Bonnie M. Bleak, 95, passed away December 25, 2019 at the Thermopolis Rehabilitation and Wellness where she had been a resident since October, 2018.
Born May 25, 1924 in Thermopolis, Wyoming, she was the daughter of Jaque Robert “J Bob” and Mary Agnes Peoples White. During her elementary years she attended schools in the Wind River Canyon. She graduated from Thermopolis High School. Following school she spent some time in Casper, worked a year in the sawmills in Washington and a short period in California. Upon returning to Wyoming she worked as a waitress in Dubois, WY where she met her future husband.
In May of 1948 Bonnie married Newton Young “Newt” Bleak in Dubois, Wyoming. The couple returned to her beloved Wind River Canyon where they raised five children.
Bonnie enjoyed reading, acrylic painting, writing prose and poetry, and gardening. She cherished her time with her children, grandchildren, great, and great-great grandchildren.
Her parents raised their 10 children in the Wind River Canyon, on the land that her parents homesteaded in 1919. This year marked the 100th anniversary of the family’s presence in the canyon.
Bonnie and her sisters were responsible for managing the family’s goat herd. They would run after the goats along the cliffs high above the canyon floor. Often, their trek to bring the goats home in the evenings would take them miles down (or up) canyon. They leapt from cliff to cliff just as the goats did on their return to the homestead.
Bonnie’s home was always open to any and all who wished to sit and have a cup of the ever present coffee. There, family, friend, or stranger could listen to stories of her youth, receive sage advice, or sing to the babies that reigned supreme in the middle of their kitchen table. She never realized her impact on the people she embraced with her generosity of spirit. Bonnie leaves us her legacy of love, wisdom, acceptance, talents, humor, peace, and home.
Those cherishing her memory include her children, Binnie (David “Murph”) Murphree of Thermopolis, Doug (Margie) Bleak of Worland, Dava Bleak and Lavita (Roger) Kraushaar, both of Thermopolis; siblings, HR “Mick” (Charlyne) White and Mary Lu (Gene) McGee, of Thermopolis. Bonnie was preceded in death by her son, Donald, and husband, Newt, seven siblings, 2 grandsons, a great grandson, a sister-in-law and five brothers-in-law.
Cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Life will be held this coming summer in 2020.
Mortimore Funeral Home is assisting the family and messages may be offered at www.mortfh.com.
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