Life Story / Obituary
Bonnie Lou VanderBos was a loving and vibrant person. Her infectious smile, warm personality, and ability to accept others made her a wonderful friend to many. She lived her life selflessly by giving to others, often creating special crafts and gifts to show how much she cared. Despite life’s difficulties, she always had a way of looking on the bright side. As a mother, grandmother, sister and aunt, Bonnie leaves behind a collection of memories for all who knew and loved her.
The 1940’s were characterized by WWII. Through the courage and dedication of those who fought, much of this decade was a battle for a way of life that the country and western powers had spent two centuries building. By 1948, some of the most significant inventions that would impact lives for many years to come were created, including the Transistor and the Mobile Phone. That same year, Bonnie Lou was welcomed into the hearts and home of her loving parents, Richard "Dick" and Joyce (Fick) Snook on January 6th, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her birth brought great joy and happiness to her parents.
Growing up on Chatham Street on the westside, the oldest of nine children, Bonnie’s childhood was never a dull moment! She took on many responsibilities from a young age including caring for her younger siblings, cleaning the house, as well as supporting the family in the kitchen. She was no stranger to hard work and was a valuable asset to her hard-working parents! Bonnie attended local schools and graduated from Union High School. Shortly after graduation, she married her first husband, William VanderBos. Although their union together was short, they welcomed two wonderful sons, Steve and Bill. Later, she met Robert Bisard and brought home a third son, Rich, completing her family. Working steady jobs at various wood furniture manufacturing plants to provide for their every need, Bonnie was proud to raise them into strong men. Bonnie was a loving and compassionate mother who instilled in them the values of being generous and caring toward others. Later on, she met Bert Jackson, whom she dated for several years and moved to Morley to live with him.
A hard worker, Bonnie was never without activities to keep her busy! She spent time cleaning at Kent Community Hospital as well as performed patient transport for Mary Free Bed. There was no doubt that she was well liked by the staff and her co-workers! They enjoyed countless laughs, stories, and the whimsical nature of Bonnie. A joy to work with, she often offered her advice, support, or thoughtful listening ear in any time of need. Her greatest strength was her positive spirit as she was always able to get others to relax and not take life too seriously. When she wasn’t working, Bonnie loved to try her hand at being creative. She cherished spending time in the kitchen as well as crafting! She always came up with the most interesting combinations for both food as well as art media! Her artist talents ran the gamut of painting, making jewelry, as well as unique ornaments, wreaths, and flower arrangements. She and her mother shared a love of crafting and enjoyed several years of selling their fare at local craft shows, flea markets, and yard sales, even opening their basement to the thrill of the sale! Growing up with very little, Bonnie was known to hang on to items over the years which lent well to her creative charge! If there was something that she needed for a special project or gift she was making, she knew exactly where to find it in her collection of materials. If you walked in on her while she was crafting something, you could almost always guarantee that she was accompanied by a strong cup of coffee with a lit cigarette within her reach! For relaxation, Bonnie enjoyed her daily Soap Operas on TV and in her later years, couldn’t get enough of any crime show investigation!
As much as she enjoyed her years of working as well as sharing her artist talents, Bonnie was over the moon to have grandchildren in her life! She spent quality time with each and every one of them! Proud of their accomplishments, she loved to share with her special friends and neighbors their every success. There simply wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for her children and grandchildren. Although she was close with Stephen, Devin, Zachary and Richard, her heart was filled with joy when finally her granddaughter, Elizabeth was introduced to the family! She wanted nothing more than the very best for each of them.
After Bonnie’s mother passed away in 2010, she was filled with the immensity of the loss. She moved into Grandview Apartments until her health began to decline. She later moved into Heartland Health Care where she was treated with such special care. Bonnie leaves behind a rich legacy of being optimistic in times of trouble and to enjoy living by doing the things that bring you the most happiness. Bonnie’s wisdom, humor, and affectionate ways will be deeply missed. May her special loved ones honor her fun-loving spirit each time they gather to reminisce of their fond memories of her.
Bonnie Lou VanderBos, age 70, of Grand Rapids, passed away July 18, 2018. She is survived by her children Steve VanderBos, Bill & Jennifer VanderBos, Rich & Tina Bisard; grandchildren Stephen VanderBos Jr, Richard, Devin and Zachary Bisard, Elizabeth VanderBos; brothers and sisters Rick, Jim, Dave, Ed (Margie), Tom (Angie) Snook; and several nieces and nephews. Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents Richard and Joyce Snook; brother, Robert Snook; and sisters Jean Medved and Mary Snook. The service to remember and celebrate Bonnie's life will be held on Monday, July 23, 2018, at 5 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW where friends are invited to visit with her family from 4 PM until the time of the service. To share a memory or to sign her guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com