Bonita Eloise Dick was born on June 25, 1920 on a stock range in LaHarpe, Kansas to Alvis and Bessie Dick, just 14 months after her sister Muriel was born. Alvis and Bessie Dick were both frontier school teachers, and the family relocated many times to pursue teaching jobs, often living in accommodations provided for them within the schoolhouse.
Bonita and Muriel grew up like twins, and even though they ended up living on opposite ends of the country, they visited each other often. Recently discovered in Bonita's home in Catonsville was an essay written by her sister Muriel detailing the girls' daily life in the rural, remote regions of Montana in the 1920's. It's a fascinating look into American history and the Dick girls' remarkable lives.
Bonita was studious from an early age! She loved to read books, and told how she often climbed trees to escape her chores in order to read. She was adventurous and spirited. Bonita and Muriel were taught primarily by their mother until they attended high school. Bonita excelled academically and at sports, especially basketball. She considered herself quite a tomboy! She graduated at age 20 from Union College, Lincoln, Nebraska in 1941 with a degree in English and History.
Bonita traveled east to Baltimore to accept a teaching position, but after a year she decided to pursue her true career calling - a secretary! While working at Picker X-Ray Co. in Baltimore, she met an x-ray salesman, Edward Kraemer, who would become her future husband. She related the story that Ed was a "smart alec", but it all worked out, because they married on New Year's Eve, 1945!
Together they had five children. Bonita was a stay-at-home mom until her youngest, Robert, was school age, at which point she returned to secretarial work to finance her children's education in Seventh-day Adventist schools, to which she was strongly convicted. Bonita was dedicated to her children's educational and artistic endeavors. Music lessons for all her kids were of utmost importance, and she never missed a performance!
She was well-known for her creativity. While working for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists as an editor, she wrote a children's book entitled: "Rules Mean Happiness." She also worked at John's Hopkins Applied Physics Lab as secretary, and for many years at her daughter Kathy's business, The Resume Place. She excelled in typing complex documents, was a filing expert, and had amazing organization skills. It was a family business in the truest sense, and Bonita was an integral part of it.
After her children were on their own, Bonita enjoyed just about every activity the Catonsville Senior Center had to offer! She was a gifted painter (she favored oils), writer, editor, wood-carver, and stained glass artist. A particular favorite class was Creative Writing, for which she wrote countless personal essays about her life, family and friends.
She was a life-long, avid Baltimore Oriole's baseball fan, and loved to watch the games and follow the players. She looked forward to Opening Day every year. Her favorite Camden Yards snack: nachos with cheese and jalapenos!
Bonita's loved ones were privileged to have her with us for more than a century! In her twilight years, she enjoyed her life at Yolanda's Home assisted living in Howard County, where we had a number of epic birthday parties for her. She loved to listen to her daughters Kathy and Bonny sing and play piano, either live or recordings. She especially enjoyed visits from her grand- and great-grandchildren.
Bonita was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Edward, two of her sons, Edward, Jr. (Ted) and Robert, her sister Muriel, and grandson Phillip.
Surviving are her children Kathryn Troutman, Richard Kraemer (Mary Lou), and Bonny Lally (Bryan); her grandchildren Chris Troutman (Zoey), Emily Troutman, Lori Morgan (Ryan), Kalvis Kraemer, Ligita Cunningham (Hunter), Nicole Day; and great-grandchildren Ryan, Jr., Whitney, Timothy, Ethan, Gemma Bonita, Wesley and Madis. She is also survived by her nieces, Elizabeth and Rosalyn (Muriel's daughters).
A celebration of life will be held at the Candle Light Funeral Home on Saturday, June 17th. Family will welcome friends to gather at 10 am, with a service at 11 am. A luncheon reception at Kathy's backyard at 1012 Edmondson Ave., Catonsville, MD. 21228, will follow the service.
Donations in Bonita's memory may be made to:
American Diabetes Association
American Kidney Fund
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