My beautiful mother has passed and joined the love of her life, Ralph Leslie Bates in Heaven.
Bonnie (because everybody mispronounced her given name of Bona) was born in Tridell, Utah. She was the 5th of eleven children. She had fond memories of growing up on the homestead with her parents Elbert and Madena Smith. Bonnie moved to California after graduating from high school and it was in Long Beach that she met Ralph, the man with the heart shaped face. They quickly got engaged and married shortly after. They were
devoted to each other.
Bonnie was a loving, kind, woman and mother. Her children, Richard Bates (deceased) and Gwen Bates Licciardi can attest to that, along with all her siblings and friends. Bonnie and Ralph had many adventures. They traveled throughout the U.S. in their motorhome and rode motorcycles down the Baja coast. With these adventures they made wonderful, lifetime friends.
When Ralph got sick, Bonnie took care of him until the end. It took a while to motivate herself to keep going but after she did, she didn’t stop for years. Cruises, world tours, road trips, sister get togethers, ceramics, senior citizens, and weekly card games kept her busy. She also enjoyed her occasional trips to play slots and bingo at the local casinos, where she always won!
My mom will be missed by many, especially by Gwen, her daughter and her husband Mario who had the privilege of living with her these last 2 years. By her very loving grandchildren and great grandchildren: Shannon, Rob, Micayla and Maddox who shared their love and laughter when visiting. “Her” Lauren and Adam who admired Grandma’s spirit and involved her in their recent engagement and wedding; Vincent, Rebecca and Luciano who always greeted her with a “Hey Beautiful” and honored her with the name of Grandma Great; Marco whom she shared an artistic soul with; Luca who brought her never ending smiles, hugs and a visiting cat.
Throughout her battle with COPD, Bonnie kept her love, kindness and graciousness. A loving thank you to her brother, sisters and all her friends that visited, called, sent cards and flowers to her to let her know how special she was.