IN MEMORIAM: Mary ‘Bonnie’ Corsaro

by Jane Ahrens

MARY “BONNIE” CORSARO (aka Mary Cross Lueders)

Bonnie Corsaro was born Mary Cross Lueders on June 5, 1942, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Mary Cross and Thomas Lueders and died on Sunday, October 2, 2016. She was seventy-four years old. The cause was cancer.

Known most recently throughout the Philadelphia area and beyond for her BONNIE’s BEST COOKIES, her prowess as a cookie maker par excellence will be her legacy.

Bonnie Corsaro’s talents were varied and started long ago with being educated at the Springside School in Chestnut Hill, Pine Manor Junior College in Massachusetts, and at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music and Academy of Vocal Arts. As a member of the New York City Opera during the 1960s and 1970s, she was known for her roles in such operas as Cavalleria Rusticana, Bomarzo, Prince Igor, Manon, Madama Butterfly, The Ballad of Baby Doe and Susanna. Additional appearances of note were at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC in the acclaimed production of The Coronation of Poppea and with the St. Paul Opera Company in the world premiere of Summer and Smoke.

In 1971, Bonnie married acclaimed theater/opera director Frank Corsaro, and their son Andrew was born in 1974.

From the operatic stage, Bonnie moved on in the 1970s to play Paul Newman’s mistress in the movie Buffalo Bill and the Indians, made her debut in the Broadway musical Whoopie, and went on in the late 1970s to be a master flower arranger in New York City for the famed River Café and for the florist Surroundings.

From the late 1970s through 2000, Bonnie lived on Fishers Island, New York, where she was known for her many talents: catering, landscape designing, creating a gift shop, and even doing the flowers for the movie The World According to Garp.

She moved back to Pennsylvania in 2000, and from 2004 – 2006 was the proprietress and one of the chefs of BONNIE’s, a popular restaurant in Wayne.

Even with all of these splendid accomplishments, her real legacy began in 2002, when Bonnie created BONNIE’s BEST COOKIES, cookies which knew no rivals. She supplied the Merion Golf Club, pharmacies and gift shops throughout Pennsylvania’s Main Line, along with national customers through her mail order website business until 2016.

Bonnie Corsaro is survived by her husband Frank Corsaro, son Andrew Corsaro, grandchildren Matthew and Mason Corsaro, brother Todd Lueders and his wife Kathy, brother Kenneth Lueders and his wife Leslie, and nieces Clare and Sara Lueders.

Bonnie’s best, the lady and the legendary cookies, were always enjoyed, talked about and will be missed by all.

Published in Main Line Media News on Oct. 9, 2016

A service will be held Sunday, October 23 at 9:30 am at Harriton House, 500 Harriton Rd, Bryn Mawr, PA. Burial will take place October 25 on Fishers Island, NY.

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