Obituary for Bonnie Mendenhall
Bonnie Lee Mendenhall (Keller, aka BonBon), 70, of Missoula, MT formally of Donnybrook, ND passed away Fri., Aug. 11, 2017 at her home in Missoula peacefully in her sleep, with her loving dog Ruby by her side and surrounded by everything she loved.
She was born May 28, 1947 in Donnybrook, ND to Pete and Shirley Keller. She grew up on the family homestead farm, graduating high school in 1967. The year after graduating, Bonnie went to Europe and backpacked throughout the continent over the course of a year. After returning from Europe, she moved to Oregon and spent a few years there. She bought a bus from her dad, which she used to travel throughout the U.S. until breaking down on Evaro Hill in 1979, so she decided to stay in Missoula.
A true flower child of the ‘60’s with a free and loving spirit that broke earthly bonds, she was loved by all who knew her. She had a great love of the simpler things in life, was old school and set in her hippy ways. Her family and friends were everything to her. As a loving mother, a major highlight of her life was welcoming her son Brennan into the world in 1983. She also took great and loving care of her friends and colleagues. She loved music, flowers, gardening, the mountains and life.
In her younger years she enjoyed riding horses and shooting trap with her four best girlfriends; Marian, Robin, Kristine and Charlie. She was also an avid hunter and fisher.
Bonnie was a member of the local 885 United Paper Workers International Union. She was a pioneer of women’s rights, being one of the first women to work at Stone Container in a man’s world, there she had earned the love and respect of her coworkers. She retired in 2012 after 30 years of service.
Bonnie lived life to the fullest and on her own terms, as witnessed while she fought and overcame breast cancer. She went out like she lived; loving her life and the life she has given.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Pete and Shirley Keller; brother Captain Donald Keller and sister Marlo Keller.
She is survived by her son Brennan Mendenhall of Missoula, MT; daughter-in-law Tammi Mendenhall of Missoula, MT; niece Jennifer Keller (and family) of Seattle, WA; niece Julie Keller (and family) of Lancaster, CA; sister-in-law Hazel Ball of Salem, OR; brother-in-law Ron Mix (and family) of Nine Mile, MT; best friend Marian Gore of Kalispell, MT; and many other family members and friends.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, August 26, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. at Garden City Funeral Home. A pot luck reception will follow the service at Bonnie’s Home located at 1417 Sherwood St., Missoula, MT 59802. Please bring a side dish and a chair. All who knew her are welcome and encouraged to attend.