November 21, 1954 – August 11, 2019
It is with heavy hearts that we announce that our beloved oldest sister Donna lost her brave battle with cancer on August 11, 2019.
Donna was a name everyone most knew her by; her family always called her Bonnie.
Bonnie – Donna was born first in our family, to Katherine Pauline McQuarrie and John McQuarrie. She will be lovingly missed by her two daughters, Melanie Hendrickson and Danielle Anderson; four grandchildren Jacolyn, Monica, Shane, and Harley; brother Gerald (Linda) and Mike; sisters Susan (Brian) and Angela (Blaine); cousins Randy (Cynthia) and Terry (Mary); nieces Kelly (Steven), Vanessa (Brian), Jennie (Frank) and Brittney; nephews Chris, Corey (Breanna) and Blaine Jr.; great-nieces Angel, Stephanie, Kimberly; great-nephews Kaiden and Brakston.
Bonnie started working at the age of 16. She started her list of careers as a car-hop at A&W. She was a quilt sewing machine operator, receptionist at the Red Cross, Shell Station Cashier (promoted to store manager and then district manager); photographer assistant and receptionist. You would never know it as she had an uncanny habit of cutting off your head in photos she took. She was a bartender, worked in a government office doing clerical bookkeeping. She started her own company named Child File. She was a waitress in several different places, a truck driver, management at Big Sky Truck Stop. She was an amazing spokesperson for stroke recovery. And we’re sure we missed a few things.
Her daughter Melanie was born in 1976 while Bonnie continued to support herself and Melanie, our family pitched in to babysit one very colicky baby. It was later when Bonnie fell in love and married. Bonnie’s family grew and another little girl was added to her family, Danielle.
Bonnie was diagnosed with Schizophrenia on top of dealing with a very abusive husband. She and the girls had a very rough and unsteady life. But in Bonnie’s mind, she always tried to do the best thing. Even though it was not always right, she tried. Sometimes life or people did not treat her so kindly. Even still, she had a big heart and she always wore it on her sleeve.
In later years she had to finally stop working as she suffered a massive stroke. She lost some of her motor-skills, her memory and had to learn to do simple things, like using a phone, a bank machine and sometimes, even talking. But she marched on.
Bonnie was an adventurer who liked to get up at the crack of dawn and go hiking when she lived in Alberta. She liked to go skiing, snow shoeing, horseback riding, swimming, and bowling (in a league with her mom, cousin Terry and sister-in-law Linda). Bonnie loved picnics in the park, mountains, flower gardens, lakes and beaches. Her favourite place was Winnipeg Beach, where she would sit and listen to the waves crashing on the shore.
Hearts and butterflies were her symbol of life. No matter where you looked in her homes, she always had hearts everywhere.
Bonnie liked to visit people. She loved to go out and loved to get all dressed up whenever there was a party, wedding, dance, or dinner; especially New Years! She loved to dance and while we were all growing up we always danced and sang to all different types of music. Bonnie sang in group choirs growing up and often sang along to songs on the Radio. Bonnie would hear the song “Flash Dance” or “We Are Family” and she would pull the nearest person up to the dance floor snapping her fingers away while she danced.
Bonnie and I (Sue) went to a concert not long ago. We sang and bopped our heads to the music. There was a part in “Turn Back Time”, “If I could reach the stars, I would give them all to you.” We reached up tot eh stars and pretended to pull them down and give them to each other. It was a moment we shared and will never forget. Bonnie went to my brother Gerald’s home where she drank wine with our sister-in-law, Linda. They would stay up till 2 or 3 in the morning dancing away and listening to music.
Bonnie was diagnosed with stage 4 Lung Cancer in November of 2018. Her family that was here spent the last few holidays together. Bonnie LOVED her family.
Our cousin dale lived in the same apartment block 3 doors away from Bonnie. Dale would pick up Frosty’s, Chinese Food, Burgers and Mildshakes. Bonnie liked strawberry milkshakes, French fries and gravy. They had dinners together, joked around a lot, shared company and watched music and television together.
When Bonnie’s health started to fail, it was Dale who took her places and kept her company through the night.
Bonnie was always telling people she was OK when they asked how she was doing. Even though you could tell her chemo knocked her out. Radiation would really make her sick. She always said, “I’m OK.”. She was a true warrior who fought her battle with hope, strength and courage. Her zest for life was unstoppable. She never gave up hope.
We hope there is a special place in God’s Garden for people who have the strength and courage to battle this ugly disease because every one of them deserve to be there.
There may be Mud Hero’s
But Bonnie, you are our Angel Hero.
RIP our Angel Hero, Bonnie-Donna.
We would like to thank our cousin Dale McQuarrie for all and everything he did for our sister. You treated her like gold. You were her best friend and shining star.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to CancerCare Manitoba would be sincerely appreciated.
Friends and relatives are encouraged to share in stories and condolences for the family by visiting making use of the comment section on this page.
A celebration of her life will be held 11:00 a.m. Friday, September 6, 2019 at Kildonan United Church, 187 Killbride Avenue.
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