Born to Vera Loraine Leeling Wilson and Vernon Orval Wilson in Crawford, Nebraska, on July 3, 1953, Bonita Kay “Bonnie” Willoughby left this world on March 20, 2021, in Sandpoint. A celebration of life is being planned at the Northwoods Tavern in Naples.
She was the sixth child of Vernon and Vera and the older sister to two more in the following years. Bonnie was a free spirit who loved life, her family and her country. She enlisted in the U.S. Air Force after the birth of her only child, Bobbi Lee Wilson. Bonnie served eight years, traveling the world and spending some time in the South Pacific on the island of Guam.
Bonnie liked people, and she managed to find her people wherever she went. It was on a trip to Yellowpine, Idaho, after being snowed in for the winter, where she met Brent Willoughby, her friend and later husband who saw to it that she started the journey to become a nurse. After his death in 1996, Bonnie finished school and became an RN – or as she liked to say, Real Nurse.
She continued living in Gunlock, Utah, for a bit, but being with family beckoned and she moved closer to her sister Audrey and then moved back home to Boundary County. Bonnie made her forever home in Naples, where a second family was found at the Northwoods Tavern. The Northwoods gang is, was, and always will be a family to Bonnie. Roger Moore came into her life and it was apparent to all of us that Bonnie had found her person. Roger’s children made Bonnie a grandma; a dream come true.
The Wilson family siblings often talk of the church of the rainbow trout – the church of the mountains and prairies they call home, a church that welcomed all with a PBR and genuine smile. Although it only exists in abstract, it was as real as real to Bonnie.
She loved riding the bike with Roger and they adventured all over the west. She found her religion in the wind, the mountains and the highway. There was always a smile on Bonnie’s face as she danced away the night and enjoyed the company and laughter of friends and family, of which she had many.
Bonnie was preceded in death by her sister Annie, whom she never knew but who lived on through her spirit all her life, her parents Vernon, 1969, and Vera, 1976, and siblings Bruce Wilson, Casper, Wyoming, 1995, Dorothy Rita Anderson (Ben Anderson), 2013, James Floyd Wilson (Ruth Ann Leslie) Bonners Ferry, 2016.
She is survived by her partner and love of her life Roger Moore, Naples, daughter Bobbi Lee Liddy, siblings Audrey Adams (Keith Adams), Casper, Wyoming, Debra Tuott (Lee Tuott), Lewiston, Idaho, and Vernon “Charlie Brown” Wilson (Kristi Hinthorn), Bonners Ferry.
Bonnie loved her nieces, nephews, and grand nieces and nephews more than words could ever say; there are many and they were all loved. When Bonnie found Roger Moore, she gained a new family that she grew to love as her own. Her new family includes Holly (Kraig), Chad (Tricia) and children Colton and Bella, Sharee and children Danica and Lula, Leah (Reggie) and son Roman.
Bonnie was a fierce advocate for all that she believed in, she never backed down from a fight and never waivered from her beliefs. Words can’t describe the feeling of loss left behind by the departure of such a dynamic woman. Even though our hearts are heavy and Bonnie will be terribly missed, we gain comfort knowing that heaven gains such an angel.