She and her husband, Art along with their children worked side by side for many years building a successful dairy farm. She and Art were partners in everything from establishing and running the farm, to raising, educating and parenting five children. In addition, they were involved in the restaurant business and a retail clothing store at one time. Of all their accomplishments, they were most proud that all five children were college graduates with three having earned advanced degrees.
Bonnie loved people and had many friends in this area as well as in Montana where they maintained a second home for over 30 years.
Bonnie loved her church, First Methodist Church of Chipley. She passionately supported her church with her tithe, her membership in Methodist Women and participated in all church activities. She especially enjoyed the revivals of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Many times she lamented that the church had not had a revival for many years.
She is predeceased by her husband Arthur Aukema who passed in 2011 and daughter Joy Aukema Taps who passed in 2005.
She was born in the Richter Community, March 5, 1930 to James A. and Estell Wilks and Bonnie was the youngest of 13 siblings who predeceased her: Broward, Clifton, Viola, Iola, Lycurgus, Boyd, Malcolm, Orien, Harvis, Earl, Effie Davis, Hazel Watts and Annie Hutchins. She was also predeceased by her brothers-in-law, John and Nelson Aukema and sisters-in-law Hilda Aukema and Elsie Heyboer. She is survived by brother-in-law Mark Aukema and sisters-in-law Gracie Hutt and Noreen Aukema.
Left to mourn her passing are her four remaining children, Ann Hanson (Harvey), Robert “Bobby” Aukema (Sharon), Patricia “Patsy” Dickson (Buddy) and Gary Aukema (Karen), eleven grandchildren (Leighan, Tara, Chris, Jay, Ryan, Kelly, Mandi, Mitzi, Lacey, Kacey and Kenzey, 18 great-grandchildren, and a veritable host of nieces and nephews.
The family sends words of thanks and much appreciation to the 3rd floor staff at Northwest Florida Community Hospital and Emerald Coast Hospice and very special care givers, Sandy Dunnivan and Ann Collins. The kindness, love and attention that each of you showered upon our mother will always be fondly remembered.
Services will be Thursday, December 7, 2023 at the First Methodist Church of Chipley at 11:00 A.M. with Visitation at 10:00 A.M. Interment will be at Glenwood Cemetery following the services.
In Lieu of Flowers, donations will be accepted by First Methodist Church of Chipley or Emerald Coast Hospice.
Brown Funeral Home & Blue Lake Crematory of Chipley, FL is in charge of arrangements. Family and friends may sign the online register at www.brownfh.net