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“On July 16, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. I lost the love of my life. We were together physically and spiritually for the last 36 years. She has passed from this realm into the next realm in this journey called life. She passed from an affliction known as O.D.T.A.A. Read on to find out what that is.”
Bonnie was born May 3, 1943, in Chicago to a show business family known as the Ballantines, a harmonica act that toured throughout the world. She joined the act at the age of 9 years old. After her stint in “show business,” she pursued her education at Northern Illinois University where she received her Bachelor in Education degree. She became a teacher in Anaheim, California. After having her third child, she encountered an illness which forced her to retire from teaching. She then became a full-time mom and worked several part-time jobs to help support the family. During this time she started her lifelong love of breeding, raising, and showing English Springer Spaniels under the kennel name Springcrest. She was very successful in this endeavor.
Upon separating from her first husband, Bonnie found full-time employment at a company in Costa Mesa, California, that created resins. On a fateful day, the plant exploded from a chemical reaction of a bad mix. She decided it was time to find a job in a safer environment.
“That brought her to a company named Able Computer where I also worked. This is when our love story began. We married May 11, 1984. In 1988 we, with a leap of faith and unity, decided to move to Kalispell with our five dogs and no jobs. Together we did whatever it took to stay in the area we loved.”
As time moved forward, for 20 years Bonnie taught several courses at Flathead Valley Community College as an adjunct professor. During this time she completed her Master of Arts of Teaching at the University of Great Falls and became a published author of three books under the pen name Jinna Dodds. As her health was affected by “One Damn Thing After Another,” she was again forced to retire from teaching. The final “Last Damn Thing” that took her life force away from those that loved her was metastatic cancer. During this time period she still maintained her cutting sense of humor. We loving referred to it as our gallows humor.
For over 30 years another love of hers was knitting snuggly baby blankets that she gifted to friends or donated to Project Linus.
Bonnie was preceded in death by her grandparents, Ida and the Rev. Adolph Agustus Hoyer; parents, Agnes and Bob Ballantine; first husband, Mac Besse; mother-in-law, Maggie Sheets; and brother-in-law, Warren Mumma.
She is survived by her husband, Ron Sheets; her three children, Shari Watson, Marc Besse and Kristi Wheat and their families; father-in-law, P-Nut Sheets; sister-in-law, Connie Mumma; and several grand- and great-grandchildren
Bonnie wants her children to remember, she has and will always love each of them with all her heart.
I would like to thank Dr. Herman Lyle, Dr. Leah Carlburg, Dr. Benjamin Pomerantz, and their entire professional staff. They provided loving and skilled medical services and support to both of us for the last several months. Also a big thank you to all the caring people at Home Options Hospice that assisted and help guide us through this difficult time and to all our friends and neighbors that provide their love and support.
“The love of my life is now gone, but will never be forgotten or unloved. Rest in peace, Dear One.”
Cremation has taken place and per Bonnie’s request no service or celebration of life will take place.
Darlington Cremation and Burial Service is caring for the family.