Bonnie Ackerman

image of Bonnie Ackerman

Bonnie Ackerman

Bonnie Ackerman, 83, passed away peacefully in her sleep after spending her last day in quiet conversation with her children and family. Born September 19, 1934 in Burns, Oregon to hard working parents, Bonnie’s youth included constant school and community changes as the family obtained work throughout the northwest, settling in the Spokane Valley in 1946. She loved her cousins, aunts and uncles who seemingly populated every town east of the Cascades through Oregon and Idaho. Despite a dozen schools, and ever the reader, Bonnie skipped a grade and graduated from Marycliff High School in Spokane. Determined not to miss out, Bonnie loved drama and dance, was a classic bobby-soxer, and blossomed into a beauty.

Enrolling at Gonzaga University in fall 1952, she was a member of the drama club and debate team but spoke pridefully of being elected the”Colleen” for the campus’ celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, an honor that included the key to the City. While in debate, she met Jerry Jager, irony still not lost upon her children. Jerry, a class year older, remembers seeing her light up a dance floor as a high school senior long before she knew who he was. They married in November 1953, with sons Steven and David soon arriving as she made a Spokane home while Jerry continued in law school.

Moving to Seattle after graduation, her precious daughter Laura was born in 1958. Bonnie and Jerry raised their three in North Seattle where she was an active member and involved parent at Christ the King Parish. Bonnie was the inspiration behind their still talked-about theme parties, planned memorable extended family trips and, of course, was the glue that made for often joyous childhood memories. Always fashionable, her young children were always dressed right, and the boys were the debonair envy of others as they smartly wore their turtlenecks and “Beatle” boots at age 9 and 8. Laurie, the tap-dancing and constantly cartwheeling little girl, had a unique and mutually close bond with her mother.

Events and life moved on and Jerry and Bonnie divorced in 1971, remaining genuinely gracious and grateful for their time together to the end of her life. Kindness and respect ruled their days thereafter. They commonly attended dozens and dozens of family events for decades and nostalgia increased with their years. Bonnie was married to Wayne Wade from 1971-1978 and had the opportunity to revisit him before her passing.

Bonnie returned to Seattle University obtaining her Bachelors degree in psychology in 1983 while employed as a highly proficient paralegal managing hundreds of cases in the King County Prosecutor’s Support Enforcement group until her retirement in 2004. All along she developed highly proficient skills in stage managing local theater productions for the Driftwood Players in Edmonds and the Civic Light Opera in Seattle, where she made, and kept, dozens of valued friendships.

She loved preparing fine foods. Her dishes were centerpiece to any family of friend gathering. Even camping breakfasts turned into events the envy of Martha Stewart. She donated hundreds of her cookbooks to the Edmonds Library before her passing thus ensuring a community uplift of gastronomical standards.

Diagnosed with lung cancer in 2001, she defied all odds and survived a decade longer than the most optimistic prognosis. Bonnie was full of life to the end, her last party at Brighton Court well attended on August 12, 2018. The family wishes to thank the staff at Brighton Court in Edmonds, and particularly her hospice caretakers.

She was preceded in death by father Bernal Laurence Ackerman, mother Sylvia (Hyvari) Ackerman and brother and sole sibling Reginald Laurence Ackerman.

She is survived by sons Steven Jager, David (and Lisa) Jager, daughter Laura (Jager) and William Scott; granddaughters Sarah Johnson of Bothell, Ingrid Burns of Everett, Kristen Sauceda of Mountlake Terrace, Maris Grigalunas, Maddie Jager and Emma Jager, all of Seattle, and Kari Scott of Edmonds. Her granddaughters, with their spouses and partners, seven great-grandsons and one great-granddaughter, adored her and brought her great joy.

Her children and many friends remember, and are inspired by her indomitable zest for life, love of theater, personal style, the culinary arts, and defiance of obstacles. She was a child of the Depression, a young mother in more innocent times, and thereafter a thoroughly modern woman who carved an independent and enriched path. Most of all she was, as our modern Bard says, forever young.

3 Responses to “Bonnie Ackerman”

  • Linda Kent says:

    Bonnie is certainly missed at Fairwinds-Brighton Court – her spunk, her smiles, her kind heart, her exuberance and much more. It was a gift to know her.

  • Kathleen Allen says:

    What a beautiful tribute to an outstanding and inspirational woman. I enjoyed learning more about Bonnie and cherish the time I got to spend with her and Laura way back in the 70’s at the Vance Hotel. She was unfailingly pleasant, kind and funny; she will be missed greatly.

  • Yasmin Vian says:

    Bonnie to me was an amazing character and little spitfire. She touched my life and also my sons the first day we met. I will never forget her and her striking resemblence to my own mother (who also passed) Doris Cunningham.. very easily could have passed as sisters.

    I will never forget her kindness and lovely smile. I still have and will always keep the beautiful French cookbook I was gifted and will think of her everytime I open it.

    Rest in peace dearest Bonnie, I bet you are cooking up a feast for everyone!

    My condolences to the entire family.


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