Bonnie Schober Powers
March 5, 1952 – December 25, 2016
Following a valiant two-year battle with cancer, and surrounded by family, Bonnie Powers passed in peace at home on Bainbridge Island, Christmas Evening to be with The Lord and loved ones who have gone before.
Bonnie Powers was born Bonita Rae Schober in Tigerton Wisconsin on March 5, 1952. She was the eldest of seven children of Patricia (Pat) and Ralph Schober. Bonnie grew up in Loyal Wisconsin where her father served as the superintendent of schools. Early on in life she took on a motherly role to her siblings and naturally had the ability to teach and help others seek their full potential.
Bonnie graduated from the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire in 1974. A year later she married her soulmate John Powers in Madison Wisconsin, on December 20, 1975. They began their professional careers and family with the birth of their two sons Kyle and John in Monroe WI.
In 1981 the Powers moved to Spokane where they both pursued graduate studies at Gonzaga University. Bonnie in Education and John in Law. She finished her masters with honors in Religious Studies the year their third child and first daughter, Annie was born. Two years later they welcomed another daughter, Clare and were blessed with a family of 6, two boys and two girls.
The Powers began their community in Spokane around St. Augustine’s Parish where Bonnie, as a young mother and professional, led the Youth Ministry Program. She became a full-time teacher to adolescents and dedicated the next thirty-five years of her life to making a difference in theirs. Not only did she impact the lives of her students at Holmes Elementary in a profound way, she did in her children’s lives and their friends lives as well.
Bonnie and John were actively engaged in several community service organizations, and were dedicated to building a stronger, healthier, more just, and prosperous Spokane.
During their years living in the Inland Northwest Bonnie and her family spent many summer days at their favorite place on earth – Priest Lake Idaho. She often quipped, “If God didn’t retire at Priest … undoubtedly, She summers here.”
After their youngest daughter graduated high school, the Powers moved to Seattle in 2004 to begin their next adventure of professional, personal and community development. Bonnie taught at McClure Middle School in the Queen Anne neighborhood for 12 years.
After enjoying a decade of living in the heart of Seattle, the Powers moved to Bainbridge Island in 2012 for new opportunities and to live the good life-island life- filled with wonderful friends and beautiful environs. Bonnie would eventually retire from teaching in 2015. The last two years of her teaching career, Bonnie made many of the couple’s close friends on the island during her daily ferry commute and through her yoga practice. She helped pilot the “Ferry Tales” floating book club. She was known for her extraordinary ability to bring new friends together.
Bonnie was an avid yogi, she loved reading and music, and being in nature with friends and family. She was an outdoor enthusiast who often hiked the Olympic Range, and took refuge in her Island sanctuaries: Bloedel Reserve, Grand Forest, and the Labyrinth at Hall Hill Outlook. She helped organize book clubs wherever she lived, and introduced many to new literary pursuits. A talented musician, Bonnie enjoyed playing he flute for friends and family right up to the time of her death. Bonnie was the type of friend that generously shared her friendships with ease, and cultivated many a friendship circle during her 64 years on earth. She will be greatly missed by all that knew her.
Bonnie Powers is survived by her husband of 41 years, John T. Powers, Jr., four children: Kyle Powers of Seattle, John Powers, III of Spokane, Annie Powers of Seattle, and Clare Powers of Bainbridge Island, four grandchildren: Anastacia, Penelope, Jaelah, and John Thomas IV, and six siblings: Scott Schober, Todd Schober, Jill Carufel, Jay Schober, Patrick Schober, and Michael Schober.
Arrangements entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home on Bainbridge Island. Services will be private. Bonnie was a life-long advocate for social justice and equality issues in her schools, neighborhoods, and communities, Bonnie was proud and honored to attend both of President Obama’s Inaugurations. If you wish to send a Memorial Gift in honor of Bonnie, they may be made to: The Southern Poverty Law Center; or, The Martin Luther King (MLK) Community Outreach Center in Spokane, WA. For more information and to sign the online Guest Book for the family please visit: www.cookfamilyfuneralhome.com.