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Bonnie Mellema


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Bonnie Mellema Obituary
Bonnie Mae (O'Brien) Mellema

Augusta

Bonnie Mae (O'Brien) Mellema, 80, of Augusta died at Borgess Medical Center on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident 

Bonnie was born October 6, 1935, in Traverse City, MI to Jerry and Leona (O'Brien) Vrany.  In 1942, after both of her parents died of tuberculosis; Bonnie and her brother Jerry were adopted by her aunt and uncle, Julius Joseph and Dorothy T. (Kohler) O'Brien.  Bonnie spent her childhood in Sutton's Bay and later moved to East Jordan.  She graduated from East Jordan High School and then earned her Executive Secretarial Degree from Davenport College.  While attending Davenport in Grand Rapids she met Ivan "Ike" Mellema on a blind date and they were married a year later at St. Joseph Catholic Church in East Jordan, Michigan on February 9, 1957.  Ike and Bonnie lived in Grand Rapids for two years before moving to Battle Creek because of Ike's new business, EPI.  In 1971, the family moved to Gull Lake where Bonnie and Ike raised their children, Debbie, Michael, Robert, and Julie.  As the children grew older, Bonnie took a position as school secretary for Gull Lake Middle School and worked for ten years before retiring. 

Bonnie was a member of St. Ann Catholic Church.  She played Bridge with her Battle Creek Social Bridge Club and enjoyed nightly "sunsets" on Gull Lake with friends and neighbors.  More than anything, Bonnie loved spending time with her family and spoiling her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Despite Bonnie's on-going struggle with severe arthritis and polymyalgia, she always wore a smile and had a positive outlook on life.  She touched many hearts with her caring words, open arms and generous spirit.  She was a very special lady and will be remembered dearly by all who knew her.

Bonnie is survived by her husband of 59 years, Ike; her children, Debra (Patrick) Gallagher of Hickory Corners, Robert (Mary) Mellema of Hickory Corners, Julie (Jeffrey) Smith of Richland; 12 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, her cherished dog Zoey, and numerous godchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and neighbors. Bonnie was preceded in death by her son, Michael C. Mellema; her grandson, Brandon Mellema; her brother and sister-in-law, Jerry and Betty O'Brien, and her parents.

Friends will be received in the Social Hall at St. Ann Catholic Church 4:00-6:00 p.m Sunday, October 2, 2016, followed by the Rosary in the church and personal remembrances will be shared.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Fr. John D. Fleckenstein 11:00 a.m. Monday, October 3, 2016 at St. Ann Catholic Church, 12648 East D Avenue, Augusta, MI 49012.  Memorial contributions in Bonnie's honor may be directed to the Gull Lake Community Schools Foundation. Personal remembrances for the family may be made at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.
Published in Battle Creek Enquirer from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2, 2016
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