Bonnie Jean Bolden loved her family, had a passion for journalism and could sew just about anything. She was a teacher, a dedicated gardener and loved dogs.
Bonnie, 65, left us January 4 after dealing with ovarian cancer. She is survived by her husband of 37 years, Bruce Winges; sisters Sharon (Jerry) Andrews and Vickie (Greg Stevens) Bolden; brother-in-law Mark Winges; nieces Kristen (Tyler) Andrews Wilson, Valerie (Eric) Andrews-Joksimovic, and Erica (Scott) Miller; and three grandnieces, and one grandnephew.
Bonnie was born in Wheeling, W.Va., to the late Jean and Wendell Bolden. Her father loved the coal mines, graduating from West Virginia University as a mining engineer. After graduating from Tridelphia High School, the coal miner’s daughter followed her father to WVU. She studied journalism there and learned that the last three words of the national anthem are: “Let’s go, Mountaineers!”
Her first newspaper job was in Beckley, W.Va. She was the features editor, photographer and reporter – those three jobs were done by one person – for the Raleigh Register. She went on to cover county government and other reporting beats.
Bonnie joined The (Huntington, W.Va.) Herald-Dispatch copy desk in 1979. It was there she met Bruce. Evenings spent on the copy desk and the late-night social life that followed after work eventually led to love and marriage.
Bonnie and Bruce married on May 15, 1982 at her parents’ home in Wheeling. Having worked during high school at a bridal shop and being a practical person, Bonnie decided to make her own wedding dress. (The next year she made her sister Sharon’s wedding dress. She made wedding veils for her nieces.)
In June, Bruce took a job at the Akron Beacon Journal, so the newlyweds headed north on I-77.
Bonnie joined the Beacon Journal copy desk a year later. She honed her love and respect for grammar there, eventually becoming copy desk chief. Bonnie also was features editor and metro editor at the Beacon. She was most proud of her work as a recruiter for the Beacon Journal in particular and Knight Ridder Newspapers in general. It was in this job that she managed interns, identified talent and put that talent to work at the Beacon Journal and in other newsrooms.
Bonnie left the Beacon Journal at the end of 2006 to begin a career at Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She taught classes in news writing, copy editing and fashion writing. By this time she had become a strict grammarian. Heaven help the poor students who did not learn that media are plural.
(As we write this, we know that Bonnie is editing from above – tightening sentences and fixing grammar.)
Bonnie also was an avid gardener. She worked under the summer sun on her plot at the Cuyahoga Falls Community Gardens, growing fresh food for her family and friends.
She inherited from her parents a love for keeping the old before buying the new, giving second chances to what others may discard.
We are grateful for the care Bonnie received from Dr. Peter Rose and his team at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center. The nurses and caregivers at G-71 of the Cleveland Clinic did everything for Bonnie.
Please consider a gift in Bonnie’s honor to the Taussig Cancer Center or the American Cancer Society Cleveland.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial for Bonnie will be held at a later time.
Thanks to all who have given their support and kind words during this difficult time.
Grief is the final act of love. We will miss Bonnie greatly and remember her always.
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