Our First Lady of Lifting, Bonnie White, Coach Bob’s wife of 65 years passed away this week. We are all very sad. We will miss Bonnie very, very much.
I ran across this meme today and it seemed fitting, because Bonnie was a kind person. She and Bob have given so much to so, so many. Existing technology cannot measure how much or how many they have helped. I am among them.
I made a list of all the lifters who have been through the gym: 143. That’s a lot of lifters.
I remember Bonnie from when I was an undergraduate back in the 70’s. She worked at OU in Admissions back then. She was always very sweet and kind. She always had a smile for us students, and she was incredibly helpful, never giving anyone the run-around.
When I moved into my house seven years ago, I saw her, my new neighbor, in the yard and I thought, “I know her! She’s so nice!” and to have been her neighbor has been a pleasure, a privilege, and an honor.
Bonnie was a quilter, a softball player–she even lifted for a while. She loved animals. She and my Flo dog were fast friends. Sometimes Flo would come lift with me, but really, she’d just go hang out with Bonnie. They’d watch TV together and Bonnie would play with her. Sometimes, Flo would just go over to Bob and Bonnie’s and sit at the door until Bonnie let her in. Bob would call and ask me, “Are you missing your dog? She’s been visiting for about an hour!”
Bonnie was mom, grandma, friend, and confidant to many. Lifters past and present have shared many memories of her with me over these past few days. All of them are stories filled with love and emotion. Lots of smiles in those remembrances.
The lifting team and the softball team will serve as honorary pall bearers. An honor and privilege, for sure.
Bonnie, I hope to be the things I love the most about you. Goodbye, my friend. I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again. I hope to do you proud.