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Bonnie Peakes, secretary of the San Juan Historical Society and former Friday Harbor Middle School teacher, dies | Passages

Bonnie Peakes, secretary of the San Juan Historical Society and Museum and a former Friday Harbor Middle School teacher, died March 20 after a five-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

According to the historical society, no funeral is planned. Her survivors include her son, John Peakes; daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and Scott Leeming; and grandson, William Leeming.

Peakes was a Montana native, lived on Pearl Island for about 25 years, taught humanities at the middle school, and helped her son operate a restaurant on Nichols Street.

She joined the board of the historical society in June 2008 and became a very active volunteer.

"The last time I saw her, she was at our Back to the Farm event, dishing up roasted pork," museum director Kevin Loftus said. "She was very active and remained active as long as she could. She brought in cheese and crackers for our board meetings. When we had the reenactment here, she did the Costco run. She helped with all the background stuff at our auctions, getting all the items. She was straightforward, had some great ideas and spent a lot of time here."

Loftus said he enjoyed Peakes' sense of humor, particularly her stories about growing up in Montana.

"She was a great lady. I'm going to miss her."

Historical Society President Mary Jean Cahail and Peakes were old friends. She remembers when Peakes commuted daily between Pearl Island and the middle school, with children in tow.

"She had a drive. She was a real strong individual," Cahail said. "She was very caring about the way she did things. She had a will to do something and she did it, and she did it the right way."

Cahail remembered Peakes as a caring teacher. "She was very helpful with the kids at school. She was like a mother to a lot of the kids at school."

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