Mary (Bonemeyer) Patton, 48, passed away on April 26, 2010, following a courageous three-year battle with ovarian cancer. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
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She was born Jan. 6, 1962, in Grand Forks, N.D., to Ray and GeorgeAnn Bonemeyer, and resided on the banks of the Gallatin River near Big Sky.
During her youth, the family took numerous trips to Montana and Yellowstone National Park. It was on these trips that she developed her love for the area and a desire to spend as much time as possible exploring the back trails and mountains of the Spanish Peaks. While in college, she spent her summers working in Yellowstone National Park.
Following graduation from Bemidji State (Minn.) University in 1984, she made her way back to Big Sky Country working various jobs in Yellowstone and around Big Sky.
On Jan. 16, 1996, she married the love of her life, Ed. They were married for six years, before he lost a seven-year battle to ALS.
"Mare" loved spending as much time as possible outdoors - hiking and running the many back country trails with her three dogs, Blue, Joe and Bailey, leading the way. During her outdoor endeavors, she had many "run-ins" with the area wildlife, especially moose and grizzly bear. She came out of each encounter with a great story and a few scrapes.
An avid runner, she competed in 12 marathons, including Boston, Los Angeles and Twin Cities. She came within minutes of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials. Mary was also a skilled hunter and had several trophies in her home including a moose and a mountain goat.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ed; her father, Ray; her grandparents; and her first faithful dog, Chessie.
Mary is survived by her mother, GeorgeAnn of Riverton, Utah; brother, Greg (Jessica) Bonemeyer of Riverton, Utah, and their children, Neil and Erich; sister, Kathleen of Bartlesville, Okla.; and brother, Jeff of High Point, N.C. She is also survived by father- and mother-in-law, Ann and Jim Patton of Birmingham, Ala.; sister- and brother-in-law Cissy and Curt Viebranz of Chester, N.J.; brother- and sister-in-law, Bo and Jane Patton of Brentwood, Tenn.; and 14 nieces and nephews.
Mary's wishes were that her body be cremated and her ashes spread on the many trails she enjoyed on a daily basis. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations are welcomed to Mary's favorite charities, including the Yellowstone Association, P.O. Box 117, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190; Bozeman Deaconess Cancer Center, 915 Highland Blvd., Bozeman, MT 59715; and the Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter, 1549 E. Cameron Bridge Road, Bozeman, MT 59718.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Apr. 29, 2010