- October 6, 1935 - September 27, 2016
- Augusta, Michigan
of Bonnie's Passing
Gull Lake Community Schools Foundation
11775 East D Avenue
Richland, MI 49083
Share This Obituary
Arrangements made by
Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home Cremation Care, Richland Chapel
9170 East D Avenue
Richland, MI 49083
Profile of Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home Cremation Care, Richland Chapel
View Phone Number
Receive Obituary Notifications by Email
Memories & CandlesPrevious
“The Burdick family just learned of your loss. Our deepest sympathies to the family. We all have wonderful memories of Bonnie.
1 of 57 | Posted by: Sandra Burdick - Battle Creek, MI
“The entire Doug Lemmen family extends their deep sympathies to Ike, and the Mellema/O'Brien families. Bonnie will be remembered as a wonderfully...Read More »
2 of 57 | Posted by: Doug Lemmen - Kalamazoo, MI
“We are so sorry for your loss-Bonnie was such a sweetheart she will be dearly missed. All our love and prayers go out to you and your family. She...Read More »
3 of 57 | Posted by: Brenda Schaub - Lake Leelanau, MI
“I just learned of the passing of my cousin, Bonnie!! So very sorry to hear this!!Bonnie and Ike always sent out wonderful Christmas cards to us all...Read More »
4 of 57 | Posted by: Mary Ann Badge - Grand Rapids, MI
“Our sincere condolences to all of the Mellemafamily. We have fond memories of our times together.
5 of 57 | Posted by: Joe & Dorris Milan - Richland, MI
“Bob and family,Sorry for your loss. May your memories and love help you and guide you.
6 of 57 | Posted by: Douglas Becker - Portage, MI
“I am very saddened to hear of Bonnie's passing. I remember the family with fondness.
7 of 57 | Posted by: Dave Shane - Schertz, TX
“Ike and Family, I know you had the funeral today...so wished I could have been there.. I loved Bonnie, I loved how she lived and brought so much joy...Read More »
8 of 57 | Posted by: A friend
“So sorry to hear of Bonnie's passing. We will always remember her smiling face and helpfulness during the numerous years it took all our children to...Read More »
9 of 57 | Posted by: Faith and Zip Fiordalis - MI
“Ike and Family,I am so very sorry for your sudden loss of Bonnie.My prayer is that your many wonderful memories will help you through this difficult...Read More »
10 of 57 | Posted by: Susan Biggs Wallace - Marshall, MI
“Mellema family, my heart is broken for all of you. Bonnie was such a light in this world. Though I haven't seen her in years, I can still remember...Read More »
11 of 57 | Posted by: Amy Nowak (Schaadt) - Stonington, CT
“I offer my sympathy to Ike and his family. I remember Bonnie as an elegant lady. She was someone I admired - I met her through several gatherings...Read More »
12 of 57 | Posted by: Lois Phelps - Kalamazoo, MI
“We are deeply saddened to hear about Bonnie. She will always hold a very special place in our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ike and all...Read More »
13 of 57 | Posted by: Marsha & Bob Freiburger - MI
“One day we will all join you in the beyond. While on earth, your virtuous life will be remembered as the essence of your existence. Peace to your...Read More »
14 of 57 | Posted by: David Perrin - Richland, MI
“Debbie and Pat,We heard of the passing of your Mom this weekend. Know that you and your family are in our prayers. We pray that over time the fond...Read More »
15 of 57 | Posted by: Doug Riggs - Battle Creek, MI
“Dear Ike: We wish to extend our deepest sympathy to you & your family. We have you in our prayers.
16 of 57 | Posted by: Gilbert & Carla Gillette - MI
“Dear Ike, Deb, Bob, Julie and families,Our deepest sympathy to you all. Bonnie was a breath of fresh air and full of fun. I will remember her with...Read More »
17 of 57 | Posted by: Maggie Vugteveen - Rockford, MI
“Dear Ike, Deb, Bob, Julie and all of your beautiful families,Joe and I are so sad for all of you. May your loving memories bring you comfort. We...Read More »
18 of 57 | Posted by: Jane and Joe Brogger
“A lovely lady with a wonderful smile and always so helpful at the middle school as we dealt with the complexities of junior highers. Prayers for your...Read More »
19 of 57 | Posted by: Mona Bowden and family - Augusta
“God Bless the Mellema family. So sorry for your lost. Bonnie was always a ray of sunshine in a sometimes dark world. She was a dear friend and we...Read More »
20 of 57 | Posted by: Ed and Pat Mccrory - Battle creek, MI
“Ike, Pat and I are so sorry and saddened at this terrible tragedy . Bonnie was so sweet and lovely, always cheerful, caring and fun to be around....Read More »
21 of 57 | Posted by: A friend
“Dear Ike, Deb, Bob, Julie and all your families,Our deepest sympathy goes out to all of the family. May the Lord bring you comfort in the knowledge...Read More »
22 of 57 | Posted by: Roger and Marisa Schweitzer - MI
“Dear Ike, Debbie, Bob and Julie - I am so sorry to hear about Bonnie. She was always so kind and friendly whenever I would run into her at church...Read More »
23 of 57 | Posted by: Isobel O'Brien - Augusta, MI
“Ike, Deb, Bob, Julie and families,We are so sorry to hear of Bonnie's death. We have such fond memories of growing up in the community with your...Read More »
24 of 57 | Posted by: Joni and Tim Knapper - Richland, MI
“I will always remember how cheerful and giving Bonnie was. I'm so sorry to hear that she is no longer with us and sorry that I will be out of town...Read More »
25 of 57 | Posted by: Kathy Boyer - Kalamazoo
“We're so very sorry for your loss. Bonnie was a wonderful lady with a great smile. Our Brian remembered her "having his back" when he was called to...Read More »
26 of 57 | Posted by: John and Bev Walters - MI
“To Ike and family: Rosie and I are so sorry for the loss of Bonnie. She had such a beautiful smile on her face and was always happy,and loved her...Read More »
27 of 57 | Posted by: Ken & Rosie Drawant - richland, MI
“Sincerest sympathy to the Mellema family. I will always feel so privileged to have known her, and many of you, through her. She was such a...Read More »
28 of 57 | Posted by: Carolyn Leigh - Kalamazoo, MI
“I will miss Bonnie so much. She was a friend like no other. Such a wonderful person. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. I...Read More »
29 of 57 | Posted by: A friend
“We are very sorry to hear of your unexpected loss! Our thoughts are with you and your family at this time!Track Star International, Inc.
30 of 57 | Posted by: Mike Hughes - Charlotte, NC
“So very sorry to hear of Bonnie's passing. She will be remembered for the kindnesses she extended to all, her wonderful smile and her great love for...Read More »
31 of 57 | Posted by: Linda Wellenkamp - Delton, MI
“Our thoughts and prayers to the Mellema family on the loss of this wonderful lady. She always had a smile for everyone. She was such a positive...Read More »
32 of 57 | Posted by: Ed and Ronda Schaadt - Richland, MI
“So very sorry to hear of your loss. Sue and I extend or sincere condolences to Ike and the family.
33 of 57 | Posted by: Dave Eddy - Battle Creek, NB
“Our hearts hurt for all of you! We will always remember Bonnie with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye. She will be missed by MANY. Love...Read More »
34 of 57 | Posted by: Mike and Lou Ann Ambro - Richland, MI
“Thoughts and prayers to you all. Lots of wonderful memories of time spent with your family. Love to all.
35 of 57 | Posted by: Terri Weidle - Jacksonville, FL
“So sorry for your loss. When Bonnie retired from the middle school she trained me to take her place. Those were big shoes to fill. She was so kind...Read More »
36 of 57 | Posted by: Dana Dubnicka - Augusta, MI
“My Dear Mellema Family,As shocking and tragic the loss of Bonnie is to all of you, I hope you know how privileged you are to have her been an...Read More »
37 of 57 | Posted by: Patt Kaiser - Chicago, IL
“To Bonnie's entire family,Bonnie has always been so friendly and nice. When Jack and Ava were little and came over she always made such an effort to...Read More »
38 of 57 | Posted by: Lisa Stoner - Atlanta, GA
“So, so sorry to hear of Bonnie's passing...our thoughts and love are with you all...Charlie & Betsie Scott
39 of 57 | Posted by: A friend
“Ike and FamilySo sorry for the sudden loss of Bonnie. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
40 of 57 | Posted by: Richard & Kathy Aldrich - Otsego, MI
“Along with everyone who knew her, our hearts are broken upon the loss of Bonnie. I first met her at GLMS when I was getting regular calls from the...Read More »
41 of 57 | Posted by: A friend
“Deb & Pat,So very sad to hear this about your loss. If I can do anything please contact me.George Bauer
42 of 57 | Posted by: George Bauer - Portage, MI
“Deb and Pat, So very sorry for your sudden loss. Your entire family is in my thoughts and prayers. I remember Bonnie as such a loving woman, and...Read More »
43 of 57 | Posted by: Elena (Fontana) Migaldi Kalamazoo
“Dear family, So shocked and saddened to learn of Bonnie's sudden passing. My prayers and love go out to you all. So many, many memories while...Read More »
44 of 57 | Posted by: Donna Willoughby - Portage, MI
“Mellema Family-Our hearts go out to all of you for your loss of Bonnie. She was a wonderful woman who shared her love and was loved in return. Our...Read More »
45 of 57 | Posted by: Debi and Tom Ankney - MI
“Bonnie was always smiling. Even when she was in pain she never complained. Their home was her nest for the children, grandchildren, family and...Read More »
46 of 57 | Posted by: Don Baugher - Coloma, MI - Friend
“Dear Ike and Family, I was shocked to hear of the accident and the passing of Bonnie. My sincere condolences! You are in our prayers! Annie Ure and...Read More »
47 of 57 | Posted by: Annie Ure - Battle Creek, MI
“Ike, words cant say how sorry Cathy and I am for your loss of Bonnie. My heart goes out to you. I think you know we thought the world of her. our...Read More »
48 of 57 | Posted by: John Ross - Sarasota, FL
“Our hearts are broken at the loss of such a beautiful Lady, she was always smiling, caring and happy, bringing joy to all she met. Our community has...Read More »
49 of 57 | Posted by: Leslie Howard - Richland, MI
“Thinking of all of you . We love you all so much. She was always a bright spot in my day. Hugs and love , Joni
50 of 57 | Posted by: joni green - Augusta, MI
“We are so sorry about the loss of Bonnie. She was a wonderful person. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
51 of 57 | Posted by: Lew and Iris Iwlew - Richland, MI
“Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
52 of 57 | Posted by: Michael Ouding - Kalamazoo
“To Bonnie's family ,I am so sorry for your loss. Thru out the years, I have seen so many holiday gatherings, heard much laughter, seen many hugs and...Read More »
53 of 57 | Posted by: Kristen Stoner - Los angeles, CA
“We were so sorry to hear of the loss of Bonnie. Our prayers and condolences to the entire Mellema family. May god bless you all.
54 of 57 | Posted by: Jet & Laura Perelli - MI
“We are so sorry to hear of the loss of Bonnie. Our prayers and condolences to the entire Mellema family. My god bless you all.
55 of 57 | Posted by: Jet & Laura Perelli
“Our most sincere condolences to the entire Mellema family on the loss of such an amazing Lady. Bonnie and all of you are in our thoughts and prayers.
56 of 57 | Posted by: Craig & Carrie Langbo - Richland, MI
“Sorry for your loss. Our hearts are with you and your family at this difficult time.
57 of 57 | Posted by: Jeannia Keene - Kalamazoo, MI
Bonnie was born October 6, 1935, in Traverse City, MI to Jerry and Leona (O'Brien) Vrany. In 1942, after both of her parents died of tuberculosis, Bonnie and her brother Jerry were adopted by her aunt and uncle, Julius Joseph and Dorothy T. (Kohler) O'Brien. Bonnie spent her childhood in Sutton's Bay where she would spend many summer days picking cherries at the Kohler cherry farm with her brother and cousins, and her mom, Dorothy, as the "strawboss". She loved being close to all of her "aunties" and uncles and she said she was so lucky to have her new loving mom and dad and three sets of grandparents. Her family later moved to East Jordan, and during high school, Bonnie was diagnosed with tuberculosis and spent 18 months in the hospital. After being released with a "clean bill of health", she graduated from East Jordan High School and then earned her Executive Secretarial Degree from Davenport College. While attending Davenport in Grand Rapids she met Ivan "Ike" Mellema on a blind date (set up by Vern DeYoung) and they were married a year later at St. Joseph Catholic Church in East Jordan, Michigan on February 9, 1957. Their first daughter, Debbie, was born 9 months later on November 27, 1957. They lived in Grand Rapids for two years before moving to Battle Creek because of Ike's new business, EPI, that he started with Vern. Bonnie and Ike loved having fun! They loved dancing, bowling, playing cards, and spending time with many close friends. They were also very active in their St. Jerome parish community. In 1971, the family moved to Gull Lake where Bonnie and Ike raised their children, Debbie, Michael, Robert, and Julie. They became an integral part of Willow Beach and they enjoyed many boat cruises, Lady Gull Diva parties, MSU tailgates and summer fun on the beach. As the children grew older, Bonnie took a position as the school secretary for Gull Lake Middle School and worked for ten years before retiring. She loved her job and all of the students loved her. She always had a smile on her face and twinkle in her eye for everyone.
Bonnie was a member of St. Ann Catholic Church and she thanked God daily for all of her blessings. She loved being around people and the feeling was mutual. The "front door" was always open (literally) for all to stop over. She loved playing Bridge with her life-long friends and family and her Battle Creek Social Bridge Club. She cherished her nightly "sunsets" on Gull Lake with neighbors, and anyone else who would join them, as all were welcome. She had an "infectious" smile and a warm laugh. More than anything, Bonnie loved spending time with her family and spoiling her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She encouraged them and cheered them on in all of their activities. She was the family planner for vacations, holidays, and birthdays. The house was always decorated for the appropriate season especially Christmas and Halloween and Bonnie would join in with her holiday sweaters. She was extremely close with her mom, Dorothy, who passed away this February. Bonnie felt blessed to have had so many wonderful years with her mother in such good health. Her mother said that "her Bonnie" was a gift given to her by God. Despite Bonnie's on-going struggle with severe arthritis and polymyalgia, she always wore a smile and had a positive outlook on life. She touched many hearts with her caring words, open arms and generous spirit. She was a very special lady and will be remembered dearly by all who knew her.
Bonnie is survived by her husband of 59 years, Ike; her children, Debra (Patrick) Gallagher of Hickory Corners, Robert (Mary) Mellema of Hickory Corners, Julie (Jeffrey) Smith of Richland; 12 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, her cherished dog Zoey, and numerous godchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and neighbors. Bonnie was preceded in death by her son, Michael C. Mellema; her grandson, Brandon Mellema; her brother and sister-in-law, Jerry and Betty O'Brien, and her parents.
Friends will be received in the Social Hall at St. Ann Catholic Church 4:00-6:00 p.m. Sunday, October 2, 2016, followed by the Rosary in the church. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Fr. John D. Fleckenstein 11:00 a.m. Monday, October 3, 2016 at St. Ann Catholic Church, 12648 East D Avenue, Augusta, MI 49012.
Memorial contributions may be made to Gull Lake Community Schools Foundation, 11775 East D Avenue, Richland, MI 49083. Arrangements are by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care Richland Chapel. Personal remembrances for the family may be placed here at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.
Upcoming Funeral Services
East D Avenue Richland (Ross Township), MI 49083