Laurie Mae Bonwell, White Bird, died at University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Wash., on July 13, 2018, surrounded by family after a heroic fight with cancer.
Laurie was born in Rupert, Idaho on Aug. 21, 1953. She was raised in White Bird. After graduating from Riggins High School, she moved to Alaska to work on a fishing boat. She had many adventures in the wild Alaska fishing industry and lived in and out of many ports, including Dutch Harbor and Kodiak. Laurie arrived in the small Alaska native village of Egegik in 1981 as the pot scrubber and ended up the office manager, returning each summer for the last 36 years. During the winters, she spent time in Seattle, where she received an associate degree in accounting, and later in Valdez, Alaska where she enjoyed playing on the local dart team. She ultimately came home to White Bird where she met the love of her life, Ike Bohne.
Laurie never had kids of her own but played an immense role in the lives of her many nieces and nephews who will always cherish her. She was known by many as simply, “Aunt Laurie.” Laurie was very involved in her home town of White Bird and was a member of the White Bird Rebekah Lodge, giving back to her community in many ways. She will be greatly missed by many in White Bird.
In 2013, Laurie was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s mantle-cell lymphoma. Through her four bouts with cancer, she remained positive, kind and good-natured, living life to the fullest. She rarely missed the local cribbage tournament or Saturday night karaoke at the Silver Dollar Bar.
Laurie had many friends and close family. She is survived by her life partner, Ike Bohne; her brothers and sisters: Richard (Peggy) Bonwell, Roberta Hallquist, Lydia Chrane, Carolynn Jones and Chuck (Janice) Smith; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Ardis and Bill Howerton, Beryl Smith and Lewis Bonwell; as well as her brothers-in-law: Colin Rhoades, Jim Chrane, Tom Jones, and Leigh Hallquist.
Laurie was bigger than life and her wish was to have a Celebration of Life. This will be held at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018 at the I.O.O.F. Hall in downtown White Bird, followed by potluck and celebration.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!’” – Hunter S. Thompson
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