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Bonnie Gay Leake
1945 - 2021
BORN
1945
DIED
2021
Bonnie Gay Leake 1945 - 2021. With a deep feeling of loss and sadness, we must announce the sudden and unexpected passing of Bonnie Leake on January 13th. Bonnie passed of non-covid natural causes related to her cancer treatments.

Bonnie was a long term resident of southern Nevada, initially living in Blue Diamond when her family moved here in 1955. In 1958, the family moved into the Vegas valley where Bonnie grew up. She graduated from Las Vegas High School in 1963 and worked in Las Vegas until her retirement in 2005.

Her energy and optimism was also demonstrated in her professional life. Early in her career she was hired on with Union Pacific railroad as a clerk and after 9 years Bonnie became the first woman locomotive engineer at Union Pacific. She had a long and very successful career with them, retiring in 2007. Being the first woman locomotive engineer presented a variety of challenges in those days, but Bonnie rose to the occasion and had a very successful career. Sitting with her and listening to her recount her railroad stories, you couldn't help notice both the opportunity and the challenge that career offered her. As always she rose to the occasion and succeeded and had a lot of fun along the way.

While her professional life was successful, interesting and commendable, everyone who knew Bonnie knew of her love for animals. Bonnie grew up in a rural setting with many pets and spent a lot of time horseback riding with family and friends in the sand dunes and mesquite bushes that covered the southeast side of Vegas in those days. She was also an active 4-H member and she won many ribbons participating in equestrian gymkhanas and rodeo events (such as horseback barrel racing) in those years. During the rest of her life, Bonnie would continue to have many pets and she supported many animal care organizations over the years, including right up to her passing. It didn't matter how mangy or beaten down an animal was, if it found its way to Bonnie it had a home for life. In her retirement years she spent a lot of time taking care of her many and varied pets and for her it was truly a labor of love.

Finally, Bonnie's kindness was not limited to her pets. Bonnie was the "go to" person in the family and helped many family members when they needed some financial help to either stay afloat or get ahead. She was a very successful investor and generous in sharing her time and resources to help the family.

For all the above reasons and many more, Bonnie's passing leaves a big hole in the family. Preceded in death by her parents Eleanor and Gabe and her younger sister Beverly, she'll be deeply missed by her daughter Bonnie Horsley, her brothers Lee and Gene, and her long term companion Ira Happy. Bonnie's Celebration of Life will be announced at a future date when all of her friends and family are able to attend. Memorial contributions can be made in her name to the animal care organization of your choice.

Services are pending.
Published by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Jan. 17, 2021.
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9 Entries
Time passes so quickly and it is hard to realize that a year has passed. When I see some of my friends from LVHS, I share Bonnie´s memory and recount her accomplishments. Take comfort in good memories.
Elaine (Pink) Sherman
School
January 11, 2022
You were a wonderful woman with a kind heart. You helped so many that you never even knew. You were an Angel on Earth now you are a Guardian Angel in Heaven. You are loved and missed beyond measure. Farewell Sometimes we have to walk in faith Especially when we lose someone so dear, When the pain is far too great, And God´s intentions are not clear. This is not goodbye my friend I believe our souls will meet again. The sun is a little dimmer without your light, And the stars aren´t quite as bright. The examples of your kindness Live in every heart you´ve touched. This world was a little better For having you, who cared so much. Your smile lives in my memory, Precious moments so easy to find. Those memories last forever They lay beyond the hands of time. Leslie Cain (Ortega) President of Winterwood Village Homeowners Association aka "The Paladin Poet"
Leslie Ortega
Friend
July 2, 2021
To her family and all who loved her: I send my deepest sympathy . We lost a great lady. I will miss our talks and your notes of appreciation. Never a unkind word, you could always make sense of any situation. She not only loved animals she loved her community that she had roots in. Bonnie, was our Meals on Wheels Angel . Her heart always went out to those in need. She really was a helper to all and greatly respected. There will be something planted in our Community Angel Garden in her memory.
Judy Moss
Friend
July 1, 2021
So very sorry for your loss Bonnie was such a great women. I'm blessed to have had the opportunity to have befriended Bonnie. She was so kind to allow my horse Comanche and myself to board with her several years ago. She will be always in my heart.
Sharon Chatterley
March 19, 2021
So sorry for your loss. Bonnie was truly a 20th century pioneer in Nevada.
Forrest and Nancy Le Gal
January 25, 2021
Seeing a note about your passing immediately brought your face to my mind. You had a great smile and liberally used it. I always enjoyed having having a class with you. It has been a long time, but obviously you made an impression on me. Peace to you. Comfort to your family.
Elaine (Pink) Sherman
January 19, 2021
We send our deepest sympathies to the family! Bonnie was a kind and generous soul, our thoughts and prayers are with you all and especially with Ira. Rocky and Patricia
Patricia McCrory
January 19, 2021
Kurt Zuppke
January 17, 2021
To the family of Bonnie Gay Leake, I just read the beautiful obituary about Ms Bonnie and thought...now SHE would have wonderful stories to tell. She was a trailblazer. So sorry for your loss.
Sandra McNash
January 17, 2021
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