Bonnie Blaisdell, long time resident of Friday Harbor, Washington, passed away on March 17, 2020, at the age of 95 in Carmichael, California. She was born in a homestead farmhouse near Boyes, Montana.
Preceded in death by her husband James (Jim), she is survived by her sister Miriam; brother Robert; son James Steven; daughter Susan Frances; granddaughters Elizabeth May and Jamie Bonita; grandson James Joseph; and great-grandsons Kort Rocco and Kallen Garrett.
She graduated from Scoles School (started by her Mother) and obtained a degree in Nursing from Montana State, Bozeman, leading to Army-Air Cadet Nursing in California where she met her future husband Jim on a blind date. They were married in Southern California in August, 1945.
Jim and Bonnie moved to Oregon where she helped Jim get his degree in biology at Oregon State University, then Honey Lake Refuge in Lassen County where Jim worked in his field of biology. Eventually they moved the family to Grand Canyon National Park where Jim was the park biologist and Bonnie was head nurse at the local hospital for 10 years.
Bonnie renewed her Registered Nursing License and practiced nursing wherever they lived including their next move to Klamath Falls, Oregon, and then Seattle, Washington. They discovered Friday Harbor, where they retired, built their last home (which Bonnie designed) on Cattle Point with an ocean view of Goose Island.
Bonnie was a most excellent gardener and supplied all the family’s vegetables. She was also skilled at sewing; quilting; knitting; crocheting; latch hook; embroidery; braided rug making; crafts; canning; cooking; wine making; and baking. Bonnie became active in trying to keep the Island clean and pristine.
In Friday Harbor, the family spent many hours boating, fishing and crabbing. The grandchildren spent many summer months with G’ma Bonnie and G’pa Jim where they fostered lifelong friendships that continue today. They hosted foreign exchange students and were active in the Big Horn Sheep Council and the 90th Bomb Group. During their 59 years of marriage Jim and Bonnie traveled extensively exploring Alaska; Canada; Finland; Australia; New Zealand; and Japan.
An informal public Celebration of Life gathering is planned.
Date: July 18, 2020. Time: 2 p.m. Place: DNR Cattle Point Interpretation Site. Discovery pass or Day pass ($10) required for parking. Message 360-472-0030 for further details.