GORDON—Johnnie Bonna Lynn "Bonnie" Perkins Gordon, age 95, a former longtime resident of Mapleton, passed away peacefully from natural causes on January 15, 2022, at Churchill Estates in Eugene.
Bonna Lynn Perkins was born in Barton County, Mo., to John and Dollie Perkins on Dec. 15, 1926. Her childhood spanned the Great Depression and culminated with her high school graduation in 1944 during the height of WWII.
At age 15, Bonnie was smitten with her best friend's cousin, the tall and handsome Ray Gordon. He was a few years older and she saw him off to Army basic training and to England before D-Day. She became an avid letter writer to her sweetheart until his return in late 1945. They were married, Nov. 28, 1945, in Mindenmines, Mo., and soon started their family.
In 1947, they traveled by bus to the Northwest before settling in the Deadwood-Swisshome-Mapleton area working in the sawmill industry.
Waitress, bookkeeper and ammunition inspector for a Defense Plant were just a few of the jobs Bonnie held prior to marriage. In Oregon, she clerked at the local grocery, feed and gas station, was a clipper operator at a veneer plant, before settling into being a rural U.S. mail carrier for 30+ years on routes in Deadwood, Mapleton and Florence.
Known as "one to go the extra mile" for her patrons, they gave her a great send off at her retirement party at age 70, in 1996.
Bonnie had always wanted a large family and was blessed with three sons followed by four daughters.
She was always active in school, church and community volunteering. This included years as church pianist, of 4-H leadership, Grange Hall, and Garden Club which enriched her enjoyment of sewing, baking, canning, crafting and gardening. Knitting Christmas stockings for her many grandchildren was an ongoing goal.
Square dancing, traveling to visit family and historic sites were favorite activities. Later, reading and studying her Bible, and of course following her many grandchildren's sports, activities and careers filled her life. Bonnie was a devoted grandmother, and great-grandmother and delighted in FaceTiming with her family. She had 18 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren.
Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ray S. Gordon; her son, Samuel; daughter, Rose Shepard; and brother, Bill Perkins of Kansas City, Mo. She is survived by her children; Rick Gordon of Sweet Home, Bruce Gordon of Olympia, Wash., Dianna Kent of Eugene, Cora Crossen of Tigard and Betty Foster of Collierville, Tenn.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, at Burns's Riverside Chapel, 2765 Kingwood St., Florence, Ore. If you would like to attend, you must wear an approved mask and be vaccinated or have a negative COVID test result from the previous 48 hours.
Burns's Riverside Chapel Florence Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.