Bonnie Dot Penner, 81

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Bonnie Dot Penner, 81, of Bigfork, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019.

Bonnie, affectionately known to others as “Tiny,” was born on Sept. 7, 1937, to Austin and Nellda Dillree in Rexburg, Idaho, joining older sister Lois and brothers Gary and Larry. The family relocated to Ovando. She attended Missoula County High School in Missoula and graduated in 1955.

Bonnie’s greatest treasure was her family. She loved celebrations that brought the entire extended family together. Any chance to gather, play cards, tell stories, and enjoy a family meal. No one ever went hungry around Bonnie, be it her family, friends, or the multitude of birds and sometimes deer fed from her front porch. She was also known for her homemade candy and cookies, which were eagerly anticipated and will surely be missed.

Bonnie’s other treasure was her yard. She possessed enviable gardening skills and spent countless hours in her yard, planting and tending to all her flowers and trees. Her efforts always brought amazement to visitors and Bonnie was delighted when her fruit trees would bloom, producing buckets full of pears and apples.

She was reunited in passing with her parents, Austin and Nellda Dillree, and brother Gary Dillree, among others.

She is survived by her sister, Lois James, and brother, Larry Dillree, both of Ovando. She is survived by her children, daughter Susan Nellda Cooper of Homedale, Idaho; son Geno Naef of San Antonio, Texas; son Larry Penner of Bigfork; son Butch Naef of Spearfish, South Dakota; son Jamie Penner of Bigfork; and daughter Ann Penner and son-in-law Todd of Helena; in addition to several grandchildren and great-grandchildren whom she loved to squeeze and hug.

The family is planning to hold a celebration of Bonnie’s life this summer, when the grass is green and the flowers are in bloom, just the way she preferred them.

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