TRAVERSE CITY — The long good-bye has ended. On Oct. 18, 2013 Bonnie Louva (Thomas) Meeder was released from her long struggle with emphysema, passing away at home surrounded by her husband and children. Our Mom’s physical suffering is over now, she is able to be the lighthearted, smiling fun-maker that we all remember.
In her own words: “I had many wonderful opportunities in my life – I chose some and let others go. My true legacy is my children – all three are good solid people who I love and respect!”
Our mother was a rare woman, classy and proper who knew how to have fun and put people at ease. As a wife she was a devoted help-mate and companion, hosting parties and partnering her husband Tim in the various social functions in the Bellaire area for over 47 years. In honor and loving memory of our beloved Bonnie, we share some thoughts about her life and her impact on life as a friend, community member, wife and mom.
Bonnie was born in Grand Rapids, Mich. to Floyd and Bonnie June (Demmon) Thomas. Her middle name was shared with her maternal grandmother.
She is the older sister to brothers Gary (Carol) Thomas, Chuck (Kathy) Thomas, and two half-brothers Clifford Thomas and Craig Thomas (d: 2010).
She graduated in 1960 from Grand Rapids Central High School and attended Grand Rapids Junior College before earning her RN diploma from Butterworth Hospital in 1964.
Bonnie is survived by her loving husband Tim, and their children: Andrea Meeder (Mike Kandal) of Traverse City, Shannon Meeder (c: Francesca) of Bellaire, and Mitch and Shelly Meeder (c: Ian and Allison) of Bellaire.
Mom and Dad were married in Grand Rapids June 4, 1966. She worked as a RN at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing while Tim attended MSU before the family moved to Bellaire in 1968. She was very involved in her community; she started the American Red Cross Antrim County Chapter in the 1970’s and continued on as a CPR instructor (basic and advanced first aid) and blood drive coordinator for many years. Mom was a charter member of the Bellaire Lioness Club created in 1977. In such a small community she made a difference.
Our phenomenal mother will be greatly missed. Friends will recall her singing on every bus trip, her infectious laugh, her fashion sense and so often growing up we would hear “I love your mom!” We accepted it because we loved her that much too. She was a Girl Scout Leader, a total “sports mom,” a Boy Scout leader, a Red Cross advocate and helped many young ladies grow into confident women. There weren’t many school events that Mom missed. She was a great chaperone for all the different trips and dances and had the ability to be a rule enforcer and a fun rule-stretcher at the same time. Nobody had the fun “spark” like Mom did – she could always bring a special twist to a dinner party, a Kum Doubles gathering or a high school dance.
Breast cancer reared it’s ugliness twice in her life; first in 2005 and then again in 2011 just after her five year clear mark. But she was determined to be there for her husband, children and grandchildren, decorating her home and hosting holiday festivities, always bringing laughter and warmth to all who visited. She was a gracious hostess with an open-door policy, despite living five miles outside of town there were frequent visitors who were welcomed to sit at the kitchen bar and talk for many hours. There was nothing Mom liked better than sitting up late talking – we could solve all the problems of the world (or at least our world) by staying up late and talking.
The last years were a struggle and this long goodbye was hard on all that loved you. But we had time to reminisce and tell Mom how much she was loved. We choose to carry her legacy forward in community service, love of family and lots of laughter, remembering her beautiful heart, her amazing hugs and her brilliant smile.
A celebration of Mom’s life will be on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013 at the Bellaire Commission on Aging. A fellowship gathering will start at 2 p.m. with the memorial service following at 3:30 at the same location
In lieu of flowers, Mom would appreciate donations be made to Munson Hospice in Traverse City and/or the Antrim County Commission on Aging in Bellaire.
Arrangements have been handled by the Bellaire Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign her online guestbook www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com.