Bonita Kathleen Lingenfelter (Mellor)

Bonita Lingenfelter passed away on Monday, May 31, 2010 at home at the age of 67 years. She was born in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan.

‘Shuswap Naturalist’, Bonita Lingenfelter, a long-time resident of Salmon Arm and local columnist, passed away peacefully at her home, surrounded by family.

Bonita moved to Salmon Arm in 1967 with her husband and three children. (Two more would be born here). After several years her life transitioned from living on a farm to becoming a real estate agent. It was a job she loved but her career was cut short by a bad car accident.

During her long recovery, Bonita took up writing where she combined her love of nature and the Prairies. Bonita’s talents were recognized by publishing houses as she was twice offered to have her books printed. But both book deals fell through, so neither of her children’s nature books was published.

Her artistic talents also included stain glass designing, arranging fresh flower bouquets, bead work, and photography.

She enjoyed her time with her grandchildren which usually included doing crafts and gardening. They might be “rescuing” stuffed animals from the thrift shop or being taught the importance of fish fertilizer.

Bonita was perhaps best known for her column which ran in the Shuswap Market for years, and later in the Friday A.M. Her column focused on nature ranging from insects, birds, trees and plants. Her freezer was full of bugs thanks to generous donations from avid readers. Everything she did, she went at it wholeheartedly. She would go up Fly Hills to get tadpoles, or go through ditches (many of them) for butterfly food, and she bred her very own variety of primrose.

People appreciated Bonita’s vivid description of nature. She had an ability to bring to life a world of images. Who knew the cycle of the butterfly could be so interesting?

Bonita is survived by her father, Robert Lingenfelter, four sisters, two brothers, five children and 13 grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Fischer’s Funeral Services on Saturday, June 12th at 1 p.m. with Pastor Norm Russell officiating. Because of Bonita’s love of natural arrangements, homemade bouquets are appreciated. Donations can be made in Bonita’s memory to the Red Cross, 2960 Okanagan Ave SE, V1E 1H1.

A Roman Catholic Funeral Mass will be held in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan on June 19th at 10 a.m. at the Church of Christ the King.

Arrangements entrusted to FISCHER’S FUNERAL SERVICES & CREMATORIUM LTD., Salmon Arm, (250) 833-1129, Email condolences and share memories at www.fischersfuneralservices.com.