Jan 06, 1943 - May 06, 2013
Jan 06, 1943 - May 06, 2013
Mona Bonnie Nowakowski, age 70, passed away on Monday, May 6, 2013 at her home in Bellingham, WA. She was born on January 6, 1943 in Cotton Plant, Arkansas to Thomas Paul and Ruth Lucille Clem Smith.
Bonnie grew up in Fort Smith, Arkansas. In a home with little money and a lot of mouths to feed, Bonnie developed into a tough cookie who never failed to appreciate all that she was blessed with, and a determination to never see anything go to waste. In one of the more difficult periods of her childhood, Bonnie spent a short time in an orphanage followed by care given to her and her younger sister, Diane, with Lemuel Alexander, L.A. and Ronalda Antonia (Toni) Tribble. L.A. served as a Southern Baptist evangelist, and Bonnies strong faith in Christ as her savior was nurtured and fed during this time. It also led to Bonnies fervent love for family, as she bonded closely with Diane, and ensured that she would remain connected with all of her siblings to the best of her ability. In many ways, Bonnie was the glue that held her first family together, and that ethic carried forward to the connection Bonnie worked to reinforce in the family she raised. Bonnie held many different jobs throughout her life, but the 23 years spent working in various positions at K-Mart were probably the most prominent. Bonnie was well liked and respected there, making many friendships that lasted beyond her working years. She was strong, opinionated, and unwilling to take any guff, but these traits were all wrapped around a heart of gold that would give you the coat from her back, and then ask if you needed her shirt as well.
Bonnie married Harme Eugene Ethridge at the age of fifteen, and while the marriage didnt result in a fairytale ending, it did produce two boys, John and Wesley, who were adored and cherished by Bonnie. Bonnie moved on from that relationship with a determination to raise the two boys and make a great life on their own. She just didnt know that God had a determined man headed her way, in the form of Edward Nowakowski. Ed met Bonnie and was smitten. He was a little wayward, and Bonnie knew she was probably the only woman alive stubborn enough to keep him on the straight and narrow. Early in their marriage, Bonnie gave Ed the greatest gift he would ever receive, their beautiful daughter Dawn. They had two boys and a girl, but they decided that if 3 were a blessing, then 4 would be an embarrassment of riches, so Bonnie gifted Ed with Ed Junior. At that point they decided that they had probably pushed their luck far enough, and Bonnies clan was complete. They were married for 49 years, most of those years spent happily, separated by the bumps that make you really appreciate the happy times. Bonnie and a friend are responsible for organizing and founding the first Girls Club of Whatcom County, which was pretty ground-breaking at the time.
Bonnie is survived by her spouse, Ed of Bellingham, WA, her children Johnny Eugene (Patricia) Nowakowski of Bellingham, Paul Wesley Nowakowski of Muldrow, Oklahoma, Dawn (Carlos) Delafuentes of Mt. Vernon, WA, and Edward Mitchell (Dorothy) Nowakowski Jr of Salt Lake City, Utah. She is also survived by her sisters; Diane (Howard) Hammer of Harrison, Arkansas, Juanita Bush of Indianapolis, Indiana, Jeanetta Ingram of Fort Smith, Arkansas, and brother Royce (Nina) Smith of Naples, Florida. Bonnie is also survived by numerous nephews, nieces, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She has been truly blessed by God.
Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents, Ruth & Thomas Paul Smith, foster parents, L.A. & Toni Tribble, twin brother Tony (at birth), along with brothers Dale and Thomas Smith. I am sure that it was a great reunion with lots of hugs.
You finished your race, Mom, and absolutely left your mark. We know that you will be the first to greet us when we see you next!
Condolences may be left by visiting the online guestbook for Bonnie.
Farewell Tribute Information
A visitation will be held in the chapel at Greenacres Memorial Park, 5700 Northwest Drive, Ferndale, WA on Thursday, May 9, 2013, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
A funeral service will be held in the chapel at Greenacres Memorial Park, 5700 Northwest Drive, Ferndale, WA on Friday, May 10, 2013 at 9:00AM.
Burial will follow the funeral, and will take place at Greenacres Memorial Park Donations Information
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Whatcom Hospice Foundation, 2901 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham, WA 98225 or Bellingham Baptist Church, 2501 Orleans St, Bellingham, WA 98225 (corner of Alabama and Orleans St)