Celebrating life stories...



Memorial created 08-27-2007 by
Toni Craigmyle
Bonnie M. Pierce
July 19 1935 - April 22 2007

In Loving Memory of Our Mother

This online memorial was created in loving memory of Bonnie Pierce, whose life story is told throughout this memorial website. Please sign Bonnie 's guest book and let us know you came to visit. We will remember Bonnie forever.

This site is dedicated to the memory of our mother, who passed away after along illness and battle with Cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart), C.O.P.D,Congestive Heart Failure, and Diabetis. She was 71.

Our Mom was a strong woman, and as she clung to life each time she battled the Congestive Heart Failure, it showed us how strong she really was. Mom loved family and her friends. For several years we hosted the Family and Friends Reunions in Gridley, California. Mom always said our friends were as important as our family and held them just as dear. Mom was sick for several years, each one leaving her a bit weaker and more tired. I will never forget Mom looking up at me from her hospital bed and telling me, I'm just not ready yet, I pulled her into my arms and said well fight Momma, but this time I'm afraid it's your greatest battle, your awfully sick this time. I'll never forget the look in her eyes that day as she whispered, I love you so much, I hope you know that? "I do Momma, I really do"!!


Army Wife in Redding, California

Mom was born July 19,1935 in Wilsonville, Neb, to John and Pearl Dowell. She was the oldest of 5 children. Her family moved west to Oregon when mother was a young girl during the depression. At sixteen she married a military man (my Dad), and moved to Tacoma Washington. Being in the military mom moved alot, her first three children being born in Redding, california. Our Dad was in the Korean Conflict. Mom always said he came home long enough to get her pregnant. Then he would be shipped out again.



The Army sent my Dad to Honolulu, Hawaii, were we spent 4 years. We were there when Hawaii became a state, and my twin brothers were born, 2 years before we shipped home again.


Home at last?

After our return to the states, Mom left my Dad, She had always hid the bad things from us, being the oldest though I witnessed on several occasions the abuse she went though. We were shuffled off in the middle of the night, to escape his wrath. She was a strong woman with 5 children, her only concern was our safety. I can still see her crying alone, when she thought we were tucked away in our beds, in our new home in Silverton, Oregon.

Another Brother

Mom moved us to California, and she soon met and married Richard Melvin Ashburn. Our lives then centered around Fortuna, California. Mom became a den mother for the twins cub scout troop, but life wasn't rosy once again. She opened a local cafe, called Bonnie's Cafe. Trucker's loved mom's food and her specials! But again another abusive marriage and after several break-ups over several years. Mom packed up the 3 boys and moved to AZ. were her mom owned a boarding home. Her oldest three were married by then and making new lives of their own. She worked with our grandmother and soon bought her own boarding home. Here she met Roy E. Pierce who was partners in a stucco company. Mom loved Roy but was gun shy when it came to marriage. Roy needed to move his business to Southern California so they packed up moved to Fontana, California.

Third times a charm

This picture shows alittle of the life Mom and Dad had. They loved to dance, and it showed on the floor. I was 24 when they got married. We finially talked Mom into it, she agreed saying it would be better for taxes! lol. They were married in a little wedding chapel in Fontana, California, I was Mom's Maid of Honor. My brother Keith gave her away, in the name of all her children, Mom was finally happy. We all loved Roy, and it wasn't hard to call him Dad or Pop as the boy's call him. But more important was his love for our mother. Someone was finally treating her good. As fate would have it we all seemed to find ourselves living in or around Live Oak. And here is where we have raised our families. Some went to other states. The past 5 years were hard, watching Mom getting sicker every year. I started taking care of her, and Dad did what I didn't after I would go home. Mom taught him to cook from the couch, then later from her hospital bed. But he never complained. And he turned out to be a pretty good cook.

God looked around his garden. And found an empty place. He then looked down upon the Earth, And saw your tired face. He put His arms around you, And lifted you to rest. God's Garden must be beautiful, He always takes the best. He knew you were suffering, He knew that you were in pain. He knew that you would never get well on Earth again. He saw the road was getting rough. And the hills were hard to climb, So he closed your weary eyelids, And whispered "Peace be thine." It broke our hearts to lose you, But you didn't go alone, For part of us went with you. The day God called you home...


My Sister-in-law, My friend

Bonnie's Sister-in-law My Aunt sent me this in the mail so I wanted to be sure to include it here! How can I put 46 and a half years of being Bonnie's Sister-in-law in one short note? We had our ups and downs, but I loved her like a sister. I will miss her so much. We always enjoyed sitting around the kitchen table and remembering when, I loved hearing stories of when Dean was little, and she was the only one left that could tell them, the only person who remembered! We had happy times, she could be funny when she was happy. Dean loved playing jokes on her, they were nice jokes, not mean jokes. I have been her Sister-in-law almost as long as Dean has been her brother. Bonnie was always a hard worker, until life held her down. She loved to dance, and she loved the family reunions, family was important to her. She loved old pictures, she loved her flowers and houseplants, but most of all she loved her Kids and husband. I can close my eyes and remember the first time I saw her. We were at Aunt Lucille's, she was wearing a long hawain dress, she had long dark hair and I thought she was gorgeous. Her and I were the same size. Can you believe we were both a size 7? And she had all these little kids, (5) running all over. At that time I thought that was alot, I didn't realize one day I and Dean would out do her. Like I said it would take a book to tell it all. Good-bye Bonnie, we will carry your "Our Memories" in our hearts forever. We Loved you yesterday, today and Always. We will miss you. Dean and Kathy

She was my Hero

Working on this tribute for my mom, has brought back so many memories. Some not so pleasant, but still memories. I've realized she was my hero. My admiration for her strength, and her love, her will to live, and her devotion to her family and friends. As I add pages to this tribute, I hope you see the woman through my eyes, a woman who's life didn't always hand her a fair shake, but her strength kept her going, loving, and smiling. A woman who truely taught me the meaning of love.




I'm sure as my mother was growing up she had no idea how her dreams for her life would wind up. Some of the stories I can remember my mother talking about were far from what her life turned out to be. As most girl's her age in that era only thought about who they were going to marry, how many children they would have, and what their house would look like, most having the little white picket fences. As mother would talk about her girl hood when she was in High School, or where they had lived. Her dad building them a house from an old chicken coop. The chores they had, and her brother's she took care of long before her baby sister was even in the picture. Her rolled down bobby socks, and tight skirts, so tight they could barely walk. cashmere sweaters, red lip stick, nail polish,cherry cokes, and the jitterbug just a few of the things I remember her telling. Stories about our strict Grandpa and his shot gun running her dates off, to sneaking behind the outhouse to smoke. What little I remember about Grandpa before he died was a stern man who loved his family and worked hard for them. He loved fried potatoes and onions, and beef hearts. Mom learned to cook at an early age as Grandma worked at the factory and Grandpa the mill. They walked a mile to the bus stop even in the snow, and Grandma raised skunks for awhile. I remember Mom getting sprayed once when she was pregnant with my brother Bobby and had to take her clothes off outside and bathe in the trouph with tomatoe juice, lol. She told us times during the depression, war bonds, and eating alot of bologna sandwichs on the trip out west to Oregon from Neb. I wish now Mom would have written all those stories in a journal for me to pass down. Families always visited each other on Sunday's and chickens were killed and plucked for Sunday dinner. I can remember going to Aunt Lucille's house and if they were eating we sat and ate to. Just the way it was then, people shared what they had and always gave a neighbor a helping hand if they fell on hard times. I always loved hearing Mom talk about the Olden days, lol. She lead a simple life for those days, but her world changed when on December 23, 1951 at the age of sixteen she married a boy in uniform, so handsome he took her breathe away!






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