaned at a young age found her way to South Vietnam before escaping to America to be renamed Bonnie Lee Gregory with a birth date transcribed as January 1, 1943. Leaving no family and all possessions behind, she evacuated with her military husband and their children to the United States, assimilating to a new language, culture and society.

Her new life focused on protecting and nurturing her daughters. Without any formal education, she learned to read and write alongside her children. She overcame many adversities with a determined attitude, fervid work ethic and devoted faith. She believed that God came to us in different ways. For many years, she meditated daily seeking the path of enlightenment through her Buddhist belief. Towards the end of her journey, she walked with Christ and declared her faith through baptism.
Apart from the enigmatic timeline of her life's beginning, there are momentous events that encouraged and comforted her through her despondent affliction. On March 22, 2016, she accepted Jesus as her personal savior. Years later, at Temple Baptist Church in Knoxville she declared her public profession of her salvation on April 21, 2019. Through careful preparations from her new church family, Bonnie Lee consecrated to Christ in baptism on June 2, 2019.

Prior to relocating to Knoxville, at the age of 50 she learned to drive and then spent over 20 years working in the kitchen at Red Lobster where her passion for cuisine continued. She found great joy in cooking for her family and feeding anyone who came through her door. Her life was not complicated. She lived a routine of daily exercise, tending to her herb garden, and watching her favorite game shows on television. Her competitive spirit and sense of humor made her the "Rummy Champion" of the family. The means to reach 500 first was often questionable, but this was not the true motive for playing. Around the dining room table with cards in hand, she shared her stories, delivered witty jokes, and expressed her unconditional love for her daughters, her sons-in-law and her grandchildren.

She married her first love and only love, an American soldier, James Daniel Gregory. Together, they raised 5 girls. Surviving her are the only members of her inner circle, Peggy Harrison (Michael Harrison); Patsy Gregory; Florence Shearer (Jeffry Shearer); Sandra Lowry (Steven Lowry) and Lesia Gregory.

Her familial history extends to another generation of grandchildren: Alisa Meadows (John Meadows); Matthew Lowry; Jeremy Shearer (Meg Shearer); Bobby Moon; Anita Harrison; Robert Harrison; Alexandria Shearer; Savanna Lowry; and Jaden Moon. Her humble lineage descends further with her great-grandchildren: Anzlee Meadows; Jude Meadows and Addie Mae Davis.

A private service will be held for immediate family. In lieu of flowers or cards, she asks that contributions be made to help the less fortunate--nonperishable food items to the local food bank to help the hungry, warm blankets and coats to help the homeless, clothing and books to help the elderly and orphans.

In memory, she leaves us with this request to remember to appreciate the moments you have with your family, be grateful for all your blessings, never stop loving and helping others. She wants her family and friends to know the Lord Jesus Christ. This is her Statement of Faith. For those who die in Christ, death is union with the Lord. On December 15, 2020 Bonnie Lee Gregory has joined Jesus in paradise.

(Please hyperlink: to her Statement of Faith.)

Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel is honored to serve the Gregory family and invites you to view and sign the online registry.

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