Bonita “Bonnie” Jane Chamberlain, a longtime resident of Colville, passed away on Aug. 2, 2012 in Colville at the age of 90. Bonnie was born on May 14, 1922, in Colville, the daughter of Ellis Harold Conner and Alvena Freida (Wilken) Conner.
Bonnie was raised in Colville, where she attended school and graduated in 1940 as a twelve-year senior from Colville High School.
Following high school, she began work at the Bell Telephone Company. A year later, she took a sales clerk position at Bar¬man’s Department Store, where she worked for the next four years.
On June 14, 1945, Bonnie married James “Jim” Chamberlain. She moved to San Francisco where he was based during World War II. While in San Francisco, Bonnie worked for a local dress shop. In 1945, Bonnie and Jim returned to Colville and began a family. She worked in the home while her children were young, returning to work outside of the home as her children grew. Bonnie worked at the Lea Laine dress shop on Main Street and then for Dominion Foods on Oak Street. In 1966, she and Jim began a floral and greenhouse, opening their store in 1970. Bonnie worked as the bookkeeper, floral designer, planter, waterer, janitor, delivery driver and in all aspects of customer service.
She and Jim retired in 1985 from the retail greenhouse and expanded their wholesale greenhouse business. When Bonnie wasn’t in the greenhouse, she could be found in their home, adorned with her apron and creating wonderful treats and meals for her family. Retirement gave her the ability to focus on those most near and dear to her… her family.
Bonnie held her home open to all guests, family and friends. In her home, everyone was well fed and never walked away without a full tummy. Her open home complimented her accepting and generous heart. Bonnie embraced everyone with her undivided attention so that those in her presence knew they were of the utmost importance to her. She took many month-long, late summer vacations, to Port Hardy with Jim, her chil¬dren and grandchildren. Bonnie also shared many additional road-tripping vacations with her grandchildren. Her fried chicken, Sunday popcorn, full candy bowls, chocolate torts, birthday dinners “cooked to order” and countless ice cream treats and holiday get-togethers will be forever cherished. Bonnie lived well by placing the needs of others ahead of her own. She honored life with her grace and the blessing of family with her love.
Bonnie was preceded in death by her husband,, Jim; son, Larry Chamberlain; grandson, Andrew Chamberlain and great- grandson, Samuel Kenagy.
She is survived by her daughter, Sue Swim and husband, Richard, Colville; son, Roger Chamberlain and wife, Jennene, Spokane; sister, Velma Johnson, Spokane; sister-in-law, Helen Wolters, Coeur d’Alene, ID; four grandchildren, 12 great- grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The funeral service for Mrs. Bonita “Bonnie” J. Chamberlain was held August 7 at the Danekas Funeral Chapel in Colville,. A graveside service followed at the Highland Cemetery in Colville. Pastor Shane Moffitt officiated.
Memorial contributions may be given to the Stevens County Search & Rescue or any local animal shelter/organization.
Please visit the on-line memorial and sign the guestbook at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com . Danekas
Funeral Chapel and Crematory is entrusted with the arrangements
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