Of Santa Rosa passed away October 21, 2012, after a long illness. Bonnie was born March 15, 1926 in Lakeport to Trena and John Berry. Her family moved to Santa Rosa in 1943 so she could attend Santa Rosa Junior College. She married William D. Stewart of London, Texas, in 1946. She obtained a BS in microbiology at the University of Texas in Austin, and later worked in Santa Rosa as a lab technician. She and her husband lived in Midland, Texas with their small daughters during the 1950s. They bought a share in an oil well that forever after was known as "Stewart's Folly." Her primary memories of this time involve sandstorms, tornadoes and moth invasions, and she was pleased to call Santa Rosa her home again in 1960. She was always happiest sitting on the sand at Salmon Creek, looking at the ocean. She and her husband Bill owned Stewart's House of Music in Montgomery Village from 1964 to 1986. In her retirement, she devoted herself to her children and grandchildren, and to a private faith that sustained her. In her last weeks, stories about her grandchildren were the things she cared most about. Her influence has been widely felt. Her lifelong interest in art and medicine continues to inspire and guide the lives of her daughters and grandchildren. She leaves many friends, new and old, mourning her passing. Bonnie was preceded in death by her beloved husband, William D. Stewart; and by her dear lifelong friends, Marge Lollich and Jeanne Billings. She is survived by her daughters Laurel Stewart of Santa Rosa; Pam (Craig) Stewart-Richlen of Austin, Texas; Carolyn (Scott) Hamilton of Danville, and five grandchildren: Bonnie Stewart-Richlen, Austin; Tyler (Jolene) Stewart-Richlen, Austin; Trevor Stewart-Richlen, Corpus Christi, Texas; Kelly Hamilton, Danville, and Jack Hamilton, Reno, Nevada. In accordance with her wishes, no memorial service will be held. Those of you who knew her, please send your love and prayers directly; she loved you all. Donations in her memory can be made to the Redwood Gospel Mission, P.O. Box 493, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.
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Published Online in the Press Democrat from Nov. 9 to Nov. 12, 2012