Celebration of Life -- Bonnie York

  • 2021-07-12, 05:43 AM
  • Rachel Dahl
Celebration of Life -- Bonnie York Bonnie York
June 23, 1936 - December 7, 2020

The family of Bonnie York is announcing that there will be a Memorial and Celebration of life at the Lariat Patio at the Churchill Arts Center at Oats Park on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

Bonnie June (Allen) York, 84, passed away in Fallon on December 7, 2020, due to severe complications from  COVID-19.  Bonnie was born in Fallon on June 23, 1936, to Lem and Mary Ellen Allen.  She was a lifelong Fallon resident, graduating from Churchill County High School in 1953.  She attended the College of Notre Dame, graduating in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.  Bonnie was so proud of her Allen heritage and loved her Fallon roots and the adventures they produced. 

Bonnie cherished the outdoors. In her earlier years, Bonnie enjoyed duck hunting with her Dad, who also was instrumental in developing her love for horses.  She was an accomplished horsewoman competing in equestrian, western, and team roping events.  Bonnie was fond of water skiing, snow skiing, golf, and tennis.  However, her real joy was ranching and raising Saler cattle.  Bonnie loved her cows, giving individual names to most in the herd.  Her record-keeping for the cattle was impeccable as she maintained a well-organized accounting of each cow and could recount the breeding history from memory.  Bonnie’s pride and joy was her blind cow Helen, named after Helen Keller.  She took great care of Helen and spoke of her often.

Bonnie loved her music.  As an accomplished pianist and singer, she contributed those talents in the Epworth United Methodist Church and Lahontan Valley Concert Choir.  After taking Western Swing classes, she danced on a regular basis, where she met her longtime partner, Jesse Hernandez.

Bonnie was a dedicated teacher, positively impacting many students.  It was quite common for previous students to verbally express to Bonnie their appreciation of her as a teacher.  She began her teaching career with the Churchill County School District as an elementary music teacher.  Bonnie transitioned from elementary education to adult education when she became a faculty member at Western Nevada Community College (now WNC) in 1977 where she taught business and computer applications.  During her 30 years at WNC, she never missed a single day of class, of which she was very proud.  In support of women in academics, Bonnie was an active member of the American Association of University Women.  As a result of her dedication to teaching, Bonnie received the Outstanding Faculty Award in 1990, WNC Regents Teaching Award in 2000, Instructor of the Year in 2001, and was awarded Emerita status upon her retirement in 2007 at the age of 71.

Bonnie was a wonderful and supportive mother, grandmother, partner, and friend.  She leaves her daughter, Kristin Hamman Calley, and husband Mike; brother Buz Allen and wife Kay; granddaughters Mary and Meghan; partner, Jesse Hernandez and her many friends and former WNCC colleagues.

It is heartbreaking, but due to COVID precautions and restrictions, services will not be held at this time. Bonnie would want to keep her family and friends safe from this devastating virus. Interment will be at the Fallon Cemetery in the Allen Family plot.

Special thanks to Dr. Aikin and the nursing staff at Banner Churchill Community Hospital for their care and genuine compassion.

Memorial donations can be made to the Churchill Arts Council (P. O. Box 2204, Fallon, NV 89407) or Churchill County Museum (1050 South Maine Street, Fallon, Nevada 89406).

A celebration of Bonnie’s life will be held in June 2021 to coincide with her 85th birthday.

Reprinted from December 8, 2020, courtesy Smith Family Funeral Home.

Rachel Dahl

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