Phyllis Marie Bonneau passed away on June 3, 2009. She was born June 10, 1917, in Butte to Anna (O'Neill) and William Henderson. She attended school in Butte, graduating from Butte High School. Though she lost her father at an early age to silicosis, she enjoyed time with her mother Annie, brother Pat, stepfather Victor Anderson, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
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On May 24, 1935, she married Fred T. Bonneau, and their 73-year-life together began. They lived in Butte for a time, where their first daughter, Carolee "Dolly," was born, then moved to the "Ranch" in Brown's Gulch where they made many lifelong friends, and Phyllis had many adventures including getting lost in a blizzard while tracking a coyote. She found her way home while her rescuers were out all night in the storm. While living in Brown's Gulch, their daughter, Robin, was born.
In 1950 the family moved to Dillon and built the Creston Motel. Over the years they met many interesting people from all over the world and all walks of life. Several returned year after year and became good friends.
In 1969 they sold the Creston and made their way to Flathead Lake near Big Arm and later into Polson. They truly enjoyed retirement and lake life. For several years, they spent the winter in Yuma, Ariz.
While living in Polson they again made good friends that would allow them to live independently until Fred's death at age 94 in December 2008. The family will always be grateful to Doreen Tressler, Cora Salmonson, Fred Grant and Donna Haas for their amazing kindness. Over the years the physical therapy staff at St. Joseph's hospital and the pharmacy staff at Safeway were also like family.
In December 2008, Phyllis moved to the Gallatin Valley to be closer to family. For the last months Phyllis was lovingly cared for by the incredible staff at Parkhaven in Manhattan.
For several years Phyllis, Dolly and Robin enjoyed birthday trips to Ireland, as well as several Montana and Wyoming destinations. Phyllis was always the first one up in the morning and the last one to retire at night, always beautiful and fun. Memories not to be forgotten!
Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents; stepfather; infant daughter, Suzanne; husband, Fred; and nephew, Halsey Henderson.
She is survived by her daughters, Carolee "Dolly" (Don) Gregovich, and Robin (Arne) Kallestad; brother, Pat (Charlotte) Henderson; grandchildren, Connie Whorle, Dan (Rita) Gregovich, Cindy Gregovich, Mike Gregovich, Ginger (Steve) Zieglowsky, and Sage (Linsey) Kallestad; great-grandchildren, Christopher Oliver and Olivia Zieglowsky. Also surviving are great-great-granddaughters, Meygan and Marissa Oliver; niece, Nancy (Bill) Brancamp; and nephew, Clint Henderson.
Phyllis was always an optimist and very proud of her Irish heritage, proud of her family, and loved bright colors. She will be missed.
Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 9, at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Butte. Visitation with the family will be from 9:30 to 10 a.m.
Memorials may be sent to Bozeman Deaconess Hospice, 915 Highland Blvd., Bozeman 59715; or to the charity of choice.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service; www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on June 5, 2009