Bonnie Lou Sawa (1948 - 2015)

Obituary
  • "she was a very kind person and will be greatly missed at..."
    - Mary Tarr
  • "So sorry for your loss Ishi, also had enjoyed your letters..."
    - Tina Coutlee
  • "I have been a patron of Foodland/A&P/IGA for the past 41..."
  • "Ishie, I have fond memories of working with you and Bonnie..."
  • "So sorry to read about your loss Ishie. Seems like..."
    - Dan Craig

Bonnie L. Sawa, a long-time resident of Juneau, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family and close friends at 5:00p.m on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. She was 66 years old.

Born in Oswego, NY, on August 27, 1948, she was the daughter of the late Robert and June (Daly) Hensel.

Surviving are her husband of nearly 44 years Ichirow "Ishie" Sawa, Ace, her Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Goddaughter India Young (Piers Henwood) of Victoria, BC, sister Gay (Lyle) Battles of Scriba, NY, twin brother Robert J. (Patty) Hensel of Oswego, NY, Nieces April (James) Henn of Florida, Jennifer (Rob) Reese of Nenetto, NY, Step-niece Sherri Giddings of Oswego, NY, nephews Christopher (Sondra) Battles, Robert M. Hensel of Oswego, NY, step nephew Patrick Halstead of Fulton, NY, beloved friends Orlinda Kittredge and Bob Young of Juneau, Hilary Young (Greg Pilcher) of Juneau, Duane and Lorelei Bonk of Arroyo Hondo, NM, Josh Bonk (Erika Allen) of Sunnyvale, CA, Sasha Bonk (Jack, Oskar, and Gibson Marchant) of Taos, NM.

Bonnie came to Juneau in 1970, and married Ichirow "Ishie" Sawa of Juneau on her birthday, on August 27th, 1971.

She worked at Foodland for 41 years retiring on December 31, 2014. She also worked at Saint Ann's Hospital as a nurse, at the Latchstring dining room at the Baranof Hotel and at Ishie's at the Driftwood Restaurant which Bonnie and her husband owned from 1973 to 1978.

Bonnie had a lovely smile and infectious happy laugh.

Bonnie loved to read and enjoyed walks and hiking with her husband and their dogs. She liked spending time at her log cabin in Canada's Yukon Territory which she and her husband built together with the help of their Canadian friends and Bob Young of Juneau. She loved traveling with her husband and her dogs in their motor home and 4X4 pickup truck. Bonnie especially loved their trip to Japan where her husband was born.

On June 14, 2015, despite her rapidly failing health, Bonnie left Juneau for her last road trip with her husband Ichirow and their dog Ace to her log cabin in Yukon in their Toyota Tacoma, and continued on to Arroyo Hondo and Santa Fe, New Mexico. The first and the most important thing on her bucket list was going to Santa Fe for her beloved goddaughter India's wedding, held on June 27th. She also wanted to go to her cabin one last time. Bonnie accomplished both of these and we assume that was one of the most memorable trips in her life.

On Sunday, July 26, 2015, a small private memorial service was held at the home of Bob and Orly. Bob led the service and Ichirow, India who arrived from Victoria, BC, a few hours before she past, Orly, Hilary, Greg, Duane and Lorelei attended. Her sister Gay and Twin brother Bob, both from upstate New York, attended the service on the phone.

Hospice and Home Care of Juneau took excellent care of her during her last two days. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Hospice and Home Care of Juneau (907 463 6111), Attention: Robin Thomas, 4196 6th Street, Juneau, Alaska 99801, or to .
Published in The Juneau Empire from July 31 to Aug. 30, 2015
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