Bonnie Jean Stokes Motschman, 86, passed away at home in Statesboro, Georgia on April 23, 2021. She passed peacefully with family by her side.
Born March 8, 1935 in Ogden, Utah to Otto James Stokes and Freeda Heines Stokes, she graduated from San Bernardino High School and spent most of her life in Southern California. She was married and sealed for time and all eternity to Fred Earl Motschman in the St. George, UT Temple on March 26, 1955. They were married for 53 years before his passing in 2008. She lived in San Bernardino and later Crestline, CA before relocating to Florida, and then Georgia, to live with her daughter.
A busy mother of seven children under the age of eight years, (including a set of twins), she worked various jobs to support her family and was always serving in her church in different capacities, but most often by teaching lessons in the home. She was continually perplexed by the frequent question of how she managed to do all she did and would reply, “What choice did I have? That’s just what we did!” And it was, thanks to her fiery spirit, hard work and can-do attitude, a rare partnership of devotion and fidelity to the love of her life and her faith in her Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Bonnie loved flowers, especially Gardenias and Camelias. Her green thumb brought beauty to every space she could improve. She was known for her cooking and baking. She always ground her own whole grain flours and was known for her delicious homemade bread long before it was a health food trend. The sight of large bowls of rising dough or the scent of baking bread were familiar and normal in her kitchen. Dozens and dozens of cinnamon rolls, tacos, burritos, enchilada casseroles and homemade soups economically fed her large family and any others lucky enough to join in. She was an expert seamstress and spent many long hours through the night making clothes for growing children. From homemade clothing to cleaning products, candles to yogurt and peanut butter, she did everything she could to trim the budget and meet the needs in her home with economy and ingenuity.
As a child, she was taught to have perfect penmanship. It was a source of pride along with her spelling ability which mainly came from having to copy pages of the dictionary as punishment for misbehaving in school. It was most often her unbridled tongue, (which she blamed on growing up near the railroad), that got her in trouble. Her dad taught her to play and love baseball, a sport he excelled at. Favorite historical highlights included being kissed by Elvis Presley and meeting multiple Prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
She enjoyed family dinners, block parties, church suppers and dances and anything her children and grandchildren were doing. She loved to laugh, eat ice cream, make up silly songs to entertain kids and distract them from unpleasant chores or even the tedium of having to brush the hair of 5 girls. She loved to play cards and never said no to a game of Yahtzee. Without question, her most treasured relationship was her eternal partnership with her beloved husband. All of her friends and family remember their tradition of holding hands whenever they were together.
Bonnie is survived by her brothers Gary Stokes and Ray Stokes (Chris), her children Joyce Lemmon, Jennie Wilson (Jim), Caryn Powers (Darrell), Caryl Motschman (Bart Hisel), Julie Nix (Bruce) and Tim Motschman. She is also survived by a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren and multiple granddogs, loving each one of them completely. Bonnie was proceeded in death by her loving husband and her eldest son Fred W. Motschman.
She will be laid to rest with her husband in the Riverside National Cemetery and memorialized on May 25th at 1pm.
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