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Bonnie Elaine Long Powell was born Nov. 15, 1947, to Eldon and Dorothy Dellwo Long in Polson. She was the oldest of four children and was raised in Ronan as child which gave her a deep love of the Mission Valley. She graduated from Billings Central High Catholic school in 1966 and Eastern Montana College with a degree in English.
She met Vic Powell on a blind date and they were married on March 20, 1970. During their 47 years of marriage they lived in various places in Montana and Idaho and settled into the Missoula family home in 1989. She passed away peacefully in her sleep at this home on Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, at the end of what she called “the most fun” Christmas day.
Bonnie survived polio as a child which left her without an active body but she had an active mind and was constantly trying to feed it. She loved to read anything and everything. Her career in library services was perfect for her as she loved to recommend books and help people research. She was fascinated by genealogy and motivated to preserve family history. One of her favorite things to do every fall was “run around Ronan” with her cousin Ethel who she said was “her sister in her heart.”
Family was the most important thing to her. She was happiest when all of her children and grandchildren were together — especially during the annual family camping week at Big Arm on Flathead Lake. She spent over 30 of these trips in her favorite spot — sitting in her chair with a book, looking at the lake, watching the kids play games and enjoying having everyone close.
In the past few years Bonnie became more active and took trips with Vic to Hawaii and Alaska. She recently had hip surgery to correct side effects from polio and was looking forward to more trips, Griz games, Osprey games and time at the lake.
She is survived at the family home by her husband Vic and dog Kallie. She is also survived by her parents, Eldon and Dorothy Long of Missoula; daughter Angela Mielke of Kalispell with her husband Kevin and children Jessica, Justin and Josh; daughter Stephanie Peters of Missoula with her husband Noel and children Ryan and Megan; daughter Cindie Bacon of Helena with her husband Chris and children Abby, Alex and Aeric; son David Powell of Helena with wife Shasta and son Dean; daughter Megan Powell of Seattle and her children Libby and Amelia. Bonnie is also survived by her brother Michael of Billings, sister Barbara of Billings and Patti of Ronan, several cousins, nieces, nephews and in-laws who meant very much to her.
On Saturday, Dec. 30, there will be a family gathering and open house in memory of Bonnie at the Courtyard by Marriott on Reserve in Missoula between the hours of 5 to 9 p.m. Anyone who would like to stop by during this time frame is welcome (please ask for Powell family event). In lieu of flowers, please bring a written memory for the family to read or a book donation for the public library. For those unable to attend, she would have loved knowing that people were donating books to their local public library in her honor. The family would also enjoy reading written memories which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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